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Rocky

Acne & your self concept...I want to hear your stories

Well, slowly I've dug myself into a hole and now I have no idea how to get out of it. People always say you should not focus on your looks, just let your personality shine through but my problem is my personality is flawed and hollow...

All through my life I've never stayed in a place for too long. It seems everytime I put some roots down, fate would have me uprooted and move to a different place. After awhile I think I've developed some issues with fear of abandonment and become an introvert which I wasn't aware of at the time.

Came my teens and I met my life long partner, acne. :D At first it was alright aside from the teasing. Connect dot to dot, star wars and pizza analogies. I've heard them all. Of course I was self conscious, who wouldn't be? But at least my friends didn't seem to mind. But as I moved towards the end of junior high and the beginning of high school, things changed. Having bad skin unfortunately put me at the bottom of the social ladder. I played sports on the school team and tried to get involved with people but things just never recovered. My "friends" slowly withdrew from me. Guess I wasn't cool enough to hang out or party with them. I'd like to think that they rejected me cuz I was an asshole, at least that would given me the comfort to know that I got what I deserved. But I wasn't; I was the same me, albeit more blemished. One of the most disappointing moments in my life was when my best friend pretended he didn't see or know me when he walked into the arcade with his other friends. When his friends went upstairs he came down said hi and then took off. So this is what a charity case feels like...

After that I think I moved again as my parents saw that I was struggling. My grades were down, I had a phone that never rang, and the religion our family was in gave me no comfort and just made me bitter as my acne made me feel like I was one of the children of a lesser god. They thought if I kept it up I probably wouldn't be able to get into college.

After that move, I became a very bitter and cynical individual. I didn't even try to make any friends. People became acquaintances and nothing more. Subconciously, I thought that even if people didn't reject me, I'd probably just lose them anyway as I'll probably move again.<--Yeah, great logic ain't it? :roll: Detachment was my defence mechanism as I was scared to death of getting into any sort of relationship with others, especially with women. I hated the idea of needing anyone. Independence is the way to go it seems. In the new high school, there was actually a girl that liked me. Of course, I'd never open up to her. By the time I came to my senses...she's moved on. I still remember what she said to me out of the blue one day and for the longest time I didn't know what she meant.

Her: people who need people are the luckiest people.

Me: ??

Her: it's from a Frank Sinatra song.

Me: oh...

I did manage to get into university since that became the focus in my life as I've shut everything out. I became materialistic and self absorbed. I value possession of things over people. Ever see About A Boy with Hugh Grant? That's basically me, minus the womanizing, boyish charms, and good looks. Is not that I'm ugly either. I'm still dealing with acne but it's nothing like what I had when I was a teen. Unabashed older women would often compliment me on my looks. I dress well and I've seen many girls check me out. Just last week two young girls sat across from me on the train and was giving me the eye. And when I was getting off, one of the them said to the other "he's hot." Any guy would be flattered by that right? Well, when I heard it, I ran. It just felt strange to hear something that you've believed to be the contrary for so long...

I've isolated myself from others for so long that I had grown almost accustomed to it. It's like a callus, you don't even notice that it's there until other people react to it when you try to reach out and touch them. It's just then you realize how deficient your social skills are. I am cold and distant with people on the surface and they take it as a rejection... but there's another me lost and buried in here somewhere but I'm not sure I'll find him again. Just this last semester, a really cute girl would literally run to class in order to get a seat beside me...and what did I do? I ignored her. Now she hates my guts, and rightly so. I am in a hedgehog's dilemma, I am fearful of being hurt when I get close to people but I can't shake the feeling of loneliness when I don't try. Well, I'm trying to turn over a new leaf but it's just difficult. My two friends don't even know this dark and neurotic side of me as I still don't think I can truly open up to others...well, not unless it's anonymous. How did you people deal with your self esteem when you were struggling with acne? Did you ever get over the mental scars? This is such an uphill battle for me, I hope your stories and experiences would be more uplifting than mine. And for the younger ones out there reading this, fo God's sake, don't turn out like me. Thanks for your patience and sorry for the long post, it just sort of got out of hand, much like this disorder called my personality.

