I did indeed read it. I can definitely relate. It sounds like you are similar to me in that you have always had everything under control and then after numerous negative life events and kind of realizing you aren’t in control after all, you crashed. It’s time for me to write a long post, hopefully others aren’t annoyed! I have always been the type of person to bottle things in and never ever used to cry…and now I cry almost daily! I am also a perfectionist and am used to always having control of my life and having life perfectly planned. I always felt that I was strong and confident before, was athletic and took great care of my body and health or so I thought…but then we moved to Colorado a little over a year ago (we chose to move, which makes me all the more frustrated at my situation). This was the first time I have ever not lived in the same city as my parents (even though I’m 27 I went to both colleges in the same city and stayed in the area after marrying- DFW is a big place). I am also extremely close to my mom and for some reason I didn’t even think twice about how moving away would affect me. I initially took the job with me that I loved and was working remotely (I figured out pretty quickly that working from home is not for me). The first 8 months were relatively ok for me…but when I think back I think I can see how things were creeping up and I just didn’t even notice. I was very slowly getting more and more homesick…getting a pimple here and there on my lower face where I never used to get pimples. I was starting to have little obsessions at that point as well, but I didn’t recognize anything as signs of stress. I was getting more and more discontent with working at home as well so we decided we needed to move to a larger city (we were in a small rural area originally, which was kind of a silly move coming from living in a huge metro area when I think back).
That summer we did all kinds of hiking trips, trying to climb a bunch of the CO mountains, drove almost cross country on a road trip and ended up in California climbing the tallest peak in the lower 48…which was one of the most physically stressful things I have ever done. These things were definitely fun and what we enjoyed doing, but I think it was just all too much. At the end of the summer I had seriously hurt both my knees (I still can’t hike more than 2 miles without pain, which really saddens me) from all the hiking and climbing. We got back from all that and moved again in a whirl wind…I think that’s when my body finally said enough is enough. Shortly after our second move (which we decided to try out a cabin type house in the mountains close to the city right before winter – which was another dumb decision for this Texas girl) my face started noticeably breaking out…I was still working from home but looking for a job in the city at that point…which ended up taking 4 months!! I felt like I was trapped in this snowy cabin in the mountains for months in a completely new place. We didn’t even get to spend holidays with any family. It was so isolating. Around that time my sister was also making really bad decisions that were majorly effecting our family emotionally…we are still recovering from it. I think I was mildly depressed at that point and only fully realized my depression about 3 months ago. I finally got a new job and took a trip back to Texas to resign from my beloved job, see family and friends and kind of “say goodbye”. After we came back I really crashed. I had thought that getting a job where I lived was going to make everything better…but it didn’t. This time leaving, I sobbed every time I said goodbye to someone. I cried in front of my old boss when I left that day. She was completely shocked because this is like the opposite of my personality. It was like moving and leaving everything didn’t register the first time, and now when I was finally cutting some cords, it was all so real and emotions that I hadn’t expressed or even realized I had were coming out like a hurricane. Even though my new job isn’t stressful and my new boss is super cool, my anxiety has grown by leaps and bounds. At that point I started going back to dermatologists I had seen and begging for something to help me. I was trying everything for my face which now was at the worst point it’s ever been in my life (still not severe acne, as my derm keeps reminding me, but pretty damn persistent and commodonal which feels like a nightmare because it NEVER goes away or does anything but look disgusting under my skin).
Six weeks ago I relented and went to a therapist who told me I had major separation anxiety from moving, was extremely uncomfortable in this unplanned and unsure situation, which has now developed into a complete lack of confidence and general anxiety mainly focused on my face (which was caused by all the stress in the first place) and depression. We are working on biofeedback and relaxation techniques. She has told me the acne is a direct manifestation of the stress and once I stop being stressed and anxious it will start going away. The dermatologist recently put me on Spiro and Doxy as my acne is in a very hormonal place on my face. They assure me it will help in 2-3 months. Stress changes your hormones, so this could very well be what’s happening. The derm also told me I’m at that “age in a women’s life when hormones sometimes change and cause adult acne”. In the past 3 months I have also started losing weight (when I am already tiny), having trouble sleeping, waking up with night sweats, feeling completely unmotivated/unable to do anything requiring a lot of energy. I am part of a soccer team and I just keep not going. My husband basically has to drag me out of the house to do things that were my previous passions. I am late for work a lot…thank God for an understanding boss. Waiting on the Spiro and topicals to work is all well and good, but my anxiety continues to grow, even with therapy…and I feel like if I can’t stop being stressed the medicines might have a much harder time doing anything. Last weekend brought me to the point of going to my primary care doctor to get bloodwork and to talk about an anti-anxiety medicine. I’ve started having worse and worse anxiety attacks and last weekend it took my husband several hours to get me out of bed as I was irrationally terrified to get up. I have never experienced this kind of debilitating fear in my life…I always considered myself to be mentally healthy, it’s so bizarre. So back to present, my doc is testing all my hormones and my thyroid (I have a family history) to see if there could be anything else going on. If it’s all clear he’s going to prescribe me an anti-anxiety (something I would never in a million years imagined taking in the past) to help me get over this hump. I feel like I am stuck in a cycle of being anxious, my acne gets worse, making me get more anxious, my acne gets worse….and I can’t break it. Hoping this will give me the boost I need to stop caring and obsessing over my face enough so that my mind can go back to normal things and be happy again…allowing the acne medications I am on to take full effect and my face go back to normal. If my face improves I think my anxiety will lessen and I won’t have any pimples to freak out about. In the meantime, my therapist is working on my being confident again…and I need to fully work through my dreaded homesickness. We are meeting people/making friends and making efforts to get back to “life as normal” with regular activities and being involved at church. Some people say homesickness just takes time. I have this little mental deadline in my head that maybe maybe my face will be mostly healed and my emotional state much much better over the next 3-4 months (we are moving down into the city out of the mountains into a normal house in 3 months, which I hope will help me feel more normal, but I am also hoping to be a lot better by then so I don’t bring these bad memories with me and can really enjoy it). Does anyone think that is a reasonable hope to have? I have no idea how long it takes things like this to clear or emotions to get better.
