“When life gives you Lemons, you make lemonade.” Sounds so cliche. This age old adage can help you come to terms with some of life’s unpleasant situations. Many of us fall into a rut when things take a turn for the worst. If you look for the opportunity in every situation you can manipulate things into your favor.
The universe is energy, with that said. Think of yourself as a magnet. If you think negatively or do negative things you will attract negative energy. So the simple solution to this is to be positive, grateful, and loving. You will be rewarded ten fold because positive energy pays dividends. It’s the way the system was designed. It’s divine.
But how do we change or make a bad situation good? Well for starters you have to be creative. It must be genuine and truthful. And it must inspire and motivate others. It must have rack value or what is known as “random act of kindness.” Remember giving is divine and love is the greatest energy in the Universe. With that said, I want to introduce to you a very creative individual named Taryn Moon.
Taryn was diagnosed at the age of seven and she was in the second grade. Psoriasis formed after she came down with chickenpox. Her mother nursed her back to health by eliminating inflammatory foods and feeding her foods loaded in nutrition. Taryn completely cleared by the 4th grade. After a series of moves accompanied with stress and some unpleasant situations at school, Taryn’s psoriasis returned. This time her dad took her to the doctor and I find this most interesting.
When my Dad took me to see a doctor for it the doctor said, “Oh no it’s such a shame, she’s such a pretty girl” and the adult me gets SO mad at that doctor for framing it that way, but the little girl me heard that and thought that being pretty and having psoriasis were two different things.
I asked Taryn if she also has psoriatic arthritis, here is her response.
I don’t believe I do have psoriatic arthritis although my joints pop a lot. At one point I thought I had carpal tunnel but after starting my diet it subsided. My hands were really achy at the thumb, especially after polishing wine glasses and silverware (I work in a restaurant)
What treatments have you tried?
As a young girl, treatments were diet, suntanning, and homeopathic. All throughout high school the treatments were topical and suntanning beds, we tried to do the lightbox therapy through the hospital for awhile but it was a lot to go wait at the doctor for an hour 3 times a week so we stopped going. Around 21 I was prescribed methotrexate and had clearing with that, but I felt really nauseated on it and was getting sick a lot. After that I used the eximer laser with success and then got a bill for it 2 years later for $2000. The hospital and the insurance company had been fighting back and forth about it for that whole time and then ultimately decided that I’d have to pay it. That was my first major headache with insurance and psoriasis. About a year before my wedding, I saw a dermatologist who prescribed humira for me. After a couple months of jumping through insurance hoops, and hours on the phone I got my starter kit. My psoriasis cleared up almost completely while I was on humira. About a year in though my husband got dropped from our health insurance because he hadn’t worked enough hours and I was with out humira for about 6 months I believe. We picked up new insurance (we worked with an insurance broker to make sure we had a really good pharmaceutical program and are paying SO much for it) and I went back on Humira for about 8 months. My last humira injection was July 10th of 2014, I made the decision to go off of it and try to heal with lifestyle, diet, and holistic approaches after having a scare visiting my grandfather in the hospital, kissing him and then later finding out he had mrsa. I had also been sick for 4 months straight through the flu season prior to that and was also starting to consider that I’d like to prepare my body for having a baby. Right now I’m about a year and 1/2 in to no prescriptions and trying all natural treatments, along with Dr. Pagano’s Healing Psoriasis guidelines. Most recently I did a parasite cleanse and have actually seen the most improvement since I’ve started this natural journey.
I am not completely opposed to going back on biologics, although I do have resistance around being dependent on any drug because of all the headaches I’ve dealt with on the insurance end and the stress I felt when I couldn’t get my prescriptions refilled. I want to exhaust all of my natural healing resources first before I go back. I really want to go the healthiest route, and the trickiest part is I don’t truly know which route that is. I just try to keep moving forward, and keep taking steps and always choose what feels best for my body
Psoriasis has had a huge impact on my life, and it has affected me differently at each stage of life. It had a huge impact on my self confidence, and I think had me hyper-aware of my looks in high school. I also went through a stage where I was looking for validation that I was beautiful from the attention I could get from men. At one point I realized it was a valuable tool, that it automatically weeded out the men who only cared about the way I looked. When my psoriasis went into remission I definitely had a spike in what I call “superficial” confidence. I felt beautiful for the first time in my life, and I wanted to wear short shorts and backless shirts because my skin was so clear! My husband was really taken back by my new confidence and would tell me repeatedly how gorgeous I was, and subconsciously I resented the compliment because I felt that it meant that before my skin was clear I wasn’t. When my psoriasis came back in October of 2014 I was also going through a sugar/gluten detox and I really lost my way for a bit. I was really depressed, I felt really isolated on my diet because eating out or going for drinks was what my husband and friends and I did for fun. I became really insecure and jealous any time I saw my husband look at another woman, or tell a friend she looked beautiful. Hitting a really deep rock bottom for me was my wake up call, and I did some major soul searching. Through my soul searching, little by little, I found myself and my true worth beyond my skin. I’ve done so much emotional work, and at one point psoriasis shifted for me. Now I am so truly grateful to psoriasis and the journey it has taken me on. I am a faithful person, and I believe everything happens for a reason and psoriasis for me, was no mistake. I could’ve gotten lost in a superficial layer of life, I was pursuing modeling and could’ve gotten so caught up in my looks as my value but instead I am here, totally confident in myself spots and all. And I honestly feel more beautiful today, than I felt even when I was clear. Psoriasis helped me discover how beautiful I am as a person, not as a body.
The idea to be a cherry blossom tree popped in my head after a really close girlfriend of mine shared this analogy with me, “You’re like a beautiful flower, and your spots are like your petals falling when you’re under stress” I thought “WOW! my spots do look like flowers, maybe I should be a cherry blossom tree for halloween!” I actually had another experience where I lifted my shirt to show someone my spots on my tummy and her response was, “WOW! They’re beautiful!” After that I was looking in the mirror one day doing my “I’m beautiful” affirmations and it finally clicked for me, “YES I AM!!” With this shift in perspective I had the confidence to embrace my spots and dress them up rather than hide them. I have an incredibly talented friend Taylor Gallegos who was happy to paint me so I made the costume myself, and left my tummy open as a canvas. I was overwhelmed by the response when I walked into the party, most people didn’t even notice my spots until I explained the concept behind the costume to which the response was usually, “WOW that makes it even more beautiful!” I spent the night talking to a lot of people about psoriasis, from a completely comfortable and empowered space.
If I could give a newly diagnosed person advice about psoriasis it would be to surrender to the lessons psoriasis is here to bring, to follow its guidance to a healthier lifestyle, and to go within to find confidence. Having a good support system is really powerful, my husband, friends, and family have been really amazing along the way. For those who don’t feel they have that in place already, I would encourage them to go on meetup.com to find a support group locally, or reach out online. None of us are alone in this, 1 in 50 people experience this! I didn’t realize how many friends of mine actually have it until I became vocal about having it myself. There’s no sugar coating it, it can be really tough at times but I would recommend a positive attitude overall. Never give up hope, when you feel hopeless take an action step, do something that empowers you in your journey to healing.
My mantra is, “I have psoriasis AND I’m beautiful.” Those two things are NOT mutually exclusive.
Taryn Moon is a member of our support group Overcoming Psoriasis
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