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#1 wide_eyed

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 07:29 AM

It's freezing cold. A typical winter night in Melbourne. I upped my Accutane dose today, and tomorrow is the Monash Uni after exams party. My ex-boyfriend is staying with me for a few days while he finishes off his Honours assignments. I need a job.

Hi. My name is Stacey, and I used to have flawless skin. Last year I went off my BCP because I thought that I had out grown my acne. Turns out I was wrong, and it's come back in full force. ProActiv made it worse. The pill no longer worked. Accutane it is.

I've been on it three weeks so far, and honestly, I was really excited about starting it. I had wanted to go on it back in Year 12, but the derm said that I would probably get quite fatigued, so didn't recommend it. But I need a fix. I want to find the person I used to be. I hate the person I am now. I hope at the end of this course I find what I'm looking for. And fingers crossed the IB has passed me by.

My lips aren't even dry. The Lucas' paw paw ointment is amazing. The corner of my lips are cracked and hurt sometimes. My back was sore while I was studying for exams. My eyes feel a tad sore, maybe they're dry. I love having hot showers and having tight, dry skin. I haven't needed to moisturise. My scalp has been a bit dry, but I've been using Neutrogena T-Gel, so hopefully that clears it up.

Tomorrow I'm dying my hair, so I look fresh when I go out tomorrow night. My skin is quite bumpy and red, but make-up should cover it up okay. I feel frumpy. My housemates are watching American Dad. They never mention my skin. I think it helps that I live with 3 guy friends. I can't really hide away from the world. My girl friends on the other hand don't stop themselves from bringing it up, or giving me advice. It's embarrassing, and makes me incredibly emotional.

Over and out.


Peace.

P.s- I tried to attach a pic, and it didn't let me. sad.gif Said that I wasn't permitted to upload it. Advice?)

#2 wide_eyed

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 03:46 AM

Last night was the Uni after exams party. I would love to say that I had an awesome time, and I guess for the most part I did, but it ended quite dramatically so I'll shelve it along side the other "nights out to forget".

I think what I took away from it, was the fact that even after my skin clears (fingers crossed), there will always be something else that I won't be happy with. The colour of my hair, my thighs, my breasts. Having bad skin is definitely the thing that holds me back the most, but when I go out, I compare myself to every other girl in the room. And if I had to rank myself against them, I'd be near the bottom. It scares me how superficial I am. How jealous. The way that I am constantly turning the smallest issue into a huge drama. I'm totally neurotic. I say that clearing my skin will give me a new lease on life, but not if it's not in conjunction with diet and exercise changes as well. Permanent life-style changes.

What was also interesting was talking to my friend Katie while we were pre-drinking at an apartment in the city. She knew that I was on meds for my skin, and she asked if it was Accutane. Apparently her brother and his mate had done an experiment, and gone to two different dermatologists. Both suffer extremely mild acne ( a few spots a month). One derm said he would prescribe it, the other said he doesn't prescribe it to anyone, ever. Katie had a heard a lot of things about it, and was quite worried about me, which in turn worried me! I think I should be okay. My ex boyfriend took it, my housemate, my brother, an old friend in high school. So it's not uncommon, and I got to see first hand how it affected them, and how amazing the results were.

I saw my ex dancing with a girl, and emotion flooded over me. I'm not sure if it was the alcohol or the drugs, but an uncontrollable irrational anger and frustration and sadness washed over me. I left in tears and caught a cab home. We spoke about it this morning, and he talked me around. Showed me how silly I was being. And that's why I love him.

"Too young to be together, too in love to be apart"

My skin looked pretty okay last night. Tried some different foundation and it seemed to do the trick. I went shopping today with Grandma and she didn't comment on my skin, which was a good sign.

Peace.

#3 nikkia

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 12:37 PM

Hi! I read your first two posts, and you seem to have a very realistic and positive attitude going into this. I'm working on the positive attitude myself. wub.gif

Anyway, I just wanted to say I don't think it's superficial to want to look your best and be pretty, especially since you've had clear skin in the past. I feel the exact same way, comparing myself to others, etc. then feeling guilty for being so preoccupied with the way I look. It's funny because when my skin was clear, I never gave it a second thought.

I'll keep checking your log. I think you'll be really happy with your decision in the end. smile.gif

#4 PhoenixBalm

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 02:38 PM

Just read your posts - you sound incredibly mature about everything, and I can only wish you the best of luck, I'll be reading this often.

