I HAVE VITILIGO. THIS IS MY STORY & HOW ITS CHANGED ME. January 26, 2015 Watching your body change before your eyes is really fucking tough. Traumatic would be another good adjective to insert here. I’m not talking about an ailment you were born with and I’m not talking about pregnancy. I’m talking about literally waking up one day and noticing that the skin on the body you’ve known for almost 30 years is suddenly changing. Then going to a dermatologist who confirms you have something called “Vitiligo” which has no known direct cause, no cure and an unpredictable prognosis. Up until then, I only knew it as the disease that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop claimed to have. When I left that office visit, I realized that I had joined his ranks. What I didn’t realize was how much it would change me…for the better. It’s been 7 years since I first noticed the handful of small, discolored spots just below my belly button. They weren’t particularly large, and they weren’t extremely discolored either–just a trail of 4 small-ish spots that seemed to appear out of the blue. I didn’t think much of them–outside of noticing the inconsistency–and kind of filed it away in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until many months later, as I took note that they were getting lighter and larger (and after a bit of frantic Googling), that I got a little concerned. When the dermatologist confirmed the diagnosis…I still remember walking out of that office in a fog. I was uncertain of what to expect…and I was devastated. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease. It affects the pigment in your skin by causing your immune system to identify your melanin-producing cells as an “invader” and attack, so that the cells either die or stop producing melanin. The bright side is that there’s no effect on my practical, day-to-day functioning & it doesn’t cause any internal issues other than skin discoloration. The “downside”? Knowing that it’s “just skin”, yet still having to navigate a psychological forrest of conflicting emotions that are very real. It’s like trying to execute a full spin on a teensy tightrope launched 250 feet in the air–it ain’t the easiest thing to manage. It is shocking…and frightening…and depressing to see something visibly take hold of your body that you can’t control. And then there are those who minimize this experience because they think it’s “just a superficial thing”…which is an incredibly dismissive position to take when it’s not transforming your body. What many people don’t seem to understand is what the effect of something like Vitiligo can do to your mind: it will have you questioning your own beauty & value, reconsidering everything you think you know about yourself–deep stuff. From my perspective, developing Vitiligo as an adult is extremely different than having it as a child. I have, in effect, lived an entire life in one skin–childhood, high school, college & beyond–only to develop a new skin as I approached 30. And of course this is what we’re supposed to do in our lives–grow & shed the skin we come to know as a means of expanding more into the people we’re purposed to become. But when it’s LITERALLY happening before your eyes?? Yikes. It can be a challenge to watch this process unfold and the uncertainty surrounding its progression (not knowing what to expect) used to cause a constant state of anxiety…which did not do much to help my immune system. Those early days were like a merry-go-round I couldn’t seem to find my way off of. For the first few years I was very diligent about staying covered because I was sure that I didn’t want anyone to see what was happening to my body. And in those early days it was an easy task–if you didn’t see my stomach or the center of my back, you wouldn’t have caught a hint of what was taking place. But I pride myself on transparency & felt like a fraud during those years–aware that I wasn’t owning my truth yet at the same time, having no idea of how to embrace what was happening. To see it as only a small part of my story and not the entire story. In hindsight and from a renewed perspective, I clearly see how Divine Timing was yet working in the midst of it all. Sometimes I’ll catch myself thinking, “I’m grateful this happened in phases–I don’t know that I could’ve emotionally handled losing my pigment any faster than I did.”, but then I remember what I know is true–that we are always given the specific wings we need for the individual journey ahead. Because literally & figuratively, inhabiting a new skin changes you. I haven’t had 35 years to acclimate to this, I’ve had 7–and now in year 7, my body doesn’t look anything like it did in years 1-3. And I’m not saying that a dis-ease like Vitiligo changes your quality of life forever but yes, it will absolutely change something about your life, especially