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So it's taken me a month to even find the courage to make my first post on here. But in reality that's barely surprising considering the complete & utter bullshit that is my pointless existence. If any of you out there think that things are bad & that you've wasted so much time & energy on this never-ending struggle, well, at least this should give you some retrospective hope in that you haven't fucked everything up anywhere near as epicly as I have. I once had a future along with all of the ambition in the world. A pretty good looking face too. Now I have nothing.

Alright so this is going to inevitably end up being a ridiculously long & petty post of depressing self-pity, but I really feel like I have nowhere else to go - I can honestly say I'm currently at the lowest point of my entire futile existence. I'm one of those people who usually just compartmentalises all of their emotions & disguises their crumbling insecurities behind a veil of conceited confidence, so sharing my personal feelings is a huge deal for me & doesn't come naturally whatsoever - never has - I guess that's something of a typical consequence when you're an only child who has never really had any kind of entirely open & trusting relationship with family or friends alike. But this has simply gone on too long so I figured now is as good a time as any to finally vent some of my endless misery since I've found many other inspiring posts on this site to be of great help in understanding & coming to terms with this stream of shit I seem to be stuck in; even if the meaning & reason of this struggle is more unclear to me now than ever before.

As a fair warning to those who have considerably more pressing issues than listening to some pessimistic teenage rant of regret - as much as I will try to keep the details relevant - this is going to be an unnecessarily long & most probably entirely worthless post for the majority of individuals.

***STOP READING HERE IF YOU CBF WITH IT - I UNDERSTAND THAT I OVERTYPE/THINK THINGS SEVERELY & YOUR TIME COULD BE SPENT MORE PRODUCTIVELY/POSITIVELY***

But I've finally come to this breaking point after realising that the mistakes & most of all the missed opportunities of the past are what will truly haunt me forever. It's just completely bemusing to me that I could have so much to regret in life already - when I've only just turned 19 two months ago.

One of those painful missed opportunities was undoubtedly in not getting my lazy arse on here after my earliest signs of acne 5 years ago & not having the balls to share my insecurities & concerns even in a place where so many others like myself soldier on through far more impressive waves of shit & continue to do so with the majority of their sanity intact. That kind of strength & courage is deserving of far more than I have made of my own situation. Maybe that's what has made me so reluctant to sign up for all this time, even though I can recall reading threads from as early as 2008 (maybe 2007), because I was so embarrassed about how redundant my issues seemed in comparison to what I see so many of you have to go through each & every day. But you know what. Fuck it. I've come to terms with the fact that things are pretty much only going to get worse from here on out - so even if this is nothing more than a truly self-indulgent display of my disgustingly neurotic narcissism, well at least it should give most of you some comfort or even humour in knowing your lives are nowhere near as ridiculous & unnecessarily fucked up as mine. You might still feel you have had to endure worse with your skin, but at least what you've done & achieved with the circumstances & what you were given should be of some reconciliation since you didn't throw it all away like I have done over the last half decade. Then again, you may just be pissed enough to want to kill me for being such a complete & utter idiot about it all. I certainly have felt that urge in recent times. You might call it karma, but in reality to me it seems I was the only one who damned myself in my own downfall from the very beginning.

Anyway, I've basically lost myself to disillusion & apathy (as well as slight anxiety/OCD/BDD) over the last 5 years suffering pretty much purely from the impact of acne; whether it be physically on my skin or psychologically in my mind. It has almost quite literally pre-occupied my every sober thought since the first fucking spot I got. After all of this time I truly feel completely stripped of my humanity, bare to the core of my withering soul. & yet I've only really come to terms with much of this seemingly endless path of self-destruction in recent weeks. It's a tough pill to swallow; one that I've been choking on for what seems like an eternity. But to be honest, things could not be worse in my world so I guess it's worth a shot just to see if I'm somehow worthy of redemption in some of your eyes; cause in mine I passed that point a long time ago & I'm not sure I actually see a way back anymore...

A year ago I was still pretty much a typical 18 year old guy. I still had my friends & I was still seen as this generally popular & (over-) confident individual, with a good dose of humorous pessimism. I was that awesome, witty, intelligent, funny kid who just did everything the way he wanted - & quite simply didn't give a fuck. Class A narcissist really, I know I am, & that's how I must've seemed to most people at least. Only thing is, beneath that veil of cool collected confidence, the truth is that I was completely incarcerated in my own feeble-minded insecurities - & had been for the past 4 years spent in endless fear & self-loathing. In reality I knew I was just being weak, but at the end of the day, I was that *guy* who for some reason or another just couldn't even leave the house without a full face of make up on to hide all of the horrid marks that no matter what I did would seem to engulf my entire face every morning. Yep that's the person I was & had been for what was meant to be the most enjoyable 4 years of my life while I was unable to rid myself of the only real thing that had held me back all of this time since the very first day I met it - acne.

From the beginning, I was just far too concerned about my looks & far too embarrassed to even talk to anyone or do anything about it. & well, my skin wasn't really that bad back then when I first began what eventually seemed to be an endless cycle of countless hours spent in the bathroom trying to make myself look 'normal' - just so I could have the confidence to face the world & another day. It was that much harder for me though because I was regarded as one of the most attractive ('hot') guys in my school even after I started slapping on foundation & I was also that guy who was always up for a party & getting drunk & doing all the stupid stuff that 14 year old rebels love to do. For some reason I was always attracting the attention & company of older teens too & that led to even more of a 'bad boy' reputation since it made me so very uber-cool. That just built up the pressure for me to look good all the time since that was already the mindset I'd had since the days of pre-teen angst along with my impeccably obsessive vanity & the delusions of grandeur it all brought - probably the beginnings of OCD that I failed to recognise. In reality I never needed perfection though, that wasn't what it was about, I just wanted to have the normal skin so many of my friends seemed to be blessed with. So I guess my way of solving that was to fake up - with make up.

