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Anyone Got A Time Machine?

PaulH85

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I'd really like to go back in time, please. I'm not asking much, just a week. This time last week, my skin was great and people even complimented me. Fast-forward to today and my skin is gross. I've picked it to pieces and made such a mess. All the work I'd done has been undone and all the hopes I had of things getting better have been destroyed, all by my own hand, literally.

I went to see Bryan Adams tonight. The show was fine but I didn't want to be there and hated every minute. My skin is so dry and very sore that every movement I make hurts. It hurts to smile. I swear, I could cry.

It's been raining this evening and the steps leading down to the arena car park were wet when I left the show. I slipped and fell down a flight of concrete stairs. Ripped my jeans and my jacket, cut my right arm, right leg and pulled my back. When I finally made it home, I decided I'd treat myself to some fish and chips as I hadn't eaten since lunch. Walked into the shop and what little money I'd had with me wasn't in my pocket anymore. It must have fallen out when I fell down the stairs. So I couldn't even afford to buy myself some chips.

One of those days when it would have been better to stay in bed. Hell, it's been one of those years!

I almost bailed on group therapy yesterday but I went along, kept to myself and just listened in. Glad I went because there's always something worth thinking about. Plus I started to think that the most beneficial thing is having people there who can relate. Got me thinking that when the group ends in a few weeks, I'd like to find out if there's something I can do which is more specific to my skin problems. Although the group listen to me and simpathise, I kind of hit a dead end when I explain because no one can directly relate to the feelings I have had as my skin's become worse and worse over the years. There must be something I can do which relates more to my skin problems and to my approach. Whether it be about dysmorphia or self harm - because that's essentially what I'm doing - there must be another avneue I can explore. There has to be because I don't know what to do otherwise. I've had enough of this and I can't see a way out.

I hate how this is all getting on top of me because nobody around me understands how I feel and there's pressure for me to go out and get a job which I just can't handle. Sometimes, I can't even bring myself to go out in public these days so work is out of the question. To be honest, it terrifies me and nobody around me who I hoped might support me even wants to listen.

I took a picture of what my face is like at the moment. My chin is dry and really sore, I made all the pimples there worse. My nose too, that's really red. There's a group of pimples on my right cheek which are kind of shadowed in the picture, they hurt quite a lot as well. Everything's just so sore and it's all my own fault. And to think I jokingly said that the picture I took last week was ugly. Now I really do feel that way. I do think that the pimples look worse close up but then I'm struggling to get a handle on it anyway. It literally makes my head hurt, constantly watching out to see if people are looking; always trying to second-guess what people might say or do; always trying to approach situations in a way which might allow me to cover part of my face or mask the problems. I think I'd happily wear a mask, if it was normal to do so. That would solve everything. I wish I could get away with wearing makeup and could feel alright with doing that, wish I could hide behind something all the time and conceal the problem. It wouldn't get rid of it, but it's not like anything I've tried is doing the trick anyway so it makes no difference.

That's me for this week, think I'm just going to lie low for a while. sad.png

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Hey Paul, my heart goes out to you. I second that wanting to wear a mask- not makeup- a mask lol. I'm feeling a little down about this breakout I just blogged about...but I know they will go away eventually...I just hope they don't scar as bad as I think they will. I wish I could actually go back in time to what my skin was like in high school. Granted I had acne, but NEVER any of these cyst pimple things.

I would still consider your skin light to mild acne. I basically just see redness, obviously, and the places you must have picked.

Now that my skin doesn't look like a monster, I'm a little less shy about applying for jobs. My skin seems pretty constant and there's not too many negative surprises every morning- like 1-10 new pimples lol. I totally understand how hard it is to ....even simply walk in a place and ask for an application....let alone an interview...when we see our skin as crap.

I'm not sure that makeup will benefit a guys look. I would rather prefer a guy to bare his skin than wear makeup. Plus, your skin usually feels like it's suffocating with makeup. Egh. I'm not really sure what to recommend you...but maybe the finacea gel I've been using. It might be cheaper since you're in the UK and have socialized mediciine or what not. I only recomment it because your acne appears mild enough (like mine) that it can handle the acne and manage the redness. Anyways, I'm not trying to stuff advice down your throat or be another one of those annoying people advertising their "cure." It's been the first medication where I feel that it honestly got rid of my acne, with NO negative side effects at all. No rashes. No dryness or peeling I can't stand or can't solve with moisturizing.

I hope that you can find another support group soon. Good for you that you went, even though you may feel a lack of support for your particular situation. I'm proud of you, and often admire people - especially men- who are faithful. I don't know about the UK, but at least the people (Americans) I know base everything off of their emotions and keep their promises or commitments. So...hopefully tomorrow you can may be see the little things to be grateful for...avoid the mirror...tie up your hands lol...and have more peace.

