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Kelly~~

wanting to 'let go'

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My young life to this point (i'm 21) has been fraught with health problems. Acne is a big and consistent one. Weight problems were a big thing for me growing up, hence I developed some not-very-good coping mechanisms, attempting to control every morsel of food that entered my body.

In some ways, my drive to 'overcome' my acne has become a lot like my obsession with losing weight was when I was a teenager.. to the point of being dangerous (for emotional health) and really counter-productive for the actual problem.

My question to you guys is, do you ever just want to let go of the constant need to control all these variables in your life?? Do you ever just want to say **** it, let the chips fall where they may, whatever will be will be, and all that stuff..?

It seems when I'm really distracted by something that means a lot to me, that really interests me (for example, a project with a not-for-profit org), a lot of my symptoms (headaches, fatigue, acne, appetite extremes, sinus congestion) fade to the back of my mind and don't bother me as much. I feel a lot happier and almost forget about those symptoms. Not that they don't exist, and this is definately not to say I'm a hypochondriac and so are all of you (LOL) but I'm starting to think that the mind has a more powerful effect over physiological stuff then I first realised..

And I've also noticed that the more i try and completely control any one part of my life, i always end up making the situation worse, i end up with less control and more of what I did not want in the first place (hence I am further away from what I was trying to achieve by controlling the situation). Just like thinking about losing weight all the time meant my mind was constantly fixated on food, it's counterproductive.

One other example that just came to mind is my hair. I used to be (early to mid teens) obsessed with my hair. My hair is curly/wavy, tends towards being dry and frizzy, is not the typical straight 'average' hair that my friends had and I always wanted. I used to spend insane amounts (saved up painstakingly with pocket money) on products etc.. in the end, I ruined my hair completely. After doing all these things to my hair, it was a million times harder to manage and looked a lot worse and a lot less 'normal.'

This is a rambling of thoughts but.. can anybody relate to the gist of what I'm saying here?

This is relevant to acne, I think so anyway, but if it's not meant to be in this forum then feel free to move it (mods). I guess I put it here because in recent years I've been aiming to 'combat' every health problem in a more holistic/natural way (chiropractor - which has made a very big difference to my health, and diet changes etc).

Thanks for listening, I'm keen to hear your responses on this one..

btw, at the moment i'm ceasing washing my face and hair with anything but water.. I just don't feel like 'combatting' or 'struggling' or 'fighting' my bodies inclinations right now, i guess. And I'm trying to cease doing anything that makes me feel bad even if it's supposed to be for my own good (that means certain foods, certain people's company, certain habits/rituals even in the name of 'health')..

Kelly

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I think, if what you're doing isn't working, then it's going to be frustrating and you're going to want to give up and just let go.

If it's working though, then you won't want to let go because you are getting such good results.

So...has anything you've been doing working?

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I know what you mean. I spend a lot of my time worrying about my weight and my skin as well. I too had weight problems as a kid (I'm 20). I was always the chubby one and I was very selfconscious. I lost about 30 pounds as a teenager (on weight watchers, a healthy way) and the lowest weight I was was 128 lbs. That was about 2 years ago. I now weigh about 135, which means I have gained some weight back. This makes me crazy and very nervous because my BIGGEST fear in life is being fat again. I want to get back down to 128 but it's sooo hard!! So now all I think about is food and my skin, checking the mirror every second I can even though nothing changes. I'm obsessed with my skin and weight and wish it would all just go away. Yet, I have to admit some days are better than others. I do have my good and bad skin and fat days like everyone else. I just wish I could be happy with myself because I know a lot of people would die to be my weight and have my skin and who are a lot worse off than me. Maybe it's because I'm a perfectionist, and I always want everything to be better than it is, I can't ever leave anything alone. Grrr >_<

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blessthefall ~ I, too, like that my tendency toward health problems mean that I at least exercise some BASIC health principles almost all the time (eg. try and get 8 hours sleep at reasonable times, try and exercise when the opportunity arises, always add veg to meals and choose high-fibre, drink enough water, try and get sunlight etc..) but i would like to leave it there, at that 'basically good' diet and lifestyle. like other people. who have a relaxed attitudes towards things yet remain healthy because they don't 'over-do' anything. everything i do has to be extreme/perfect.. it's really not great for my emotional wellbeing! thanks for your reply.