You won't believe that all of my 'firsts' were pretty much with a full face of foundation on. First drunken make out sesh. First time not remembering a thing on new years. First time spending the night with a girl in my bed. First time having sex twice in a row. First time smoking up. All of what were meant to be some sort of eternally memorable landmarks of adolescent adventure, all of it happened while I was completely self-conscious about the mask I was wearing to hide my true imperfections. I guess that's why it was so easy for me to just keep on putting everything else off & putting foundation on every morning, because I was actually living life the way I wanted without much regret. To me & my self-esteem at least - I looked good, so I felt good, & therefore I was good. It was like my daily dose of liquid confidence that I simply couldn't go without - becoming an addiction of sorts - because somehow that false image of perfection was worth the occasional once in a blue moon that I got called out on my audaciously feminine habit. To face the world & reveal my real skin & what lay beneath the mask, even for just a moment, always seemed like a far more daunting task than I could bear to imagine. I guess I never really thought it through, because for some reason I always felt like life as I knew it would be over the day I decided to go without. It was the fear of being an entirely different person in both my own eyes as well as others that stopped me from ever getting over it. Of course, I had always planned to stop wearing it once my skin got clear anyway...but the problem is that year after year, it just never did.

& I mean honestly the only real point of wearing make up for me was so I could attempt to live my life undisturbed the way I would have if I'd kept my clear skin. So I could pursue girls with the natural flirtacious flair & confidence I was gifted with if I'm to be entirely honest. Funny how that worked out in the end...but at the time it made sense to me since I've never had any kind of close relationship with my parents so I didn't even have proper discussions about my skin until years later when the situation had well & truly worsened. But anyway that initial honeymoon period of loving life lasted about a year.

Thereafter things all sort of started going downhill as I became ever more obsessive about my skin & used literally more than 10 crappy cosmetic products every day in an attempt to control things as my situation degraded into oblivion. But somehow each & every day just 'putting on my face' made everything better no matter how much of a pain it was. I mean it was torture to have to do that every time I wanted to leave my room, yet that paled in comparison to what I thought about my skin & the idea of facing the world without a mask to hide behind. I didn't know how I could ever talk to a girl like that. The fear of being judged was just too much for me. Even after most people basically knew I was some kind of make-up-wearing-freak, somehow I was still liked by so many & I was still regarded as one of the most popular kids in school thanks to my outgoing lifestyle & effervescent self-confidence & charm. & this just encouraged me to keep on doing what I was doing since I was getting by & supposedly had more of a life than many 'losers'. Sure I didn't actually get to have a girlfriend or anything, but that's not to say I couldn't have. & I still got to enjoy some moments of teenage promiscuity on a few occasions at least. It was more due to my increasingly reclusive ways due to my fear of more & more people discovering the truth & judging me that resulted in just basically having no desire to even contemplate the kind of shenanigans it would require to sustain a proper relationship. & yet nevertheless I always wanted one & that's all I really yearned for in my lonesome existence. That's why I couldn't just stop putting the make up on, cause for me it seemed as though that would well & truly eliminate all hope - the irony is that's probably all I actually had to do to get what I wanted.

Anyway, this surreal life I was living continued throughout the rest of my schooling career as my skin suffered more & more everyday for my naivety. I could tell my friends were getting increasingly impatient with my antics as I spent hours 'in the shower' trying to fix my face & was late to pretty much everything as covering things up began taking longer & longer. I was also restricted to pretty much exclusively going out at night & I began to choose the things I did based purely on the condition my face was in. I mean in all truthfulness I still had a pretty awesome social life despite my personal issues, but as things took randomly tumultuous turns for the worse, there were many more lonely Friday nights spent watching TV instead of going to parties with my friends as I usually would have done, plenty of missed opportunities that I wish I could've had the courage to make the most out of.

Eventually the stress of it all really got to me & it kick-started a new breed of truly hideous acne & wounds that I struggled to cover up no matter how much crap I put on my face - along with a healthy dose of bacne & some flare ups on my chest & back of my arms too. That was kind of alright for me since I wouldn't be caught dead jumping in a pool anyway thanks to my face, but it was still severely distressing & there were some awkward situations I encountered due to that. My face had really started to get bad though, & it was always directly influenced by stress which just kept on accumulating with no real way to release all of my frustrations & anxiety. The worst part was probably when I started bringing my make up into school. Yep a little loreal compact. How cute. That allowed me to miss a ton of lessons & lectures purely due to my obsession over touching it up in the bathroom at every chance I got. Which eventually led to me just hiding out in the bathroom in a sweaty cubicle all day to avoid facing all the bright lights & glare when it was particularly bad. I never realised how pointless that exercise really was until it was too late. Eventually I couldn't even make it out of my own bathroom to see my friends. Honestly, I spent new years of 2011 in front of the mirror for something like 4-5 hours as I attempted to look somewhat good for a night that had promised what I'd been looking forward to for a long time: a girl to spend the night with. & yet there I was at midnight still toiling away at my stubborn face trying to just get my skin to look normal enough to be unnoticeable in drunken teenage stupor. But I couldn't do it, & despite making it out the door eventually & enjoying the rest of a pretty good night/morning with good friends, I didn't have the courage to follow through on my initial plans - & I still regret that decision to this day. Because that was the turning point for me in my life. Where it went from bad but manageable - to seriously fucked up beyond belief.

Suddenly all I wanted to do was hide from the world. & somehow what I had told myself would be a couple weeks spent 'finding myself' had turned into constantly dodging calls from all of my friends & getting so stressed out & anxious about everything that I couldn't even make it to sit my exams. So I talked myself into dropping out of school where my grades were already suffering immensely & it had all pretty much gone to shit thanks to the fact I struggled to even just show up every day as it became more & more difficult to cover up my hideous face. The school thought I was just an arrogant underachieving pothead anyway - which I guess I was. I wouldn't have been had my skin been in a different state, but it was all just too much for me. & I couldn't make that vital step to just face the world as an honest person. Honesty was always a slippery slope for me, cause my entire life was a massive lie in reality. & almost nothing else seemed to matter apart from my skin & the judgement I would receive as a result of it. An incredibly senile way of thinking in retrospect. Because I could've just stopped wearing make up & started all over again, which is all it would've taken. But I just couldn't force myself to do it. Even though I was so concerned about the damage I was doing to my skin every day due to wearing the shitty pore-clogging crap that my mum bought me, facing the world without it seemed to be a far more unthinkable task.