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I remember sitting in the house all summer one year because I couldn't take anyone looking at my face....Then I realized that it doesn't matter. If you pull away from everyone, it will only be a loosing battle. Once I realized that, it got better. I believe acne can make you a better person because you learn to look past outward appearances and take a better look at the person within. Good luck in all you do. -Amber

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While reading your story, it reminded me so much of myself,

I am now 29 and thinking back I had such low self worth, i remember it being aa neverending fight with acne, no matter what i did to my face, the crap would never go away, i heard the name calling under peoples breath, pizza face, dot to dot, etc,how could i possibly any self worth,,my mom always said, I'd grow out of it, that it was hormonal, nothing to worry about,well i'm 29 now and i still get occasional breakouts, not as bad thank goodness, but all in all every time i even see one, i get self concious..now i'm pretty much left with scars not only on my face but emotional ones as well, it sucks,,,currently i'm trying my best to get rid of the scars hoping if i can achieve that, then maybe i can block out the memories of the old days(highly unlikely though).

I did meet my partner for life and he's been with me since i was 20, he's seen the rough time and i always wondered why he chose me when he's a good looking guy he could of been with clearer complexioned girls, I clearly remember when my acne was so bad and him an i would be walking thru a store hand in hand, people would stare and i knew what they were thinking.."why is that guy settling for that girl"...

somehow, he looked beyond my face because he stuck with me, it's almost 10 yrs now..

I can honestly say their really are some people out there who obviously won't care about your acne,,i found someone...keep your chin up,i know how you feel, been there myself...

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Rocky,

Thanks for sharing your story. I think yours is a classic example of how acne/bad complexion can scar a person emotionally. Acne has a knack of hindering a peson socially if you let it get the best of you, that's for sure.

Sounds like you are getting lots of validation that you are looking good these days. Old programming takes a lot of time to get rid of. Look at this way, you need to reprogram yourself with new tapes about yourself. Your old tapes say you're unattractive and unworthy. That was never true ofcourse, but now you have to change the message. Start telling yourself you are worth it, you are beautiful inside and out and that you have confidence. Keep giving yourself that message, over and over. You don't have to believe it at first and it will feel awkward. That's okay, but trust me you will eventually, and when you do believe it will be so.

Think how long you suffered with acne and how long you had a bad self image. That's how long you have to give yourself to reprogram, but rest assured it won't take that long if you keep at it. :D

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hopeful,

That just shows that you are so much than how you look on the outside. Your partner saw beyond your complexion and saw that you were a beautiful person. It takes one to know one, right? :wink:

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Having acne has barely affected my personality. I am a very stubborn and happy person, and whenever I become depressed over something I realize that it's stupid. I never let myself get down because I know there are people in the world who have it worse than me and are strong individuals (people who are abused, etc). Being depressed is stupid, trust me, if you people are strong enough, you don't have to be depressed. It's just a feelig of self-pity and disachievement. You are better than that. If you haven't been abused or beaten in your lifetime, why the hell is acne going to make you feel more depressed than a kid in an abuseful household. God dammit wake up. Stop sulking in a dark room and look outside and realize the only who is really concerned about your face is you. You only make your problems worse.

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thatoneguy,

You do not seem to realise that clinical depression (not just "feeling down") is in fact a disease caused by a malfunction of the brain's serotonergic systems (serotonin is a neurotransmitter, i.e. a way that neurons use to communicate). I think it is very irresponsible to make blanket statements that "being depressed is stupid". While I understand the point you're trying to make, you should not be so dismissive of others' pain, nor make statements about things you do not understand.

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Acne has alterted who I am. I know acne isn't the worst thing you can have, but it is still a serious matter. What really makes me angry is how people say just about EVERY teenager gets acne. I'm in high school right now and you look around and about 90% of the people have completely clear complexions, or you see the odd person with 1 or 2 zits on their face.. I'd hardly call that acne!!

I've had acne since I was in about the 8th grade I guess, but it wasn't so bad back then. Since then, it's gradually gotten worse. Now in the 13th grade (we have that here in Canada), it hasn't gotten too much better. Right now I'm not plagued with zits, I would maybe consider myself to have mild-moderate acne.. but my face has soo many weird marks that it looks like I do have acne still. Luckily makeup does the trick at hiding it. But because I need to use soo much makeup, my face looks really unnatural.