healthoid ~ umm.. things work and then they don't. I dunno. the best thing by far in the past year or two has been liquid zinc supplements. stopped acne in it's tracks for a while (like, months) but still had the scarring and the odd pimple. then something happened and it just stopped working as well. i still take it for other things tho.. umm what else.. i've tried low-carb low-fat, high-carb low-fat, predominantly raw fruit and veg, vegan (6 weeks).. exercise is one thing i have never been able to try and stick to for a significant amount of time.. i think i might try meditation and stuff too.. B5 or any B vitamins make me hypomanic and i get headaches galore... green smoothies i am having the same problem.. they made me feel great (but no difference to acne) for the first few weeks.. and then they just started making me feel worse.. this happens whenever i have 'too much' of most things (or for too long).. i know you probably won't believe me about the smoothies, i don't quite believe it myself but today i decided not to have one and felt better (sounds psychosomatic or whatever but I really don't think so). I think my body is just so easily pushed out of balance, i need to be careful to not over-do-it on anything, ya know?

anyway.. back to what i was saying.. i tried honey before bed.. detoxes.. probiotics, digestive enzymes (these two do help but definately don't eradicate), fibre (once again, helps but doesn't get rid of the problem)... ummm DIM, wild yam whatever .. wow it's depressing me the shear amount of stuff i've tried! wow! anyway.. pro-active, BP dan's regime, gentle cleansers and harsh ones, i'm now trying no cleansing and i gotta tell ya, my skin is looking better in a matter of days (once again, there seems to be a pattern of over-doing-it or over-stimulating/irritation when i do too much of one thing for too long.. no matter what it is).. oh i tried to get taurine but couldn't anywhere.. and had to get DIM off the net (i'm from australia).. oh tried olive oil topically too.. oh and i've tried low-gi.. in fact, all the time i eat low-gi.. cos i have crazy blood sugar (always have) and so since i knew what 'low-gi' and 'high-gi' meant, i have pretty much stuck to that.. with the exception of the occasional slip up.

and frankly, and this is definately not in a rude tone at all :), I'm not interested in trying something else but at the same time I'm really happy for you that you have found something that works for you! (i've read some of your posts and you have helped others too..)

my skin problems got a lot worse after my eating disorder (may as well be open about that fact) which i went into recovery for about 3.5 years ago.. that's a long while.. and still my health has never been the same as it was before that :( .. it gets better though with the help of my holistic chiropractor. anyway, as a note, my skin was almost completely clear when I was deep in the eating disorder and not eating much/ eating very low-gi (mostly protein)/ eating pretty low fat (well it was low food so go figure! :P)

sorry that was so long!

anyway, next..

Seabass~

I'm a perfectionist, and I always want everything to be better than it is, I can't ever leave anything alone. Grrr oompf.gif

^^ exactly. me too. other people i know who can 'leave it alone' don't have the kind of health problems and troubles that i have. acceptance is a big part of that.

As for the weight, my advice to you is to simply try and find things that really really interest you and distract you - the less i think about food, the more i only eat when i am truly hungry and i tend to eat what i need without over-thinking it. The less i tried to control my appetite, and weight, the better things got. I now maintain a petite-normal size with absolutely no effort at all. As I stopped obsessing over food and weight, I began to also find overeating really weird/stupid/uncomfortable and it is just automatic that i stop when i'm full. I guess i listen to my body without trying to over-listen if you know what i mean :). good luck and remember to love yourself at any weight! that is an important step to losing unnecessary weight (if you do indeed need to lose any)..

