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john1234

Mental states of different acne

Random Free-Write, Don't expect you to make it to the end.

It's weird. I've only had acne for 5 years. And I say "only" because, really, what's 5 years in a lifetime? And how can what felt to be an eternity only be 5 years? I don't know.

In these 5 years, my acne fluctuated from severe to mild, from moderate to clear, from clear to one-zit it. And it's weird how each of these severities entailed a different psychological experience. Though both considered "acne," severe acne felt very different from mild acne, yet not necessarily worse.

Let's compare the person who has 1 pimple with the person with 10 pimples. Who has it worse? I can't say it's comparable. A single pimple on the middle of one's forehead is like a piece of white paper with a black dot on it --you can't but stare at it, focus on it, notice it. It becomes your focal point. As the pimple goes away in a matter of days or weeks, you wait for the spot to blend into the surrounding skin and hope that a new spot doesn't reappear in its place. I hated this waiting process, because you're so close to being clear -- but you aren't.

How about the person with 10 small inflammatory pimples? You know your acne needs to be treated when you begin to take a "global perspective" as you examine your face. You no longer focus on how many zits you have to gauge your improvement, but you see how your face looks "overall." No longer do you say "this spot has finally faded," or "I have 3 spots left." Rather, you say something along the lines of: "my face looks better on the whole--the redness has subsided, the marks faded, normal colored skin has arisen."

How about the person with the 100 clogged pores? I know how that feels, too. Once again, you take a global perspective as you examine your acne. Close to mirror, your face looks like little insects have burrowed into your skin. You try to squeeze them out, but to no avail. I think clogged pores are personally the worst kind of acne --not appearance-wise, but the way its so intractable to treatment. Clogged pores can leave within days but deep ones can last for months and months.

How about the person with cystic acne? You would think cystic acne is the most damaging psychologically and physically, leaving both emotional and physical scars. And that's true. But for me, there was a lot of positive introspection thrust upon me also. When my acne was cystic, I knew it couldn't get any worse, and that knowledge was, ironically, reassuring and calming, in the sense that I could only get better from there on out. Having that glimmer of hope was always nice. "When you hit pit-bottom, sometimes you can only laugh." Yet I won't deny the painful moments that I endured.

At the end of the day, acne is annoying in different ways, depending on what kind of acne you have. The stress that a 16 year old valley girl experiences when she looks in the mirror and sees a zit --I understand it and don't trivialize her problem, as I know that the pain it causes her is not necessarily easier to bear than that of my cystic acne. It's simply not comparable and different. Even after I suffered cystic acne, I still get flustered when I get a small forehead pimple. And here I am calling myself a acne veteran.

But I also want to speak as a person who's suffered acne and then cleared up. I'm a bit ashamed to admit: as soon as I cleared up, slowly enough I began to lose my sensitivity to peoples' skin problems, began to become more superficial, began to trivialize peoples' problems. "Just do that and you'll clear up." It's as if the memory of my own past, my own pain, my own frustration, slipped into the backdrop. I have myself to blame, but not entirely, for I know how it works: unless you are suffering yourself, you can't have true empathy. Having suffered is not enough --you must be suffering to comprehend others' pain, to treat their pain as your own. It's a sad truth but one that I've come to accept. So I strive to remind myself, constantly, of my own experience, so as to resist forgetfulness and callousness, to never forget, even as acne becomes a mere shadow in my life.

:ninja:

Edited by john1234

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What?! ive had really bad cyst acne in the past, at some stages i thought it couldnt get any worse, but it did! it does get worse to when your left with indented scaring and shit! I still get them sometimes now just one or 2 at a time, just on my neck... anyone who gets cyst acne should go on accutane, i wish i could go back and change it so i did!

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Went on accutane 2 times buddy, : ). Also have the scars to show for it...

What?! ive had really bad cyst acne in the past, at some stages i thought it couldnt get any worse, but it did! it does get worse to when your left with indented scaring and shit! I still get them sometimes now just one or 2 at a time, just on my neck... anyone who gets cyst acne should go on accutane, i wish i could go back and change it so i did!
Edited by john1234

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Went on accutane 2 times buddy, : ). Also have the scars to show for it...

What?! ive had really bad cyst acne in the past, at some stages i thought it couldnt get any worse, but it did! it does get worse to when your left with indented scaring and shit! I still get them sometimes now just one or 2 at a time, just on my neck... anyone who gets cyst acne should go on accutane, i wish i could go back and change it so i did!

good job :)

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yep yep...those chapped lips weren't fun either.

Went on accutane 2 times buddy, : ). Also have the scars to show for it...

What?! ive had really bad cyst acne in the past, at some stages i thought it couldnt get any worse, but it did! it does get worse to when your left with indented scaring and shit! I still get them sometimes now just one or 2 at a time, just on my neck... anyone who gets cyst acne should go on accutane, i wish i could go back and change it so i did!

good job :)

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I read all of it... Great post.

It's true, one has to endure the pain and mental anguish of a problem to fully understand it. You cannot fake the problem of being poor by giving all of your money away (while being rich your whole life), as you will never understand what it is not to have had any in the first place.

Enduring the pain of having acne may not give you the perspective to completely understand a person who is struggling with their weight, but it does give you insight into what it's like to have a problem that will not go away despite your best efforts.

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