So I decided to stop wearing it, but due to my ridiculous anxiety, that also meant I would have to stop living life for a while. One of the worst decisions I ever made, but at the same time school was never going to be part of my ultimate plans in life anyway as a musician/guitarist. I'd wanted to drop out two years prior really. So school wasn't going to be missed. & to me it felt like I didn't have that many true friends around anyway, so my social life was a sacrifice I was more than willing to make. I was wrong about that of course, because I had what seemed like hundreds of phone calls everyday for the first couple of months spent in self-imposed solitude & exile. But at the time I was thinking solely of my own interests & goals, & for me I just needed to take a few months of time to myself & concentrate on getting into guitar college once my skin had cleared sufficiently. I even started up my own guitar selling business so I could focus my time & energy into something productive. Well things took a turn for the worse after that as I had ongoing issues with my parents since they couldn't come to terms with my decision, education was always at the forefront of their minds despite full well knowing I had little to no desire to pursue anything that required a formal certificate of my intelligence, & so I ended up becoming just as frustrated as they were.

I've been hiding out in my room for the vast majority of the entire past 12 months. I quite literally have not even been able to make it out of my own front door for 95% of the time. Not even just to go to the gym. Or to take a walk. Or to have a smoke. Or to see an old friend (as if..) The only brief moments I would venture into the world outside was to complete deals with clients for my business since substantial sums of money were just about enough to motivate me to slap on some make up again & just deal with it for an hour or so. But I'm not even joking when I say I spent pretty much all of 2011 staring at the TV or my computer & feeling sorry for myself. Clearly 2012 isn't going to be much better...

I mean, I was actually happy with what I was doing for the first few months cause that's what I wanted in reality. To just hide away from the world & finally take some time to relax & focus on my life & my future - & most of all to get as clear as I possibly could for my planned return 5 months later. I had even formulated a plan for my own guitar sellling business to focus my time & energy on something productive, it's still going strong today. But shit happened in between & my entire world capitulated into absolute & utter senile emptiness as my own parents decided that my reclusiveness (due to not being in touch with my friends) & anger (due to their lack of understanding my situation) was endangering my life just as much as their own, some paranoid delusional belief that I still can't quite wrap my head around since I never directed any of it towards them, & well I'm just not the suicidal type. Otherwise I'd be long gone that's for sure. I just gave up talking to them because they wouldn't listen to what I needed, & therefore I didn't see any point in giving them that same luxury.

So they came to the conclusion that I was severely depressed & that it was necessary for me to be abducted from my own bed & put in a mental hospital for the sake of my sanity. Seriously, I was carried off by 5 men including my own uncle & shoved in a car because I was trying to deal with my skin & come to terms with a new way of living without the crutch I always wanted to rid myself of…I have no idea if I'm even going to have kids one day but I sure as hell know that I would never force them into an institution like that & undeniably fuck up their life forever. To make it just that much worse, this was at a point where I had finally healed 80-90% of the marks on my face after making so much progress without the stress & pressure of social life that had torn me apart from the inside, I had the clearest skin I'd seen in a long time, & for the first time I had really started to understand the narcissistic bastard I was as I began to feel, enjoy & appreciate life in an entirely different way. I was right on track with all of my plans to brave life with my bare face. That's all I wanted. To be free.

But instead I was plunged into the depths of despair & depression as I suffered severe trauma & anxiety thereafter, because you truly can't imagine the kind of screwed up experience being in a mental hospital was for someone who was entirely sane in reality. The sheer iniquity & injustice of it all was beyond anything I had ever encountered before. I tried to be positive & laugh things off in there & just think of it as some kind trippy mindfuck that would be over soon enough because I was told it would be a few days at the most. But being deceived by doctors & still stuck there more than a week later had already ruined me forever. At that point I actually felt well & truly depressed about my life for the first time. I'd never had those kind of feelings of complete & utter hopelessness before, & it fucked with my head, it really did. Because the moment I finally got out of there after two weeks, I should've been free to go & live life to the fullest exactly the way I had planned it all 5 months prior.

June was the month I was meant to return to my former life, but as a different person. The new me without the make up. Instead my skin had become a complete mess along with my mind as for the first time I felt previously unknown anxiety & a distinct jitteriness from the medications they had forced me to take whilst being haunted every night by freakishly vivid dreams that I had never had to experience & endure until then. Suddenly I was back in a world I was completely afraid of. & the progress I had made with myself & my skin over the months of self-exile was rendered entirely redundant. Nevertheless, I tried to see my friends since I had to tell someone about the ordeal I had endured, but it forced me to return to what I had tried to rid myself of all along - hiding behind the make up. & although I almost had my life back at one point...I was just too fucked up from everything & couldn't do it. I ended up more withdrawn than ever for the next few months & barely did anything besides watching TV, even what I once loved more than anything in playing guitar had become nothing more than a chore.

But I did manage to eventually gather myself & had regained resolve through being inspired by my passion for music once again. & I even managed to relax & appreciate the little things in life the way I hadn't been able to for months. Then suddenly after a new regime of skin care my face actually miraculously cleared up & looked the best it had done in years. It made me want to live again, to go out into the world & redeem myself for all the shit I had done. It was like starting over a new leaf. That was 3 months ago. I had finally recovered my mind & realised how much time I had wasted. I understood that life was all about choices & decisions & I had based mine on all of the wrong things - I was ready to make up for all that I had missed out on. With as clear a face as I'd seen for a long time I simply felt invincible. Everything was possible. & it felt good to finally be able to look myself in the mirror & say that the struggle wasn't for nothing. I managed to enjoy one of the best weeks of my life with my head filled with all of the ideas & potential I had been ignoring for too long. But then of course I had to go & fuck absolutely everything up entirely...

