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Hi everyone,

This has been on my mind for a while recently so I just want to air it!

I was thinking recently about my lifestyle before I got acne (about 15-16 years old) and my lifestyle now, and came to the conclusion that when I finally work out what's causing it/cure it, I wont regret the past 4-5 years of stress that it has caused!

Firstly it has really toughened me up psychologically, like at first I hated being in public places, especially those where you're being judged on your appearance (i.e. club/bars), but I've learned that stressing about it doesn't make it go away, so now I just don't stress and enjoy these situations. So it has made me more confident I guess, for example a few months ago I cleared up probably 75% and I felt like I could do anything! The main stress I got from acne however was not being able to 'solve the puzzle', but having to try and try again to sort it out has really made me patient, not just with my own problems but also others' problems.

Secondly it has made me appreciate my health. I was by no means really unhealthy before, I was very active but I was eating a 'typical western diet' (which is by no means ideal), and had no intention of learning to cook/trying new foods. Now I can cook and eat really nice food, and most importantly enjoy it! I also feel that many people have the mentality of "It wont happen to me", but now i've kind of made the association between actions and concequences (which sounds really obvious), so i'm more considered and thoughful in all aspects of my life.

Thirdly it has had a knock on effect on my family. They all eat much better now simply because they have tried new foods that I have bought or cooked and decided they like them too. Studying nutrition at uni also helps, but being able to apply it has really helped, though it does get tedious when the whole family wants the perfect diet plan, haha.

Lastly it has made me 'grow up', for example i'm at uni at the moment and surrounded by typical students. I'm not saying that I am better than them and I'm not saying that I don't enjoy being around them, but I like the fact that im not a 'typical' student and that I appreciate different things. I don't judge and discriminate the way some do, and having acne whilst at uni especially, has ironically made me emotionally much more balanced.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that whilst many people are in a situation where they hate having acne, just want a quick fix, and/or let it affect them emotionally in a negative way (and i've been there frequently), there are potentially just as many positives (if not more) that will probably help you live a happier life.

Just my thoughts anyway....

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Acne helps to mold your character, I've developed more empathy, placing myself in other people's shoes before I open my big mouth

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I've thought about the positives of acne as well and I think having acne and at the same time being surrounded by all of my classmates who have relatively clear skin has made me a more open-minded person. I'm able to see people for themselves instead of for their appearances, which has made me a nicer person and is how I've attracted a lot more real friends. I've learned that people don't always judge just on appearances, and that people can like me for the way I act instead of how I look. I try to do the same for other people.

One of my favorite songs by Natasha Bedingfield is called Strip Me. One of the lines is, "Cause when it all boils down at the end of the day, it's what you do and say that makes you who you are," and I've tried to live by it.

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It's an interesting post and I do think you're right - having acne can have positive impacts on your life - but the negative ones are usually what we let effect us most.

It can effect your confidence in both positive and negative ways - the obvious negative making you very shy or self conscious - but it can make you stronger emotionally if you just get out there and keep doing the things you want to.

I agree also with what you said about it making you appreciate health. I think along with that for me, it has made me so much more interested in health and how the body works. I really love studying this sort of thing.

Anyway - I do think it's a matter of choosing to not let acne impact you in those negative ways and choosing to live life and enjoy life because acne can't stop you from enjoying life as long as you don't let it!!

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Youve written a beautiful post and youre a beautiful person Lee! When I think Im getting too responsible I get a spot or two and slow things down. I know Im a high achiever so acne keeps me on my toes.

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