The Naked Truth

By Amanda Chouinard • December 7, 2015

Have you ever walked by someone, and felt a twinge of insecurity or jealousy? You look at them and believe their looks or life is better than yours? Just remember, looks can be deceiving! Perhaps you snubbed them believing you are better than them physically or financially?

My story starts 18 years ago. While growing up, I loved fashion and modelling. I had the dream to be a fashion designer. Those that knew me growing up, may never have known, my family was super poor. I learned what a blessing it was to always have food on the table, and to count your blessings. We may not have had much, but love was always freely given! I was always the happy person who enjoyed helping others. Whether making them feel good, or providing a helping hand.

When I turned 20, my exciting adventerous life changed completely! I woke up one summer morning, my skin covered in scabs. Scaly, itchy blistery skin. I sat up and thought, do I have leprosy? I was horrified what it could be! It grew like the plague all over my body...my face..scalp..over two days, I went from a normal beautiful 20 year old blonde, to a horrible creature!

Turns out, I have a genetic condition called psoriasis(it affects millions around the world-it looks contagious, but it is not)Untreated strep throat kicked the program on(my immune system attacks my skin)...Oh how lonely and devastated I was. I made the mistake of going outside showing my skin a couple of times -BIG MISTAKE. People are so cruel! To be laughed at, stared at, given sneers and jeers. I hid my skin from then on. I learned to cover my skin with fashionable clothes to hide my secret. Use medications to keep it off my face, head and hands.

There are times my psoriasis gets worse(it comes and goes as it pleases). There's days my skin hurts so bad even a soft touch makes me crumble into tears. I refuse to give up on life. I refuse to get sad, depressed, or anxious someone might *see* it in public. I refuse to let it define me. I will without question, go out of my way to help others in need. I have put my life in danger to save others so many times and would again in a heartbeat.My love for humanity is far greater than their petty jealousy or sneers. When I cover my skin, people assume my life is great. When I don't, I'm treated less than.

Remember this the next time you choose to judge someone. I am so much more than what you see.

Hugs,

Amanda

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