Within a period of little more than a month, I managed to do the unthinkably idiotic & burned a permanent scar into the middle of my forehead with AHA after a manic skin picking episode, whilst simultaneously grinding my perfectly good teeth down to a chipped gappy smile & ultimately slipping into the terminally depressive state I now find myself in as a result of it all. Then my acne suddenly flared up & returned after my misguided overuse of manuka honey somehow believing it was a miracle cure for my problems - it seemed to work with amazing results initially since it was helping to heal the wound on my forehead, but I screwed it up just like everything else. & now I'm experiencing the most severe acne I've ever encountered in my life. Not to mention I've hardly had a good nights sleep since then due to my insomniac night-owl schedule being obliterated by daily renovation work right outside my room, along with the relentless nightmares I constantly endure in my brief moments of restless disturbed sleep. One of the worst parts of all this might be that I can no longer enjoy one of the few things I had left to freely appreciate & be thankful for in eating glorious food as I developed TMJ disorder due to my nighttime clenching & grinding & now have to experience disturbing sounds & sensations whenever I chew too enthusiastically, which means to say as a normal hungry person would do & as I always have done my entire life; I can't even sing the way I used to. My teeth also don't come together properly anymore due to the removal of so much enamel, which makes chewing an even more challenging task. It's an effort just to sustain myself to keep on living..I was eating one meal a day & sometimes even less than that. & yet starvation just didn't even seem to matter to me. Nothing did.

I couldn't have possibly envisioned how acne could've affected me so adversely & without any reprieve. So I'm left here in an unfamiliar world of never-ending sorrow & remorse as I'm forced to reflect on everything I have done wrong in my short time, & more heartbreakingly everything that could've been had I not been so naive in my endeavours. To me, it almost feels like the end is near. Mentally, I'm on my last legs really - & physically I'm probably not too far behind after constant self-imposed malnutrition & semi-starvation with absolutely no activity whatsoever besides changing the DVDs or killing time on the internet researching my own paranoid thoughts; sometimes I can barely even be bothered to do that much.

I'm a mere shadow of the person I used to be. Even simple every day tasks have become an unbearable hardship. Life has become meaningless. & I've become socially awkward beyond belief. Despite seeing some old friends recently in an attempt to turn things around since I've finally accepted my appearance, it's almost as if I'm completely brain-dead most of the time. I just feel like I have nothing interesting to say & draw complete blanks in regular discussion. My mind is a vapid maelstrom of anxiety & regret. Which makes me afraid to speak due to being maddeningly inarticulate, something I've never had to deal with before. I just don't feel like myself anymore. 3 months ago I felt like I could've salvaged things at least, because I'd seen the light & had hope for the future - I was still my same old self for the most part - but now I'm stuck here staring into the empty abyss. More alone than I ever have been. Completely lost in my thoughts of remorseful regret.

It's so frustrating to know the person I've let fade away is still here somewhere even though I can't seem to find him right now. It's worse that my old friends notice how distinctly different & silently serious I am - I must be fucking outright creepy to be honest. I wouldn't even be the same person to most of the people I left behind a year ago, compared to the ridiculously sociable pretentious rockstar attitude & image I used to project. I just always seemed to have a way with words & incredibly sarcastic sense of humour that made me an articulate connoisseur of language & an equally interesting & enjoyable person to just talk to or hang out with - the perfect cover for the insecure mess in my head. & yet I sit here having taken days to type this simple post concerning the emptiness of my soul. The former wordsmith in me would have had confident & illustrious sentences flowing across the page with all of the heartfelt over-exaggerated emotion intended, & in a far more concise form than this ridiculous essay, but instead I find myself second guessing every single move I make & every single thought that comes to mind, just stuttering in the darkness swallowed by endless apathy & regret.

On top of all of this, my skin is in the worst condition it ever has been. The damage done is now permanent & that's what makes things so much harder to accept. I can't accept the life I've thrown away all for the sake of my own vanity & need to fit in. Not when I have absolutely nothing to show for it after everything I've put myself through - & not when the physical & emotional scars are now going to haunt me forever even if I do get clear. All I have now are the memories of a past that promised so much; yet delivered so little.

I'm more than willing to admit how superficial & pretentious I am, I've never met anyone else more so & I guess that's why I've fallen victim to my own fatal flaws & imperfections. But I wouldn't wish this kind of suffering on anyone in the world, because although it may seem like nothing more than pathetic self-indulgent vanity for most of you - & you may even think I deserve what I've been dealt - it is truly soul-shattering to have to relive every wrong turn I made every single moment of every day the way I do now.

I honestly don't know how much longer this can go on, I'm surprised that I'm still here at all. I want to live, I really do. I just don't know how to anymore.

Edited by EffThis

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Wow man such a powerful post, Its hard to even respond to something like that. Just know that your not alone in your struggle with acne.

I auctually can relate to this post a lot, you sound just like me. I was in that group of people you were in, the "popular" group ever since middle school. You know partying, smoking, drinking every weekend. I was always the loud/funny/outgoing guy that could talk to anyone, and literally talk for hours even if they had nothing to say. And I know exactly what you mean when you say theres an "expectation" for us. And when my acne started senior year I just felt like I didnt belong with that group of people anymore, so I started pulling away from them. Hiding in my house and making any exscuse not to go out that night, and if I did find the confidence to go out that night (with a little foundation of course) I would be the one in the corner not talking and afraid to play beer pong cause I didnt wanna put myself on display. I just like forgot how to hold a normal conversation, the words just wouldnt come to my head because I was worried they were staring at my acne. And this awkwardness made me shun myself from society.

And pulling you out of your house and forcing you to go to a hospital is absolutely horrible, I cant imagine the damage that did. I would of told every doctor in their to fuck off I would never take any of those meds they give out. That scares me just thinking about that. I would suggest seeing a therapist, they really can help sometimes if your willing to open up and take what they have to say.

Anyways I was just coming by to drop a few words in because I really can relate to you. And have you considered accutane? I finally made the decision to do it and im starting to clear up, if acne is causing this much emotional damage then I would suggest taking it.

But whatever you do I hope everything works out man, your in my prayers.

