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Not much to report as far as acne goes; don't think I've had a notable breakout since I last wrote.  Aside from the odd pimple, things are good.  Been averaging maybe two new pimples per week which is a world away from where I used to be - several new pimples popping up on a daily basis - so I should be happy because that doesn't constitute acne and is pretty much where I want to be.  I suppose I am happy with that aspect of things, but I'm really struggling to find perspective and I guess that's why I'm writing this.

Something's changed recently and I feel as though I'm in a different place, mentally.  It's not good at all.  I've spent so much time looking in the mirror and my appearance is constantly on my mind.  I just feel horrible and ugly, with or without acne,  I've been picking at my face a lot too.  Not acne, but actually at my skin.  Last week, I probably averaged a couple of hours each day, plus goodness knows how many hours just looking in the mirror.  I've never done this before  and I don't know why it's started.  I've got five problem areas on my face at the moment but only two of those are actually pimples. Very tiny ones at that.  The rest of it is from picking.  I don't really know how to describe the results, I guess they're technically open wounds. They're not big, but just like if you happen to cut yourself; it's going to be open and bleed, then it's going to be inflamed and sore, then it's going to scab and heal.  That's the process I'm going through with these areas of my face.  I've picked at my nose, my chin, my right cheek, and tonight I've managed to pick a hole in my forehead from pretty much nothing.

I can kind of see where it stems from and how it's quite like how I used to respond to acne, but at least then there was actually something there.  Now, it's like I'm causing the damage from nothing.  The damage caused to my forehead is the perfect example: there was the tiniest lump of skin which at first I mistook for a pimple. It was nothing more than a tiny, tiny skin tag.  It's been there a while actually, but tonight I just decided I hated it so I attacked it.  What was probably totally unnoticeable to everyone is now a cut in my forehead with inflammation around it.  Just as things were starting to calm down after a prolonged picking session last weekend, I've kicked it all off again.  From what I've read, the compulsion to pick is known as Dermatillomania.  I don't know if that's what I have, but I need to do something.

Generally, I feel totally trapped.  Not just in terms of being sat indoors all the time and wanting to hide because of my skin, but it's like I also feel trapped inside myself.  I don't want to be who I am and I don't want to feel so bad about myself.  It's horrible and this is no life at all. I'm wasting it and I know it, but I keep repeating these patterns.  I guess that's a source of frustration and maybe I'm taking that out on my face.  It's the craziest thing because that's the polar opposite of what I want to be doing!  Everything seems to have gone backwards for me.  It's like I put all that effort into trying to get clear and I don't even know why.  It ticks one thing off the list but everything else is wrong and I don't even know where to start.

Take away the acne and I still don't like being me.  It's a constant feeling.  I figured I could try and get back into work but I just can't do it.  Nothing seems to be coming my way anyway and I haven't had a single interview in months, but even if it did, I don't feel like I can do it.  It just seems so scary having to go somewhere, day after day, regardless of what my skin is like.  That totally freaked me out in my last job and my resulting actions got me fired.  I just feel like I'll make the same mistakes.  The real world scares me.  It's like I don't know how to enjoy it or how to be part of it.  I feel alien compared to everyone. Maybe it's pathetic, I don't know.  I just feel  lost.

My problem now is, I think I want to ask for help but I don't know who to ask or what it actually is I want help with. It's like there's a bunch of stuff and it's all tangled up. Plus, I'm scared of what might happen if I ask for help.  I'd like to talk to my parents about it but I wouldn't know how.  Just thinking about it and writing it now makes me want to cry.  I don't think they'd be especially understanding either.  My Mum certainly wouldn't.  Last year when I had some other stuff going on, she refused to discuss my depression or the resulting therapy sessions with me and said I had nothing to be depressed about.  More than the lack of understanding, there's actually a sheer narrow-mindedness there which I just can't deal with because she manages to flip it around and take it as a reflection on her, then I actually get blamed for asking for help.  I thought about writing it in a letter and giving it to my Dad or my sister, see if that gets the ball rolling, so to speak.  The strange thing is that I previously saw my doctor about depression and he put me in touch with the therapists, so I'm not unfamiliar with approaching them, but this feels different somehow.  I don't know what they'd suggest or where it might lead.  I wish it would all just go away instead.

Even if I can trace a lot of this back to my time with acne, it's snowballed way beyond that and beyond my control and I don't know how to stop it.  I feel like I need to get away and get some support somewhere, otherwise I'm just stuck in my room, proverbially chained to the mirror, feeling unable to go out because of how I look, feeling totally worthless.  Maybe it's all ridiculously self-involved, but there's something causing me to act this way and damage my skin, and there's something causing me to constantly feel worthless.   Putting all this here certainly is self-involved and I know everyone has their own stuff going on, so I apologise for that.  I just needed to let it out.  Thank you to anyone who happens to read, and sorry for the bring-down...


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