T-shirts for Coping
I've been blessed with P for about 10 years but refuse to give up the things I like to do. One way I came up with to help me turn the tables on the unsympathetic is to poke a little fun at both them and myself. I designed several T-shirts to wear when the occasion permits. All have a slogan on the front:
On the back of one it states,
No; you can't catch it.
Yes, it itches sometimes.
I've had it for years.
No, there isn't a cure.
It only hurts when people stare too hard.
Another says on the back,
and you can't have any
'cause I've got my share, and yours, too!
A third says,
it must just be big red spots in front of your eyes.
you're missing somethingpsoriasis.
The shirts have been a hit everywhere I've worn them, and they've given me the chance to explain the condition to many people who had never seen it before.
Don't get me wrong; it doesn't make it easy, just a little less painful. -Roger D.
Ed's Response: Roger, I love these! You are one of those admirable Flakers who cope through "disarming forthrightness." One of the things I've learned as an "out-of-the-closet flaker" over the past several years is, the deepest emotional reactions to one's being "overt" or "covert" about their psoriasis seems to come from other psoriatics. For a long time, shortly after I manifested my P, when I would come across people in public with unnecessarily exposed skin problems, I would recoil from them. There I was, trying hard to hide my problem, and there was this other person, apparently unconcerned about the whole world gawking! Later, I came to see I had been projecting my own sense of shame, a piece of totally senseless ego-baggage so many flakers have a hard time abandoning. You obviously know, and I came to know after a few painful years, that psoriasis need not be an interpersonal problem. In fact, it's a waste of time to allow it to be an interpersonal problem.
So, if I every run into someone sporting one of your T-shirts, you can bet I'm going to extract a handshake and return a smile. And, if it's you, you'll know it's me, because I'll have the "Flake HQ" logo on my windbreaker! (You're a better publicist than I am, Roger. You're educating people about our disease whereas I prefer to baffle them. Under the windbreaker, my T-shirt is apt to say something like.
just to get them wondering.) -Ed