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Iliad

Is it a good idea to give up?

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Hey, I'm finally back after being absent from these forums for nearly six months. I got to a point when my situation was so hopeless that I finally said "Screw this, I'm just gonna live my life like I didn't have acne." And did so. I ate what I wanted, washed my face only with water, looked in a mirror only once a day, and tried to get on with my life. So how has it worked so far? I'm not sure. I've been a lot less depressed about my condition, but I also haven't been doing anything to make it better. I used to come here to the org and say "Never give up, keep trying because something will eventually work." But that also equals "Never get over your acne, always be doing something to improve your skin"

It can quite easily become a singular obsession in a person's life.

In fact I am hesitant to return to these forums because I don't know if I want to continue worrying about my skin. Sure it felt good to constantly be trying to improve it, but it never actually improved, which felt bad. What do you say? Is giving up perhaps the best choice any of us have?

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This is kind of common sense, to me; why not keep trying things while you're getting on with your life? That's kind of my attitude. Just keep trying things and if something works, well that's really cool. And if you eventually find that nothing works for you, well, then you're already further down the road. And by that time you'll probably have learned to cope with or even get over what 'flaws' you may have anyway.

Having said that; I know how difficult it is to try to 'get over' something like scarring. I've had my scar for over a decade and I'm still having difficulty with the effects it has on my life sometimes.

But, I also think that (not that I'm an expert) there's so much out there that can help people. There has to be something for most, if not everyone, that can at least improve things to a point where one can accept one's appearence?

Idnha

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I think you have to get a mix of the two perspectives, dont be depressed - you should always always live your life like you dont have acne. You can still look at your face just once or twice a day and be doing something about your acne, even if its just washing, applying topicals/moisturisers/taking a pill.

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I also think it's about striking a balance between the two. I think it's commendable what you did, that you attempted to get on with things and stop being so consumed with trying to find something that works for you. But, trying to get on with your life shouldn't mean you have to give up looking for the right product or regimen for you completely. It doesn't have to be one or the other, as long as you stay aware of how much time you're spending on your skin and limit the amount it takes over your life.

A better motto to have gone by would be, I think, something along the lines of, "Screw this, I'm just going to live my life even though I have acne". You can still be treating your skin and be researching possible products/methods that may work for you, but just try not to get completely sidetracked by the whole thing. Continue to get on with your life and carry on with only looking into the mirror when necessary, eating what you like (obviously unless you have a sneaking suspicion that something in particular is breaking you out), keeping a simple wash routine etc., by all means, but I wouldn't entirely give up hope that your skin will improve. You can still hold in mind an aim to clear your skin. I think that going about things with that type of approach is probably the healthiest way to live with having acne - finding some sort of midway ground between getting on with your life whilst still attempting to find something that works for you, and not allowing yourself to become totally consumed by the 'skin is everything' mentality and all the various products out there.

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thats a good approach, because often times acne gets immune to products and too many treatment products are bad for you anyway.

But it wont last forever.

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Thank you everyone for your replies and kind encouragement. I appreciate it. To Idnha, TheChangingMan and six, it may seem surprising but I never really thought of that middle road approach. It has always been investing everything I am into my skin or not caring at all. I hope that I can learn to walk that center line.

To tell the rest of the story, one of the key factors in my period of respite was when I realized how much money I had invested over the years. I sat down and wrote a list of every medication, product, vitamin, book, doctor's visit etc. that I had tried and the budget went past the hundreds and into the thousands. Yeah. So that has a way of making one pause.

I must also admit that while my stress and despair over my skin have been greatly lessened, the quality of my life has not improved all that much. At least as far as my relationships with other people go, which is, - let's face it- the hardest part about having acne. I have been able to see just how scarred I am emotionally when it comes to relationships. Acne isn't exactly the problem now though. It's just that for so many years it crippled my social abilities that now when I finally want to change I find I don't know how. Home for the summer from college, my mom keeps saying "Why don't you get together with some of your friends from highschool?" What she doesn't realize is that I never had many friends there because of my insecurity. It's a little late to go back and change that though, even with my renewed confidence.

Has my skin improved at all in the past six years? Not at all really. But if life is going to put me through a seventh year with this disease I want it to be the first that I actually live.

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I think it's only logical to give up if what you are doing isn't working. No reason to keep doing something that isn't doing anything. So that is totally smart and is really the best choice.

