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The last 2 years of my life have been filled with trying to conquer a lot of demons-obstacles and just find the pieces that make up me. I was tired of feeling like I was still in high school (depressed, suffering from social anxiety, lonely, focusing only on school, etc.). I'm sure this came from 4 places:

1) My dad being deployed all the time

2) Trying to juggle school with family life (I have 4 bros and 2 sis that were/are nuisances)

3) The majority of people at my school were cruel, elitist, and close-minded

4) Let's add some horrible cystic acne into the equation too

*last pity party I'll throw on this post..... Promise

I felt like I was falling apart and I wasn't viewing myself the same way I use to. I had decided that enough was enough. After graduating with Honors I decided that I was done with school. No higher education for me :naughty:. I didn't fill out scholarships, I didn't take an SAT.... nada. I did nothing for 6 months. I became a bum. I worked only when I had to. It was a foolish mistake but doing this taught me the value of education. You don't know what you have till it's gone or you've squandered it. I saw how far a high school diploma gets you and I didn't like it. Even my friends around me were like.... really dude, WTF are you doing here.

Once reality set in I jumped back on the college ship. The last 2 months of my hiatus were filled with me trying to get back on par with my peers and get accepted into a university. And so I went..... It sucked. I felt consumed by school, I felt socially awkward, I was playing the balancing act with my job, etc. It seemed like high school was repeating itself all over again. I wasn't having fun. At the end of the semester I had a 3.5 GPA but I didn't care. 1 year had passed. I was unhappy and discontent with every facet of my life.

So I braved the unknown and took a gamble on the US Air Force. I lasted in Basic Military Training for a month and I was convinced that this wasn't what I wanted. I always knew that I was an individual and that I stood out from the crowd..... a lot! I also discovered that BMT is no place for someone suffering from social anxiety and low self-esteem should be. You think I would have been smart enough to know that.

And so..... I did the most God-awful thing I had ever done in my straight-edge life. I won't go into detail but let's just say that I had to make my peace with God, pray for forgiveness, and go into therapy (eventually). For the first time in my life I found myself to be a broken man. It felt like I was in a deep depression. I found myself between a rock and a hard place and I didn't care about any or all consequences. I rehabbed for a couple months.

After that drama I went back to my university because well.... I didn't know what to do. The only thing I had ever been good at my whole life was academics. Yet I resented school. I was unmotivated and directionless.... nonetheless I was there and at least I was tryin' to do something.

During that semester I decided that I was going to be constructive. I got back in the gym..... and recaptured my lean figure. I became proactive in my search to rid myself of acne. I had tried every pill and cream under the moon that could be bought or prescribed. I stumbled upon Accutane by pure luck. It worked wonders and to this day I am grateful. It's a relief to be able to have control on something that has plagued me since I was 14. It has also helped my confidence a lot when it comes to women..... granted I'm still single and I realize most girls don't care what your face looks like.... it's more about what's in your heart than anything else.

I also found a way to make or break my social anxiety. I took a Public Speaking class that semester. I learned a lot and managed to carve out an A. One of the most challenging courses I've ever taken. Confidence is not something we can really gain. It's more so - learning to become comfortable no matter who or what you are faced with. And the old saying is true, "if you act confident, you'll be looked at as confident- or a total douche if you come off too suave."

*Did you know that more people fear public speaking than death?

Life is a lot simpler now. I'm actually looking forward to next semester.... meeting people as best I can, not having a job while I'm in school, going for free, making time for my few close friends, etc. Working hard sucks but anything having is worth working hard for.

I've made a lot of mistakes the last 2 years of my life but I've learned from all of them. I don't regret anything.... not even my darkest day. Life is a series of ups and downs and you just have to navigate through as best you can. The last month or so I've even realized what I want to do right now with my life. I want to continue working on my Associates in Arts and then move onto my Bachelors in Nursing. And from there who knows. Along with the gym and hanging out with friends I picked up screenplay writing. It's chalenging and fun to create something that's original and all your own. I want to learn to act in the next couple of years too. Regardless of what stands in the way I'll die tryin' to make things happen. I don't really know why I wrote this...... I just felt like I needed to. Sorry if I annoyed any1 :(

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That was an unfortunate but also encouraging story! Thanks for sharing man. Just curious what you see as the main cause of your problem? Most people (myself included) tend to focus on their own low self esteem and insecurities about their appearance. Acne didn't seem to factor too much into your story. Unless of course it was the cause of everything else, but that didn't seem to be the case. Anyhow, glad to know you are taking control of your life. May we all learn from your example!

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Acne sucks but i was way too worried with the fragile environment that my father's deployments created. At one point I felt like I was taking on all the load..... even my mom and older siblings' responsibilities. They worked and went out with friends afterward. I played Mr. Mom and even when I got a job I was still trying to maintain the home, balance school, attempt to be social, and realize that my physical appearance was a mess. I look at that and acne as the cause of my social disarray.

Your quote says it all Iliad: "I am utterly unconvinced of my own self worth."

My therapist believes that I put the majority of people and things before myself. I don't know what to say about this. I am a genuinely, sweet, nice guy that doesn't mind helping people. It's actually funny. Most girls that like me check to see if I'm gay b/c I don't hit on them. It's actually quite funny. Anyway my doc feels that I need to accept who I am and realize that my life is just as important as everyone elses. Until then I can never let go of the things in my past. All of the things I went through are linked to my feelings of self worth. It's just one of those tihngs you take day by day.

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I know the feeling NoTan, I grew up with a father in the military and it made it hard to have a relationship with him. Or with other people for that matter, because my family moved so often that I never learned what it meant to have a permanent home. And my dad is still largely absent from my life. Now i'm heading off to my second year in college with a prescription for accutane to take with me. I hope this works. As far as my signature, I thought of that a few days ago when trying to evaluate myself and my life. I too am often deferential and friendly towards other people, so they think I am outgoing. People don't realize that while I don't have trouble caring for others I've always had a hard time liking myself. I guess I have some complex in which I immediately see other people as more valid than myself. As if they are somehow more "real" than I am.

I guess my one fear now is that I won't be able to recover from the emotional scars life has left me with. I can see how my horrible appearance has broken my self confidence, but what if I can't regain it even when my skin improves? What if I find out the problem was never my appearance at all, but really just myself?

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I'm not quite sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I am sure glad I did. You managed to give me hope through your writing and also allow me to understand that not everyday is going to be smiles and sunshine. I'm majoring in English at University currently and I hope that one day my writing can inspire someone like your story inspired me. :)

You are definately a GREAT writer, and I 100% agree with the person who said that had you written more, she would have kept reading. I wish you the best with everything!!

p.s. stay in school, the world has too much to lose if you leave! :cool:

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Wow, thats quite a story!

Im glad that you got grounded, it seems that life has taught you a lot eh?

I hope that in the next few years I can learn from my mistakes and my.. life decisions like you have.

And definitely make the best of it.. you know, overcome?

Good to you!

PS. I agree that what you said is VERY inspiring!

PPS. Good luck with the acting.. Ive always liked acting and took part in drama in high school for about uhm.. 3 years? And next year I may be in a play that I was supposed to be in this year but I'll just have to see how it goes!

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