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hotburrito

Recovering From Acne Both Physically And Emotionally/psychologically

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I've been mulling things over these past few days and it occurs to me that perhaps what I'm most afraid of is how big a chunk acne is going to end up taking out of my life. Hopefully I've posted this in the right forum, but I want to ask though of you who have recovered (or mostly recovered) from acne either physically or emotionally/psychologically (or both!) - how long did it take you and what was the recovery process like?

I ask because I'm afraid that even post-Accutane, post lasers, post chemical peels, it is going to take years and years before I finally look like myself again. But I don't have years and years - I'm in my twenties and these are supposed to be some of the best years of my life. I'm supposed to transition into my future career and find my future husband at this point (by my mid-twenties at least) so I can be assured the good life for the next couple of decades or so (provided, obviously, that I manage to maintain each). I'm afraid that my acne is going to keep me from making the right professional connections to advance in the workforce (try as some people might to deny it, most of society is shallow and does discriminate), and I'm almost absolutely sure that I won't be able to find a good husband if I continue to look this way (you can try all you want to argue with me on this point but I can tell you now that you won't convince me).

Even beyond that however, I'm afraid that the psychological repercussions of acne will last even longer than the physical ones, and I really can't operate in society with my current set of behaviours either. Basically all my confidence, my optimism, my ambition, my motivation, my social skills... pretty much everything that would've put me at an advantage in the past is now gone, gone, gone. I can stand being this way for now (even though staying at home all the time is starting to give me cabin fever), but I don't know how much more of this I can take.

I realize it probably depends on the person how long your recovery might take, but I'd like to get a ballpark range and a few tips about how to put your life back together after you're done with the acne (and the lasers and chemical peels and all that). I'm really determined NOT to let acne ruin my twenties and quite possibly the rest of my life, so any help/advice would be vastly appreciated!

Edited by hotburrito

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Never recovered. Repressed my emotions. Now I am weird, but somehow manage to continue. Seriously, go out and do something fun. Staying indoors will make your crazy. If you have ever played the sims, they end up going insane without any social interaction and locked in the house all day.

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Never recovered. Repressed my emotions. Now I am weird, but somehow manage to continue. Seriously, go out and do something fun. Staying indoors will make your crazy. If you have ever played the sims, they end up going insane without any social interaction and locked in the house all day.

I work seven hours a day and go out to dim sum with my family... does that count?

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When I got clearer around April this year, it hit me that all the stuff which I assumed would be resolved upon getting clear - confidence, self esteem, friends and so on - wasn't going to be resolved at all. Those problems were still there. Same again now when my skin's getting better and better. In fact. I'm technically worse off now compared to April because I was employed then.

I always felt cheated that I missed my teens and most of my twenties. Those years are supposed to be great and they're supposed to be formative and all that. I still feel like I'm 13 years old in some respects. In terms of experiences, in some ways, I might as well be. But there's still loads of time yet. There's no set formula and nobody can tell me that I'm too old or that it's too late or that I really have missed out. I could dwell on it and cry about it, or I can create a starting point and go from there, working out how to build a life for myself and working out how to be happy being me.

The biggest thing for me has been group therapy. Getting to know new people and connecting has shown me that I can do that; that I do matter and I do have a role to play. There's been a great support about my skin. They can't relate from experience so don't get that specific root cause, but they totally understand the psychological principles of it in terms of how it could cause depression, low self esteem, lack of confidence, and so on. Perhaps it's not for everyone, but I can't recommend that kind of thing highly enough.

Maybe we'll never be totally happy with who we are on a physical level and maybe we'll always have mental reminder of what we've struggled with, but it doesn't mean we can't at least try to live our lives and make them count. Personally, I've never had much ambition or dreams and I'm not bothered about making loads of money or whatever, but it doesn't mean I can't go in search of something which I can enjoy and be comfortable with. By the same token, I've never wanted to be the most popular person around, but it doesn't mean I can't try and connect with people and try and make the odd friend or two who I can really count on and share experiences with. Just like I've never had a relationship or even had a girl show any degree of interest in me, but it doesn't mean that I'll never have a chance of finding someone who likes me for who I am and can love me and the partnership we form. I must admit that I really do struggle to see that last one happening, but it's not impossible. In all those equivalent scenarios, we'd be the only ones stopping ourselves. It's up to us whether or not we suffer.