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I'm trying to find the right words to describe what I just read, but I really cant.

The only thing I can say is, you're 19. You are so damn young man. It might not feel like it, you might think that life has passed you by and that the damage done is irreversible. You are so, so wrong.

I am 21 right now, turning 22 in a month.

While I certainly have not had a life that had as many twists and turns as yours has....I dug myself a ditch and its not easy getting out.

But let me tell you something and you better listen good. Right now you are at the lowest point of your life, I was there not so long ago myself. But the feeling of slowly pulling your life together, piece by piece is incredible! I can not understate the feeling of power I am gaining within me and im not done yet. Im going to keep pushing forward.

I am a completely different person than what I was 4 months ago. I put the effort in and I have gained so much.

Watch this video and turn your life around.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z29W1IYNus

A year from now or 2 or 3 or 5 or 10 years from now you will look back on this stage of your life. You will look back and think about how low you went, but most of all, how proud you are of yourself for getting yourself out of that ditch.

You can do it pal. Just judging by your writing abilities. I know you can.

Edited by mcc0y

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Touching story man. The sad part is, I can relate with you about having acne on my mind every time I talk to someone. I myself had to hide my face with make-up. I even turned into a reclusive hermit at one point of my life because of acne. I can even say it caused me to drop out of college. The good news on my part is, I've been blessed with finding how to cure acne. No prescription drugs bullsh*t, no topical creams shenanigans either.

Check this guy out. His name is Ben Fuchs. He's a pharmacist/nutritionist that talks about how to cure your body and the well-being of your mind. He's changed my life. I used to have horrible disfiguring acne (and I'm a good looking guy too) but now, I've got soft, clear, smooth skin I haven't had since I was 12 years old.

He has a radio talk show, but has a free archive you can browse through. You'll have to dig around where he talks about Acne. Check him out http://www.gcnlive.com/programs/brightSide/archives.php

Keep your chin up bro, and good luck.

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Wow man such a powerful post, Its hard to even respond to something like that. Just know that your not alone in your struggle with acne.

I auctually can relate to this post a lot, you sound just like me. I was in that group of people you were in, the "popular" group ever since middle school. You know partying, smoking, drinking every weekend. I was always the loud/funny/outgoing guy that could talk to anyone, and literally talk for hours even if they had nothing to say. And I know exactly what you mean when you say theres an "expectation" for us. And when my acne started senior year I just felt like I didnt belong with that group of people anymore, so I started pulling away from them. Hiding in my house and making any exscuse not to go out that night, and if I did find the confidence to go out that night (with a little foundation of course) I would be the one in the corner not talking and afraid to play beer pong cause I didnt wanna put myself on display. I just like forgot how to hold a normal conversation, the words just wouldnt come to my head because I was worried they were staring at my acne. And this awkwardness made me shun myself from society.

And pulling you out of your house and forcing you to go to a hospital is absolutely horrible, I cant imagine the damage that did. I would of told every doctor in their to fuck off I would never take any of those meds they give out. That scares me just thinking about that. I would suggest seeing a therapist, they really can help sometimes if your willing to open up and take what they have to say.

Anyways I was just coming by to drop a few words in because I really can relate to you. And have you considered accutane? I finally made the decision to do it and im starting to clear up, if acne is causing this much emotional damage then I would suggest taking it.

But whatever you do I hope everything works out man, your in my prayers.

Thanks for the kind words mate, it sounds like you really do know exactly where I'm coming from. It truly touches my heart to know that there's someone out there who's experienced something similar. I'm sure you & I would've gotten on pretty well at a party ha. But yer those expectations are what have weighed me down my entire existence. I couldn't get over the person I was meant to be as opposed to the person I was made to be as a result of acne. It well & truly just cripples your confidence socially...I noticed as things got worse with my skin & when I knew I couldn't cover it up properly on the night of a party or even just in school, that's when I started overthinking conversations & things a little..occasionally saying really random awkward things that just weren't me at all. Mostly because I was just spaced out in another world worrying about my acne for a few moments before returning to real life. Even I thought I was just being weird.

Problem was, I was always still that guy putting myself on display & being the center of attention in what you could say was some sort of attempt to distract everyone from my insecurities. I was always that guy with a liver of steel who would be drinking obscene amounts of booze pretty much just cause I could. I was always that guy who had iron lungs & could rip the biggest bong hits like no one else knew how to. I was a fucking beast man, it's like I was made for that shit. & I loved it. That's why everyone loved me, I was the guy who always took things to the next level & left everyone to either follow suit or lay dead in the dust. But the anxiety that acne brought me was always still there & came rushing back along with the sobering reality of it all once the night had ended & I was all alone on my own again. Just me & my acne.

Even so I guess I was lucky enough to find some solace in slapping on make up since I could still have that outgoing attitude & just try to pretend that my acne wasn't an issue since most people wouldn't notice it if I managed to do my face right - I could still just be my true self for the most part, especially with the aid of some intoxicating substances. I'll be honest, it was a good time compared to the shrivelled figure I am today. It's only now I realise that even living in constant fear as some prissy pansy pretty-boy would've been miles better than this shitstorm I've created for myself. Despite not being able to face the world with my bare face, I should've just accepted that I would have to wear make up for the rest of my acne-filled life & deal with the consequences to live the way I desired. I might've had a shot at happiness that way at least & I would still have my friends regardless. Plus I would be living up life in London at my guitar college right now with my whole future ahead of me. Who knows, my acne may have even cleared up completely by then.

But things have been derailed entirely now. It's just retarded that I had to take the coward's way out. & it just sucks thinking about that kind person I once used to embody...the guy I guess I still was for the most part a year ago. Not necessarily loving life the way I used to, but still living it - & I guess to the fullest I could hope for under the circumstances. I can't believe I let it get this far though, because I was honestly okay dealing with the emotional scars as I took the time to accept most of them & appreciate what potential I did still have in my looks at least. That's what got me through the darkest days, knowing that I could come out of it all unscathed with something to show for all the struggle. But the permanent physical scars are what have now turned my life upside down forever because I can't just simply forget about them. Not when I threw my life away with the sole purpose of avoiding exactly that. Not when they're staring back at me in the mirror every day as a reminder of the insolent fool I've become.