PS. On a side note I am also very spiritual and have been really having to make myself trust God during this hard time. I have been learning that I am not in control, as much as I want to be. I try to take comfort in the fact that God is growing me through this experience and I will hopefully be a better, more compassionate person on the other side. I need to let go and learn to be better at patience, contentment and joy. I think God has a purpose for everyone and sometimes getting us to where we need to be is a hard, uncomfortable process. God can use trials to produce qualities in us that could not be cultivated in any other way. This too shall pass.
Sierra I looked at your pics and was loling at the carb craving comments...haha definitely had those!!! I've found theyve gone down with bc, and I was thinking back to when I was on bc before or just when I was feeling better in general, and I craved savory foods almost predominantly. I mean I still liked fruit and occasional sweets, but mostly I would be like yum dinner, savory food etc. Whereas now i'm like thinking about sweets based things, even though I really try to eat mostly savory food. it's definitely hormonal/acne related for me. I hope they continue to go down. Have sugar cravings gone down with spiro or bc for you?
Glad to hear I'm not alone with those crazy cravings. I've had issues with carb cravings and binge eating for years. I think it's at an all time high right now to be honest and I don't know if it has any relation to the spiro. When I was on spiro and bc before I would still get those cravings but I could manage them better. Now if I don't leave the kitchen immediately after a meal I will eat all day. No joke.
The one thing that did help was my very brief stint on Metformin which is actually a drug for diabetics. According to my labs I am not a diabetic so that's why I went off of it, but, oh my. It was the only time in my adult life that I have been totally free of my insane carb cravings. Still miss that pill...
I'm sorry to hear your skin is not treating you well. But I do commend you on not popping those suckers! I try to never pop but I still do on occasion if I know the zit is "ripe". If you must pop, I got a great lesson from my esthetician who said if I really have to pop here's how to do it:
Clean and steam your face beforehand to open pores. I usually just take a warm shower. Then clean the pimple with an alcohol based toner, prick it with a sanitized safety pin, then use two cotton swabs dipped in the alcohol on the sides of your fingers (instead of the tips) to apply pressure on both sides of the pimple so you don't accidentally hurt your skin by pinching. If it pops easily, continue to make sure you get ALL of the gunk out. Leaving some of that in there will only make it worse. You'll know it's all out when the blood runs more clear and you don't feel that deeper infected ache, just a dull pain caused by popping. Move your fingers around the pimple instead of just trying one angle. Pores are not always straight up and down so you have to find the right angle. If it doesn't pop easily, leave it alone! When you're done wipe it with another cotton swab dipped in alcohol. I've been using that method on my recent smaller pimples and it works like a charm. They heal up quickly and don't come back.
Wow, didn't realize I was such a zit popping expert til I wrote that manifesto! Anyway, hope that helps
>Skindeepstory - did you have a lot of clogged pores and did yuo find that Spiro helped clear and stop those?
Yes, I had a TON of clogged pores. As for spiro helping, this might not be fun to hear, but the initial breakout on spiro caused almost all of those clogged pores (there were SOOOO many) to become full fledged pimples. It basically "purged" them out and it was NOT pretty. Once that initial breakout had calmed down a bit I was able to go to my esthetician to help get rid of the existing clogged pores before they evolved into big breakouts. I've had 3 facials now and every time it helps. I'm not getting very many new pimples, so purging and extracting the existing ones has really helped resolve a lot of my acne.
Not sure what your story is but if you are thinking about starting spiro, I would suggest weening up your dosage slowly instead of jumping in at the highest dose like I did. I'm pretty sure that coupled with the crazy amount of clogged pores that already existed on my face caused my 3 month long initial breakout from h**l.
Hope that helped!
I started Spiro 2 weeks ago. I had already been purging before that so I think it was the retin a, which I have been on for months. I was so fed up with the purging I called my derm and asked if there was something else I could do and she told me to take a break from it. It has been 6 days now and no active pimples. However I have a lot of clogged pores on my cheeks and jaw line, almost all of my issue is clogged pores. Its like the retinoids were slowly bringing those up but there are multiple layers of clogs or something. I am going to an aesthetician tomorrow to see if she can get a lot of them out that I can feel really obviously on my skin. I don’t know how far along the clog has to be for them to extract them. Or…if I never get back on the retin a if the rest of them just won’t come out. How long have you been on Spiro for and when do you feel like is started really helping and preventing new stuff/decreasing oil? I am on 100mg now and so far 0 side effects.
hey misssac17, i am doing pretty good i am still on the spiro (5 months on friday) at 100mg and have dropped down the keflex to 500mg a day. the plan is to slowly wean off of the keflex and hope the spiro has kicked in by now. i also use hylunia gentle cleanser and then thayers non alcohol toner for the morning and proactiv toner for the evening with glycolic acid to keep my pores clear. i also use benzaclin twice a day and its all been working pretty well. my red marks are fading nicely but i have some bad scarring on my chin so just trying to figure out when or if i am going to get laser done on it.
how is your skin doing?
Hi Tracy521 - When do you feel like the Spiro started working for you/making your face less oily? My derm tells me to give it 6 weeks to see a difference and then it keeps getting better. I mostly have lots of closed comedones and a few active pimples that come up.