Throughout my high school life I had enough friends, we were kind of like a posse.. But I had to move away from my hometown this past August.. Now I'm at a new high school... I mostly avoid social situations now, unless someone comes up to me and tries to start a conversation and what not... Sadly enough, I haven't really met anyone I would consider a 'friend' yet... Sure I make acquaintances at school and what not, but no one I can really hang out with outside of school.. it's been 5 months here at my new school! I suppose it's because I seem a bit stuck-up or shy.. I'm like this because of the way I look, my face.. When walking down the hall-ways I avoid making eye contact with anyone, well unless I know the person.. I don't want to see the expression on their faces when they look at me.. When talking to someone I can't look them directly in the eye for the same reason.. I know I'm really not ugly, I've been told I'm attractive... But acne has really kind of messed me up psychologically, I can't see myself any other way but ugly... It gets bad enough that I go to school in the morning and first thing I do when I get there is go to the washroom to check myself out in the mirror, and go to the washrooms atleast 5 more times that day at school for the same purpose.. I spend more time in front of a mirror than most people I know.. Sometimes I avoid school all together if I think I look really disgusting.. I hate it when different mirrors make you look different.. Like the mirror in my bedroom makes me look my best and flawless, and then I go into the bathroom in my house and I think I look like a monster!! .. I suppose it's the lighting and wht not..

I know I shouldn't be complaining because of the way my face looks, I could be a lot worse off..

Recently I was on a trip with my family and while on the vacation my Mom was telling people she met down there that I have self-esteem issues and what not.. It's like "yeah thanks Mom for sharing that with complete strangers!".. My parents have never even talked to me about it face to face or nothing.. I think they think I'm a bit suicidal, or atleast depressed anyway.. But they don't try to offer me help or anything..

But yeah, that's my story.. I've left out some stuff I guess, whatever.. It's nice that people try to say that you shouldn't worry about how your face looks because most people don't care, but sometimes you can't help but feel sorry and wish you didn't have acne. That sounds really selfish, but is also true.. Luckily there really are some people out there who like you for you and not what's on your face..

Thanks for listening to me!!

~Melissa~

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Now I'm at a new high school... I mostly avoid social situations now, unless someone comes up to me and tries to start a conversation and what not... Sadly enough, I haven't really met anyone I would consider a 'friend' yet... Sure I make acquaintances at school and what not, but no one I can really hang out with outside of school.. it's been 5 months here at my new school! I suppose it's because I seem a bit stuck-up or shy.. I'm like this because of the way I look, my face.. When walking down the hall-ways I avoid making eye contact with anyone, well unless I know the person.. I don't want to see the expression on their faces when they look at me.. When talking to someone I can't look them directly in the eye for the same reason.. I know I'm really not ugly, I've been told I'm attractive... But acne has really kind of messed me up psychologically, I can't see myself any other way but ugly... It gets bad enough that I go to school in the morning and first thing I do when I get there is go to the washroom to check myself out in the mirror, and go to the washrooms atleast 5 more times that day at school for the same purpose.. I spend more time in front of a mirror than most people I know.. Sometimes I avoid school all together if I think I look really disgusting.. I hate it when different mirrors make you look different.. Like the mirror in my bedroom makes me look my best and flawless, and then I go into the bathroom in my house and I think I look like a monster!! .. I suppose it's the lighting and wht not..

Yeah, I can totally relate to this. It took me the longest time to establish eye contact with people when I talk. It's really only within the past year or so that I've made a note mentally of locking eyes with others when I converse with them. I still lapse into my old self once in a while but at least I don't stare at my feet constantly like I'm walking a tight rope. LOL. It might sound cliche but you do build rapport much faster if you use eye contact. I know it's hard cuz I had to really push myself to do it. But the last thing you want is to convey an image that you're cold and distant...I'm the living proof of that. You have to break the cycle somewhere.

thatoneguy,

I think you misunderstood me. I'm not saying that I'm depressed about my acne. I'm saying that I let it change my personality so much in the past that I find it difficult to change back to a normal individual that I was before. I'm not sad about my acne, I'm sad about what I've become because I let it get a hold me and tainted me. I'm trying to change for the better but the rebuilding process takes time and I'm not sure whether it'll even be 100% when I'm through. As always in life, it's much easier to destory things than to create them.

