It’s hard waking up every morning, not knowing how bad my psoriasis would be and how it would affect my day. I’m like a yo-yo, somedays I feel good and optimistic, where I’m able to go out and socialise. While on other days, I’m really struggling with myself, to the extent that I am unable to leave the house.
If I’m being honest, I don’t feel 100% okay at the moment. I’ve been stuck at home and I can’t find a proper job because no one wants to hire someone with my skin condition. I’ve been working from home, doing freelance accounting jobs for about a year now. It has been a financial struggle, I barely earn enough to cover my living expenses.
Right now, I feel so helpless, ashamed, alone and confused. My skin seems to be responding to my sorrows. My stress is turning up in the form of red scales all over my body, and it makes me feel like giving up on everything. Since I can’t go out now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have to keep myself occupied at home by reading, playing video games and watching movies.
I’ve always been an introvert, but it only got worse after I was diagnosed with psoriasis in 2011. It’s so hard trying to meet new people, especially when my psoriasis decides to flare up. The small spots on my skin started to transform into big patches that look like gloves and boots. It has only been getting worse ever since, where it starts to swell, crack and bleed. It’s so frustrating.
I’ve been hospitalised seven times already. The ones last year was the worst so far where I was admitted twice. The first time was for pustular psoriasis and later for arthritis and erythrodermic psoriasis. The doctors tried a few types of medication, that unfortunately gave me allergic reactions. My body started to bleed and burn, and I couldn’t stop vomiting. At one point, I thought I was going to die.
I have to be very careful with the medications that I take. Certain medications have a lot of negative side effects on me, so I’ve learnt to avoid those.
At night, I struggle with insomnia on a regular basis. My skin would get so itchy that I wouldn’t be able to stop scratching the whole night. Sometimes, I will only be able to fall asleep the next morning at around 5am to 8am. It’s very exhausting, especially if I have to work on that day.
I try to hide my skin as much as I can by only wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when I’m outside. I also wear a cap and gloves to further cover up my psoriasis.
I still get anxious around people, especially strangers. Most of them don’t realise that I have psoriasis because I don’t talk about it. When I do talk about it, some people are nice and understanding, but most of them do not even know about psoriasis and do not understand what I go through every single day.
It really upsets me when they tell me that I shouldn’t let it bother me. How can I not let it bother me, when it affects every part of my life, including my work, my finances, and my relationships?
I’m trying to survive and do the best that I can right now, but sometimes it feels like there’s no meaning to it, because nothing will ever change. I’m working on trying to be more positive. I’m still in the midst of discovering myself and learning to deal with my condition. I want to be more open about my condition, and to stop ‘sweeping my feelings under the carpet’.