After I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis and Psoriasis in February this year, I spent most of my time contemplating what I should do to surpass this hurdle. Why? Because amidst my diagnosis, self-doubt, and mental health struggles— I was certain that deep down inside me, I was never going to let whatever illness stop me from living my life and reaching my dreams. So I came up with Flawed But Beautiful.
Social Media Movement #FlawedButBeautiful
A month after my diagnosis, I started The Flawed but Beautiful Initiative. A social media movement wherein I make affordable digital portraits for chronic illness sufferers; especially those who deal with psoriasis, eczema, and other related auto-immune disorders. The main purpose of this initiative is to encourage people, especially those who deal with skin disorders.
To instill in their minds that they are beautiful despite their patches and their plaques; and find love and comfort in the skin they are in.
Moreover, the initiative seeks to encourage others to share their story in hopes that it could save other lives too. I have realized that dealing with illness and diagnosis becomes more bearable when you finally understand that you are not alone.
Your story is capable of saving others.
This initiative has been an avenue for chronic illness sufferers to tell their story to the world. From their diagnosis to their healing journey. I believe that being able to finally talk about your diagnosis, or even how you feel about it, is an indicator that you are healing. Being able to talk about it, even if it may be uncomfortable and difficult, proves that you are ready to move on from it. I know this personally because the very same experience happened to me.
At first I had a hard time accepting my diagnosis and the fact that I had to live with it for the rest of my life. However, when I began talking about it to my friends and loved ones, my worries and anxious thoughts felt lighter. What was once heavy became easier to carry because I found people who are willing to help me.
I encourage everyone to share their stories of struggle and overcoming, not just for themselves but also for others. Like what I always say,
you’ll never know how your story could save lives and how it can be somebody else’s survival guide.
Finding my life’s purpose
Honestly, I was surprised by how people reacted to my art because I never saw myself as an artist before. It is beyond heartwarming to know that my art and its meaning resonates with other chronic illness sufferers. Sometimes, I still have off days where I do not have the energy to draw, but whenever I scroll through my inbox and read my messages, I’d instantly be reminded of my purpose. Flawed but Beautiful has given me that.
If you told me a few months back that I would be doing this, that I would have this platform to promote awareness, I would not have believed you. I never thought that my life has a bigger purpose. But through this initiative, and through the people who have supported my art, I realized that you would be able to do great things if you do not let your illness hinder you from trying.
Collective healing: Flawed But Beautiful
If you know me, if you are battling any disorder, mental health illness, or struggling to find a diagnosis, I am blessed and honored to be a part of your journey to growth and healing. I will never get tired of empowering you, reminding you of your worth and that you deserve all the good things that are happening to you. I will never get tired of telling you that your disorder does not define you, that you are not your illness, and that you are more than just a body.
May we celebrate each other’s growth, and may we heal collectively as one community. May we be reminded that we may be flawed, but we are altogether beautiful—always.