If there is one thing that I wish every girl with vitiligo could know, it’s that you are not alone.
I often hear from readers who love Living Dappled because it makes them feel less alone and more normal. I totally get it. The first time I really got to talk with another girl with vitiligo, I was overwhelmed with joy. Finally, I didn’t feel alone. Finally, I actually felt somewhat normal. Finally, I had found someone who understood me.
Since that first conversation, I’ve met countless people in the vitiligo community – advocates, patient leaders, dermatologists, non-profit directors, bloggers, lobbyists and every day girls like you and me. I had no idea that this vibrant community even existed. I had no idea that I wasn’t alone. And yet here was this community, just waiting to embrace me.
Here’s what I’ve come to know about how “not alone” you really are as a girl with vitiligo:
You have an entire community cheering for you
Not only do you have all of the readers, “likers,” and “commenters” from Living Dappled’s blog and social platforms routing for you, but you have an entire vitiligo community behind you. That long list of people I just described are some of the most passionate and welcoming individuals I’ve ever met. The compassion they have for those with vitiligo and the energy they have for finding for a cure is contagious. You won’t know how you lived without them once you meet these people. You’ll find them on social media, on Living Dappled’s website and most importantly, at World Vitiligo Day this June. They’re waiting for you – all you have to do is reach out.
You are normal – trust me
The first time I ever really talked to another girl with vitiligo, I had a million questions: Do you wear tanner? Will you go outside without makeup? Do you ever just cry because of your skin? Do you wear whatever you want? Do you hide your skin in the summer? I wanted to know everything. But more than that, I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone. And during that first conversation, as we laughed at how similar we were, I realized that I am anything but alone. Ever since that day, I’ve met and heard the stories of countless other girls with vitiligo and each time I’m impressed with how much we have in common. It’s hard to feel normal around people without vitiligo, but I promise you that your thoughts, feelings and every day experiences are shared by so many with vitiligo.
You have the power to help another girl with vitiligo feel less alone
You found out you weren’t alone because someone shared their story. And I’m willing to bet that the person you read about felt alone at some point too. By sharing stories, we help each other feel less alone. This is my favorite part of Living Dappled – sharing stories that have the potential to inspire others. It comes full circle in a way. The girls who were so excited to finally feel like they aren’t alone get featured on the blog and reach another lonely person who is struggling. You have the power to move this energy forward. Share your story by tagging Living Dappled on Instagram at @LivingDappled or through the blog at http://livingdappled.com/write-a-blog/share-your-story/.
Photo by Instagram user @mckyla.mariposa_.
Erika Page is a writer and blogger with universal vitiligo. Her first spots appeared on her spine when she was seven years old and today vitiligo covers her entire body. Based just south of Washington, D.C., Erika founded Living Dappled to create a community of inspiration and hope for girls and women living with vitiligo.