when it happens to you as an adult. Whether it’s for better or for worse is ultimately up to you. In my case, it forced me to let go of how I visually imagined my life would be. And if I’m being honest (which I should be because after all, I AM half naked on the internet!), it forced me to rethink/reexamine who I thought I would be in this life. It’s safe to say I considered myself to be attractive. Secure in the knowledge that I was a decent person and just as confident in saying that I wasn’t an ugly duckling, either. Yet seeing Vitiligo spread across my body felt suffocating for awhile, being enveloped by something I couldn’t control. And by “awhile”, I mean years. As you can imagine, hours of perusing pics on Google Images didn’t help much in those early stages, either. Because you can get lost in looking at the photos, seeing the possibility of what could happen to your skin without the balance & understanding of the only thing this experience is REALLY requiring of you–to become someone new. In and of itself, Vitiligo makes me different from most people and while different is something we tend to champion when it comes to businesses, personalities, music and fashion, we don’t always celebrate “different-ness” when it comes to appearances. For instance? Sometimes people just stare uncontrollably. I know that curiosity can get the best of people and they can’t help looking at the white spots trailing down my shoulder or sneaking out along the neckline of my dress, but the blatant staring?Even to this day, it can make me feel like the main attraction in a circus. I really don’t think people mean to stare in amazement–I believe we all are inherently good–yet when you’re insecure about your own body, seeing people fixate on it just magnifies everything that’s already under the surface. But in the end, the feelings that come up for me in those moments speak more to the narrative that I believe about myself, and less about other people and what they may be thinking. Knowing this actually DOES make the stares easier to process because it gives me a sense of power to know that there is a major part of my experience that I CAN control. And that, when it comes to me, nothing is ever true until I believe it to be so. After all–this is my journey, my story and I’m 100% responsible for the meaning that I assign to the events in my life. This fact, I own. When people say things like “it’s not a big deal” or that it “shouldn’t really matter”, I understand that they’re intending & wanting to be supportive but here’s the thing–when it’s happening to you and it’s your body and changing your life, it kinda is a really big fucking deal. I walk a tightrope between knowing that I’m not this skin, yet this skin is the first thing you see when you look at me. My brown body now has varying shades of white spots across a good portion of it, and unless we’re in the dead of winter, it’s not like you could look at me and miss them somewhere–on the back of my legs, in the web of my hands, around my ankles & the tops of my feet. It’s only seasonally visible on my face (I use Protopic, a topical prescription to control it) but if you know to look, you’ll find it. Does it change the way my body functions? I’m grateful that I can say “no”. But there’s no denying that it has changed how others see me visually and also, how I show up in the world. It wasn’t until recently that I allowed myself time to really mourn my loss and who I thought I would be. And even though it may have been (admittedly) a superficially concocted self-perception, it was mine–MY idea and MY expectations based upon what I thought my life should look like. But the thing about Vitiligo is this: it’s different for everyone, so there’s no one way to navigate through this process. It’s just not that simple. Each of us have to figure out a way to chart a course that feels true based upon the individual situation. Some people just develop one patch of Vitiligo, or only have it on one side of the body. For others like myself, it’s non-segmental (bilateral Vitiligo or generalized Vitiligo) which means it appears on both sides of the body and cycles through periods of starting, stopping & expanding. This means that I have to make my way through an acceptance process each time it takes up more real estate on my body. And in other words, I make peace with my new reality each time it needs to be made. But here’s the good part: It gets better. It gets easier to face and honor what’s happening in my body each time because Vitiligo has undoubtedly made me better, stronger. I don’t know if I can truthfully say I’m at 100% acceptance but I know this for sure: I’m not where I was 7 years ago (hell–the fact that I’m putting these pics out here on the webs is a testament to this fact!) Those 3 small dots that appeared below my belly button later spread to my back in a