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I had two weeks on holiday which i just returned from on Sunday and despite having a great time it wa really good for me to get time away and step back from obsessing about my skin, my regime, my supplements, and falling into the pit of anxiety and depression i was heading into.

It also made me remember who I was/still am underneath all the anxiety and worry caused by my acne.

I used to paint!! All the time. I used to blog and take a lot of photographs and research photographers and read about art! I used to play guitar ! Acne made me forget about all those things because instead of being productive and creative all I wanted to do was clear my skin, research supplements instead of artists, buy supplements instead of camera film and canvases, exercise instead of play guitar.

What were/are you like without acne? DON'T FORGET THE PERSON YOU ARE!!

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I was a prepubescent 12 year old lol :(

My skin was clear on accutane 3 year ago, though, and it was a great feeling. I try to remember what that was like and push myself toward that every day.

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Thanks for posting this.

I was nine.

Whenever "inner child" comes up, I remember a clear-skinned little girl who had stage fright but loved rehearsal, piano, dance, mermaids and manatees, reading, writing poetry and short stories, going to musicals and plays. I didn't judge other girls, no matter how weird they thought I was. I lived in my imagination, but loved to laugh and be silly with my friends. I loved my dog.

Any clear time after then, I was already folding in on myself, dysmorphic, judging myself, judging others. Only male validation mattered. I still measure my success by my sexual power, including rejection and withholding, although the isolation has made academic accomplishments possible, when I gave up the oblivion of drugs. The rest of my life apart from my reflection and beauty has blinked away like a dream in the morning. I still love animals, they don't care what you look like.

Who am I when I'm clear and why am I still afraid, still waiting for the skin fallout, for my body and time to betray me again?

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I was a prepubescent 12 year old lol

My skin was clear on accutane 3 year ago, though, and it was a great feeling. I try to remember what that was like and push myself toward that every day.

Yeah accutane made me clear for the first time since I was around 12/13 and it was crazy how good it made me feel. I actually forgot what it was like to have acne until it returned about a year after being on accutane. A lot of people take having clear skin for granted where as it's something pretty much everyone on this site would trade almost anything for.

Thanks for posting this.

I was nine.

Whenever "inner child" comes up, I remember a clear-skinned little girl who had stage fright but loved rehearsal, piano, dance, mermaids and manatees, reading, writing poetry and short stories, going to musicals and plays. I didn't judge other girls, no matter how weird they thought I was. I lived in my imagination, but loved to laugh and be silly with my friends. I loved my dog.

Any clear time after then, I was already folding in on myself, dysmorphic, judging myself, judging others. Only male validation mattered. I still measure my success by my sexual power, including rejection and withholding, although the isolation has made academic accomplishments possible, when I gave up the oblivion of drugs. The rest of my life apart from my reflection and beauty has blinked away like a dream in the morning. I still love animals, they don't care what you look like.

Who am I when I'm clear and why am I still afraid, still waiting for the skin fallout, for my body and time to betray me again?

Turn0ver that's beautifully written, thank you for sharing. I strongly believe that the emotional scars of acne run deeper than anything physical, and becoming clear leaves a feeling of constant fear and anxiety of breaking out. It's something I am still struggling with in my journey for achieving and maintaining clear skin. The Love Vitamin website has a lot of articles on how to deal with 'the fear' of breaking out which are a good read and some of it may resonate.

It would be a shame for you to live in fear of breaking out. Are you still close to girls now, or only males? x

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Turn0ver that's beautifully written, thank you for sharing. I strongly believe that the emotional scars of acne run deeper than anything physical, and becoming clear leaves a feeling of constant fear and anxiety of breaking out. It's something I am still struggling with in my journey for achieving and maintaining clear skin. The Love Vitamin website has a lot of articles on how to deal with 'the fear' of breaking out which are a good read and some of it may resonate.

It would be a shame for you to live in fear of breaking out. Are you still close to girls now, or only males? x

Thank and yes, you forget what it's like to have acne! You know how mothers block out the pain of their first childbirth and only remember when they're in labor again? Acne seems to be like that, imo. Skin anxiety is an altered state, and when you're not in it, your mind must compartmentalize that pain and sublimate the anxiety.

I kept thinking about this post and wonder how many of us have always been a little obsessive and nervous, then were struck with skin issues, or was it their skin issues that made them obsessive and nervous- a chicken or egg type of thing? And every time we breakout, our social and emotional development gets frozen in "breakout space-time." Maybe it can also be compared to an alcoholic on a bender or any other kind of drug addict- you are no longer yourself, you're your obsession, chasing the high of killing off blemishes and the immortal, almost safe feeling that clear skin brings (... but there are always scars, always blackheads, always impending flaws, always...)

At the extreme end of the spectrum are the crises I was reading about and contributing to on the Acne Dysmorphia and Picking threads about losing hours, days, and weeks, picking, squeezing, rubbing, obsessing, shopping, "treating," fixing, and self-injuring in the mirror. How that time adds up, time lost living and being productive, being a good friend or lover, taking care of your soul and your dreams. It's like any addiction- you don't just bounce back from that. There's AA/NA/SAA/EDA and support groups for all kinds of chronic diseases, but is there Acne Anonymous? It's a disease of the mind as well as the body, moreso than any of the others, and there's nothing like that for us, to give us tools and support about rebuilding our sense of self and getting our lives shattered by acne back together.

I've been lucky to always have at least one very close best female friend, with other more casual, long-distance female friends that I talk to a lot and trust, feel like I can share anything with, but don't see as I move a lot (acne has forced me to burn a lot of bridges; I screw up a job or relationship, and just disappear.) I really avoid men, now, too, I'm not sure that will change this time around, just like I obsess about my skin, I obsess about the attention of one guy at a time and it's gotten out of control and I don't wear that well. But if I never fall in love again, that's good. I learned a lot about myself this summer in my is0lation, and I want to find validation in ME first.

Do you have a strong support system? We all need that, so much, but I wish there was a book and a 12 step program to help us through, as well as definitive ANSWERS and not big pharma and marketing to get us through... I'll definitely check out Love Vitamin - thanks!

Edited by Turn0ver
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Pre-acne I was way more outgoing. I was in the Drama Club at school and did acting. I also did music recitals in front of many people. I also was social on the weekends.

Now? You couldn't pay me to get on a stage and I stay at home alone on weekends. Because I've had acne most of my life...between my preteen years and now (age 30), I'm pretty sure my personality has been permanently affected...I'm way more shy and introverted than I probably would have been otherwise....

On a more positive note, I've been able to filter out the shallow people in my life much faster and I am more compassionate overall as a result.

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