Anyway sorry for yet another ridiculous rant, but yer I truly appreciate what you've said to me. I've never been able to share any of these thoughts & feelings with anyone else in my life before, so it does give me genuine comfort in knowing there are others out there & your warm response really was a pleasant surprise.

Being in that hospital was just plain fucked up though man. I was told I would only have to spend a night for observation but once I realised what kind of sick twisted place it was with security & shit I knew I'd made a massive mistake in not trying to knock out the cunts & make a run for it while I still had the chance. Was too late by then though..& basically you know how obviously if you're in a mental hospital & start going ape shit trying to tell them how sane you are, you just come off seeming more insane than ever to the 'professionals'? Well yer that just made me helpless & hopeless with absolutely no fight at all since I realised resistance was futile in my situation.

Was even worse because I was forced to face people with my bare skin 24/7 - nowhere to hide. I mean they were delinquent delusional fucks that couldn't even have a proper conversation with me really, but even then I was still so unbelievably uncomfortable just speaking to insane people. Not because they were insane - although that was pretty weird & kinda scary at times - but because I was there in these bright lights with my acne flaring up all over the place thanks to the stress of it all. & of course these 'sleeping pills' they gave me were actually in fact schizophrenic medications that had known side effects. One of which was making sane people go insane. Which I'd definitely started feeling after two weeks on them. It was sad to see how the attending staff were all so fascinated as to find out what was wrong with me exactly, because they basically spoke to me & thought I was ridiculously normal compared to all of the real patients in there. Isn't it just beyond unbelievable to think that right now I'd almost give anything to be back there 8 months ago rather than where I am right now. That's really just how shitty things are at this moment in time.

The problem with seeing a therapist now is that I wanted to quite literally murder the last ones I saw since they were responsible for advising my parents to put me in that godforsaken place. I never trusted in medicine & shit in the first place anyway so I'm just reluctant to have anything to do with doctors & all that... I can't imagine talking to them about my deepest darkest thoughts. & accutane probably isn't really worth it at this point since I'm already so depressed about things to be honest...

Anyway thanks for taking the time to read & reply to this unnecessarily long post of mine, your input means a lot to me. Peace & love dude

I'm trying to find the right words to describe what I just read, but I really cant.

The only thing I can say is, you're 19. You are so damn young man. It might not feel like it, you might think that life has passed you by and that the damage done is irreversible. You are so, so wrong.

I am 21 right now, turning 22 in a month.

While I certainly have not had a life that had as many twists and turns as yours has....I dug myself a ditch and its not easy getting out.

But let me tell you something and you better listen good. Right now you are at the lowest point of your life, I was there not so long ago myself. But the feeling of slowly pulling your life together, piece by piece is incredible! I can not understate the feeling of power I am gaining within me and im not done yet. Im going to keep pushing forward.

I am a completely different person than what I was 4 months ago. I put the effort in and I have gained so much.

Watch this video and turn your life around.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z29W1IYNus

A year from now or 2 or 3 or 5 or 10 years from now you will look back on this stage of your life. You will look back and think about how low you went, but most of all, how proud you are of yourself for getting yourself out of that ditch.

You can do it pal. Just judging by your writing abilities. I know you can.

You're right in that I am still young, but it's the years I've lost that I regret because they will never change for the rest of my life. & I'm honestly concerned for the sake of my actual health & fearing mortality now as I haven't even exercised properly in over a year...along with my diet completely going to shit in the last 3 months. Not to mention all I can barely force myself to do every day is have a shower, surf the internet in misery, have a smoke, try to eat a little, watch TV & then crawl into bed & prepare for whatever tonight's terrors hold - & then do it all over again. It's a cycle that I know I have to break out of..but it's all I can do at moment because nothing feels the same right now; I'm not sure it ever will again. My once flourishing passion for music & guitar has all but faded away along with what seems like a fair chunk of my former cognitive function - the desire is still there I guess, but the spark has long died out.

At least I'm finally over my own vanity though. I can walk out the door without giving a fuck really... But the problem with that is it only makes me see how ridiculously senile I have been. That's why I'm suddenly filled with all of the regrets & remorse of my past transgressions, because it all just seems so pointless. The past year empties me of all hope in life..because essentially I gave up everything I had for absolutely nothing. I left the world behind in an attempt to finally solve my problems & improve my quality of life in the long run, but things didn't go to plan & instead I've ended up coming out even worse off than I was before. Honestly I would give everything to just be back to where I was even just 3 months ago, I still had plenty to live for & enjoy & I was finally over my obsession with my skin since it was incredibly clear.

But at this point I'm at a loss, because my troubles have now extended far beyond just acne. Despite being in a position that I always imagined to be empowering & enlightening since I can now brave the world with a bare face, all I feel is helpless grief for the person I once was & intense anxiety & apathy as I recount & regret every thing & every moment that has gone to waste. I think that's why I'm frozen in silent stupor in front of my old friends, not only have I missed out on the best part of 12 months of their life, but I have absolutely nothing to show for it. That's the real problem, because the position I'm now in renders the entirety of the past year irrevocably redundant. I did it all for nothing...& now I have nothing.

You're right though, the show must go on I guess. I'm still here somehow so I might as well do something with that...even if I really am not sure what right now. Thank you for the inspirational words & that awesome speech. It does help to give me a sense of inner strength that I'm barely clinging onto at the moment. But I have to say I probably don't have the same fight left in me that you did. Because even if I do dig myself out of this ditch & go on to live a successful life, happiness is the one thing that I feel has eluded me completely & I don't believe I can find it again due to how much I truly hate myself & everything else I've done both past & present. I either accept that it's entirely my fault, & condemn myself to a life of endless misery, or lay the blame on the actions of others, which damns me forever in frustration & vengeance. Right now I feel neither though. All I feel is this hollow emptiness inside as a mere shell of the man I once was.

Here's to hoping I can come out of it the other side the way you did though.