year’s time. And from there it traveled to my shoulders, my breasts, my stomach and my face. It was dormant until the end of 2012 when I can only imagine that the end of a long relationship helped it to flair up again–a relationship I ended in part, because I knew I needed to sort through this and do the kind of inner work that can only be done when you’re alone. I wanted/needed to find my own foundation and not settle for existing off of the confidence that a settled relationship provides. Or even worse–staying with someone because I didn’t believe anyone else would want or love me in my new skin. I loved us both enough to know that I deserved more, and so did he. So I set out on my own to find my center and in time, that’s exactly what I found. And time & time again I remind myself, just because my life doesn’t look exactly like what I thought it would doesn’t mean that I don’t have a really good life. ‘Cause it is really good (incredible, actually), and I am happy. As they say, there will always be a road that didn’t choose us, and for me, the journey I would’ve had had I NOT developed Vitiligo is that road. What chances would I have taken without this experience & who I would have consequently become without this calling to expand into more? I’ll never know. But I’ve learned that it’s okay to mourn that road that didn’t chose me and the secrets it held while simultaneously being excited about the road that I DO have. Yes, it’s different, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to practice what I believe–that things are always working out for my good, even if I can’t see it just yet. And because of this core belief, I’m able to move forward knowing that everything–at the deepest level–is as it should be and that my purpose in this life is not diminished because of Vitiligo but instead made perfect through it. This I know for sure. Vitiligo has caused me to reexamine my beliefs & values–to be clear about who I say I am and the ways that I am/am not showing up like I intend to. I believe in the power of intention and living in personal integrity, which is to honor yourself by being/doing who & what you say you are. This experience has expanded my faith and reminded me of what I know to be true–that I am not this body, but the essence of Dayka is created in my soul…the untouchable, undefinable, perfect, all-knowing Source on the inside. And I don’t mean that in a cheesy way but truly, when we transition out of this life, our bodies remain but our souls–the very essence that makes us who we are–are what leave and THAT is what those who remain mourn over. So I continuously affirm to myself that I am not this body, and that everything I need for my journey on this path is already within. I am not devoid of anything, nothing about my life is a mistake, and how my body was created is intrinsically tied to who I’m supposed to be in this world. I don’t know that I would be so clear about this truth without having journeyed through this experience. So in the spirit of honesty, transparency & transformation, I wanted to share this part of my life with all of you. To share my story about a life change that started out so heartbreaking but more importantly, became so transformative in my life. Vitiligo led me to a Paleo lifestyle which has done wonders for my health. It’s now a little over 2 years later, and I still don’t regret ending my relationship–in a challenging time I relied on my intuition and surprisingly, I’m enjoying being single and relishing the beauty & peace of being alone (alone, not lonely, mind you). I have a career I love. My business is doing really well. Some of my closest friends are people I’m sure I’ve known in another lifetime. I love where I live. And in general, I’m really very happy with me and the work that I’ve done on myself. Work that may not have taken place without Vitiligo. I’ve wanted to write this post for awhile and for many reasons, first as a means of celebrating myself and how far I’ve come. As a means of sharing a huge part of who I am that isn’t as well known. And as a means of inspiring and encouraging someone with Vitiligo who may stumble upon these photos via Google, or this blog post one day in despair (like I did many years ago) looking for something to hold on to, needing to hear that it gets better. Well I’ll tell you this: it really does get better…but it’s because of the work you do on the inside of you, not on the outside. In so many ways, I never imagined that I would have the life I know today…but in every way, and even because of this experience, it is sweeter. I’m grateful for what I didn’t know back then about this journey that lay ahead–it would’ve seemed insurmountable to the 2007 version of myself. So the logistics: I have chosen not to wear makeup to cover my depigmentation. I have no issue with anyone who does differently, but