It`s been a while since I`ve posted on these forums, there has been lots of things happening in my life of late - hopefully changes for the better.
I`ve been been really ill mentally to the point that in mid January, I had made a plan to end things. It was only after speaking to a CPN after my GP put in an urgent referral for me to a Community Mental Health Team that I was persuaded to not go through with the plan.
It has been a really tough time but I`m starting to feel much better now. One of the really positive things to have come out of this episode is my change of attitude towards my diet and acne. For years I`ve been obsessed with eating healthily due to acne but recently, because I`ve stopped caring, I`ve been eating all kinds of junk. It`s resulted in me putting a stone and a half on in weight but more importantly, my skin isn`t any different really. It has helped me to see that diet doesn`t really have as much bearing on acne as I thought. I need to eat more healthily but in future I won`t completely deny myself and I will try to have some things in moderation.
I have been in a really bad place and I`ve been under the care of a Community Mental Health Team and seeing a CPN. Having had a number of sessions with the CPN and having discussed some of the erratic behaviours I`ve displayed when I`ve been ill, the CPN seems to think that I`ve got some Borderline Personality Disorder traits. I started psychotherapy on Saturday and even after one session, I feel less disgust, shame and self-loathing. It doesn`t condone or make right anything I`ve done wrong in the past but knowing I may have an illness that makes me act in a certain way does help me to accept and understand why I have at times acted irrationally. I don`t deserve to beat myself up for having an illness that makes me act irrationally at times. My illness is not me and it doesn`t define me and I`m sorry but if certain people cannot differentiate between my illness and me as a person, then they are shallow and not worth knowing.
I`ve also been using the time that I`ve got on my hands due to being signed off sick to attend two drop-in groups for people with mental health issues. One is an informal discussion group with an organisation called Depression Alliance and the other is a group called Together which I attend with my cousin and enables people with mental health issues to meet-up to chat, play games, do cookery, do art or any number of other activities. I`m hoping to go back to work after 24/3/2014 but in the meantime, these activities have helped me to interact and speak to people who are like-minded, understand and can empathise. It has been a great help.
I try to limit the amount of time I`m on the internet these days - I`ve made that mistake in the past and it`s really not good for you in the long-term and can really exacerbate any social anxiety that you already have. Ironically, I have however joined up with a website called Mental Earth Community (MEC) and it has been really helpful. I`ve spoken to a few people on there and I`ve managed to make one or two new online friends. In particular, I have been speaking to someone who lives quite close to me. Well to cut a long story short, we both met up for the day today in my home city and had a really nice time. I plan to meet up with her again sometime soon - not only have I made an online friend, I`ve also made a real life friend as well.
All in all things are looking up for me. I`ve been through some shit in the past few months but I think it`s been beneficial to me as I feel I`m growing as a person and it`s also helped me to see the people who really care, don`t use me for emotional support and most importantly don`t judge me for my illness. I don`t really have acne or many hang-ups associated with it these days so although this website has been a help to me in the past and I fully appreciate it, I no longer feel the need to post on here anymore. Significantly, I`ve noticed a number of new faces on here that I haven`t seen before so maybe that`s a sign that it`s time to move on.
I`ll continue to log on as I do chat to one or two people on here via PM but even though I know I`ve said it before, this will definitely be my last ever post. I wish everyone on here who is currently battling acne or any related psychological issues all the best. It can and will get better and in the meantime try to remember that like any other illness, you cannot help having acne. Acne does not define you or make you a lesser person - believe and embrace that for yourselves and anyone who does judge for having acne is not worth knowing.
Take care everyone.