I read your story. Change the title to "how vanity ruined me" and remember...its all in your head. Even naturally ugly people have good lives, so you have a visable flaw.... i bet no one else even cares... it took me a while to realise this. But once i did... life is good again.

You're completely right you know. I'm pretty sure I acknowledged my struggle with my own vanity, & it was definitely all in my head. But surely most of those on this forum are obsessed about the very same thing to one degree or another since this is about the emotional & psychological effects of acne. & the fact is that without something so horrifically detrimental to my appearance as acne is, I wouldn't have any issues with vanity. That's why I managed to get by just wearing make up for so many years, because all I needed was the illusion of normal skin. & the entire time I've had to deal with acne, the ultimate goal has always been clear skin. I'm sure it's the same for everyone, the need to look better rather than worse in this superficial society & reality we live in today - that's why we try absolutely everything in an attempt to obtain clear skin. Sure, most are brave enough not to allow it affect their lives as adversely as myself. However, as a lonesome only child my entire life, I've always strived for acceptance among my peers & unfortunately the psychological impact acne had on me was severe as I didn't have a close enough relationship with my parents to open up to them about it or a friend or brother/sister to tell me how it would pass & not to worry about it. I've always been independant & stubborn in everything I've done, & that was probably my greatest downfall as I tried to deal with things on my own for years.

You're right again though, at the end of the day no one else cares. They have far more insecurities of their own to worry about usually. But the problem is that I will always care how I look. I'm sorry if me being a shallow pretentious fuck is offensive to some people; but to me acne is a plague. It makes me feel like shit even when things are good. It puts me down regardless of what I've achieved. It's relentless in it's vacuous nature of emptying your soul of all hope. Maybe that's just me. But I know there are others out there who feel the same way & have suffered similar fates.

Anyway I do realise now that I've let my own quest for clear skin get in the way of my life, but unfortunately it's come a little too late for me. Although I guess I'm over my acne in the sense that I can now walk out of the door & not give a shit, the underlying anxiety is still there & it's all of the other issues I've now developed as a result of it that have left me rendered helpless & unable to fuction the way I used to. So I wouldn't say life is good again...not yet.

Touching story man. The sad part is, I can relate with you about having acne on my mind every time I talk to someone. I myself had to hide my face with make-up. I even turned into a reclusive hermit at one point of my life because of acne. I can even say it caused me to drop out of college. The good news on my part is, I've been blessed with finding how to cure acne. No prescription drugs bullsh*t, no topical creams shenanigans either.

Check this guy out. His name is Ben Fuchs. He's a pharmacist/nutritionist that talks about how to cure your body and the well-being of your mind. He's changed my life. I used to have horrible disfiguring acne (and I'm a good looking guy too) but now, I've got soft, clear, smooth skin I haven't had since I was 12 years old.

He has a radio talk show, but has a free archive you can browse through. You'll have to dig around where he talks about Acne. Check him out http://www.gcnlive.c...de/archives.php

Keep your chin up bro, and good luck.

It's really inspiring to hear that another person has gone through similar shit & come out of it with a clear face & a happy life. That gives me some hope I guess. & yer I have basically been a reclusive hermit for a year now..it's really hard to come to terms with that part actually. But at least I'm not the only one.

Anyway thanks so much for that info man, hopefully I can take some of that on board & get rid of acne for good. Cheers

Edited by EffThis

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Its a tough cookie when you realize that lifes purpose is not happiness. The funny thing is, is that this fucked up culture where you have to look perfect is whats making us all unhappy. I wish I lived in the forest, and the only time i even looked in the mirror was if i saw my reflecion in a stream during my drinking session. I could just forget how I look. This fucked up country makes us all obsessed with looks. We all shit, it always stinks, we get snot in our noses, eye boogers, ear wax acne, and all other kinds os shit. BUT!!! We all have to look perfect. We are flesh n blood for gods sake. We need to retrain our brains into loving ourselves again. The voices in our heads that say we arent good enough becuase of acne need to be ignored. Its crazy to think about becuase if we actually LIVED our lives wede be covered in bumps, bruises, scars, etc. But we dont live, we sit behind desks and stuff our brains with information and computer data. Then when we have the people WITH the bumps n bruises n what not we say that THEY dont fit in. I want to go live as a shaman in the jungle and hunt my own food, pick marijuana plants n smoke, find a hot jungle babe and say fuck the western world. The reason why we arent happy is becuase WE ARE DENYING OUR OWN HUMANITY AND FIGHTING AGAINST IT!!!! Let the barriers between imperfect and perfect be broken and finally become free!!!!

And you might not be religious. BUt you dont have to be because religion means nothing. You need to turn your life over to the God that loves you and cares about you.

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I can relate to you on so many levels man. I also can't go anywhere without wearing makeup as my skin has become very scarred and inflammed. I also worry about what my friends might think if they found out the truth. I'm 22 and i've never had a girlfriend as i'm terrified to get close to a girl despite the fact that I want to be in a relationship. I'm worried a girl might see me without makeup and leave me or leave me because I wear makeup. I too have a passion for music as it helps me get my emotions out. That's terrible that they put you in a mental institution and made you take meds.That must have been hell. I know you've been through some shit but just know there IS hope out there. You're 3 years younger than me, you can beat this, you have my support.

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Okay instead of indulging your self pity and relating to you like everyone else (as we all have our own live and our own story) and telling you its going to be all better because god loves you blah blah blah. Imma say this:

FUCK YOU.

Get over yourself kid, seriously.

"I was also that guy who was always up for a party & getting drunk & doing all the stupid stuff that 14 year old rebels love to do"

-You think this is what life is about? Getting drunk every weekend because that's what 14yr old rebels do? Why? to be cool? to "fit in"? To get the girl? Get passed the fucking stereotypical teenage life;there's more too it and the perks that come along with being "a teenage idiot that thinks life is all about parties and getting drunk"

-So you wore makeup. So what. That's your choice. Just like your choice to hide from society and fail at life, your choice to think sex, drugs, and women matter more than your own self .i.e taking care of your skin. Instead of covering up the superficial flaws and acting like its all alright. You should have went to a doctor or doctors. BUT that's life, a bunch of choices.