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Unless you enjoy yourself at work then no. But I guess working can provide some type of distraction so you are not constantly thinking of your skin.

Edited by Heir

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It did not take a long time to me. Assuming that you are clear of acne and that you have treatable scars like post hyperpigmentation, you will reach a point where you wake up in the morning and after washing your face your skin looks smooth, near blemish free and quite acceptable. It's like everyone has this barrier of what is acceptable skin and what is'nt. You know what good enough skin is. You reach a point where you've scaled the depths of acne hell and that day comes where you say damn I'm back. Then you start to get confirmation from other people whether you know them or not. There's always those unsaid communications that you pick up from people. Like people smiling at you or people checking you out. It all starts to come together.

So we are our own worst critic. The light is either on and saying go for it or it's dim and saying hide. Now if you still have acne or tougher to treat scars then that subconscious inside of you may hold you back. If you are a perfectionist, lord have mercy on you lol.

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I know the feeling of wondering if it'll ever be over and you can move on with your life. I sometimes will think of my acne as "I'm losing my face" and it makes me quite sad. I'll feel like i'm not ME anymore, and it's just a mask of scars and marks distracting from who I actually am. Plus im sad if I look at pictures of my skin when it was pretty much acne free with NO scars and it almost HURTS. Being self conscious your whole life for other reasons then getting moderate /cystic painful acne when you turn 20 and getting into a habit of skin picking and obsession isn't fun.

But I have seen it is quite possible to *move on* even while having active acne. I'v been off antibtiocs for about a month now and so the effects are wearing off and my acnes coming back, so i'm starting to get obsessive and stressed about it....but while on antibtioics the acne was slowed down...and yeah I still had the scars and stuff but I just simply felt better without the acne. I'v had some pretty bad lows when it comes to my face (I was admited into the hospital because of being obsessed with my skin, it used to be all i'd think about all day and I was quite sick), but now even though my face is the worst its ever been, i'm not even 10% as obsessed as I used to be about it.

it's just about compartimentalizing everything, and talking yourself down...rationalizing, I suppose.

It sounds kind of lame and I know its hard, but if you think about all the people that are worse off then you, but they still live life and carry on, it can help. I work with people with intellectual and physical disabilities, and being a higher funtioning individual with an ID is probably quite upsetting....I mean, they can comprehend they are different, that they are "slower", and that they are considered by many as 'unwanted'.....I take people to the mall to hang out, and you should SEE little kids in particular full out STARE at these guys.

children are the worst because they tend to open their mouths and sort of....gape, when they are staring. Can you imagine just trying to hang out at a mall and have basically every child you walk past just full out staring at you? I know even though I *think* my acne is this ugly grotesque spectacle, my acne really isn't *children staring at me and pointing* worthy.

Society is shallow and most people are shallow, but who cares, really.....you can't let the fact that what other people may or may not be thinking about your skin get in your way of improving your life and reaching your goals and such. Because if one day you ARE comfortable with your skin....you'll have accomplished nothing.

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I agree with Paul in that there is no set formula in life, unless you choose to follow one. If we were to follow this assumed formula, then you and your good husband would end up divorced anyway. On the topic of the spouse, what is your criteria for "good"? Maybe the best husband should be someone who loves you as you are now, instead of someone who should fall in love with the flawless, twenty-something version of yourself. There are people out there whose values are deeper than skin-thick. But if you don't like yourself, then it's unlikely you'd give anyone else the chance to like you, however much they may want to do so. So, before you even go out looking for affirmation from someone else, my advice is to strike up a relationship with yourself. You're the only one who will always be there for you, so become as good a friend to yourself as you would to someone else. Be kinder, be patient, be hopefu, be loving.