But if you want to try some new things, I wrote this guide a while back, probably while you were still gone: http://healthoid.com/2008/06/02/how-to-cur...ur-acne-part-1/

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Wow, Iliad, that is such a smart approach. I don't think you are giving up at all, you're doing the complete opposite. If you still sometimes want to feel you're doing something about acne, why dont you book an appointment with your derm or doctor for a few months time? It wont necessarily lead to an improvement in your skin, but it might make you feel better to know that you will still be recieving professional advice. Like if you've had a bad day and feel bad about your acne, you can think, "oh well i have an appointment in a few weeks."

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I gave up for awhile and said "F it" and my skin got worse than ever....

I now am back to taking care of my skin, my diet, etc. but I still do not look in the mirror. I can tell how clear my skin is by feeling it and if there are no painful spots forming or bumps I know I am doing OK

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Hey, I'm finally back after being absent from these forums for nearly six months. I got to a point when my situation was so hopeless that I finally said "Screw this, I'm just gonna live my life like I didn't have acne." And did so. I ate what I wanted, washed my face only with water, looked in a mirror only once a day, and tried to get on with my life. So how has it worked so far? I'm not sure. I've been a lot less depressed about my condition, but I also haven't been doing anything to make it better. I used to come here to the org and say "Never give up, keep trying because something will eventually work." But that also equals "Never get over your acne, always be doing something to improve your skin"

It can quite easily become a singular obsession in a person's life.

In fact I am hesitant to return to these forums because I don't know if I want to continue worrying about my skin. Sure it felt good to constantly be trying to improve it, but it never actually improved, which felt bad. What do you say? Is giving up perhaps the best choice any of us have?

Giving up is for losers.

The only thing that separates winners from losers is that winners are willing to do what losers won't. - Necromancer

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I don't know if it's so much giving up that one needs to do, but rather....accepting. Accepting the fact that you may very well have acne for the rest of your life. Accepting the fact that you will always be needing just a little more skin care than the rest of the world. Accepting the fact that despite how much you wish it weren't so, that acne is a part of your life.

About two years ago I came to accept my acne, the fact that I'm going to have it for the rest of my life. (I'm going on 30 and still have it, doesn't look like it's going to change). I thought it would make me feel depressed and full of despair. Strangely enough, it had the OPPISSITE EFFECT.

When I accepted the fact that I have acne and stopped fighting it, suddenly the time I spent taking care of my skin in the morning and evening stopped being a chore - it was just something I needed to do to take care of myself. Like bathing or drinking water. When I accepted the fact that I have acne, suddenly breakouts didn't seem so bad - just like the fact that I know I'll have good days and bad days.

Accepting means simply not fighting anymore. It's not denying that you have acne, it's not denying that some days it's going to suck. But it's simply saying "This is part of who I am. Brown eyes, freckles, a love of poetry, and oh yeah, acne." That's all it becomes, just another part of you.

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When I see this topic I'm like "heck yea".

Recently I had a break out on my forehead, which was the only part of my face that was clear for FOUR YEARS. That sure took a munch out of my mood.

I'm suicidal now.

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Giving up is for losers.

Yes it is. I agree with you there Necro, even if most of the time you have an attitude the size of seattle. :D

I don't know if it's so much giving up that one needs to do, but rather....accepting. Accepting the fact that you may very well have acne for the rest of your life. Accepting the fact that you will always be needing just a little more skin care than the rest of the world. Accepting the fact that despite how much you wish it weren't so, that acne is a part of your life.

Sage advice as always Elsewhere. I understand what you are saying about acceptance, it's a point we all have to get to sooner or later. However there is one last thing I'd like to try before throwing in the towel...

When I see this topic I'm like "heck yea".

Recently I had a break out on my forehead, which was the only part of my face that was clear for FOUR YEARS. That sure took a munch out of my mood.

I'm suicidal now.

I know the feeling KB. The first three years of my severe acne I was thankful that at least my forehead was spotless. Then, three years ago, my forehead became just as infected as the rest of my face. That threw me. But there is one thing every acne sufferer should try taking before their life...

I would like to say to those who have replied to this thread or read it that I am soon going to be scheduling an appointment with a doc/derm to do everything in my power to get on Accutane. I have been juggling the idea for years and years but I never had the guts to try it. I always figured there was one more regimen, one more diet I could try that might work. I've run out of ideas, patience and money however, so this is the last step in my search for a cure. If I had ever had any sense it would have been my first step years ago, but no regrets... Aw hell, I've got a load of regrets, but they don't really matter.

What matters is that I am hopefully going to begin a prescription of accutane for the next few months. Only if this fails will I consider accepting my flawed skin, but even then I'll never give up.

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