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thatoneguy,

You do not seem to realise that clinical depression (not just "feeling down") is in fact a disease caused by a malfunction of the brain's serotonergic systems (serotonin is a neurotransmitter, i.e. a way that neurons use to communicate). I think it is very irresponsible to make blanket statements that "being depressed is stupid". While I understand the point you're trying to make, you should not be so dismissive of others' pain, nor make statements about things you do not understand.

You missed the point. I am not talking about depression that people have which requires medication for the chemical imbalance. I am speaking about the kind of people that sit with people, knowing they have friends, and bitch and moan about life, saying they have no friends WHILE they are speaking to their friends. the kinds of people that are depressed over life's many obstacles. you can be strong or be weak. the strong eventually get over the obstacles, easily or with some difficulty, but they will succeed. the weak will hit the obstacle and stay there because they have no motivation to get around it. this kind of depression is man-made. life deals you the hard sometimes, don't let it make a burden over you, you'll ruin your life.

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Guest fatman_uk

I used to be the silent, serious type when i was a young teenager an had jus got my acne started. I found walkin round lookin bad/moody/crazy kept any strangers away from me, i lived in a rough area ya see. :D

Then i went into the Army an used that 'mood' i had turned into my personality as my fuel for my motivation, usin memories of people i hated to build up anger so i trained an tried harder in anythin i did. :twisted: :lol:

Then i got injured durin training an was kinda pissed cause i couldnt think what i wanted to do instead of it. :lol:

Then i moved in with my mate at his nans house since i...

1. Had lived with my grandparents the past few months, but they wouldn't take me back. :X

2. Didn't wanna go home cause i hated my stepdad. :evil: :twisted: (Broke his ribs once, cause he wouldnt lemme alone, lol) Yes i was a bit crazy. His fault tho, he influenced me.

So i'm livin in a house with my mate who... thinkin about it, has prolly held me back from a lot of stuff cause he's so negative an i always aimed to be better than him, which wasn't hard, so i jus settled for what i needed to give anythin i did. As long as i was better than him, i didn't care to try any harder. *shrugs*

I'd liked his sister for 5 years an with me livin at her nans i saw her a few times a week as opposed to once a week or less. 8) But this turned out to be bad... :D

I think this is where it got bad, cause i started actin nicer an givin in to people an generally decayed into a nice, soft guy. Which jus isn't me, an it sucked, i had no luck with girls an let most people walk over me. :lol:

Then i got pissed off when my mates sister, who had liked me for a long time but never mentioned it, asked me out then changed her mind the next day. Which may have been linked to the fact that i'd been clear faced (sumhow) for a couple of weeks, then as soon as she asked me, i broke out, WTF? :evil:

I'd jus got my motorbike, which wasn't a good time to get me angry cause i drive like a nutter when im happy, when im mad im jus lethal. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

I'd sit in my room listenin to my music wonderin WHY the hell i couldn't jus be the dont-give-a-shit, dont-take-no-shit guy i'd been jus 6 months before. I blamed the Army an the fact that where i now live is easier an took the hardness outta me. :X

Then i was bored one day, decided to try figurin people (specially women) out as try an suss why i was goin so wrong. Found a few sites an the such... an jus built up over the past year to who i am now, whicvh is close to what i was before the Army an the rest of it. Cept without any modd swings. :twisted:

Anyhow, if u read this far, well done, u know the Fatman a bit better now. :wink:

I'm movin back into my mums on Sunday, i'm expectin it's gonna make me who i wanna be again since i wont be surrounded by these negative, soft, low people i live with an around now. Don't get me wrong, i have nuthin against em, i jus feel it's these people that bring me down.

I'll see, an keep u posted if i become psychotic again. :twisted:

-Gaz

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Guest fatman_uk

BTW - I don;t know if that post fits in with this topic, but i felt like writing it.