the practice for me is about becoming comfortable in my skin and yet staying ever aware that I am not this skin. Will I always feel this way? I can’t say with any certainty. But I reserve the right to change my mind later and will do what feels right in the moment. In the meantime, my biggest hope is that I might inspire someone who may be struggling with a challenge or insecurity of any kind–personally or professionally–who finds themselves full of fear and/or doubt. To remind you that God or life–whatever you may believe in–is calling you to be more…to be bigger and better than you are in this moment. And you absolutely can be, if you so choose. It may take time, but your perspective WILL change if you allow it to. And yes, someone will still think you’re hot. (many “someones”, in fact) They’ll want to date you…love you for how you look now, and how you’ll look 5 years down the road. And yes, people may stare, but only because it’s different. Not ugly. Just different…and that’s okay. And in time you’ll find that when you stop looking for the people who are staring, you won’t see them as much anymore. And you’ll learn that sometimes, the people who are staring may actually be looking because in you, they see the courage that they’re not sure they have themselves. So I remind you that in this way, when you tell the truth of your own story and have the courage to shine your own light, you help light someone else’s flame and give them the courage to shine too. And that’s something worth celebrating. (Albert Schweitzer) **All images taken by the amazing Angela Murray Morris, who made me feel incredibly comfortable, supported, and excited about this shoot. Eternal gratitude, love & appreciation for you, friend. Xo** **To Nicole Wylie, Antonio, Telisha Gibson, Brady & Rodney…for–each in your own way–allowing me to use your flame to light my own.** Share this: Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related 44 Comments on I HAVE VITILIGO. THIS IS MY STORY & HOW ITS CHANGED ME. Greenhouse January 26, 2015 at 8:33 am (2 years ago) Dayka, this is so beautiful!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story!!! Reply DaykaRobinson April 26, 2015 at 11:47 pm (2 years ago) Kenya–thank you for reading! I’m finally on a platform where I can respond to comments individually, so I’m looping back around. Thank you! Xo Reply Cris Angsten January 26, 2015 at 8:52 am (2 years ago) You are always such an inspiration. 🙂 great, brave post. XOXO – Cris Reply DaykaRobinson April 26, 2015 at 11:47 pm (2 years ago) Thank you, friend. XOXO Reply SHERRY HART January 26, 2015 at 10:00 am (2 years ago) You know what? The first thing I noticed was your “banging body”!!!! You look hot girl! I always focus on the positive first:) I am not dismissing anything but I just want to say how brave you are to share this with us. We all have imperfections and spend so much time hiding them…..especially in our youth. My husband was complaining about what a horrible business person I am and I had to look at him and say “this is who I am”…..and it probably is not going to change at my age . I love how talented and fearless you are girl…..this is you! Reply DaykaRobinson April 26, 2015 at 11:49 pm (2 years ago) Sherry- Thank you for this, friend. What I’ve always loved about you is that you have always shown up as yourself. I’m so glad to know you! Xo Reply Blayne January 26, 2015 at 10:18 am (2 years ago) What a wonderful post! Thank you for being so honest! Reply Tonia Bozeman January 26, 2015 at 11:57 am (2 years ago) Thank you Dayka! It takes a courageous person to open up about something so personal, but those pantyhose tho!! Reply DaykaRobinson April 28, 2015 at 12:14 pm (2 years ago) You know how much I STAN for a good fishnet!! Thank YOU for reading it…was glad to finally be able to share this story. Xo Reply BC January 26, 2015 at 12:56 pm (2 years ago) Fearless. Beautiful. Amazing. Intelligent. Funny. Honest. Loving. Inspiring. And so much more. My friend Dayka. Love you! Reply Amanda Gates January 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm (2 years ago) So proud, inspired, motivated and I agree with Sherry, your new paleo lifestyle has paid off. And what a gift. It truly is all about that damn journey – and it never goes as planned. The universe always has a bigger, better, brighter plan, and as you said, it unfolds through divine timing. I would have never in a million years saw me getting divorced. Overall it took five years of my life. Painstaking heartache, frustration, anger, disillusionment, more anger – and the closing of my business. During that period I “attracted” the worst clients, and even worse circumstances. It’s amazing what you “allow” when you are low. BUT the experience brought me the greatest gift. Like you, it taught me to be who I truly was, my authentic self. And once I