As for the career, even for people who did all the right things, life will and does take a crap on people whenever, wherever. It's not unheard of for people to change careers in their 30's and beyond. My only advice is to follow your heart when it comes to your career. Your very passion for the work will make you excel and succeed.

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Maybe we'll never be totally happy with who we are on a physical level and maybe we'll always have mental reminder of what we've struggled with, but it doesn't mean we can't at least try to live our lives and make them count. Personally, I've never had much ambition or dreams and I'm not bothered about making loads of money or whatever, but it doesn't mean I can't go in search of something which I can enjoy and be comfortable with. By the same token, I've never wanted to be the most popular person around, but it doesn't mean I can't try and connect with people and try and make the odd friend or two who I can really count on and share experiences with. Just like I've never had a relationship or even had a girl show any degree of interest in me, but it doesn't mean that I'll never have a chance of finding someone who likes me for who I am and can love me and the partnership we form. I must admit that I really do struggle to see that last one happening, but it's not impossible. In all those equivalent scenarios, we'd be the only ones stopping ourselves. It's up to us whether or not we suffer.

First of all, I just wanted to say: I'm really glad to hear you're doing well with the group treatment! I remember you talking about how social interaction was really difficult for you in the past, so it warms my heart to know that things are getting much better in that respect.

Sometimes I wonder if I want too much. I want to be physically happy with myself, I want to be emotionally happy with myself, I want to have a fairly lucrative career and I want to be outgoing and social. With the exception of the lucrative career (I'm only 22 and besides that I always did very well in school), I pretty much had all these things before the acne hit. Settling for mere contentment and "okayness" instead of trying to make my life as awesome as possible - I honestly don't know if I can do that sad.png I thought I might be okay with just being an indoorsy bookworm, but I've been that person for the past three months and it's already driving me absolutely mad because I'm pretty sure that's just not who I am. Does that make any sense or am I missing your point entirely somehow?

Unless you enjoy yourself at work then no. But I guess working can provide some type of distraction so you are not constantly thinking of your skin.

Honestly I work at the most uneventful place imaginable so being at work isn't all that much different from being at home... I once managed to watch two entire movies without being interrupted here, believe it or not tongue.png But I get your point - I think I'm actually happiest when I have a big book of logic problems in front of me because they're so absorbing (and because in logic, there are no surprises). I've developed social anxiety of late though, so I don't know how feasible actually getting out there and interacting with more people is...

It did not take a long time to me. Assuming that you are clear of acne and that you have treatable scars like post hyperpigmentation, you will reach a point where you wake up in the morning and after washing your face your skin looks smooth, near blemish free and quite acceptable. It's like everyone has this barrier of what is acceptable skin and what is'nt. You know what good enough skin is. You reach a point where you've scaled the depths of acne hell and that day comes where you say damn I'm back. Then you start to get confirmation from other people whether you know them or not. There's always those unsaid communications that you pick up from people. Like people smiling at you or people checking you out. It all starts to come together.

So we are our own worst critic. The light is either on and saying go for it or it's dim and saying hide. Now if you still have acne or tougher to treat scars then that subconscious inside of you may hold you back. If you are a perfectionist, lord have mercy on you lol.

I'm not clear yet - I'm on my second month of Accutane, but I guess I'm getting a little antsy because I really want my life back. Anyways, thanks for your reply - this really did give me hope! Sometimes I'm afraid that even after the Accutane/peels/treatments I'm still going to be "ugly" because I won't be able to get rid of everything. Unfortunately, I have a suspicion that I am kind of a perfectionist when it comes to my skin - it's mostly because I used to have effortlessly great skin (and would stay at home rather than go to a party if I so much had a single very visible bump on my chin). Lord have mercy on me indeed - it sucks to be a perfectionist sometimes.