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healthoid ~ umm.. things work and then they don't. I dunno. the best thing by far in the past year or two has been liquid zinc supplements. stopped acne in it's tracks for a while (like, months) but still had the scarring and the odd pimple. then something happened and it just stopped working as well. i still take it for other things tho.. umm what else.. i've tried low-carb low-fat, high-carb low-fat, predominantly raw fruit and veg, vegan (6 weeks).. exercise is one thing i have never been able to try and stick to for a significant amount of time.. i think i might try meditation and stuff too.. B5 or any B vitamins make me hypomanic and i get headaches galore... green smoothies i am having the same problem.. they made me feel great (but no difference to acne) for the first few weeks.. and then they just started making me feel worse.. this happens whenever i have 'too much' of most things (or for too long).. i know you probably won't believe me about the smoothies, i don't quite believe it myself but today i decided not to have one and felt better (sounds psychosomatic or whatever but I really don't think so). I think my body is just so easily pushed out of balance, i need to be careful to not over-do-it on anything, ya know?

anyway.. back to what i was saying.. i tried honey before bed.. detoxes.. probiotics, digestive enzymes (these two do help but definately don't eradicate), fibre (once again, helps but doesn't get rid of the problem)... ummm DIM, wild yam whatever .. wow it's depressing me the shear amount of stuff i've tried! wow! anyway.. pro-active, BP dan's regime, gentle cleansers and harsh ones, i'm now trying no cleansing and i gotta tell ya, my skin is looking better in a matter of days (once again, there seems to be a pattern of over-doing-it or over-stimulating/irritation when i do too much of one thing for too long.. no matter what it is).. oh i tried to get taurine but couldn't anywhere.. and had to get DIM off the net (i'm from australia).. oh tried olive oil topically too.. oh and i've tried low-gi.. in fact, all the time i eat low-gi.. cos i have crazy blood sugar (always have) and so since i knew what 'low-gi' and 'high-gi' meant, i have pretty much stuck to that.. with the exception of the occasional slip up.

and frankly, and this is definately not in a rude tone at all :), I'm not interested in trying something else but at the same time I'm really happy for you that you have found something that works for you! (i've read some of your posts and you have helped others too..)

my skin problems got a lot worse after my eating disorder (may as well be open about that fact) which i went into recovery for about 3.5 years ago.. that's a long while.. and still my health has never been the same as it was before that :( .. it gets better though with the help of my holistic chiropractor. anyway, as a note, my skin was almost completely clear when I was deep in the eating disorder and not eating much/ eating very low-gi (mostly protein)/ eating pretty low fat (well it was low food so go figure! :P)

sorry that was so long!

anyway, next..

I know you said you don't want to try anything else...but I'm going to suggest something anyway because I'm just annoying like that :D .

I used to have major blood sugar problems, along with tons of other health problems as well.

The main thing that turned everything around for me was to follow a high meat, high fat diet. I noticed that it doesn't look like you've tried that yet in your list.

By high meat, high fat, I mean meals that look like this: Steak covered with butter, lamb fried in coconut oil, chicken legs covered in sour cream and cheese - all fatty meats with lots of added fat as well. Almost no carbs....don't even bother with fruits and vegetables if you want to try this diet, try going to the extreme and having no carbs.

Also, the no cleansing thing is awesome, I follow that too and my skin has never looked better.

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Kelly~~

I know exactly what your going through. I just got out of highschool and I can say I had the worst break out of my life at the beginning of the school year. I obsessed about my skin constantly and one of the bad things about obsessing is that I was on this site by the hours *hoping* to find a "cure"... suddenly thats all my life was about... Finally I really did just say F*** it and threw in the towel. I found the more I obsessed and tried to contol it the more depressed I got about it and the worse it seemed. I still continued taking care of my skin but instead I just hoped and prayed that what I was doing would work and so I continued using it for 9 months... I've recently switched my regimen up a bit and now I am *ALMOST* clear.. I still have red marks scattered around my cheeks and I have about 5 pimples.. but I can tell that they are getting better and going away... I guess I finally just decided to have a little faith and stopped obsessing over it.. All I can do is wait on time anyways...

I can't relate as well as some other people may be able to about weight... I grew up tall and slim... but unfortunately i'm starting to get the wide hips and butt that runs in my family... But... like everyone else I want perfection so I've been on and off diets since I was 16. Unfortunetly us girls are never satisfied with what we are given.. its just never good enough to us...

