Since I started being very open about my Psoriasis in 2011, I have had so many people ask what my secret is to my confidence. First, before we dive right in, let me let me tell you this, there is no secret!
Confidence can mean different things to different people. To me, confidence is about loving yourself in a way that it it doesn’t matter how other people feel about you. Confidence is knowing your self worth and not letting others adjust that scale, unless it is in a positive direction.
Now, when I say there is no secret to confidence, it is because it is not something that comes over night, it is hard work. Confidence, self-esteem, mental strength, and any other word that is used in relation to loving yourself is something that I have worked very hard over the years to build and I work at it everyday.
When I first exposed my skin to social media through my personal Facebook profile, I was TERRIFIED. I had spent years prior trying so hard to hide my skin, make excuses to those who did catch a glimpse, and all but accept the fact that I was different. I was worried about being judged, people thinking I was weird, and losing friends. What happened was the exact opposite. I was overwhelmed with support, encouragement, and love by my peers, it was amazing!
Now that I showcase my skin on a very public platform (Instagram) I am faced with the possibility of strangers judging me. The positive of me showing my true self those years ago is that I am not self-conscious of showing my skin the way it naturally is through social media. The only downside of being very public with my Psoriasis, as well as the way I choose to treat it, is that I am now being judged for how I choose to medicate myself… go figure. I am constantly told that my method of medication (biologic injection) is wrong, dangerous, toxic, and going to kill me. I am opening messages daily of new miracle diets to try, CBD web-links, and natural supplements that will “cure my Psoriasis over night”. While I appreciate people are likely just trying to help, it is very frustrating when I am told my choice (read that again, MY CHOICE) is wrong and that I need to follow their prescribed method of being rid of my Psoriasis.
When I am getting ready to go out in public or post something on social media, my thought process has changed from “what will people think?” to “how will my confidence help someone else?”. By this I mean “how can I encourage someone else who has image issues, whether it is Psoriasis or something different, to feel even a little better about themselves?”. A few people have shared their admiration of my strength, and that it has helped them to become more confident in their differences as well. This is the true magic of the internet. Being able to help people I have never met in such a significant way.
Helping to create a community of self-love is truly what makes me so confident, proud, and happy to share my experiences, difficulties, accomplishments, and life with people that I have never met, and likely will never meet.
I am extremely proud to be an advocate for Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and loving yourself the way you are and the way you deserve!