owned THAT space magic started happening all around me. SO proud, happy and inspired by the woman you have become! Reply DaykaRobinson April 28, 2015 at 12:16 pm (2 years ago) And YOU!! I am so glad to know you and love that we can see so much growth in each other as we look back over the years…my, my, my how life has changed and changed US! Your new life is proof that the Universe is always moving us towards something better if we can breathe through the pain and allow the process to do its work. Love you, girl! (sorry for the delayed response–finally migrated to WP so I could respond! ) Reply Amanda Gates January 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm (2 years ago) So proud, inspired, motivated and I agree with Sherry, your new paleo lifestyle has paid off. And what a gift. It truly is all about that damn journey – and it never goes as planned. The universe always has a bigger, better, brighter plan, and as you said, it unfolds through divine timing. I would have never in a million years saw me getting divorced. Overall it took five years of my life. Painstaking heartache, frustration, anger, disillusionment, more anger – and the closing of my business. During that period I “attracted” the worst clients, and even worse circumstances. It’s amazing what you “allow” when you are low. BUT the experience brought me the greatest gift. Like you, it taught me to be who I truly was, my authentic self. And once I owned THAT space magic started happening all around me. SO proud, happy and inspired by the woman you have become! Reply Tamara Thompson January 26, 2015 at 3:06 pm (2 years ago) Dayka,This is so brilliantly written! I’m in tears… Literally. I love that you have grown into this skin and that you rock it with a new found purpose. Keep rocking it! Tammy Thompson, Assoc. IIDA, DSA Reply Darcel January 26, 2015 at 3:17 pm (2 years ago) DAYKA = BRAVE. P.S. You are rockin’ the hell out of those pantyhose. That company should use you in an ad! Reply Jessica January 26, 2015 at 3:55 pm (2 years ago) Great post Dayka and thanks for sharing! Continued success to you and I can’t wait to see what the universe has in store for you. You’re destined for great things! And…I need those pantyhose! Reply Katrina Sullivan January 26, 2015 at 5:02 pm (2 years ago) I absolutely loved reading every single one of your words in this open and heartfelt post, its hard to put my thoughts into words….but honestly your beautiful inside out, your an inspiration in so many ways, I hope you know that 🙂 Reply Michel Boyd January 26, 2015 at 9:54 pm (2 years ago) Dayka I love you EVEN more now than before. I would’ve never known that you were experiencing any personal struggle, solely based on your naturally generous spirit. I’ve always thought that you were beautiful, and now I’m also proud of you, and your selfless bravery. Bravo Dayka, bravo. So glad to be your friend. Reply Pollie Massey January 26, 2015 at 10:22 pm (2 years ago) Dayka Robinson, woman extraordinaire! You have always been on my short list of (s)heroes. After a classic Mom reaction (where’s your clothes?) LOL, I then wiped the tears as I realized you are a light. As I reflect back on the first time I realized you had vitiligo–it was your confidence and willingness to talk about it that resonated me. I’ve always loved you, known you to be beautiful and smart. Now I know you to be one of the bravest women I know (I can’t even get up the nerve to show my love handles to the world (you don’t have any). And I can’t say anything about how short your dress is–haha, what dress! I love you sincerely. Your transparency has made the angels sing and God smile. You taught class today, you may now proceed to next level, I don’t know what it is but you are ready. SN:::: No matter how renown you become or where you go, just remember, I am still one of your most special clients. 🙂 Reply LiveLaughDecorate January 26, 2015 at 11:18 pm (2 years ago) Dayka my love, you continue to inspire us with your brutal honesty. You bared it all, physically and emotionally and I’m honored to call you a friend. I’m with Sherry as well because at first glance I was like “hell nah, she’s showing out with that body in them stockings!” No tears shed here, just lots of smiles and a high five from afar for standing bare in your truth. Rock on sister friend. Reply Kathy Welch January 26, 2015 at 11:30 pm (2 years ago) I have struggled with Vitiligo for more than 25 years but have never been comfortable in my “skin”. I discovered my spots in 1981 since after marrying but they were not bad then. It was years before I knew what it was called and that it affects people with darker skin more than others. Then I learned that lighter skin people can have it but isn’t as noticeable. I am white but have a dark complextion since I have Cherokee in my bloodline. The Vitiligo that has affected