Luckily its summer and I've always found that summer allows me to let go of my worries like skin and weight issues.. So today.. I'm feeling pretty good :D

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I could relate to your example with your hair. When i hav acne i would do so much to "fix" it. I would even try concealing it with anything! Baby powder... and even once my moms skin balance thingos..(some makeup?).

The more i worked on it the worse it got... thats when u get the feeling of just giving up everything...life..purpose.. and so on.

I didnt really read through it all..but thats what i got.

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My young life to this point (i'm 21) has been fraught with health problems. Acne is a big and consistent one. Weight problems were a big thing for me growing up, hence I developed some not-very-good coping mechanisms, attempting to control every morsel of food that entered my body.

In some ways, my drive to 'overcome' my acne has become a lot like my obsession with losing weight was when I was a teenager.. to the point of being dangerous (for emotional health) and really counter-productive for the actual problem.

My question to you guys is, do you ever just want to let go of the constant need to control all these variables in your life?? Do you ever just want to say **** it, let the chips fall where they may, whatever will be will be, and all that stuff..?

It seems when I'm really distracted by something that means a lot to me, that really interests me (for example, a project with a not-for-profit org), a lot of my symptoms (headaches, fatigue, acne, appetite extremes, sinus congestion) fade to the back of my mind and don't bother me as much. I feel a lot happier and almost forget about those symptoms. Not that they don't exist, and this is definately not to say I'm a hypochondriac and so are all of you (LOL) but I'm starting to think that the mind has a more powerful effect over physiological stuff then I first realised..

And I've also noticed that the more i try and completely control any one part of my life, i always end up making the situation worse, i end up with less control and more of what I did not want in the first place (hence I am further away from what I was trying to achieve by controlling the situation). Just like thinking about losing weight all the time meant my mind was constantly fixated on food, it's counterproductive.

One other example that just came to mind is my hair. I used to be (early to mid teens) obsessed with my hair. My hair is curly/wavy, tends towards being dry and frizzy, is not the typical straight 'average' hair that my friends had and I always wanted. I used to spend insane amounts (saved up painstakingly with pocket money) on products etc.. in the end, I ruined my hair completely. After doing all these things to my hair, it was a million times harder to manage and looked a lot worse and a lot less 'normal.'

This is a rambling of thoughts but.. can anybody relate to the gist of what I'm saying here?

This is relevant to acne, I think so anyway, but if it's not meant to be in this forum then feel free to move it (mods). I guess I put it here because in recent years I've been aiming to 'combat' every health problem in a more holistic/natural way (chiropractor - which has made a very big difference to my health, and diet changes etc).

Thanks for listening, I'm keen to hear your responses on this one..

btw, at the moment i'm ceasing washing my face and hair with anything but water.. I just don't feel like 'combatting' or 'struggling' or 'fighting' my bodies inclinations right now, i guess. And I'm trying to cease doing anything that makes me feel bad even if it's supposed to be for my own good (that means certain foods, certain people's company, certain habits/rituals even in the name of 'health')..

Kelly

wow you really explained yourself well & i feel like you pretty much explained my life right there. I too need to be IN CONTROL even if it ends up be counterproductive.

I went through hair phases, had really great auburn brown hair , decided it was too dark and highlighted it. My hair has a slight wave and i decided to straighten it poker straight. it eventually got so fuc*ed up that i hated it so much i tried growing it out but didn't like where the roots showed so i chopped it all up. I WOULD NEVER do that to myself now but i felt this need to get what i wanted which was my whole hair color back. Did i look bad after i cut it , YES, but its back to normal so i moved on. i hope the skin turns out the same way, but im jsut worried about the scars....

Then i was born with an asymmetrical lower jaw and that really tore at my confidence growing up, i always thought if i just got that fixed i would be perfectly. I went off the graduation field of high school and a few days later had the surgery, which i planned for for years. I recovered with my jaw wired for 2 months and smiled the whole time because i was so happy. Then i got handed this acne card which has made me more antisocial than ever! I thought my jaw was bad, this is so much worse. Before acne i was surrounded by friends 24/7 and always out having fun. Now i sit home looking for a cure...

as for washing your hair, you should probably wash it just because the oil might clog your pores. how about an all natural product since you don't feel like your putting chemicals on your body.