Haven't seen any pictures of you other than the avatar which I'm guessing is you and, genuinely, if your acne needs accutane, after accutane, you'll look great, don't you worry about all the other things that, in reality, guys don't care that much about!!! THAt'S COMING FROM A GUY.

Best of luck : )

PS: It might be that your picture is too big in terms of file size - try uploading it to photobucket or somewhere and they can resize it for you.

#5 wide_eyed

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:29 AM

It's the fifth day that I've taken 40mg, and I think it's starting to really take effect. My lips are quite sore, not even the paw paw ointment is saving them. It made me feel really self-conscious and it's painful to eat sometimes. Yesterday at work I had chest pains. It was constant, and just felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I wasn't short of breath however, so it was quite strange, and it isn't happening today. My eyes and muscles are feeling okay. I have a few new spots (and I'm really proud of myself for not picking at them, even though one of them was really yuck wink.gif), but over all I feel like my face is clearing. I still have a lot of red scarring, but I think they're fading and the red bumps are flattening out.

I am almost tempted to cover up my mirrors at home. I spend so long in the morning obsessing over my face, looking for improvements/changes to my skin, that it is quite difficult to tell if there is ACTUALLY any difference. It's like when you don't see a someone for a while- when you do finally see them you can tell if they have lost weight or if their hair has grown etc, because you don't see them every day, so changes are more noticeable. Makes it kinda hard when you need to apply make-up in the morning though.

The accutane is almost dominating my life. I was meant to go camping with a friend, and I cancelled on him, because there wasn't going to be a shower or basin for me to wash my face, or facilities to prepare my vegan food. Usually I would jump at the chance to go and spend time outdoors, and I think I really hurt his feelings. He knows that I am on the meds, and I warned him that I will probably become really unsociable, but he still doesn't seem to understand. My ex has been staying with me this past week, and he has been amazing. He was on accutane a couple of years back, and he's been really supportive. My moods have been so incredibly extreme, and he is the only one that can bring me back down to earth. We've been hooking up, and all I can think about when I'm with him is how awful my lips must feel, and how up-shit-creek I would be if I fell pregnant. Putting all my trust into a BCP makes me really scared. But it makes everything better again... for an hour or so tongue.gif

I went to a game of Australian Rules today- St.Kilda versus Geelong, and it was fantastic. Go Saints! I took the train in, and I took a lot more notice of people with acne. I must admit, that even though my skin annoys the hell out of me, and people often comment on how bad it is, it isn't nearly as bad as a lot of people out there, so I feel quite silly whining about it. I get cysts along my jaw line, but none really on my face that would cause any poc marks I suppose. I looked at some boys on the train, with quite severe acne or scarring, and their behaviour were almost identical: not making eye contact, covering there face with their hand while looking out of the window, slouching, having longish hair that also covers their face. I just wanted to go up to them and give them a hug, but I know that if anyone ever showed that kind of pity towards me, I would be quite ashamed and almost humiliated.

I've attached a photo of me from July 1st, the day I upped my dosage from 20mg to 40mg per day. Sorry the photo is dark. It's because of the new energy saving light globes that we had installed wink.gif. But it sort of shows the scarring and acne on my forehead and chin, and some on my cheeks. I have NEVER had acne on my cheeks before- that's only been since accutane.

Keep smiling.

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#6 nikkia

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 07:33 AM

I had chest pains my first few days, too. I found that taking accutane with a full meal really helped, and now those pains have disappeared.

I covered up my bathroom mirror. I have one full-length mirror in my bedroom that I light with a soft pink bulb which is where I do my makeup. Then I try not to look at myself for the rest of the day. I've found that looking in the mirror 1) doesn't make me look any better and 2) doesn't make me feel any better, so even though it's tempting I just had to stop.

Have fun with your ex! wink.gif

#7 wide_eyed

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:12 PM

Thanks for the post Nikki. I think I read somewhere that taking the accutane with a fatty meal makes it work better etc, but it's tough when you're trying to eat healthily. I must admit, sometimes I forget to take my pill until a while after I eat, so perhaps that's all it is. I'll make more of an effort.

Do you wear make up every day? I get too worried that it'll make my skin worse, but at the same time I hate going out with my acne clearly visible. Kind of a catch-22. I usually just make sure that my eyes look really pretty so that it hopefully draws peoples attention away from my skin. I love the sound of a pink bulb. Sounds like a princess room tongue.gif, and would be practical as well. Win-win.