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Thank you for that, really appreciate it. Thank you for the product advice as well. Always good to get ideas for other options, especially when you know the information is coming from genuine people who use those things and are talking from experience. 

You're right about the severity of it. It's moderate at best. It's just the fact that it's still here after all these years. 

I know I'm not the only one and that there are people who have suffered worse and for longer, but for me, this is as bad as it needs to get for me to withdraw and isolate myself. I think it's ugly and that's how I see myself and so I don't want to be around people because I'm scared of what they might say or do. 

I resent the whole thing and the cycle I'm in. It makes me angry and I take that anger out on my skin. The pain and the physical results are just too much sometimes. I actually cried myself to sleep last night. 

It's not just the moments when things are bad because, even when my skin is good, my life's the same. I'm still sat in my room with no job, no friends, no confidence, and I'm too scared to put myself out there. Everything feels like a potential threat or a chance for me to get something wrong or for someone to say something nasty. My confidence and self esteem are shot to pieces and the root cause of that is my skin. I've responded this way for so long that I don't know how to be any other way. I'm not strong enough to live my life regardless. 

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Hi, I felt really sad reading this and just wanted to reach out and give you a hug. It's easy for me to say your skin really doesn't look bad at all but when you're wearing it it's the biggest thing ever.

I have very bad skin, acne rosacea, and have had it for over 20 years. This summer was particularly bad and

I quit my job and just stay inside now not wanting to see anyone because of the way I look. On top of the rosacea I had gram negative folliculitus which was the worst case my dermatologist had ever seen so he put my on

a low dose isotretinion, 10mg, and erythrymicin to help clear it up. Have been on it just 2 weeks and very little improvement really but I have to stay positive because if I don't im just going to spiral down again and I don't want to go there again.

Please stay strong and remember nothing lasts forever

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Sorry to hear you're having a bad week Paul, shame about your skin. It always trips us up just when we feel its getting better hey?

On a personal level the state of my skin doesn't seem to get me up or down very much. My reaction to it is pretty much "hey cool, my skin is looking good this week, now what do I need to put on my food shopping list", or alternatively its "oh bollocks, my skin is looking awful this week, now what do I need to put on my food shopping list". I'm grateful that I don't have a very strong emotional reaction to the state of my skin or I would have led a very sad life as I've suffered from acne for over 20 years.

Hey, lucky for you its coming into winter. Surely its cold enough for a ski mask by now? ;) And a ski mask will mean you can't pick! Yup, just come to me for solutions. I'll look out for ya, kid.

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Hi, I felt really sad reading this and just wanted to reach out and give you a hug. It's easy for me to say your skin really doesn't look bad at all but when you're wearing it it's the biggest thing ever. I have very bad skin, acne rosacea, and have had it for over 20 years. This summer was particularly bad andI quit my job and just stay inside now not wanting to see anyone because of the way I look. On top of the rosacea I had gram negative folliculitus which was the worst case my dermatologist had ever seen so he put my ona low dose isotretinion, 10mg, and erythrymicin to help clear it up. Have been on it just 2 weeks and very little improvement really but I have to stay positive because if I don't im just going to spiral down again and I don't want to go there again. Please stay strong and remember nothing lasts forever

All hugs are gratefully received, mozzy! :) Thank you for your kind words.

Sorry to hear about the job situation. I got fired from mine in the summer so that kind of took care of that problem. Something had to give I guess, I needed a kick and a reason to try and sort myself out. It's just hard because my emotions go from one extreme to the next where my skin is concerned and I don't whether I'm coming or going from one week to the next. It's so tiring but I've never known any other approach to it and I can't seem to get around it.

Best of luck with the Isotretinion. I can't get it as my doctor won't refer me to the dermatoligist because my acne isn't cystic. You'll have to be patient with it, it's a long game. Things may even get worse before they get better, but it will balance out after a couple of months and with any luck, you'll be well on your way. Fingers crossed!

Sorry to hear you're having a bad week Paul, shame about your skin. It always trips us up just when we feel its getting better hey? On a personal level the state of my skin doesn't seem to get me up or down very much. My reaction to it is pretty much "hey cool, my skin is looking good this week, now what do I need to put on my food shopping list", or alternatively its "oh bollocks, my skin is looking awful this week, now what do I need to put on my food shopping list". I'm grateful that I don't have a very strong emotional reaction to the state of my skin or I would have led a very sad life as I've suffered from acne for over 20 years. Hey, lucky for you its coming into winter. Surely its cold enough for a ski mask by now? ;) And a ski mask will mean you can't pick! Yup, just come to me for solutions. I'll look out for ya, kid.

