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acne changed how i view myself forever

I'm not asking one to pity me after reading this post. I just am very upset right now and need to let my feelings out. I have no one to talk to about acne problems, my friends don't understand (all of them deal with either 100% clear skin or only mild acne) and my mom gets mad at me for talking about it. I will be talking about sensitive topics.

Before i had acne, I already had bad self esteem issues. I constantly wanted to lose weight, I hated my hair, I hated nearly everything about my body. I thought I was ugly back then, but after acne made me actually ugly, I'd give anything to go back.

Honestly, I never expected something could damage my self esteem even further, after years of being bullied for other things such as my accent (i'm from a foreign country) and my weight (i was an overweight child, but i've lost the weight now), and being a victim of child molestation along with emotional and physical abuse. 

I got to a point where I had to go see a therapist for my self-esteem issues, at only 12. About a year ago, I slowly started to get my self-esteem back. I gradually stopped self-harming and started reaching out to others, not being afraid of them judging me. Hiding the fact that I was a very emotional person recovering from attempted suicide, I managed to get into several romantic relationships.

But then before summer of 2015 started, I had to move in with my mom for reasons I'd rather not disclose. I stopped taking the antibiotics I was on, which I believed would cure my acne. I always told myself that my acne was mild, so it would never get this bad. Haha...

By September I no longer had "normal" acne. My right cheek itself had about 18 cysts, judging by a picture i took at that time. Because of this, many aspects of my life changed:

  • if my makeup came off in public, it led to panic attacks.
  • my relationship with my mom deteriorated. She would get angry at me for never wanting to leave the house, and for complaining about my acne since it was a """minor""" problem. 
  • I began considering suicide again. 
  • at my new school, I made no new friends. 
  • I started eating much less. 
  • I always wanted to sleep. if i woke up at around 11am on a weekend, i'd go back to bed and sleep until 4-5pm. I still do this occasionally. 
  • Every morning, I woke up with my heart beating fast and raced to the mirror to see if I had any new pimples. 
  • I stopped thinking of relationships, knowing that no guy would ever want to be with me.


I'm currently on 3 months and 10 days of accutane. My acne has gotten better, but it's not cured, except for my back and chest. Even though there are three actives on my face, compared to the 20 ish that I used to have before treatment, I keep telling myself that it's not going to work. I tell myself that I'll have acne forever, and until some kind of miracle instant cure is invented, I'll have to go around everywhere wearing a surgical mask to hide my face. I've even had dreams about doing this before. If you want to check out my progress, I made a separate forum about this. Some feedback on it would be appreciated, I like people telling me that my face is getting better, it gives me hope that I can be normal again. But please be honest.

I tell myself that I'll spend eternity single. I can't even go and ask a boy out myself, my acne has made me way too insecure and scared of rejection. I feel embarrassed just to go up and talk to some stranger. 

I hate thinking about relationships, dates, sex, anything like that. I'm 16, I guess this is the time in my life i'm supposed to be exploring these things. But nope, not with this ugly curse on my face.

Overall, I feel like acne interrupted my life, and took me back to square one in terms of self acceptance. I'll always see myself as inferior to beautiful, perfect clear-skinned girls....Those girls who actually deserve love, unlike me. I'm disgusting. 

I'm supposed to be going out with friends, going on dates, having fun, discovering who I am, but instead of being a normal teenage girl, I think I'm some kind of monster. Even though I want a normal life, deep down, I think I'm so ugly that i don't deserve that. 

How am I supposed to love myself, ever?

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Hi ihateacne33,

Sorry to hear you are feeling so down right now. I have seen your accutane progress photos and there really is a significant improvement so don't give up hope. 

You know i think you have to try to be your own best friend. I know its hard to "love yourself" when you're not happy with your appearance, but dont let all your happiness depend on having a boyfriend. I have been single for a very long time and i am ok with it. Being on your own is not so terrible :) I'm not saying a relationship wouldnt be a nice thing and who knows what might happen in the future, but dont feel that the only way to be happy is with a boyfriend. Be your own friend first.

I often feel ugly and disgusting as well. Even if you dont like your appearance, can you find a way to like the person you are on the inside? 

I think your mum sounds like mine. I also try to talk to her about my skin and she tells me to stop worrying about it and get on with my life. I think people who have never experienced skin issues find it hard to understand what  we're going through. Do you still see a therapist/psychologist? It sounds like something that might be helpful if you're not, especially if you suffered trauma as a child. At the very least it will be someone you can talk to about how you're feeling. Or is there anyone else you can talk to besides your mum? (I mean "mom"  - in australia we say "mum" :) )

Anyway if you ever feel like "talking" more you're welcome to send me a personal message. You sound so sad :( I really hope the accutance continues to work for you.

Stay strong.

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