But I have seen it is quite possible to *move on* even while having active acne. I'v been off antibtiocs for about a month now and so the effects are wearing off and my acnes coming back, so i'm starting to get obsessive and stressed about it....but while on antibtioics the acne was slowed down...and yeah I still had the scars and stuff but I just simply felt better without the acne. I'v had some pretty bad lows when it comes to my face (I was admited into the hospital because of being obsessed with my skin, it used to be all i'd think about all day and I was quite sick), but now even though my face is the worst its ever been, i'm not even 10% as obsessed as I used to be about it.

it's just about compartimentalizing everything, and talking yourself down...rationalizing, I suppose.

I'm really glad to hear you've found a way of "moving on" even with active acne. I know you say your face is the worst its ever been now (and ugh, so much sympathy there, that sucks, plus the whole hospital thing - that must've been brutal), but from your picture at least you look really clear to me! I agree that there are far worse problems in this world and I'm not trying to diminish their significance or whatever, but... I don't know. Even knowing that there are people with far worse problems doesn't really make me feel better, it just makes me feel guilty for feeling bad and then I just end up feeling even worse.

I've realized lately that I need to be looked at a certain way to be happy, and it's selfish and it's vain yes, but I've basically been looked at "that certain way" my entire life so I don't even feel like myself if people don't see me that way anymore, if that makes any sense at all. I just can't help but care what people think of me - I mean, if they're just completely shallow douchebags then I can just let it slide, but even most "normal" people are shallow to an extent, right? I suppose I don't know how not to let people's perceptions of me stop me from trying to improve my life because a good life, at least to me, necessitates some form of social acknowledgement sad.png

I agree with Paul in that there is no set formula in life, unless you choose to follow one. If we were to follow this assumed formula, then you and your good husband would end up divorced anyway. On the topic of the spouse, what is your criteria for "good"? Maybe the best husband should be someone who loves you as you are now, instead of someone who should fall in love with the flawless, twenty-something version of yourself. There are people out there whose values are deeper than skin-thick. But if you don't like yourself, then it's unlikely you'd give anyone else the chance to like you, however much they may want to do so. So, before you even go out looking for affirmation from someone else, my advice is to strike up a relationship with yourself. You're the only one who will always be there for you, so become as good a friend to yourself as you would to someone else. Be kinder, be patient, be hopefu, be loving.

As for the career, even for people who did all the right things, life will and does take a crap on people whenever, wherever. It's not unheard of for people to change careers in their 30's and beyond. My only advice is to follow your heart when it comes to your career. Your very passion for the work will make you excel and succeed.

It's not that I expect my future husband to love me because of my looks - even without the acne, I'm only moderately pretty and there are far better-looking girls out there. But I can't imagine anybody falling for me when I'm actively ugly because first impressions really do matter... I always planned to be pretty enough to get a guy's attention and then use my other less superficial qualities to hold it. As for what I want in a husband, here's where I admit my shallowness because I pretty much want everything: he has to be attractive (to me, because I can't imagine being married to anybody I'm not attracted to), moderately wealthy (because I aim to make at least six figures myself and want a partner with a relatively equal income so we'll have a relatively equal household), and be a good person.

But you're right. Maybe I do need to stop being in such an abusive relationship with myself for now - that's really good advice. I guess there's merit in doing prep work for when I do recover from my acne so that the process will be much more quick and fluid. Thank you for pointing that out!

Edited by hotburrito

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Pictures from summer before the last when I was 19. It's more of a motivator type of thing, but kind of hate the picture because thats when I had no real severe acne problems and didn't even THINK about it or care about acne. Had no scars back then at all.

Now i'm 21 and my forehead is filled with very tiny pimples and feels like sandpaper....chin has about 9 pimples on it now, cheeks have dark purple scars....

pretty emberrassing. I wear alot of makeup. I was perscribed accutane this morning from my derm...so it's bad enough haha.

anyways, not everyone is SO shallow to the point that they will cast you aside just because of acne, I mean, I don't know how severe yours is or anything...but i'm sure it's NOT bad enough that i'd be like "oh I can't be your friend, you have to much acne".

You can't control what other people think. Plus, people have preoccupations with certain negative body appearences that they judge alot more severe then others. Many people can relate to how shitty acne can be, because in some way shape or form, EVERYONE has had a pimple, SOMEWHERE on their body at some time or another.