I wish I could do things your way. It's not going to happen, I just can't bring myself to face anyone when it gets bad. I struggled with college because of it, I struggled to find work because of it, then I struggled with my last job because of it. This time around, I figured that rather than struggling to find work, I wouldn't bother. Seems easier but I know it's not the solution so I'm going to have to work something out. You're right to be grateful for that lack of emtional connection because I've certainly led a very sad life for 13 of my 26 years. Unless I can quit picking for good and that does actually solve it, I've run out of options. If that's no good and the Doxy doesn't work, I've nothing else to try. Not sure what I'll do if I get to that point, don't want to think about it to be honest.

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I've picked it to pieces and made such a mess. All the work I'd done has been undone and all the hopes I had of things getting better have been destroyed, all by my own hand, literally.

It's strange that you pick when you know the outcome will be bad, it goes to show there might a deeper meaning behind your skin-picking. Perhaps you're resting all the blame on your skin (because it is comforting having a reason behind feeling down rather than feeling down and not understanding why) when really it's something totally unrelated to your acne. Maybe if you found out what it was and how to solve it, the skin-picking would stop? Instead of the skin-picking making you down, maybe it's being down that causes the skin-picking. Correlations can be all scrambled up, like I have days where I feel paranoid, feeling like people hate me and my friends just feel sorry for me and let me stalk them, but I've realised there's a correlation between feeling like that and having 'crappy skin'. When I have a really good skin day I feel fantastic, like I'm little miss popular. What I'm trying to say is, it's amazing how one disappointing feeling (i.e. about your skin) can have a domino effect on how you feel that whole day, week or year, and what's even more amazing is how eradicating that one little feeling could eradicate that domino effect and leave you with a considerably better long-term mindset. The hard part is working out where that bad feeling comes from, why it affects you so much and what you can do to stop it.

Hate hearing that you're down :( I hope you feel better soon; you deserve to with how much you help everyone else on the org feel good :)

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:) You're totally right, Renn. That's exactly what it's about. As pathetic as it is, I'm starting to wonder if it is actually easier for me to function (I use that term very loosely) with acne than it is without because I'm not used to being without it. What's that, almost like Stockholm Syndrome or something? Even when my skin is clear, I’m by myself and without a purpose, so at least I can go some way towards justifying that and using my skin as a reason for my situation when it is bad.

On a physical level, I can't bare the sight of whiteheads or red bumps on my skin and I really struggle not to want to just get them the hell out of there. I wish I could just hole up in a room by myself for a few weeks and not do anything to my skin at all.

Whatever it is, I need to fix this because I'm not living my life, I'm suffering through an existence. Perfect example: I have plans on Sunday which I've been looking forward to for about six months but now, as ever, my skin's the main thing on my mind and I'm going to end up suffering through the one high point left in my year. Same old story. Wish I felt like I deserved something more than that, but I can't seem to find enthusiasm for anything these days so the world's passing by and I can barely bring myself to do anything about it.

Bottom line is, even though I don't know who I want to be, I know for sure that I don't want this. To me, even though I always see right past it where everyone else is concerned, this is ugly and I hate it. I don't want to feel this way and I hate looking this way. Guess I just need to try and learn to accept it... or something. :(

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I've never heard of Stockholm Syndrome, but I feel that once my acne's gone I'm the type of person that is likely to pick up on something else I don't like about myself and let that hold me back. Of course, I could use it to my advantage and say 'I've been through acne, I'm clear now and I'm going to stop fussing over appearances and live my life'. The former sounds more likely, though. I think some people are just more predisposed to this type of behaviour. I know there have been studies that show some people just naturally have low self-esteem; it's in their genes. Do you feel that sometimes instead of treating acne as a tiny segment of the cake, you treat it as the full cake and have your life revolve totally around it? That's how I sometimes feel... 'Will I go to town tomorrow? If my skin's alright', 'I'd love to join clubs and make new friends-I could if my skin was nice'. It's like an automatic response, that I have to run it past my skin to make sure it's ok for me to do anything. I think what we need to do is get our lives back into perspective, put things in their place and see acne as just a tiny fraction of our lives, as it should be. I don't know how this can be achieved; reading books, seeing specialists, or sitting down and thinking about it as individuals. Maybe one day we'll wake up and it will miraculously solve itself (wouldn't that be great?) but obviously seeing as you say you've had acne for years it's probably only natural that you'd see it as a massive part of life. I do, and I've only had it for four years.

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Hmmmm.... cake.... eusa_drool.gif

Yeah, everything revolves around it. If I have something planned, it dictates whether or not I enjoy it. If there's something I'd like to go and do, most of the time it doesn't happen and I just stay at home. Of course, that's all down to me and I allow it to dictate my enjoyment and I allow it to dictate what I do, but still, it's a major problem.

