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88 Days! - Acne-Induced Habits & Update.



1. Lights.

Whenever I have to choose which restaurant or cafe to go to I will always go to the same places, even if I don't particularly like them, if they have a 'flattering' light. If it has that dim, sepia glow about it it's good, but if it has that horrible, doctor's surgery light it's not an option. It's gotten to the point where if I'm in such a strong light I give off vampiresque side-effects, like hissing and melting into a puddle of glitter. Slightly exaggerating but I do sometimes use the excuse of 'I get a headache' in order to move somewhere else or close the blinds. If I walk into a room my eyes focus on the best seat, the one in the dark. You end up building up a reputation when you repeatedly go to the same cafe, sitting in the corner of the room, lingering in the shadows with the only bit of light dancing on your moist moustache while you run your tongue along cracked lips, narrowed and dry, bloodshot eyes burning into the table.

2. Eye contact

I find it hard to make eye contact now. It was never a problem till acne, and at one point I couldn't even look at people's faces, I'd just look at the floor or pretend I was looking at something in the distance (I must have looked extremely rude). It's so annoying when you know you have spots all over your face and the person you're talking to is constantly scanning your face, a subtle expression of repulsion on their face. You get an urge to squeeze a spot and splatter the contents on their face...or maybe that's just me.

3. Weird treatments

I used to put random things on my face, thinking I'd discover the cure to acne. Some of the things I remember trying are: toothpaste, milk, tea, banana, apple, salt, ice cubes, glass, flowers and I think at one point my cocker spaniel.

4. Excuses

I used to make up excuses to not go out with friends and family. Instead of just saying 'my skin's crappy' I'd say I was ill or busy. I was 'ill' so much I think people thought I was properly diseased, like with the black plague.

5. Make-shift masks

I used to sit watching the telly covering my face with my dressing gown, hand/hands or pillows. I don't know why I did it now, seeing as I was only sitting with my parents or brother, but I was even self-conscious in front of them.

I'm sure there are other weird things I did/still do but they're the main ones. Quirky.

Skin Update

Left-18 days, Right-87 days



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You forgot to add something at the end. You forgot to add, "But now my skin in beautiful so I'm going to learn to let go of all these quirky little safety mechanisms because I don't need them anymore." :)

Aside from the Cocker Spaniel (I don't have one, although if I did, it probably would be fair game for something acne related) I can totally relate. The crazy thing is, I know I'm doing it and sometimes I don't even need it. Especially with the "masks". I can guarantee that within seconds of making eye contact with someone, my right arm will cover at least the bottom half of my face as though I'm reaching around to scratch my left shoulder, every single time. Automatic reflex. I did it once when I had to go to a ceremony to collect an award. Huge breakout on my chin which the entire audience would have seen under the bright lights as I faced them to walk off stage. Fake an itch on the left shoulder, problems solved! Ever since then, automatic reflex.

The good thing is, being so aware of these things allows us to take control back. I can actively make the effort not to hide my face and not to shy away from eye contact. Takes time and practice, but we just have to keep doing it until those things become habit instead. :)

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Okay first off, like Paul said ^^ your skin looks incredible!!

Secondly, I can totally relate to the eye-contact thing... even if my acne was pretty well covered with makeup, I'd have trouble making eye-contact with people. People from school would tell me (after getting to know me) that on first impression, I came across as a bitch -- because I'd basically not look at, and somewhat ignore anyone who tried to talk to me (especially guys).

Sigh. I don't think people with clear skin realize what it does to self esteem.

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Yes, ^ I third that, your skin does look amazingly clear.

And you know my relationship with lights. I think you described it nicely. I just avoid ugly lighting; I mean you'd think if you were a restaurant (a sexy restaurant) you'd invest in some nice, ambient lighting. You don't want to remind people of the dentist's chair when they're dining. Maybe you should start a chain. Acne-safe lighting, or an acne-safe restaurant...

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They should package certain light bulbs as acne friendly...perfect solution.

Renn, your skin is coming along so well, its remarkable the improvement you've experienced in such a short space of time. You are a bright, witty and intelligent young woman, and for want of sounding condescending, try not to get too hung up on your appearance dictating your self worth. You happen to be a very attractive girl, but what if you weren't? Would it mean that once you cleared up your acne but were still not attractive in the traditional sense that you wouldnt have anything to contribute to your life and the life of others around you? Absolutely not. Appearance is only one small feature of our total selves. Luckily enough you have a lot of personality to go with your good looks. All you have to do now is practice allowing that personality to come out in real life rather than just through your blog.

Eye contact and smiling is the key to life. If someone holds your gaze and smiles, do you ever notice anything other than their eyes? I know I dont....

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Paul- Aww, you're too kind! The arm thing is a pretty good one, especially if you had bingo wings, imagine the coverage you'd get! I have to get up in front of everybody in January on a brightly lit stage to get an award for doing well in English, I'm dreading it already and it's more than a month away! Even if I didn't have acne I'd hate it, who wants to be on stage in front of hundreds of people? There's so many things that could go wrong. You could trip, not hear your name be called out, exhale a little too loud so it travels into the microphone and echos around the room, forget where to exit the stage, forget how to climb stairs, forget to wear clothes before arriving. I will most certainly do 3/4s of those lol.gif What was your award for by the way?

