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What Stepping Out of the House With Vitiligo Feels Like

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Imagine one day a person wakes up and no longer fits into what society deems as “normal.” They never realize why people look at them on the streets, so feelings of fright come into being, and then self-doubt and worry starts to consume their inner-self. Now each person’s fight has started. The negative voices in the individual’s head are about to take charge, and the body and mind are about to deal with a colossal amount of anxiety.

This is what it feels like to have vitiligo.

It is a skin condition caused by a loss of pigment in the skin which leads to white patches being formed on a person’s body. It feels as if you are no longer a part of society. Rather, you are an outsider, a quiet observer, a person who is listening and watching, but never participating.

There is so much pain and contempt that it becomes a state of comfort. It is difficult to get up and do anything. Such feelings have become a integral part of your identity and you are struggling to get rid of them. There is back and forth because there are days when one believes everything is within reach, that nothing can come in the way of success and achievement.

However, as soon as you step out of the house, this vicious cycle takes over.

It brings you down and exhausts you both internally and externally. There is constant dread when it comes to meeting people, sharing your opinions and doing new things. It even goes to the extent where walking on a street surrounded by people is a challenge within itself.

So, you start to distract yourself and try to focus on the positive, but that is so difficult to do when these emotions are all you know. People seek ways to blend in, by wearing cardigans, covering up so much that you have virtually lost your identity along the way.

Clothes represent a piece and form of entrapment at this point. All you want is a minute of sheer joy and pure happiness, a state of blissfulness.

Later on when we grow and learn from life’s experiences, there is a sense of realization: nothing is wrong with being different.

Society is just not comfortable with the idea of someone challenging the concept of normality. The distinctions which once etched your very existence have now become symbols which signify strength and power. This journey has led me to become more appreciative. I have finally learned to embody who I am and what I represent.

I am different, but I am not confined to my mind’s shackles.

I know I am so much more than my exterior.

I have slowly and gradually learned how to overcome.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: What’s one secret about you or your loved one’s disability and/or disease that no one talks about? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: July 18, 2016
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