"So I could pursue girls with the natural flirtacious flair & confidence I was gifted with if I'm to be entirely honest"

-So you need clear skin to do what your were born with? Doubtful, you thought that because you were covering up it up no one would notice and your ego and self esteem would be back to normal? Its all a head game dude, you told yourself it was alright because you had makeup on. You can do the same w/o. You have the talents and personality that do not require yourself to be self assured by a cosmetic product. Again you made the choice to ignore the problem by covering it up instead of treating it.

So acne sucks. We got that, we know. Its easier said then done ect etc. HOWEVER, if you think you cant "live" because life means "sex, getting drunk, smoking pot, being a dumbass" then i feel no pity for you other than the 2 words i said above. How dare you throw your life away and or try to cover up the problem and acting likes its alright AND then come here explaining how messed up your life is because you cant do what you see as what living is all about. Just because your a teenager (or were) doesn't mean it should follow the status qua you have already lived. This, this is not what life and living is all about-getting wasted and smoking drugs and having sex like everyone else. It might work for some but really its a hollow life, it only makes you look cool and Its only temporary. Its immaterial and doesn't matter.

You have talents (like self confidence) that acne has masked because you let them and because you have a flawed mental image of life. And you got away with it, until it has ate at you for a long time to the point your a broken human being that only you can fix.

Get yourself some help on the basis of living a better life, NOT on the basis that you can go be an idiot like most people in American society.

Yea, as a nurse, i started working at the age of 15 wiping old peoples asses. Yea okay do you know, can you imagine, how much bullshit i got from my friends? Enough to the point they stopped being friends with me, enough to the point they tried to get me to quit. However, i didnt let it get to me because i liked the overall reward my job gave and the pride i had from it. I gave up my sports positions and free time with friends to take care of strangers grandparents because i didnt want to be like everyone and do what everyone called "living life". But then again life is based on choices and what you want to believe in. I hold no regret in my HS years but you do. You had to wear makeup to accomplish it and only make your skin worse. Was it really worth it? No i bet not.

So fuck you, stop loathing, get yourself some help, accept life (your life and your choices), move on, get a different picture of reality and what it really means to live and stop throwing your life away like its not a gift... As well as trying to live it based on popularity, sex, drugs, alcohol. (doeskin mean exclude them, just stop living by them or doing things just to be able to do them).

Yea I want picture perfect skin like the next guy so i can be a more proud person of myself and be able to confidently do what i like: taking care of others, as well as meet the girl of my dreams, be able to do things without feeling insecure, etc. But if i base everyone on that sole idea or ideas your only setting your self up for failure. So you cant live directly by it. I accept that im flawed, i accept who i am, i accept that even before acne i have been always shy, cautious, and self critical. So i just be who I am and try to live life based on what really matters and try to be the best i can be. That means pushing acne aside, that means disregarding what others say about me or what looks they give ya.

Sobering thought, while you live in self pity about how you cant do the things you want because of acne, someone is sitting in a hospital bed wishing they could live to see tomorrow just to see their family or there kids, that they could live a day without a terrible disease, or get married, have their first kiss, have kids, etc etc. Stop being so selfish, actually be glad to be alive because many people dont get that shot and their life in a hospital bed is much worse than yours. They wait to do because that is their only option and yours is to what? wait for your skin to get better so you can go be a stupid, rebel teenager again?

Please.. disgusting.

Im not replying to your reply on this thread. Im sick of seeing people think life is just that bad because they cant be like everyone and complain they have missed out on life to do these things.. NO, a selfish thought. Think of those that cant even walk let alone leave a hospital bed, or are in hospice care.

ps. im only saying this because you either need to regroup your entire life and get it together and realize your mistakes to try to better yourself. Otherwise well im sorry to say but if you hate your life that bad..well i just wont finish the sentence. You have to help yourself and life for different reasons other than what you have said you can/cant do because of acne. Fix yourself to fix it.

Edited by k3tchup

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Man, I read all of this, and I feel you, honestly. I started using make-up for scars more than a year ago and it only made things worse. More and more time spent in front of the mirrors, first to apply up to a point that it looks perfect (as if anyone's perfect...) and then checking myself. It was only dereriorating, until some months ago, I realized it was not normal, so I seeked psychological assistance (appart from the skin treatments I'm undergoing at the same time). It seems that you, me, and many other people with skin problems tend to develop the so called "body dysmorphic disorder". I didn't really believe there is something that can be done for me, I didn't even believe the problem was really mental, but I still I didn't want all that. Well, the truth is, I still can't go to places with people I know without make-up. But, not only hasn't my condition worsened till then, I have also limited the time I spend in front of the mirror. I still don't feel happy and confident when I don't cover my face, and there is LOT of work to be done, but thanks to the advice of an experienced man, I am slightly less worried about my problem, and I never lost so many hours again. I advise you to do the same, go to a psychotherapist. They don't just provide verbal assistance, they HELP you.

If you want to know what I've done so far to confront it, feel free to ask me. Cause, regardless of what you can do with your face, there are things you can do to make you feel better about it and live a normal life. I am in a such process and willing to give assistance.

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I was literally on the erge of tears reading this, because it reminds me so much of myself right now, which frightens me slightly because your story is so similar to how spots are affecting me and my social life, my school and mind set in general. I havent left my bed for like 2 weeks now, because I am doing the regimen recommened from here, and dont want to leave till its noticeably better.

The difference is that I havent covered my problems up with makeup, because I always refuse to leavr home without being at least 98% clear, so nobody has seen me with noticeable pimples, which puts more pressure on me, similarily to what you said, because I have sn image to up hold, I am one of the pretty girls at school, and appear glam, and I never have problems with getting attention because I know people find me attractive, and I know I am not ugly, but I feel ugly with spots.

Its all very pressuring, and society has portrayed perfection without these blemishes, so its natural to want clear skin, because its beautiful, and free. I want to be free just like you do.

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