Brittonaccutane- Thanks! Mine's also worse around guys, even if I don't find them particularly attractive :S I don't think anyone understands what acne does until they experience it themselves. It's so underrated in terms of psychological effects. I'm sure a lot of people probably think I am/was a bitch, but hopefully the people that really care understand that's not really us tongue.png

Ominous1-Thank you too! Hey, my ego is going through the roof here tongue.png We'd make millions. Ugly lighting is one of my biggest fears (second only to Greedy Granny from the handheld electric monopoly game stealing my pocket money-I used to have recurring nightmares when I was 9) Bright lights are such a put off-nobody likes them, acne or not-so it would be to everyone's advantage to have them changed.

AyeAye (you've changed your name gasp.gif I didn't know that was possible.) - Part of me knows there's more to life than shallow thoughts but I still can't help thinking it's a vital part of life. I don't even understand why because the most important thing I think in others is their personality, but I feel like this isn't the case with me. I will get my confidence back, I need to, and I know it'll be hard but what's the point of going on accutane and just hiding away still afterwards? I think I'm already making positive steps, although small, but at least it's a move forwards.

I aim to have a full conversation with a guy whilst maintaining eye contact throughout by Christmas-that's my pre-New Year's resolution.

Thanks everyone for reading my blogs, you're making the journey a lot easier smile.png

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If someone holds your gaze and smiles, do you ever notice anything other than their eyes? I know I dont....
Not even if they have spinach in their teeth? I always think before I smile, 'Crap, I hope I don't have spinach in my teeth!' Would be a miracle if I did, I don't actually eat spinach! :D <--- See, no spinach in there!

The irony about the arm thing, Renn, is that my arms are pretty much the skinniest arms ever so in terms of coverage, they're rubbish!

Don't worry yourself about getting up on stage, it doesn't have to be a big deal at all. You'll get up there, it'll all go to plan and be over in a flash, then you'll be left wondering what all the fuss was about, Guaranteed!

The award I got was for second place in a regional short story competition. Seems like forever ago now, that was probably the last time I wrote anything, too.

You know, some people find that their confidence increases in relation to how their skin improves. In fact, MyAMBERromance, posted about tat very thing in her blog today. For some of us - myself included - it doesn't work that way. Doesn't mean we're any worse off as such, just means we'll have to work at it as a separate issue. It freaked me out first time around - the realisation that you could have given me the best skin in the world but I was still stuck with being me - and that actually sent me spiralling into depression. Even as my skin's getting better, I'm still hiding away and everything's just as it was because I'm struggling to find the confidence to put myself out there. In truth, it's pretty much not happening at all. So, the fact that you've already recognised that there are things you want to address and are taking steps is great, give yourself credit for that. Doesn't matter how small those steps may be because they all add up to leaps and bounds, one at a time. :)

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Renn, the best way to practice eye contact (whether with males or females) is at the shops. When handing over your money to pay, rather than looking at your hand, look at the sales assistants' face. And the same when getting your change. Its so easy to fall into the trap of just looking at your hand receiving the change and saying thanks, but quickly take your money and then glance up to their face to get a quick eye contact thing going on while thanking them. Its good practice before you embark on the "full on conversation while maintaining eye contact with a person of the opposite sex" over xmas ;)

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gasp.gif, Popeye would kick yo' ass Paul! Maybe you should use your leg instead, then? Although you'd have to be quite flexible, and it may not be as subtle as using an arm...Congrats on the award! You should start writing again, maybe post some as blogs. I remember I read a short story once by Hemingway-it was 6 words!: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

I just hope I have the correlation of confidence with skin improvement, and I don't have to go deeper into my life to work out what's causing lack of confidence (I'm too lazy tongue.png) So far I'm seeing my confidence increase, so I think I'll be one of the lucky ones.

Thanks for the advice AyeAye, I will definitely try it out. It will be my confidence workout before the big test at Christmas. New Year will be the ultimate test-massive family gathering with lots of hugs and kisses when the clock strikes 12. I'll be ready *cue Rocky music*

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Haha, embarrassing! lol.gif At least your legacy lives on, helping to bring about practice award ceremonies, you should be proud of your clumsiness. In year 10 drama I had to perform a drafted version of a scene with my group. Someone forgot to bring the CD with all the music on, so I had to hum the theme of The Pink Panther whilst tip-toeing to it in a spotlight. If that wasn't humiliating enough, when the climax arrived (you know, after the doo doo, doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doooooo...the dododododoooo bit) I decided to be cocky and improvise, doing a little jumpy skip. I was wearing tights on a polished floor and fell like a bag of spuds onto my butt in front of my whole class and four teachers, I just wanted to sink into the ground. The worst thing about it is that my knee still crunches when I move it, so I am reminded of that terrible day with literally every step...*sigh*

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Oh, I certainly am. You actually hummed the theme to the pink panther whilst dancing. That's impressive! I think you were being a little ambitious there. ha ha.

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