my face bothers me more than other areas. But I DO try to cover it on my face. The patches ony face and arms have caused others to ask if I have burn scars. Sometimes I just answer Yes and keep going. Kudos to you for your exceptance of yourself! My husband of 33 years still loves me and thinks I’m hot, so I except the fact that my dermatologist nor I can change or cure my skin. I hope others find you to be a role model, and they learn to except their inner and outer beauty. You inspire me to be less self conscious about my spots. Thank you! Reply DaykaRobinson April 26, 2015 at 11:53 pm (2 years ago) Kathy- Thank you for sharing your story! In the years that I’ve been finding my way and working through this process, it’s always been such a blessing anytime I could hear the stories of other people with Vitiligo. This is truly a life I never expected to have but I know I’m better because of it. Thank you for your comment. Xo Reply Anonymous January 28, 2015 at 3:13 am (2 years ago) We are not defined by what people see, but who we know ourselves to be!!! GK4LIFE… #YoSweet… #proudtosharethismoment #braverypersonified Driem Knight Reply DaykaRobinson April 26, 2015 at 11:53 pm (2 years ago) Driem- It means a lot that you would take the time to read my story and comment. Thank you, friend. Xo #YoSweet Reply Amy Wikman January 28, 2015 at 4:32 am (2 years ago) This hit home with me in ways I’ve never even admitted to myself. BRAVA to you my new, absolutely gorgeous friend. You’ve just given us all even more to admire. xoxo Reply Elvira January 28, 2015 at 8:08 pm (2 years ago) Thanks for sharing your story. This brought tears. My brother had vitiligo and I know I was angry. He probably handled it better than I did. On another level, this is simply fierce and beautiful. Reply Jerrold Mobley January 29, 2015 at 5:50 am (2 years ago) Ms. Robinson, I’ve been virtually following your design talent for quite a while – and along the way I found myself following your life. Inspired by your bravery in business and career… inspired by your health choices and changes… inspired by your fearlessness and achievement. I’ve quietly admired your God-given skill. I’ve quietly admired your beauty and timeless elegance. To read all these thoughts and know the internal battle you’ve fought in the midst of all these things is such a testimony. Know that have touched many, and judging from the comments above, you have touched even more after this post. Your beauty, inside and out, will continue to resonate, and I hope you will continue allowing to. Reply Cristi Holcombe January 29, 2015 at 9:55 pm (2 years ago) You rock girl! So brave. I’m such an admirer of you. Beautiful inside and out. xoxo Reply Cassie @ Primitive & Proper January 30, 2015 at 10:04 am (2 years ago) just popped over from shavonda’s and wanted to say i think you are beautiful and inspiring. there’s no more i need to say- just keep being you and leading by example. 🙂 Reply Anonymous January 30, 2015 at 9:45 pm (2 years ago) You are beautiful, inside and out! Reply Jessica February 1, 2015 at 11:35 am (2 years ago) Omg… Yes. Even though my vitiligo cane when I was 12. It was scary and unpredictable. Its on my hands and feet. It didn’t spread for 13 years… Know I’m 25 and BAM some on my stomach, and growing rapidly. You’re words describes exactly how I’m feeling. Thank you!!!! You seem to be the only one (that I’ve encountered) that understands! THANKS AGAIN Reply LOVE THAT SPACE April 6, 2015 at 3:02 pm (2 years ago) Beautiful post and thanks for sharing! Reply Benita October 28, 2015 at 12:56 pm (1 year ago) Thanks for your post! I cam across your post when googling for pantyhose that would cover up vitiligo. I, too, have adult onset vitiligo; my fairer skin saves me from too many stares. My recent health blog (July) shared a promising treatment! http://www.georgiapolicy.org/2015/07/checking-up-on-health-july-21-2015/ Reply Jennae December 29, 2015 at 9:13 am (1 year ago) I completely missed this post when you first published it, but I am so happy you shared it again. You are beautiful, your words are beautiful, and I have loved watching your growth as a person, even without knowing this part of your story. You and your transparency are incredibly inspiring, and I am so grateful to “know” you 🙂 Reply DaykaRobinson December 29, 2015 at 12:25 pm (1 year ago) Aww, thanks Jennae! I’m actually glad to hear that you missed this the first go-round, it’s a reminder that while I might FEEL like everyone knows this now, everyone does not, in fact, know. Thank you for your kind words about me–I’m grateful to “know” you too! Xo, D Reply Shinoba December 29, 2015 at 11:30 am (1 year ago) I love it! Thank you Dayna for sharing your story. I am blessed to know a beautiful, inspiring person, your story will bless and minister to many! It takes great courage to be