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I've had acne for many years, and I'm only 16 right now. I can't remember what it was like to have clear skin, I don't remember what my views where like before I got it, it's all been too long. Now I just wanted to share what it's put me through, and know your guys' side as well.

Okay, so of course it causes you to be self conscious, I've always had that, but I feel like, the longer I have it, the worst I get psychologically...In 8th grade I remember my acne being at its worse, and I'd still wear my hair up in middle school. Now, I'm a junior. Never wore my hair up in high school, at this point, I'm worse than I have ever been from it all. Just too tired...I'm so..mentally exhausted..from thinking about it, from not being able to look at one person, no matter who or where, and not notice their skin and how clear it is. I can't be distracted, it always comes back. I'm loosing hope. Acne isn't even my worst problem anymore, it's the many things it's done to my skin condition overall, that will take a lot to fix, if it can be. I honestly, truly believe it's not possible for me to have clear skin. It's too far beyond my imagination, I can't imagine ever coming out of this looking as flawless as anyone with normal skin (and I don't even had it severe). I never feel pretty, so I never wear anything pretty really..I'm just so tired of this, I want to be done, and I know we all do.

I feel like the only thing that can really help me while I DO have it, is if I had a friend with acne. Someone I wouldn't feel self conscious around..Or even better, if my school was full of people from this org, wouldn't that be great? My best friend is better than I could ever dream for...she's so amazing, and I'm incredibly thankful. She doesn't care about my skin at all, and I can tell her everything. But still, I get self conscious around her. And for the first time for a whole week she pulled me out of this dark place, and for once I was able to think of other things. It was such a relief...and now it's all coming back again..

Mostly what I wanted to know, is what kind of stages you've gone through. What acne did to you mentally at the beginning, middle, and now.

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I started out with the same pattern as you. I've had acne for four years now. I'm turning fifteen in two weeks and after all the years that have passed where I've been depressed are finally turning over.

I remember in fifth grade when I started to get it. I'd take my mom's concealer, that was all, and just dab it over and pray no one would notice. Of course I didn't know about blending it in and it wasn't even that bad, I wish I hadn't and just been myself. But I'd walk around with those stupid orange spots all over my face.

In sixth grade, I had gained a lot of weight from the stress. Eating had been my way of coping and I realized I was only making myself look and feel worse. I was picked on almost everyday and I'd go to the guidance counselor bawling my eyes out. I hated how I looked. I hated being told I was ugly, and fat, and gross. I hated looking in the mirror and seeing a monster looking back at me. I felt trapped and lonely. I started skipping most of my meals and sleeping whenever I was hungry. My friends would try to get me to eat, but I had just given up on myself. Looking back, I wish I would have been stronger and known what I know now - that giving in to their words wasn't going to make them like me. I don't know why I tried to impress people so much, and if I could go back and offer myself one piece of advice, it would have been that I'd be okay no matter what happened, and to never let anyone change who I am inside. No one deserves to tell me who to be other than myself.

Once I reached middle school, things kinda got better. I had lost a lot of weight back then, but my hair started getting oily and my skin just got worse. I discovered the magical mineral powder and used that over my concealer which disguised it for some part of it. I guess I didn't do that much of a job because people still picked on me for it. I remember drawing a picture of myself and some boys looked at it. They took the paper from me and said, "yeah, but you need dots on your face." They fricking drew zits all over my fucking face. :| That hurt more than anything. I'd go home and think about it over, and OVER, and OVER again. Each time I thought about it, the more I knew it was true. I was a beast and it wasn't worth trying anymore. I was fixing my hair in the TV and a boy yelled from across the hall: "NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE, ALYSSA. STOP TRYING." I rolled my eyes but it fucking hurt like hell. What hurt even more was knowing it was true. I just... gave up on myself. I gave up on being happy only to be let down. I stopped trying to be the beautiful girl I desperately wanted to be.

Now, I'm in high school, and despite the popular belief, I actually love myself even more. I have gained so much confidence from not giving a shit what people think. It took a while I guess, as you can read, but it paid off. Big time.

I don't care what people think about me. If they truly hated me, or thought I was ugly and gross or whatever, they wouldn't give me another look. They'd scowl and say something in their heads and move on. But the people who show genuine hate are just covering up their jealousy. I got into a fight with a friend because she was jealous I was hanging out with the guys at the game this weekend and she didn't bother to come and missed out on it all. She deleted me off Facebook, Myspace, and made her updates say -"I HATE HERR[insert devil smiley here :evil:] and you know what? It just made me laugh. To know that someone hated me that much was just... funny to me. Why would people waste their energy typing out shit like that? I ignored her, I don't even talk about our fight with anyone. She can tell everyone what a big bitch I am, but I won't say a word. You know why? Because I don't think that much of her to even talk about her. And by telling people I'm a bitch or I'm a loser won't make me a loser. I decide how to act, not her.

I like to think that during my years I've made a transformation - not just physically, but emotionally as well. I do personally think my looks have improved and my skin has gotten so much better. My confidence has too, simply by not caring. But it's not about not caring about me - it's about not caring enough about THEM to let it affect ME. I dress up, I wear makeup, I catwalk the hallways like I'm a fucking supermodel. And in my mind, I am. Because I just don't care what people will think. I'm me, and people won't change that.

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aw hon I here ya.