I notice everyones skin around me because it's a feature I see as ugly in myself and so i'm more judgemental with it. Like i'll see guys with acne and they can be and generally always are quite attractive despite the acne on their face.

Now girls on the other hand, I generally think they look unattractive, or like they don't care about their skin (even though i'm sure they do - I know how much money I personally spend on skincare, and it's RIDICULOUS)....but yeah, even though I can relate to those girls completely, I still judge them.

People that don't have skin issues won't be nearly that AWARE of it as you are. They won't think twice about it, I am sure.

I'm sure there are many people that do not notice my skin. People don't care about my skin. What people see when they judge me is my WEIGHT. I'm 83 pounds at the moment and 5 foot 3 inches tall. People see an EXTREMELY skinny girl, and judge me JUST based on that- and you know what, because I do not care what other people think about my weight, and I do not have a preoccupation with my weight, I don't go around looking at girls with huge boobs and curves and obsess about how much I wan't to look like THAT - and I don't look at skinny girls and think "ew they look so gross".... I just don't notice it, because I don't care.

Maybe not the best example, but trying to get across the point that people generally are just shallow about the things they hate about themselves.

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I was diagnosed with depression and social anxiety and put on medications before my face fell apart. I didn't get better, quit taking the pills and then I wasted 2 or 3 years being drunk,high and antisocial, off and on.. depending on how my face looked when I woke up. I have a big family so I wasn't completely isolated but as much as I could be.

Then everyone around me started dying. In one year I lost two brothers, an uncle, two friends, a cousin....I might be biased but it was pretty much the worst year ever.

Needless to say, back to therapy I went. So I "fixed" my head before I fixed my face. If you're human, you're going to have days where you can't stand yourself in one way or another. But for the whole I think I'm good. And most days you ask me, I couldn't give a rats behind if I have a pimple or not.

And don't be discouraged by the 3 year sentence. You said it yourself, everyone's different.

I know it's hard to change and adapt but you should make an effort. Every little thing you exclude yourself from now could become a huge regret in the future.

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I was diagnosed with depression and social anxiety and put on medications before my face fell apart. I didn't get better, quit taking the pills and then I wasted 2 or 3 years being drunk,high and antisocial, off and on.. depending on how my face looked when I woke up. I have a big family so I wasn't completely isolated but as much as I could be.

Then everyone around me started dying. In one year I lost two brothers, an uncle, two friends, a cousin....I might be biased but it was pretty much the worst year ever.

Needless to say, back to therapy I went. So I "fixed" my head before I fixed my face. If you're human, you're going to have days where you can't stand yourself in one way or another. But for the whole I think I'm good. And most days you ask me, I couldn't give a rats behind if I have a pimple or not.

And don't be discouraged by the 3 year sentence. You said it yourself, everyone's different.

I know it's hard to change and adapt but you should make an effort. Every little thing you exclude yourself from now could become a huge regret in the future.

I'll go on record here Jamie and say that I think you are officially awesome! To try and fix things once is hard enough, I know. So to lose your way a second time and then experience the losses you have, but still find the strength to go back once more and, as you put it, "fix your head" is truly amazing to me. Honestly, I've nothing but admiration for your ability to do that, and indeed respect for you for sharing it here.

As I said before, I've only great things to say about therapy and I'm so glad I took that route. A fair way to go yet, I'm sure, but the hardest past is walking in there and essentially saying, "This is me". To me, it feels like a metaphor for life; we have pretty much an infinite number of opportunities in life to show people who we are and what we are about, and we should embrace those opportunities every chance we get. If we're not doing that, then we have to at least try and be brave and try to learn to take those chances because we deserve nothing less, regardless of what our skin may be like.

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anyways, not everyone is SO shallow to the point that they will cast you aside just because of acne, I mean, I don't know how severe yours is or anything...but i'm sure it's NOT bad enough that i'd be like "oh I can't be your friend, you have to much acne".