And yes, I shall have fun with the ex. Hehe. wink.gif

#8 nikkia

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 07:17 AM

QUOTE (wide_eyed @ Jul 5 2009, 11:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do you wear make up every day?


I started accutane at the start of my summer vacation, so I haven't been wearing makeup every day. I go back to school July 28th though, and I am planning to wear makeup. I think as long as you choose something oil-free it should not break out your skin any worse.

#9 MissAngie

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:40 PM

Hey Stacey--I too had chest pains, but drinking more water helped with that and they are long gone. You've got such a great face and even though I love the color you went with, I think a light brown would look amazing on you! Similar to your avatar picture. Just sayin'. smile.gif I'll keep in touch!

#10 loveske

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:36 PM

Hello Stacey!
I just wanted to stop by and wish you luck! I'm sorry about the chest pains, but it's good to hear that you're skin is starting to clear up! I think that you've got a gorgeous face to start out with, and I'm sure that your skin going to look even better a few months from now.

I totally agree about how hard it is to eat a 'fatty' meal while you're trying to be healthy. I'm a vegetarian and short of walnuts, almonds, etc. it's tough to find a healthy non-meat fat!

I'll keep checking in on your log. (:

#11 wide_eyed

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 02:43 AM

So I've been on Accutane for a month now- 3 weeks on 20mg a day, 1 week on 40mg a day. My skin is just starting to flake, so I'm considering using moisturiser tongue.gif I love having dry skin instead of oily skin. I'm dry around my nose and on my chin. I've broken out on my right cheek (IB?), but they sort of look like mosquito bites. No head, almost just red marks. My lips have been okay. I've been using the paw paw ointment as well as Carmex. (Carmex has S.A in it... is this a bad thing to put on my lips? wacko.gif ) My nose is super smooth. Hehe. I played squash yesterday, and my back hurt while I played, but it's fine today. Shame I can't say the same thing about my shoulders and quads! But it's a good pain. Means that it was worth doing.

Today I got called into work. I work at a real estate office on Saturdays, so I usually only see the Sales staff and property management. So today was the first time that I'd seen the lady in accounts for a few months. I've known her for years, because I used to swim with her son, so we know each other well. But after we said hi the first thing she did was grab my face and say "You've broken out again!? What have you been DOING?" I pushed her away and said that I hadn't done anything, and walked away to the front desk. I had to force myself not to cry. I had felt okay in the morning when I got ready. No pustules or really inflamed papules- just red scarring and a other new red marks, so I didn't wear make-up. And for her to say that just brought me down something shocking.

A little while later, one of the property managers came to the front desk and was talking to me, and she said " I hope this doesn't embarrass you, but I just wanted to tell you that your skin has improved a lot. What have you been using?" I did get embarrassed, and I wanted to cry again (so emotional!). I hate attention, and any kind of focus on me. I can't take compliments well usually, let alone when it was about my skin, and because she possibly only said it because she overheard my conversation with the lady in accounts. I couldn't answer her without the water works starting, so I just shrugged. Later, when I had composed herself, I told her that I was on Accutane, and she said that her niece was also taking it, and that it had really cleared her skin. That made me feel really hopeful.

I sms'd my housemate after that, and told him that I was on meds for my skin. All he knew was that I was taking pills, and that I bitched about the side-effects a lot. I decided that doing something proactive in sorting out my acne wasn't something to be ashamed about, and smsing was a LOT easier than having the discussion to his face. He said that he was glad that I wasn't dying. tongue.gif So I'm hoping that by telling people, and beginning to be open about my acne, people will be more sensitive about the topic around me, and make the treatment easier. It's not like my housemate would ever have a conversation with me about it, but I sort of just feel relieved that he knows, and that it's not some sort of secret.

So the day was turning out okay. I came home after work and jumped on Facebook. Then I saw that my ex had been tagged in some photos at a club where he had gone out to last night, and he was kissing a girl. She was stunning. Flawless skin. Perfect glossy hair. Stylish clothes. They'd added each other as friends as well. And frick, did it hurt. I feel alone again. And I know, we're not together, but we were sleeping together, and he was my rock when I felt crap about myself. I guess it's time to move on. I knew this already- I've known it forever. But he is the love of my life, and while he hurts me more than anyone, it only hurts because of how I feel about him, and how happy I know we both are when we're together.

BLAH!!!

