Hi, I’m Eben. I was recently diagnosed with Psoriasis and this is my story.
Prior to my first full-body outbreak a few months ago, I was at one of the highest peaks of my life. I dedicated two years of discipline and drive towards transforming my body after having a baby and I became a strong, confident body builder. Through this, I was also helping others transform their lives and bodies through nutrition, training in the gym, and positive support. I was receiving a large amount of attention, success, and positive feedback, and was at an all-time-high, when my “rash” hit me.
This rash, turned out to be Psoriasis and it shook my world and rocked my confidence.
I’m ashamed to say it, but I stopped following my passion, bodybuilding, because of the way my skin looked. I am sharing my emotional and painful battle of how I dealt with my first outbreak with high hopes to raise awareness and educate others about what Psoriasis is, but most importantly I want to help others currently battling this condition as well.
Most people think of Psoriasis as just a skin disease, when in actuality, it is a chronic and life-long disease of the immune system. Before my outbreak, I had no idea what Psoriasis really was, other than it being a few dry, red spots on the body…something that resembled a birthmark.
I had no idea the physical and emotional pain that sufferers of the disease dealt with on a day-to-day basis.
Within the first two days of me noticing these spots (which I thought was a rash) on my shoulders and chest, I went to the Urgent Care thinking it might be Chicken Pox or Measles? Perhaps I caught Ring Worm at the gym? The Urgent Care doctor diagnosed Guttate Psoriasis, just one type of Psoriasis that is defined as “small dot-like lesions”. They advised that I Should be cleared up in eight weeks or so. Well, I had my second body building competition in six weeks, and I thought to myself… I can’t compete looking like this! These patches on my skin look terrible, nobody wants to see a bodybuilder covered in these horrible spots! Things got worse and soon my entire body was covered.
I gave up on my upcoming show and was ashamed of the way my skin looked.
After weeks of trying to hide my spots, I was finally brave enough to share my story on social media, hoping for advice or support concerning treatments or remedies that had worked for others. I gained lots of new friends, some who also suffered from skin issues and even some without skin problems, who were just positive mentors. With this, I was able to find doctor who is passionate about the disease, get treatment, and I am now in remission!
Eventually I picked myself back up because of the amazing online support system I gained, as well as the support from my friends and family. This entire journey was life-changing for me.
I quickly realized how something so surface level could change the way I looked at myself, and even life; it was such a dark time for me.
I wanted to share my story to help everyone to know that skin is only surface deep and that it should not define you as a person. I never want anyone to let their skin “stop” them from doing anything because it’s just skin. I have a daughter and I quickly realized the opportunity for me use this as a way to be an incredible role model for her and to teach her such a valuable life lesson… Never let your insecurities hold you back from anything in life.
By simply sharing my story online, I’ve realized the power of the internet and I want to do more to help. I turned to WIRL Project, who partnered with me on the My Skin Won’t Stop Me initiative because it was created to help, inspire, educate, and empower people by sharing real-life stories and I can’t think of a better place to unite and share genuine stories of struggle and hope. I’ve also been given an amazing opportunity to raise awareness and funding for Psoriasis sufferers and research. I was contacted by the incredible, all natural jewelry company, Cayisa, who heard my story through social media and wanted to help. They created a bracelet to raise awareness for Psoriasis, it’s called the “Eben”, and have pledged to donate 10% of all sales towards Psoriasis research (and will give you a discount and free shipping when you use the promo code “EBEN”). By purchasing this bracelet, you can help fund Psoriasis research from now through the end of April.
Thank you so much for your time, compassion, and help!