I Am More Than Skin Deep

I was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. My name is Vanlessia Gaston. I am a twenty-five year old single mom of two beautiful kids that I adore. I have been battling severe plaque psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis since, I was six years old. Imagine waking up everyday knowing that it is another day to fight. Some see it as a cry for help, but I see it as a cry for comfort. Through the pain I still fight and push for a better living. For years I locked myself away from the world. People would make fun of my skin disease, and it's very rare I will get someone to ask, "What's going on?" .Some would run away saying they're scared, thinking it's a spreadable disease. You get tired of the constant chatter, and people thinking that you are contagious. That was it...I was tired. I decided I didn't want to fight the world anymore so I locked myself away. It was the worst mistake I could have ever made in my life.  It only brung about depression, anxiety, and stress. You are so young dealing with so much in your life, and you just get tired. You get so overwhelmed. You feel like someone have been beating at you for so long until you just can't take it any more. Suicide! Yes, I know what you thinking, but I did not take my life. There have been multiple times where I wanted too and could have been successful at doing it. I didn't feel like the fight was worth it any more. I didn't come out to face the world until I was fifteen years old. When I finally stepped out into the world, that was the day I knew God had reasons, why he wanted me this way. He wanted me to get educated, always be encourage, and become an inspiration to someone else's life. I had my bad days and I have had my worst days. I still face obstacles. I see women that I find myself envying at one point because they can wear dresses, shorts, short sleeves, and etc... without hiding. They can have their hair be done beautifully without hiding their scalp. Women would be walking around with flawless beautiful skin, and here I am praying for a relief. I wake up daily having to be uncomfortable with how my skin looks. I researched ways to hide the visible parts of my body, I wish I can just destroy. I pray everyday for that one day I can awake and be free of plaque psoriasis. I just want to feel comfortable, normal, and free in my own skin. Imagine waking up not being able to walk on your own, feed yourself, or bathe yourself. There have many times I couldn't.  I thank God for the supporters in my life, because without God and them I don't think I could have made it this far. I am a strong beautiful young woman (mother) that's continuing to learn, love, and find her purpose. Our savior give His strongest battles to His toughest soldiers. I will no longer hide, I will continue to fight, and I am ready to see what else my father God has in store for me. If I could tell any one that is living with psoriasis anything, I would tell them never lose confidence in yourself. Remember you are beautiful the way God wanted you to be. Never let anyone tell you that you can't do the things you desire. You can go far as you want to, as long as you apply yourself. Psoriasis is the battle that was chosen for you because our savoir know you're strong. You are bigger than your skin. There is nothing wrong with being unique. Find your voice and be heard.

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