------------------------------------------------------------
Loveske- I hadn't even considered just eating nuts. How about peanut butter from the jar? tongue.gif Doesn't really constitute a meal I suppose... I'm trying to be vegan. For what reason are you vegetarian?

MissAngie- Haha. Thanks for the hair colour tip. I'm thinking I need to go lighter. I actually really liked my hair dark (it was black at one stage), but I can only pull it off when my skin is clear.

Nikki- I'll have to look into a good make-up. There have been a few times when I have slept with my foundation on, and when I wash it off it the shower the next morning, my skin actually seems better. Bizarre right? Maybe it's just wishful thinking. tongue.gif

Thanks for the posts guys. You're keeping me sane.


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#12 nikkia

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 06:35 AM

Ugh, I hate when people comment on my skin! Back in March I went for a walk without makeup on, and I saw one of my dad's coworkers. He came up to me and we chatted for a minute before he was like, "Your face really broke out. You should try ProActiv." I almost cried, too!

I don't do well with compliments either. Like if I see my mom on Monday and she says my skin looks better, then if I see her later that week and she doesn't say anything, I get paranoid and think my skin must look worse.

But kudos to you for being confident enough to go out without makeup. I haven't done that since my terrible walk back in March, lol.

#13 Rich 213

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 11:54 AM

i know what you mean about people talking to you about your acne. i will have almost nothing for a while then break out all at once and people will start saying things like "what happened?" while looking at my face or "did you forget to wash your face or something?" for the next few days. never really understood why people thought it was ok to bring up, i would compare it to walking up to a person and asking if they had put on weight. just a rude thing to do.

makes me happy i am starting accutane next thursday, just really wish i would have went and started earlier so that my face would have been clear for the start of my new job but oh well lol

#14 wide_eyed

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 06:35 AM

QUOTE (Rich 213 @ Jul 9 2009, 03:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
never really understood why people thought it was ok to bring up, i would compare it to walking up to a person and asking if they had put on weight. just a rude thing to do.


That is a really good analogy. I'd never really thought about it like that, but it makes complete sense. I might use that if anyone comments on my skin again. smile.gif

#15 wide_eyed

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:12 PM

I'm starting to think that the Accutane isn't working as well as I thought it was. The three red spots on my right cheek have all got nasty heads emerging now, and I know that I am going to be extremely tempted to pick them later on. I have new spots around my chin and jaw line, and they are really red. My skin has started to dry out, which I took meant that the tane was starting to work, but I think I need to try a new moisturiser because the QV face day cream with SPF 30+ that I used today sort of stung, and made my skin go red and almost itchy, mainly around my chin. My forehead is looking okay, no new spots, but a lot of red marks. I just got busted at work looking at myself in a mirror. Haha. Serves me write for posting now. Meh. I have a paper cut that is taking ages to heal, same story with some footwear wounds just below my achilles. I haven't had any headaches, my lips and eyes aren't feeling too dry. Side effect wise, I'm feeling pretty good. smile.gif I just hope that if this is the IB, that it is quick, and doesn't get any worse.

I got invited to a gathering at a share house tonight, but I'm not sure if I'll go. I haven't seen that group of girls in ages, and I feel like I should make the effort, but at the same time, I really cbf. I am feeling ugly and fat, and I know it's just a state of mind, but I'm not feeling strong enough to pull myself out of this. I think it's just a lack of exercise- need to get some endorphins pumping. I worked Wednesday & Thursday, and we had people over both nights, so no chance to do my exercise bike work out. Yesterday I did some work experience with some natural resource managers, and that was a lot of fun, but I was wrecked and went to bed quite early.

I went shopping with the ex last night, because I needed a camera and he's good with technology and junk. He mentioned that he needed a coat, so we went to a department store and found a few nice jackets, coats and hoodies. He tried on a hoodie, and it was very him. Gray and black checkered hoodie, it was a very light knit, and quite clingy. He stood there all self conscious, looking at his body at every angle in the mirror. " I love the hoodie, but I don't like how my body looks in it", he said. He is tall, lanky, and has just started getting a tiny pot belly from a recent increase in beer consumption. It is not noticeable in the slightest though, only when he's naked wink.gif I often forget that guys can be just as self conscious as gals. I often have trouble with my body image, and for a while I was bulimic. I've been known to go on crazy crash diets, and when I decided to go vegan my friends were worried that it was just another attempt to lose weight. I assured them that it's not, and that is the honest truth. One of my friend's has a sister who is anorexic, and the other night she had a stroke. Well I tell you, that scared the bejeezus out of me. I promised myself then that I would always eat sensibly, and rely on exercise to maintain my figure. No more binging and purging. I think I felt like if I had a good body, then my face full of acne wouldn't matter as much, but I didn't want to be a failure at both. I also didn't want to be a "But-her-face". I guess we will always strive to better ourselves, whether it's in an intellectual way like going back to Uni, or in a slightly superficial way, like a boob job or hair extensions. I think that as long as you are doing things for yourself, and not for other people, and that you are happy and comfortable with your decisions, then what other people think should be irrelevant.