You can't control what other people think. Plus, people have preoccupations with certain negative body appearences that they judge alot more severe then others. Many people can relate to how shitty acne can be, because in some way shape or form, EVERYONE has had a pimple, SOMEWHERE on their body at some time or another.

I notice everyones skin around me because it's a feature I see as ugly in myself and so i'm more judgemental with it. Like i'll see guys with acne and they can be and generally always are quite attractive despite the acne on their face.

Now girls on the other hand, I generally think they look unattractive, or like they don't care about their skin (even though i'm sure they do - I know how much money I personally spend on skincare, and it's RIDICULOUS)....but yeah, even though I can relate to those girls completely, I still judge them.

People that don't have skin issues won't be nearly that AWARE of it as you are. They won't think twice about it, I am sure.

Good luck with the Accutane! I'm on it now and it's really not much fun, but it seems to have gotten rid of at least 60% of my acne so I hope you have good results with it and get back to your pretty 19-year-old self smile.png

Everybody in my life has actually been very nice about my acne so far - my parents have been very supportive and my friends very sympathetic. But they're nice to me because we've got reserves of good will built up over the years. On the other hand, I think this must be some kind of karmic retribution for all the times I've sat around with these same friends and made snide comments about/all-out dismissed people who look/act the way I do now. On the other hand, I think I'm far more sympathetic to people with skin problems now than I used to be, only I don't actually know any people *with* skin problems anymore - pretty much all my friends/acquaintances are totally clear.

But you're right, of course; people without skin problems won't notice nearly as much as I do... except my acne is bad enough that even if they notice just a little, they'll see a fairly disfigured face.

Sorry to hear about all the judging stares you get about your weight, though I'm glad that you don't obsess about it. Also, you'd totally fit in if you ever decided to move to Japan...

I was diagnosed with depression and social anxiety and put on medications before my face fell apart. I didn't get better, quit taking the pills and then I wasted 2 or 3 years being drunk,high and antisocial, off and on.. depending on how my face looked when I woke up. I have a big family so I wasn't completely isolated but as much as I could be.

Then everyone around me started dying. In one year I lost two brothers, an uncle, two friends, a cousin....I might be biased but it was pretty much the worst year ever.

Needless to say, back to therapy I went. So I "fixed" my head before I fixed my face. If you're human, you're going to have days where you can't stand yourself in one way or another. But for the whole I think I'm good. And most days you ask me, I couldn't give a rats behind if I have a pimple or not.

And don't be discouraged by the 3 year sentence. You said it yourself, everyone's different.

I know it's hard to change and adapt but you should make an effort. Every little thing you exclude yourself from now could become a huge regret in the future.

Wow Catherine, your story is really heart-breaking and I'm so sorry to hear you had to endure all of that. I can't even imagine, but yeah - I guess acne would seem like a breeze in comparison to having six family/friends die on you. I know I should make an effort, but I just don't know how right now - it sounds really stupid when I put it this way, but I genuinely don't know how to function as an ugly person (and yes, acne has definitely made me very ugly). It seems like all the qualities I felt like defined myself before - my confidence, my outgoingness, my general cheerfulness - are qualities that ought only to belong to passably attractive people so I pretty much have no idea who I even am anymore. I literally can't get through a single day without crying at least two or three times and I'd rather have that be in private rather than public. How do you even fix your head?

As I said before, I've only great things to say about therapy and I'm so glad I took that route. A fair way to go yet, I'm sure, but the hardest past is walking in there and essentially saying, "This is me". To me, it feels like a metaphor for life; we have pretty much an infinite number of opportunities in life to show people who we are and what we are about, and we should embrace those opportunities every chance we get. If we're not doing that, then we have to at least try and be brave and try to learn to take those chances because we deserve nothing less, regardless of what our skin may be like.

I think what you say is very wise! I guess I'm having difficulty because I have no idea who the hell I am right now, let alone what I stand for sad.png Perhaps I'll learn as I go along.

Edited by hotburrito

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I think what you say is very wise! I guess I'm having difficulty because I have no idea who the hell I am right now, let alone what I stand for sad.png Perhaps I'll learn as I go along.

