. PSHEeducation | Self Esteem - My personal journey living with Vitiligo

I have lived with Vitiligo from the age of three. ‘Vitiligo is a long-term condition that causes pale, white patches to develop on the skin due to the lack of a chemical called melanin.’ http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Vitiligo/Pages/Introduction.aspx
I hated the white patches on my dark skinned body. I hated getting changed for PE, swimming and the summer when the patches under my arms, knees and pubic area were so bold and obvious.
I hated the way people looked at me and was painfully aware of the comments and nudges of passers-by. I was bullied – called ‘Alien’ and laughed at by kids at school.
I was put on different diets, tried creams and potions but nothing eliminated the pure white patches of skin that made me feel ‘less than’ everyone else.
I realised as I got older that I was stuck with this condition. Was I going to hate myself and my body forever? Things had to change…for me it was an ‘inside job’. I had to work on feeling good and happy with myself – to change the way I thought and felt.
I began to recognise that other people had things they didn’t like about themselves, some had far worse problems and disfigurements to deal with then I did.
I made a decision to turn away from the cover up make up I was offered and to begin to love myself for who I was, so that’s what I did.
I now walk tall and I am happy in my own skin. It hasn’t stopped me having a gorgeous man and beautiful kids. It hasn’t stopped me speaking in front of hundreds of people.
Of course I would rather not have it, but I have and that’s that.
Self esteem isn’t about trying to be perfect – it is about self acceptance.
What an honour and a privilege it is to now be doing the work I do and helping others to find self esteem, no matter what they dislike about themselves.