#16 nikkia

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 09:36 PM

Wow, we have way more in common than we should. I messed around with bulimia in high school, it's probably one of the dumbest things I've ever done. It got to the point where I couldn't keep my food down even when I wanted to. Suck.

When my face started breaking out badly in February I started having a lot of the same behaviors as when I was eating disordered; i.e. avoiding my friends and family, feeling depressed, wanting to sleep all the time. My parents thought I was having issues with eating disorders again, so when I told them I was upset about my acne they were actually relieved. I was like, "Are you kidding? I'm crying every night about this and you're HAPPY that it's *just* acne!!"

Anyway, hang in there. It sounds like you're doing a lot better at staying social and being around your friends than I am. I have been keeping in touch with most people by phone or email for months, there are very few people I feel comfortable enough to hang out with in person.

Big hugs!

#17 George's Sister

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 10:16 PM

Hey, I just wanted to say that don't get too discouraged yet! Maybe you're experiencing the IB - so hopefully things will get better from here on out!

I agree about what you said earlier - I don't know why people think it's ok to make comments about our acne. My aunt came over the other day and said, "Hey, you've got some acne! When did that happen? Have you tried ProActiv?"

So embarrassing!

#18 wide_eyed

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 02:07 AM

I'm hoping that this is the IB, and that it's not going to get even worse in the months to come. I've broken out more, with spots on both cheeks, increased redness in general, and about five cysts around my jaw line. Quite painful. I'm trying really hard not to get discouraged.

I used to suffer from eczema and it appears to have come back on my neck. I have a dry patch on my left hand and another patch on my upper right arm. I'm getting a cold from having to walk home in the rain bare foot the other night. Hopefully it's just a passing cold, and I haven't caught the swine flu from a lady from work.

That's it for now. I am going out to dinner. Nikki, I find that I get depressed when I'm alone, so even though I feel pretty down about myself and self conscious about how I look when I go out, I am generally a lot more happy around my friends who accept me as I am. I know they probably wonder about my skin, but they have enough tact not to bring it up with me.

Later days.

#19 wide_eyed

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 04:53 AM

I just got back from going out with my friends. I felt awful. My skin was flakey around my mouth, even though I'd moisturised, and I forgot to put green concealer on to help cover the red marks. We sat in a booth that was in a semi-circle shape, so I had people really close to me on either side. I couldn't look people in the eye, and I wasn't as chatty as usual. And to top it off, the pizza I had was dreadful tongue.gif Eeeeep. I have one more week of holidays until I go back to Uni. I'm hoping that my skin starts improving before then. Because I really missed out on a lot of opportunities last semester because I locked myself in my room except when I was attending class.

#20 Dawn13

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 05:12 AM

QUOTE (wide_eyed @ Jul 13 2009, 05:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just got back from going out with my friends. I felt awful. My skin was flakey around my mouth, even though I'd moisturised, and I forgot to put green concealer on to help cover the red marks. We sat in a booth that was in a semi-circle shape, so I had people really close to me on either side. I couldn't look people in the eye, and I wasn't as chatty as usual. And to top it off, the pizza I had was dreadful tongue.gif Eeeeep. I have one more week of holidays until I go back to Uni. I'm hoping that my skin starts improving before then. Because I really missed out on a lot of opportunities last semester because I locked myself in my room except when I was attending class.


Hang in there... I am somewhat "relieved" to read that others go through this as well. I have no friend with acne so they can't relate to what I'm going through. But I've cancelled countless dates and events throughout the years because I looked like shit and on the rare occasions I went anyway, I constantly tried to cover my face with either my hands or hair. Horrible. Nobody without acne can understand this.

Hang in there, I am on day 12 and too have a severe IB right now and could just scream and cry at the same time, but I sooooo hope our IBs will be gone in a few days. Keeping my fingers crossed for the both of us...