I wanted to share with you my story which is how I dealt with vitilgo and the stigma around it. When I was about 7 years I got this condition which is known as vitilgo. It is an auto immune condition where your immunity system gets little crazy and starts killing your melanocytes which are the cells which give colour to your skin.
There was lot of stigma attached to vitilgo and my family was scared that if anyone came to know about my condition no one would want to have any kind of relationship with my entire family. So it was a well-guarded secret and as a result I ended up missing all school picnics, weddings and social gatherings
I managed to reach college life and I was ambitious and tried to enroll into multiple courses such as software, hardware & networking courses.
Somehow at that stage my vitilgo started spreading very fast, it was only restricted to non-visible parts so far. I started covering up, hiding, ignoring people. At some point my aunt even told me “it would have been better if you would have died at birth rather than having this condition”. I started hating myself for what I was, how I looked.
My teenage brain thought of various ways of dealing with the situation and that included some serious steps too, thankfully all of those were limited to thinking 😉 . After 5-6 months of trying to hide and ignore, cover up and crying thinking about my whole face with vitilgo, I decided I have had enough. I gathered my courage and thought I will tell everyone about my condition, I cannot hide my entire life. So I started talking to my friends about my condition and also telling them if they don’t want to be my friends because of this its fine. I have anyway prepared myself for the worst.
To my surprise not a single one of my friends cared anything about my vitillgo. Everyone said so what!. Everyone remained friends with me. That was the time I gained my confidence, my closest friends, and the best gift of all my best friend and my life partner.
The biggest learning I had from all of this for me was to be vulnerable, speak up for yourself, adversities reveal your true best friends and keep negative people out of your life.