You're not on your own. I can't say that I really know who I am either. I mean, I was always "the kid with acne". Nobody knew me for anything else because I didn't put any other side of me out there and I wasn't strong enough to influence or change their perceptions. So I take the acne out of the picture - hope so anyway, really making great progress these days - and I don't know who I am if I'm no longer defining myself by that. Not to worry though, plenty of time to figure that out as life move along and new things come my way if I open to whatever opportunities I find. No reason why it can't be the same for you. As you say, learning as you go. That's what we all do. Keep at it and stay strong, you'll get there! :)

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While I have no idea of how attractive or unattractive you are, Miss Burrito, it seems to me like an unpleasant outward appearance should make you want to let your other qualities shine through. I totally understand if you may not be at your most confident and cheerful though. It just seems odd to me that you feel like only good looking people should have those good qualities. The unattractive don't survive long without something going for them.

Anywho, fixing your head is easier said than done. It basically re-teaches you how to think. I'm not the best at explaining things so that probably sounds half dumb. It's like losing your memory, the doctors and your family and friends will tell you stories and show you pictures to try to get you to remember things right? Well, in this case you would be trying to remember the lines your brain used to run in until that awful thing happened that made you act/feel the way you do now. You're not trying to forget anything or ignore it, just work around it with the tools you already have. Again, I'm thinking the goof troop could probably explain this better than I can but that's my attempt.

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I think what you say is very wise! I guess I'm having difficulty because I have no idea who the hell I am right now, let alone what I stand for sad.png Perhaps I'll learn as I go along.

You're not on your own. I can't say that I really know who I am either. I mean, I was always "the kid with acne". Nobody knew me for anything else because I didn't put any other side of me out there and I wasn't strong enough to influence or change their perceptions. So I take the acne out of the picture - hope so anyway, really making great progress these days - and I don't know who I am if I'm no longer defining myself by that. Not to worry though, plenty of time to figure that out as life move along and new things come my way if I open to whatever opportunities I find. No reason why it can't be the same for you. As you say, learning as you go. That's what we all do. Keep at it and stay strong, you'll get there! smile.png

That sounds like a good plan. My acne pretty much dictates every facet of my life right now and my life is definitely miserable as a result. I just have to remember that I had positive qualities other than confidence and outgoingness (both of which I seriously cannot access right now) too.

While I have no idea of how attractive or unattractive you are, Miss Burrito, it seems to me like an unpleasant outward appearance should make you want to let your other qualities shine through. I totally understand if you may not be at your most confident and cheerful though. It just seems odd to me that you feel like only good looking people should have those good qualities. The unattractive don't survive long without something going for them.

Anywho, fixing your head is easier said than done. It basically re-teaches you how to think. I'm not the best at explaining things so that probably sounds half dumb. It's like losing your memory, the doctors and your family and friends will tell you stories and show you pictures to try to get you to remember things right? Well, in this case you would be trying to remember the lines your brain used to run in until that awful thing happened that made you act/feel the way you do now. You're not trying to forget anything or ignore it, just work around it with the tools you already have. Again, I'm thinking the goof troop could probably explain this better than I can but that's my attempt.

*laughs* It probably sounds like I'm making myself out to have been some kind of great beauty before, but that's definitely not true. I would probably call the old me moderately pretty at best. Anyways, it makes perfect sense that unattractive people should have to compensate with other qualities, but the sad thing is that I'm pretty sure 90% of my good qualities (I used to be very confident, very outgoing, and et cetera) were tied to my... Not Ugliness, let's call it, and I can't seem to access them as long as I'm in this state.

And no, learning to "rethink" makes a lot of sense too. Unfortunately if I try to access old memories of how I used to be, it just makes me cry because I'm deeply afraid I'll never get to be that way again. At the same time I wonder if my past/sort-of-still-present belief system is only contributing to my unhappiness, because the old me was somebody who considered any skin problems totally gross - and the current me is suffering precisely because she can't get rid of that belief.

Edited by hotburrito

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