transparent. Love you lady! Reply DaykaRobinson December 29, 2015 at 12:23 pm (1 year ago) Shinoba: Thank you for your kind words–and yes, courage indeed! Love you too, girl. Thanks for reading. Reply leah December 29, 2015 at 1:07 pm (1 year ago) Dayka, this is absolutely a heart-felt, very humbling, yet inspiring story. You are an inspiring to me and many others. This is an example of the lies that we tell ourselves that go hidden in the shadows. When you care enough about yourself to share and less about what other people will think, that is when you are truly free. Spread your wings and Fly, Fly-girl. I love it!!! Reply DaykaRobinson December 30, 2015 at 10:18 pm (1 year ago) Leah: I am SO glad we got to finally do lunch today…totally unexpected, but absolutely perfect. I look forward to seeing our you (& our new friendship!) grow astronomically in 2016. Xo, friend! Dayka Reply Lu January 8, 2016 at 10:47 pm (1 year ago) With tears strolling down my face, I thank you for writing this. It really resonated with me because I’m going through the same thing. I’m in my 30s and just developed vitiligo a year and a half ago. What also started as one little white spot (on my foot) has spread quickly to my legs, arms, hands, and hips. Because I am naturally fair, people tell me it’s “hardly noticeable” but it’s all that I see. Each day I watch as my skin changes in front of my eyes with nothing I can do about it. Sure, I’ve Dr. shopped, bought the lotions, changed my diet, and started supplementing my nutritional deficiencies, yet I continue to watch the vitiligo cover more and more of my body. Scouring the Internet for photos and stories of others has become an obsession. It’s helpful to know that we are not alone and can continue to lead happy and successful lives. As I try to make a new way for myself, I will take your wise words with me. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for sharing your story. You are a beautiful person and I wish you an amazing future! Reply DaykaRobinson January 9, 2016 at 12:44 am (1 year ago) Lu: Omg, when I tell you I was THERE (where you are now)??! I was REALLY there. I still have photos of other people saved on my phone because there are days where my mind starts to wander down a negative path & I have to pull myself in and remember “You are okay, right now, just like this.” Instagram accounts, Facebook posts (all of that)–I definitely stalked them too, lol! When I didn’t believe in myself I pulled energy from those who were out there showing themselves to the world to remind me that I could do it, too. Then one day I could & did and I realized that my healing was helping someone else, just like they did for me. So take the time you need–it’s different for everyone and you’re entitled to grieve for the body that you’re missing. No one knows what this feels like until they experience it. And one day when you’re ready, you’ll put yourself out there (maybe that’s via a blog post or maybe it’s just a tank top to the grocery store) and seeing you will be the healing someone else will need to see. The wonderful thing is as we heal/grow ourselves, we help other to do the same! Feel free to email me privately if you want to talk more. email@example.com Much love to you. All is indeed well–I’m here as a testimony to that. Xo, Dayka Reply Natalie October 12, 2016 at 4:42 am (5 months ago) Beautifully written and thought provoking in the most positive way, Dayka. I’ve read your story before and felt compelled to read again. I have Vitiligo and spent a lot of my past hiding behind clothes, fake tan and makeup (being mixed race my skin was very prominent). Now, having accepted the skin I’m in….I’m a completely different person and see the way I manage myself and other people’s reaction to it, as positive. Thanks again for sharing and all the best 🙂 Reply DaykaRobinson November 9, 2016 at 9:32 pm (5 months ago) Natalie: Isn’t it so funny how first accepting ourselves changes EVERYTHING?? As I always say, when I stopped looking for the people who were staring at me, I stopped seeing them everywhere because of course, if you’re looking for trouble it won’t be hard to find. 😉 I’m so glad that you’ve connected with my story and it can be a source of support for you. If you ever want to talk–please feel free to email me! firstname.lastname@example.org xo, d Reply 1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on I HAVE VITILIGO. THIS IS MY STORY & HOW ITS CHANGED ME. Inspirational People: Dayka Robinson | says: October 31, 2016 at 1:00 pm […] painful it can affect people mentally due to the appearance of the condition. Speaking on her blog, Dayka Robinson Designs, Dayka says “The “downside”? Knowing that it’s “just skin”, yet still having to […] Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment *Name* Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.