I found that it actually started taking over my life. I was never able to feel pretty, just looking in the mirror caused severe emotional breakdowns, I stopped going to social events, I even stopped leaving the house because I was afraid I would bump into someone I knew and it killed me to think they'd look at me and be wondering what happened?! I was just constantly fixated on curing my acne.
I had a special event coming up and my face was so inflammed, the worst it's ever been. I had just started minocycline (for the second time) and tactuo gel, which was actually making it worse, but I thought the more heavy duty the better because my goal was to have clear skin by the time this important event came up. Of course my acne didn't get better, more so worse, and I was just so upset I didn't even want to go. I'm a film student and they were showcasing all our thesis projects in a theatre downtown and having a huge after party. It was a huge deal to have the film I wrote and directed up on the big screen in front of 500 people, but it made me sick to my stomach thinking I had to see all these gorgeous actors and showcase my horrible bumpy face. My roommate said something to me as I was voicing my concern that really helped me cope with going. She asked me what I thought about a boy in our program, the first things that came to mind. I stated three things, and she said see you didn't even mention his acne! This boy had suffered from really terrible acne for a long time, but it's true I never looked at him and only saw his acne. I looked at him and saw his personality. His acne didn't define him, rather it was just something that was there but didn't really matter to anyone.
Now this is something to think about because if you let acne rule your life, people are going to notice it. You have to let your personality over power. I know this can be hard when you feel like you have no confidence but getting out and doing things that take your mind off it really helps the process.
What I actually ended up doing was taking down the majority of mirrors in my house and avoiding the ones that were up. I stayed home for a month not doing anything other than watching tv all day. There were many days when I didn't even get dressed- actually most of those days I never got dressed. I started to take control over my acne. I began working out more, yoga is best. I like cardio because it releases endorphins, but it's actually really harmful to your body, biking is the less harmful form of cardio though, so I often stuck to that and did ab work everyday. I cleaned up my diet, cut out gluten, dairy, sugar, and meat except poultry. I found taking control helped me feel like I was in charge. Now I'm not sure I recommend staying home everyday in your pajamas, and watching tv, because I did end up crying a lot from lack of socialization. But on the other hand I would experience a lot of anxiety when out in public places, worrying that people were looking at my skin. So staying home really was the best option for me. If I had a pet like a cat or a dog that probably would have helped in terms of having a companion I could somewhat interact with all day.
Try doing things for you. Pick up a hobby, like writing, art, or reading more. I found painting very therapeutic. I also started reading more incredibly interesting books, specifically the autobiography of Steve Jobs. I would sit outside in the sun more, and I watched more tv. <-- I'm in film so I consider this research I actually ended up watching four seasons of LOST. But I would recommend watching happier things as something as simple as this can really mess with your psyche. Virtually any movie or tv show by Judd Apatow is a good option if you're in need of a giggle. For the ladies, five year engagement, mean girls and anything with tina fey and amy poehler is superb. I also highly suggest giving Arrested Development a go if you haven't already.
STARS, THEY'RE JUST LIKE US:
Now for awhile I would watch tv and see all these beautiful girls with flawless skin, well guess what- It's a digital world we live in. Did you know Keira Knightly had her forehead acne photoshopped in the pirate movies? So there you go, now when you see these girls or guys with flawless skin, remember they probably have or have had acne too and it's a lot worse for them because their life's work actually depends on looking flawless. Imagine the pressure?!
This may sound awful but I also found it comforting searching celebrities that have had acne troubles in the past. Just do a quick google search and there are tons of pictures and articles, it made me feel like I can still become successful in life and push forward. I would also sometimes just look at pictures of acne sufferers in general and it made me feel like I was not alone.
TAKE A CHILL PILL:
Supplements that really help the weepies are vitamin D. Try taking 4, 1000 mg's a day. You'll notice your mood is a bit better after about a week or two. <- this can also help you acne. I also really liked the bell stress relief capsules. I believe they have a depression capsule as well that may help. I find their supplements very beneficial, except their acne one didn't work for me. I also found cutting out caffeine and just having green tea helped as well.
Now for days when I couldn't just hide away in the safety of my home, I would take more time primping myself. I would do something more special to my hair, like curl or straighten. I'd also wear a lot more eye makeup, specifically colours that made my eye colour pop, so that people would be drawn more to my eyes rather than my skin. I'd also only wear nude lipsticks because I didn't want any attention drawn to my mouth as that was close to my problem areas. I would also spend more time on my outfit. I'd usually wear a lot more high waisted skirts, or dresses, and make it more visually appealing and different so that people would notice your outfit.
In order to really relax and turn your mind off get a massage. No one is going to see your acne because the lighting is so dim there anyways, and it's so worth it. I also suggest trying acupuncture. They can actually relieve your acne symptoms through accupuncture. You have to go about two-three times a week, but it really does help. But be careful when choosing an acupuncturist. I had a terrible experience with a chinese acupuncturist once. I guess they use thicker needles and are more aggressive when placing it in your skin. I found it to be incredibly painful and traumatizing. However japanese acupuncture uses very thin needles and the insertion is painless.
I hope these idea's may be beneficial to some of you out there. If you want more info on products and my acne journey check out my blog.
I wish you all the best of luck and remember you're all beautiful.