So, I've had bad skin for about two years now. May not seem like much but for me it feels a bit like a lifetime. Started the regimen a few weeks back and have decided to keep this blog to monitor my skin's journey.At one point, sometime last year, I reached boiling point and ended up in tears. Mainly because I'd just stubbed my toe but my skin issues had a bit to with it too."Why?" I sat and blubbered for hours on my bed. Eventually I dragged myself off of my bed in pain - physical + emotional - and limped downstairs where I had a rant to my mum about everything. She sat and listened and nodded and eventually said "Well I'll take you to the doctors tomorrow and we can get your skin sorted out once and for all."The doctors have been a bit of a help. They put me on some Oxytetracylin tablets and they have worked a bit. They've also given me a repeat prescription of Benozyl Peroxide which is a joy in itself because I can now do the regimen for free. :)I've just watched an advert on telly about a woman doing stand-up and talking about her weight (she's only a size 14 if a day), and one line really stuck out for me. "She said, 'Where would you like to be in six months?'. Six months? I need to be in a bridesmaid frock in ONE month!". They should remake that into an advert for this website, because it totally sums up how I feel about my acne. Except I don't want to be in a bridesmaid frock, I just want clear skin. I know, I know, patience is key on this journey to clear skin, but it is very frustrating waking up in the morning, trudging to your bathroom with five pounds of Benozyl Peroxide on your face, washing it off and looking in the mirror only to think (well in my case, think aloud), "Oh, OH! Is that another breakout I see? Oh really? Why can't you just GO AWAY!" And I'm sure I am not alone with my thoughts. I've had an acne problem since I was 12, and I'm now 14 and trying to stick with the regimen because I feel like I've tried every single product under the sun. None of it has done anything. Apart from make my purse feel a lot lighter.So you may well be thinking, oh, you're 14, teenage acne is normal, it will go away. But it seriously does NOT feel like it. All my friends have nice skin which is useless because I have no one to talk to about my acne problemo. One friend of mine did try and reassure me by saying "Well if you have spots when you're young then you won't get wrinkles until you're much older!" It cheered me up a bit until I saw myself in the mirror. Oh, foundation tideline ahoy. "Oh Greta, you'd look better if you didn't wear that much foundation!" Erm. Silly as it sounds I refuse to leave the house without my foundation. And concealer. And powder. It takes me 15 minutes alone in the morning just on my base, but hey ho. "15 minutes everyday just to look orange! Crikey!" Someone once told me when I explained my make up regime. That was what did it for me I think. I'd had enough comments on my foundation and skin by that point, mostly negative things, but what else could I do? My skin looked awful without makeup, I looked pale and washed out with hundreds of red marks and scars and spots, yet with foundation I had an even(ish) skintone, looked slightly orange but it melted in the heat and my spots were highlighted in the bright and shining sun. FOR GOODNESS SAKE! What on earth can I possibly do? I look bad either way!I also hate looking in the mirror. It's just something I can't bring myself to do. The only time I look in the mirror is at seven o'clock in the morning in my bedroom with the curtains closed. Even then I sit as far as possible from the mirror. I do my make up, get dressed and leave the house. The next time I'll look in the mirror is when I've taken off all of my makeup and I know that no one can see me anymore. I've gotten to the beyond ridiculous point of never even trying on clothes because I don't want to look in the changing room mirrors. It sounds so stupid writing this all down, but honestly, I just can't bring myself to look at me. Because try as I might, I'll always see something I don't like and will therefore have the hump for the rest of the day.Taking Dance as one of my subjects became a vile idea as soon as I walked into the dance studio. Mirrors! All along the wall! Well maybe if I just stand at the very back and look at my feet... "Greta! Come on and fill in this space at the front!" Oh my days. I very nearly ran out the door screaming but restrained myself and shuffled to the front. "There we go. Right, head up and take two steps forward!" Oh now this is just a joke. I held my head up and looked in the mirror for the first time since I was in my bedroom. Oh, sure enough, I was orange. My face looked like it belonged to Katie Price, it was a totally different colour to my neck. Oh and of course the windows are right above the mirrors. And of course it was a startingly sunny, hot day. Yep, sure enough, my spots are in full view for the world to see. I look around me in despair. Luckily, all the girls in my class seem more interested in themselves but I can't blame them, at least their facial colour matches their body skintone. This is just hell on wheels, I cannot possibly do this for two whole years. Especially since my acne is refusing to go anywhere anytime soon. Photo's are just as bad. My Facebook profile picture is in black and white and has been airbrushed to within an inch of it's life (thanks Photoshop!). Unfortunately my friends LURVE photos and they adore taking mugshots. Me being one of the mugshot targets *sad face*. Even in posed photo's I always untag myself because I just look terrible next to my friends who DON'T have orange faces or acne. In fact I usually end up being the one who takes the group photo, I'd like to say it's a kind offering so that my friends don't bicker about who's going to take the photo and who's going to be in it, but in actual fact it's because I just hate being in photo's. I'm going to be the kind of woman who, sat in an armchair surrounded by grandchildren, will be flicking through the photo album saying "This was me when I was your age!". Then there'll be a mahoosive gap occurring between age 12 to whatever age my skin decides to buck up it's ideas and clear up. The grandkids will be asking "What were you like when you were 14?" and my answer will simply be "The lanky spotty kid with braces who was always first to volunteer to take the group photo."Now re-reading the last few paragraphs makes me feel like I'm being really self-pitying, but I'm not. This is my place to rant and vent about how I feel about my skin haha. And it feels much better letting it all out. : )I'm determined to get my skin cleared up soon, giving myself until Christmas 2010 to sort myself out haha. I refuse to be wooed by all of these products that claim to work wonders on acne prone skin, and I'll be sticking with the regimen and homemade stuff only. Honestly, this site is like a lifesaver, now I know that I am not a lonesome person struggling with acne and that loads of people are going through the same thing. I'm not the type of person who will stay in all day just because I've had another breakout. I tell myself that no one really cares that much about my skin, because as long as I enjoy life and have fun then people will see past that and like me for me.And it is getting better. Slowly but surely. Since I found this site I've realised that I am sure as hell not on my own with this. Acne definitely isn't the end of the world, there is so much more to life than having nice skin, but it does help. I am learning to live with it in the meantime, and yes I'm trying to lay off the foundation but having been in a needy and clingy relationship with it for the past year or so it is quite difficult. People have commented, saying that my skin is clearing up, it's looking better and that it is looking healthier and all that. I'll try and focus on the good comments and not the bad ones, cos' I realise that it's what people have said to me that has been dragging me down. The last paragraphs' sound kinda cheesey but hey, it does help to get it out of my system. I hope that I can make other people my age realise that acne is NOT the end of the world and that it can be dealt with. Random though it may seem, I've also learned that the journey to clear skin begins with building self-confidence, and Gok Wan's programme seems like a good place to start.:)P.S. Excuse the long post. It's my first and last full on rant.