With anything that you’re going through, you learn that it’s vital to have a good support system. In my case, a “psupport psystem.” Your support system helps keeps you afloat, especially when you feel like you’re drowning. Sometimes it takes years to build one and for others, not so long.
It took me years to build my psupport psystem because I regrettably hid my disease as an adult. On many occasions, I hid my skin out of embarrassment and to avoid questions that I knew were coming. Questions like, “What did you do?” or “What happened?” is what grinds my gears the most. But instead of using that as an opportunity to educate people about my disease, I bottled it up. I took the easy way out. I gave them my famous, “Oh I have psoriasis” line and left it at that, expecting them to understand what it is.
I’ve come to realize how big of a mistake this is. Instead of hiding it, I could be raising awareness for it. And when doing this I was hurting the next person who’d be asked those same questions.
When family, friends, teachers, or coworkers know what you’re going through, they can be there to lend a hand or pick you up when you’re feeling down. They can be advocates for you, support you, and most importantly, remind you how much you are loved despite your flaws.
In honor of Psoriasis Awareness Month, I pledge to always be open about my disease, to spread my knowledge and my journey, and to continue building my psupport psystem. And for my readers who may feel insecure about something they’re suffering with, I challenge you to break out of your comfort zone and build your support system. It’s never too late.
Callie Dudek is a public relations coordinator at ProMedica. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Toledo.