As for saying fuck it all, i did. I left college, i left my job, i left my friends, i am getting myself better. Some people might think this is a bad way to cope but For two years of this acne i have emotionally beaten down on myself thinking i wasnt good enough and had alot of people treat me differently..i have been putting my health and life on the back burner and DOING things im supposed to. In relaity all these things meant nothing after the happiness inside of me was gone. I decided to fuck it and focus on myself this time and researching for an answer. Mine has to do with hormones so i am naturally on my way to balancing them along with a very clean diet.

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I understand what you are saying completly... i dealt with everything from eating disorder, dying my hair to be blonde, straightening it, hours, months, years speant on this website...

i recently read something about acne... some reasoning behind it and other skin disorders. It said two things, one you are uncomfortable around people, feel like your always being judged,, where you have acne to keep people away.. keep people from looking at you.. another thing is you feel guilty for having bad skin..

here's something you can try.. now it might sound weird but who cares...

when you look in the mirror.. just look into your eyes and say i'm beautiful and i deserve love.. do this everytime you look in the mirror.. you don;'t have to say it out loud..but just keep doing.

You are Beautiful and you do Deserve Love. :)

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Wow, it is so timely that I read your message today. I had an epiphany last night that was similar to yours. As for myself, I have suffered through an eating disorder in my teens. Now, I seem to become obsessed with my skin. Actually, I am afraid I may be developing another eating disorder again (this board has made me so worried about everything I put into my mouth). I have also developed a problem with insomnia over the last few months.

How are these all tied together?

You are right - it is all about CONTROL. When I fear I have lost control over a situation in my life I seek to control it obsessively. It becomes like an addiction. Even in the case of sleeping - I realized that I have been having trouble falling asleep going to sleep is the ultimate form of "letting go". I am so wound up with trying to control my life that I can't even simply let go to sleep naturally.

I think it would be healthy, like you say, to just let go of obsessively trying to control my life. Just get out more and enjoy my life with friends and what not.

So, ironically, by letting go of seeking to control everything I can REGAIN CONTROL of my life.

Good luck with everything

grace

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Healthoid ~ I have PM'd you. :)

onlyme ~ yeah, I miss summer :( it's winter here in oz.. I miss more sun! Yes the more we obsess, unfortunately the worse it becomes.. even if it's only our perception making it seem worse, the stress of that and of going out thinking i look disgusting makes my skin worse too.. i'm glad you've been able to loosen your grip a bit too :)

jameswong ~ yeah it can get fairly depressing.. especially since i already deal with a long history of depression and mood problems so obsessing over my skin, and thus it becoming worse (in my eyes anyway) is extremely bad news. I hope things are better for you now?

Nightlilly ~ I'm really glad you're on your way to clearing up your acne. The need for control is a very dangerous and destructive trait to have. I find distraction, laughing (youtube-ing funny things is always good!), friends and projects help me forget about my eternal quest for 'ultimate' control. it can be life-ruling and life-ruining if you let it.. good luck to both of us! :)

starwberries ~ thanks a lot for your response. I know from personal experience that for me, literally saying (softly - lol - I don't wanna get taken to a padded cell!) 'you are beautiful' and 'you are lovable' 'you are worthy' etc in the mirror to myself can really do amazing things. It was using tools like that, that helped me go into recovery from my eating disorder. saying 'skinny' to myself when looking at myself in the mirror and pretending to mean it meant that i started slowly slowly slowly changing my perception of myself. awesome stuff, and very interesting. thanks :)

dookerbaby ~ wow, that is strange - the ED stuff and insomnia coming back, I felt myself leaning towards the same way with both. Trying to cut out all 'bad' foods meant that I was starting to slim down again (without that being the intention at all) AND thus totally f***ing up my sleep.. my sleep only got back to normal in the last few days where i've literally let go of my diet and stuff.

I think it would be healthy, like you say, to just let go of obsessively trying to control my life. Just get out more and enjoy my life with friends and what not.

So, ironically, by letting go of seeking to control everything I can REGAIN CONTROL of my life.

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