Relaxation wasn’t in Jess Tran’s vocabulary when psoriasis started to slowly snake around her entire body in 2016. The skin condition, which affects about 125 million people worldwide and causes red, itchy patches to form on the skin, seemed to appear out of nowhere. But, looking back, Tran now recognizes that the onset may have been caused by stress.
“I’m constantly in a state of overworking,” says Tran. “It’s because I come from a background of scarcity, and it’s something that has been rooted in me as a way to get ahead.” Tran is the founder of Scallion Pancake, a brand marketing consultancy firm, and the cofounder of both Second Life Marketplace and The Consistency Project. Even when friends expressed concern about Tran’s workload, she would forge ahead. “I believed in my capacity to be this ideal productive version of myself that I don’t think is actually sustainable or available all the time.”
It wasn’t until her psoriasis, which was officially diagnosed in 2017, really started flaring up that she realized she needed to take a step back. “My body was dialing 911,” she said, “and I just wasn’t answering the call.” She finally felt like she needed to seek help, so she started going to therapy, and she’s never looked back. With continued talk therapy, she’s been able to better understand her own mental health and listen to her body and its needs, and she credits lifestyle changes like managing stress and cutting gluten from her diet for her recent lack of outbreaks.
Today, she believes that talking about her experience is one of the most vital aspects of healing—for herself, and for anyone that might be going through something similar.
“I need to take the responsibility of showing up in any way I can,” says Tran, “so that someone else might see me and feel more comfortable in their own skin.”
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