I've been lurking and occasionally posting on this board for around seven years. For the past three or so years, I've been around almost not at all, however. The reason for that, I suspect, is the reason that most people stop posting here -- because they find something that works, and they don't need the support structure any more.
The secret to my (semi-, and more on that in a minute) success is simple: the regimen. I know it doesn't work for everyone -- the whole reason acne is so damned annoying, frustrating and depressing is how nebulous it is -- but I apply BP twice a day, moisturise afterwards, and other than having a blond fringe (bangs for you Americans) due to the bleaching properties, as well as quickly bleaching pillowslips, it pretty much works for me.
As I said, it's not all sunshine and roses. My bacne comes and goes -- it's mostly gone now, but a couple of months ago it flared up again. It's almost gone again now, but it seems to be dormant for years at a time and then BAM! Massive nodules on my shoulders for a couple of months. And my face still has its moments. I'm currently coming off what I hope is the back end of a couple of weeks of constant pimples concentrated around my mouth, for some reason.
That said, it's so much better than it was before I started the BP regimen. I was getting to the point where life was almost not worth living. I've been reading some posts on here that remind me of how it was for me; the awful, awful uncertainty of not knowing what you were going to look like tomorrow -- whether you'd have to cancel that date; whether you'd have to lie to your friends and go and sit alone and depressed in your apartment instead of hanging out with them; even whether you'd have to fake being sick at work because you quite simply couldn't handle a day of interacting with people (I'm a children's teacher; particularly brutal when I've got a good pimple-fest going on).
What I have now is manageable. I'm not clear, but sometimes I am, and when I'm not it's manageable. I sometimes still feel like a freak and hate 'normal' people for their effortlessly clear skin and obliviousness to how lucky they are, but not nearly as much as I used to. The BP keeps the worst of it gone, and those that get through are not usually too bad.
I guess the point of all of this is that I feel that I owe this community something, because people were here for me when it was bad, gave me advice and supported and sympathised with me, and I wanted to say thanks to you guys. For those people who are still where I was three years ago: it sucks, and people who don't suffer from acne will never understand and will always trivialise it, but there's light at the end of the tunnel. There's usually something out there that works. And if not -- although I hated being told this when I was particularly spotty -- it's usually not as bad as you think it is. I pay mad attention to my own face; other people don't. I am amazed at how often people haven't even looked at/commented on what I think is a huge, disgusting pimple on my face.
The worst part of it is the depression, the insecurity, and the self-ostracism that comes with it. The way that acne makes you cut yourself off and become a social outcast. Well, if there's one thing that these boards taught me, it's that I'm not alone. Knowing that there other people out there going what I was (and sometimes still am) going through, and offering me advice and support, really helped.
Anyway, I'm rambling now. I just wanted to post something positive here, and to say 'thank you' -- and the best of luck -- to all the other members. And I'll still be checking in as I try to destroy those last few pesky vestiges of acne.