....And I feel like an idiot.
I've kept a private livejournal for about 10 years now. I mostly use it to vent and get my feelings out and I don't look back and read it very often. But last night, I had the thought that I should look back and figure out when exactly this severe acne/body dysmorphia stuff started taking over my life.
See, when I remember my life from 2-3 years ago, I don't recall ANY of this. I did not have perfect skin and my acne has always played some role in my life, but I absolutely, in no way shape or form remember being upset, suicidal, panicked, constantly worried, or afraid to leave the house. I don't remember my skin being a big preoccupation in my mind. In fact, I didn't even visit acne.org for over a year at one point... I do not remember spending hours staring in the mirror and analyzing my skin, nor do I remember it taking an hour to put my foundation on and cover all my zits. Not since years before, when I started the regimen the second time after a period of the worst acne of my life (before I was gluten free). So this tells me that for years, the regimen (Dan's BP) must have been working for me).
I couldn't remember exactly when or why I stopped using it, which is why I wanted to look back and read my journal entries. But I knew one thing: I wouldn't have felt compelled to stop if my skin wasn't doing good, acne-wise. I would have been to scared. So I must have had (relatively) clear skin. I did still breakout if I ate gluten accidentally or some other allergy foods, but that didn't happen often.
So anyways, I read through a lot of the entries from 2011 and the first half of 2012 and there wasn't ONE mention of my acne. I know myself, and had my acne been bothering me, I would have mentioned it in my journal. Then I finally get to an entry from April 12, 2012. I talk about how I'm sick of being on BP and am going to embrace the all natural path, starting that day.
(Okay, this is the maddening part that makes me feel like an idiot... *drumroll*... lol)
The next entry is from the following Saturday. The 14th. TWO DAYS LATER. Guess what it's about? How I'm having TERRIBLE BREAKOUTS and I'm so upset about it. Two days after quitting the BP. And do you know what I did? I immediately began talking about how it must have been something in my diet and began cutting out foods.
*world's longest sigh*
Was I THAT in denial? It's like I was so desperate and stubborn over pursuing my natural path that I literally went into complete denial that I was OBVIOUSLY breaking out because I had quit BP! DUHHHH! But instead of being able to see this, I fed into my eating-disorder tendencies and became more and more obsessed with food. Reading the entries from that point on is just depressing. My acne got worse and worse and slowly took over my mind. There are more and more entries about it as the year went on. And you know what else? I also wrote about every terrible fight I had with my boyfriend (this was the time period he was the worst messed up emotionally and awful to live with). Within 1-5 days after every entry that contained a fight, there was an entry with me crying over how my skin had gotten worse. CLEARLY the stress, right? But could I see that then? Nope. I just kept blaming food and cutting out foods. I kept going deeper into my own prison, refusing to see the simple truth that I had stopped using a medication that was controlling my acne, and that (plus the worsening stress) was why I was breaking out.
I had always known that my acne got bad again at some point after stopping BP but I had no idea it was literally TWO DAYS later. That is just insane to me, how I wasn't able to make that connection at the time. I guess I had just assumed that I was mostly healed through diet (not giving enough credit to the BP) and that's why it didn't seem like such a sudden thing to me. Now I know that for me, it seems to take a proper diet, low stress AND BP for me to remain okay.
I'm not starting BP again just yet, but I suspect I will be on the regimen again within a month. I won't expect perfection, but it clearly enabled me to have a normal life where I wasn't depressed and upset over my skin all the time. At this point, that is what I want for myself, even if the BP ages my skin somewhat. Horrible stress, depression and acne scars age the skin worse.
I just wanted to share that with you guys because a lot of you have been following my story and this is a pretty big breakthrough. Hindsight really is 20-20 and reading back on my journal showed me that my eating disorder was really a part of my life for a lot longer than I realized.
I just want to get myself on the right path again.