Many of my posts show that Psoriasis likes to attack the mind as well as your skin. I try to combat this by switching off, taking some time to myself or with others where I just don’t have to think about what my skin looks like or how much it itches. The problem is that the switch doesn’t work. No matter how many times I flick it, the light stays on and Psoriasis remains on my mind. At best, I can use a dimmer switch so it isn’t quite as bright and moves to the back of my mind. It always there though and even the dimmer switch is a bit faulty as Psoriasis suddenly jumps back to consume my thoughts. Maybe I should get the electricians in, must be some faulty wiring there.
Because I have to treat my skin every single day (well I could decide not to and that just brings more issues) and because every day there is the fear of showing my skin, feeling like my skin is burning and the almost constant itching it is no surprise that I can’t just switch off. Everything you do when have psoriasis is governed by it, no matter how much you tell yourself you are in control. Take a weekend away for instance. I have to think in advance what could happen to my skin and what situations I may be in. So as well as thinking about what colour clothes to wear dependent on how flaky my scalp is, I have to consider how itchy I am generally. What creams do I want to take with me, do I have enough to last me the weekend? Then I’m back to what do I wear. Are we going somewhere that I have to dress up for? If so, I can’t use my normal medication as it’s too greasy and will stain my clothes.
The weather comes into it too. Now this is difficult to manage. The cold makes my skin sore so I have to wrap up. Add going in and out of shops (and a bar or two) and we now have the possibility that I will keep getting hot. Oh and guess what, my skin doesn’t like heat either. A frequent change from hot to cold is worse than just bebing one or the other. So do I stay warm or be a bit chilly to avoid the heating up affect when I go into a building?
All these thoughts start as soon as the weekend is booked. This is why I’m a fan of planning things last minute, it doesn’t give my brain too much time to start working. The worst thing is that my Psoriasis cannot help but keep saying “Simon, you know you’re not going to enjoy yourself, you’ll be itchy and uncomfortable all weekend, I’m going to make it hell for you”. I try to ignore it and it just shouts louder. All I can do is to face our little trip away full on. Yes I know my psoriasis will makes things difficult, I know there will be moments when I will just want to be home curled up in my bed ignoring the world. All I can do is when I hit that first bar, I raise a glass to Psoriasis and say “Sod you, I’m enjoying myself”. By the way, I’m not an alcoholic as much as it sometimes seems I am, I just don’t see why I should not enjoy life because of this condition. It’s decoded to stay with me and will have to come along for the ride.
So as I head toward the weekend to take a few days off work and “switch off”, I just lower the dimmer switch as I leave the house, take a deep breath, and deal with whatever Psoriasis throws at me.