Alex Augustin

ALEX AUGUSTIN

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It’s amazing how one moment of our lives can change our lives forever. That moment for me came when I discovered my first tiny vitiligo spot. It was a regular day like any other day, but one that would ultimately lead to the beginning of my dark days. Day by day I watched my skin losing its pigmentation with no control over it whatsoever. My skin color was slowly changing, while my confidence was becoming nonexistent. The happy kid who was once full of life was rapidly losing his spark and becoming depressing, unhappy and lifeless. Lost for words, I tried to make sense of what was happening to me when no one else in my family has ever been through it.

How will my friends and family see me now? How do I explain to the kids around me without the fear of being rejected? How can I possibly look at myself in the mirror without being freaked out when I can barely recognize myself? How can I honestly ever live a normal life when my life is full of uncertainties? One by one, these were only a few of the many questions going through my mind.

I struggled on a daily basis to find my place in this highly judgmental world that sees my flaws more than they see my heart. Every time that I went outside, I could sense that people were staring hard at me, some with a curious look on their faces and others with rejection. There were a few instances where I would sit on a bench, either at school or at a bus stop and people/kids would pass by me whispering loudly how ugly I looked as if I was invincible. I felt crushed. During those times, I was very insecure and self conscious. I felt like the world came crushing down on me when I was just a kid starting a new life in a new Country.

Today, I find it absolutely amazing that I can stand in front of a mirror all smiling while feeling confident and handsome. If I could go back in time, maybe I’d be more confident, accept myself as I am and embrace the fact that am unique. Tonight, if you are that kid currently going through similar struggles, I just want you to know that step by step you’re going to get through it. Don’t worry if it looks impossible right now. I thought it was impossible as well, but if you see me today and how I live my life with this skin condition, you would find it hard to believe that I’ve went through all these struggles, but I did & survived and you will as well.

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