When I had my first breakout i used clearisil on my nose. when it dried it left a white residue. I remember somebody asking if I had toothpaste on my nose. This made me self conscious but not really sad. I figured everyone got it and mine wasn't bad at all.

When I began liking this boy in middle school who I ended up dating in highschool/college for 3 years(long story) I became depressed becuase he tried to use his controlling ways to get to me. He would say some awful things but i remember quite clearly him saying to my face "I don't date girls with acne." This hit me hard becuase I thought my acne was only noticeable to me and I soon became depressed not wanting to leave my house, and u must realize I only had mild-moderate acne, however he made me feel discusting.

Early in highschool I dated a different guy and he had severe acne and took accutane for it. I felt comfortable around him becuase he dealt with acne as well. I could at least feel pretty about him. After we broke up we stayed friends but unfortuanly he passed away several years ago.

Then I began dating the first guy in highschool/college. one night he asked me one night why I washed my face and had to apply serum and moisturiser every night. I explained it helps me to take care of my skin. And in turn he said "well you do it every morning and night....and its obviously not helping!" He made me feel so ugly. and from then on every single time I got a breakout i would remember what he said about me and I would obsess over my pimples and i felt so ugly and alone. I hated my acne.

Now I am with my husband and my acne is just really annoying. He thinks I am beautiful and I know this, but my emotions have been out of wack due to my acne ever since my asshole ex. I hate that I am only happy when my face is clear and while I am no longer depressed about it, I want it to be gone for good!

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I am 28 and I've suffered from acne for 10 years, but it only really exploded into severe cystic acne in the last couple of years. I look back at pictures of myself from only a couple of years ago and I wonder why I even considered it bad back in the day.

It has been a long and frustrating road. I have done everything you can think of. My diet is PERFECT, I mean, every single day I drink a blender full of parsley, mint, and lemon, I drink wheat grass, don't eat sugar, fats, carbs, gluten, corn, dairy, meat, etc., etc., etc. I exercise, I meditate, I visit a dermatologist, an aesthetician, an acupuncturist, and a holistic nutritionist. I've done cleanses, fasts, and taken just about every supplement you can imagine. I've bought every face cream, chemical and natural. It has done absolutely nothing for me; it only continues to get worse and worse. I had been taking it pretty well, though, until recently when I was given a glimpse into how severely damaged my face is. For whatever reason, my skin cleared up dramatically for a week or so. I think I was getting sick and my body just shut down acne production for a moment. That was about 3 months ago and I haven't stopped crying since. To now know that there is nothing I can do to ever change the way I look is devastating. And of course now every new pimple I get is so much more painful because I know that it will leave yet another hole in my face.

I am certainly at rock bottom. I haven't been able to focus on anything but how horrible I look. My life has pretty much stopped. It doesn't help that I am continuously approached by women who feel like they should give me "advice" and point out how horrible I look. Everybody assumes that my face looks the way it does because I've never noticed it before or because I simply don't want to bother! I have no desire for life anymore. At all. I get no joy out of anything and don't feel like I will be able to take this much longer.

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Lyssa- your post is really inspirational and honest to me ( a 19 year old guy). I checked out your profile and it says you're 14?! You're going to get far in life with that type of attitude and maturity at that age i promise you. You've already learned how to deal with stupid people and to not let their negativity bother you and that's one of the best things that i've learned in the past year or so also. Although it might not have seemed it at the time, what doesn't us makes us stronger and it's really true with dealing with acne.

Btw, i glanced at your gallery pics and you're absolutely stunning! ignore all the stupid people because you're right when you said that anybody who uses THAT much energy hating you and poking fun of you doesn't deserve your respect or your attention

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Thank you! I try my best. :D

I know I don't know a lot about life and I don't pretend to. But just like everyone else, I learn lessons, and I apply the knowledge I've learned from them to future problems. I'm learning as I go along much like everyone else. :)

And about the compliment - thanks, it means a lot. It really does.

Edited by Ḻyssa
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OP, i don't know what my views were b4 i got it either. i was 11, and my skin erupted during a vacation. one of the first things someone said to me when i reached the airport was "what happened to your face?" i shrugged it off, but inside i was angry and hurt. this person hadn't seen me for a month and we were best friends at the time. i still can't believe that was the first thing she said to me.

i guess my beginning stage consisted of crying in my room every once and while, cussing at mirrors, and suicidal thoughts. partly because of acne and other self-esteem issues. my body was changing during that time and that was confusing for me, too. every week i'd buy a new OTC acne product, hoping it would work. after months and months, i began to think i'd never get clear. wanting, working towards clear skin overlapped so many other circumstances, and then i didn't know what the hell i wanted in life. why did i really want clear skin was the question i kept asking myself, and most of the time i couldn't come up with an answer that satisfied me.

my senior yr of high school i was using a topical that did improve my skin. someone i hadn't seen all summer said "wow your skin has cleared up, you look so much better now." i changed the subject, but still after all those yrs of dealing with acne, in that moment i felt 11 again. acne has that effect on me. it can make me feel defenseless and on display just to be made fun of.

i don't know what stage i'm at now. i think i'm better at controlling negative thoughts and seeing the bigger picture. when someone i barely know doesn't like what i do, say, what i wear, it doesn't faze me. my skin has scars, and i deal with minor breakouts every few weeks. so i think that has helped accept myself more because i used to have really persistent acne. i like to think that if it were to come back, i'd cope in a better way bc of so many reasons now, but maybe i wouldn't.

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