I've had acne for about 10 years in varying degrees of severity depending on the stage in my life. As a teen it was bad - kids are mean, especially during middle school I find, and it was really hard to deal with. Like you, my family told me it was superficial and it didn't matter what those kids thought of me, but obviously when you're 15 it does matter! It's ridiculous that that was something I actually lost friends over. Eventually as I grew older, I was less depressed about it, but I also started wearing make-up. To the point that now, I can't go without foundation and it kills me that there are some people who I'm really close with, but I can't show them what I look like without putting makeup on.
I was almost clear at 21, but I screwed up (plan B.....i.e. a crap ton of testosterone in my body), and have since dealt acne again for the last year. I think it was almost harder emotionally to deal with (I'm 22 now) because I was so happy about being almost clear for the first time in my life, back to ugly breakouts. I avoided friends, cancelled plans, never made eye contact, hair in front of my face, etc. I would only be happy on the days that my skin wasn't breaking out, and I'd be crying when my skin was. Thankfully, my best friend is the one person who fully understand all my skin obsessions, and talks to me whenever I get depressed about it. I think you really have to have a good support team when it comes to dealing with the emotional side effects. I'm more reluctant to talk about it with my boyfriend, but he gets it and tells me that I'm beautiful to him. I mean, it's obviously a very boyfriend thing to say but it still means a lot to me.
However, currently, I'm clear again!! I've been on Diane 35 for about 3 months and I use clindoxyl gel as a topical to help control any breakouts, and I must say, it is wonderful! It's such a huge weight lifted off my shoulders - I feel prettier, happier and more comfortable in my own skin. It's taken me so so so long to get to this point.
Also, I must add at this forum has been very helpful to me. I started using it this January and I really appreciate the community because we truly understand one another! (P.S. sorry for the long post)
I know how it feels to feel like you can't leave the house without makeup. I'm mostly clear now, but I still wear foundation to cover the scarring. i have really light skin and the scars are healing but are still pretty bad.I go out sometimes without makeup, like to the grocery store right down the road, but I'm still so self-conscious. I have to agree though, I've definitely gotten more confident over time. And, gah, isn't it crazy how a "good face day" can make you so much happier about life and a "bad face day" feels like the worst thing in the world (even though it isn't, obviously, but you know what I mean!)
I'm really glad I finally joined acne.org. I still don't have a close friend in real life who understands, really, but like the relationship you have with your boyfriend, my husband's very supportive and tries his best to understand (though like you I'm reluctant to complain to him too often because I know he won't really understand). For so long I refused to believe him when he told me I was beautiful and finally realized he was being honest and I needed to stop being so down on myself. Anyway, I can't believe it took me so long to join acne.org. I was mainly creeping around on Cassandra Bankson's youtube and blog and getting support from there.
I'm so happy to hear you're clear again! It's great that you've seen such great results in such a short time. I do have to say though that I've done a lot of research in the past year trying to figure out alternatives for myself and I've heard some not so great things about Diane 35 (especially in the news lately). I think it's banned in certain areas because of the serious side effects so I would just caution you about staying on it too long. I don't mean to dog your methods, I'd just feel very bad if I didn't say anything.
I know how it feels though to want to stick with something that works even if the side effects might be bad. In the past 5 years (I'll be 25 soon) I've been on so many oral and topical antibiotics, tretinoin, three kinds of birth control. The birth control worked, but the side effects were horrible. And now I've got serious GI issues due to the antibiotics. I wish I could go back in time. Like I said though I've been doing a lot of research on diet and alternative acne treatments. I've revamped my diet and stopped the Ortho Tricyclen/tretioin/topical clindamycin and started taking an acne medicine called AcnEase that has no side effects. It's been such a relief to not be scared of how I'm treating my acne. It's been two months and I'm seeing great results from it. You might at least check it out, do some research and think about trying it as a future alternative to staying on the Diane 35.
here's a link about the birth control issues. (I did Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella, too--luckily I didn't have any life-threatening side effects from those though)
P.S. Sorry for my long post too. )