It's only when I think about it that I realise how badly this has affected me. Honestly, it's like I'm traumatised by it or something. I certainly feel defined by it. In my head and to my eyes, it's all I am and it's all I see. Whether it be directly because of the acne or down to my response, having acne for thirteen years has cost me everything I had before and has prevented me from creating anything ever since. I've wasted thirteen years and I'm just so out of touch with everything. I mean, my social skills and experiences with friends or girls or whatever is just the same as it was when I was 12 because I haven't had any of that stuff since then, only I'm actually 26. I feel so far behind and don't even know where to start. I don't even know if there's a point, it just feels like I'd be making a token effort. Maybe it's just depression sucking out my enthusiasm at the moment. I'll have to see how far I can get with that in my last three therapy sessions then I'll have to see what steps to take next.

I truly hope that things work out for you the way you'd like once you finish Accutane, Renn. Fingers crossed that when you're done and clear, that's the end of it all and you're free and able to do all those things you haven't quite had the confidence to do. I'm sure you can, you've a lot of great qualities which people admire so if you can can believe in those and tap into them, there will be no stopping you. smile.png

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I admire your thoughts Paul- or rather...how you articulate them. It wasn't until this year that I would have meltdowns and refused to go out and cancel on people because of my skin. Even a year or so ago, when my skin was its worst, I didn't let much hold me back. I just piled on makeup and took on the day. But for me it seemed to be the opposite as you. I was in touch with the world around me, but I wasn't in touch to myself or rather-my skin. I just thought, "oh another painful pimple..this sucks but oh well!" My mom actually put more pressure on me to have clear skin than I put on myself. She would say, "well, acne is emotionally damaging, too" and I didn't agree because I didn't struggle with it.

Now, I'm very aware of both, but I feel like I'm just beginning to learn the balance.

I wonder if there's a deeper problemin your life, and skin issues/acne has been a cover up or a quick thing to blame. I don't want to get all "psychology" lol I'm sorry. Personally this year, as I really decided acne had done enough damage for a decade or more, I began to obsess over it...and then started having meltdowns. Then, it turned into being the reason if I were happy or depressed that day. It became something I could blame my problems on, instead of recognizing when I had made mistakes and that was why I had problems.

Doesn't realizing that you've lost 13 years make you want to make the next 13 the best? Or to make up for that lost time? Maybe you need to come to the place with the best weather (San diego!) and the sunshine alone will clear your depression :) I pray you can get that "boost" soon-not just about your skin but about how you feel about yourself overall.

I thought, regarding the picture you updated in this blog, that it's not so much the redness or skin problems that I see....What I see is pain all all joy drained. :( I was just youtubing some videos of face eating cancers/bacteria, etc...and can thank God that I at least am recognized by others as looking human and not someone who could qualify for the circus. Maybe things like this can put things in perspective?

There's a light at the end of this tunnel! Keep charging ahead!!!

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The acne started out as the cause of the problems, but not it is something of an excuse and something I can use to justify where I'm at. Without it, there's nothing I can use to justify my lack of experiences or purpose.

Certainly, being bullied about it for several years in school set a lot of things in motion because that's where my behaviours around people were formed and those behaviours are still set firmly in place. They had their use as protection, but now they are more like a prison. Whenever my skin's bad - or even if it's simply not quite as I'd like - I don't see people, I see potential bullies. So as another form of protection, I used to avoid people and that had its uses, but now it's gone too far and lasted too long and I need to find a way back. Actually, there isn't really anything to go back to. I need a new start but I've no reference points to start from and I wouldn't even know where to begin. sad.png

The realisation about those 13 years should make me want to make the most of the future, but it doesn't. It just makes me want to cry because I feel so lost. I need to find myself a purpose and, although I don't know where it is, I know it's not here. I can't stay here because everything brings me down. I don't feel like I fit at all and every place I go in my home town is just another place which reminds me of the things I've missed out on and people I no longer wish to know. Where I'll go, when I'll go, and how the hell I'll get there, I've no idea. But I do know that I have to do something. confused.gif

Despite my ability to articulate it and indeed the many times I've talked about it on the message board, I don't really like doing so. I'd much rather listen to others and help them. Although, maybe that's where I've gone wrong sometimes because there's no balance and I don't help myself. It probably all sounds pretty pathetic and I wouldn't be surprised if people are fed up of hearing me moan about it anyway. I mean, I doubt I'd want an invite to this particular pity party. Could look upon it as a form of energy, and I'd like to be able to channel it somewhere, only I've next to no confidence to try anything.

Thank you for listening though because it means a lot, and especially that you'd take the time to write, I really appreciate it. I hope you're right and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. There was a time a time not all that long ago when I couldn't see any hope of a light and I was set to put an end to it all because the lonliness was destroying me, but for whatever reason, that time passed and I'm still here. I wish I knew why I'm still here and I hope that I'll find out why eventually.

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Oh I wish I could go back in time too.

But don't worry, in a weeks time or so you might be back there :)

I don't think it looks bad, just a bit red. what treatment are you into?

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