So, tuff tits. :D

-Gaz

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My self concept varies as much as my moods and that is very frequent as of late. :D

I think I was seen as pretty until about age 8 when I got my first flare up of acne. My parents went nuts and didn't know what to do and it seemed to affect the way that people viewed me. Everything basically fell apart in my life, not necessarily because of the acne, but that was a bit of it I suppose. Since that age, I have had skin troubles and it's always bothered me. It makes you feel like "why me, why am I the one to suffer with this?" I try to remember that it's part of what makes me who I am today and I think I am a really wonderful person.

I sincerely doubt that your "personality is flawed and hollow" as you say. If it were, you wouldn't be here trying to express yourself to a bunch of strangers in a similar situation. Yes, your acne has affected your outlook on life due to the fact that others are shallow about outward appearance, but try your best not to let that rip you apart as it seems to be doing at this time. Acne seems to have taught you that acceptance and relationships are temporary and meaningless and so your actions are now reflecting what you have "learned". Just because some people are shallow does not mean that everyone is shallow. There truly are people who do NOT judge people by their outward appearance. Hang onto that and remember that there are some incredible people on this planet!

It's been a difficult road and it's been painful. Remember that pain is sometimes necessary to teach us the lessons that we need to learn in life. It sucks, yes. Acne teaches us to be more humble, less vain and less superficial. Don't ignore those valuable lessons. At this point in your life I think that you should focus on all things positive about yourself and about others. Remember that you are alive and that your life is a gift that you need to give back to yourself. You need to think about what you want to do with your life and how you can make a positive difference in the world. It's OK to need love and attention and affection. Without those things we become inhuman and intolerable - what would be the purpose? You need to look at the hard road ahead and see that all of this may be happening to show you who you are and how strong you can be.

All the best to you. :D

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man this topic hits close to home.........I have had so many girls come and go saying im cute and wanting to go out but i always dismissed them..........either i didnt want to commit or just my "complexion" that bothered me..........i beleieve even when u do get clear skin the mind still makes you single out something on your body............which i think is as worse as any other disease........whats ever worse is all the things u miss out........I have friends that I feel bad for blowing off cuz I think i had a bad day with my complexion that day and just blew them off like that..................newayz im 18...........looking forward to summer........looking forward to picking up a girl at some concerts that fits me.............looking forward to life with few pimples or alot :wink:

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yeah rocky it does suck. - i remember before the acne affliction. i felt like i was a leader and that i was outgoing. i was still a little shy but not self conscious about looks. then after it came i always had my head down, never made eye contact, i became this meek, introverted, dope. i hated it and yet i had to put on the brave face for my friends who were pretty clear skinned so they couldn't possibly understand. however sometimes i had to break down cause the pain was too much to bear.

fast forward to today...almost 30 this september and i really feel my perception is so skewed now. i'm hyperparnoid about the way people perceive me and i'm acutely aware of my surroundings and automatically think people are thinking in a negative way when they look at me which is stupid cause they're probably not thinking of me at all. it's like acne spurred a social phobia on me now. it's made me more of a suspicious person, somewhat bitter because i feel like i could've been so much more had it not been for the curse, i feel unpolished no matter what. i just cannot stand it. now it's just some scarring that i deal with but i feel like i'm under a microscope all the time. i'm married now but when i dated i attracted bad boys who were no good for me but i had to have disposable boyfriends in case i broke out i could break up with them. i didn't let anyone in and to some degree still don't. i will never know if i am truly in love or will ever be cause i am not sure what it is. i never let myself experience that because i didn't feel like anyone would really see past the acne. and because i've spent so many years fostering the outside of me to make up for the acne i have left my insides unattended to some degree. so i feel like i can't really connect to anyone on a deeper level anyways cause i'm out of touch with feelings and belief systems.

i'm more compassionate for sure. i think i would've been compassionate anyways though. i am not going to say acne has made me a better person because i don't believe that's true. it has forced me to look at the world in a different way, in a darker way. i still have problems holding my head up and whenever i meet someone all i can think is they see zits or nowadays scarring. tomorrow i'm going to a housewarming party for a friend from high school. i know other people i haven't seen in a long time will be there too and it makes my stomach turn. they'll think oh wow after all these years her skin still ain't perfect. i'm happy for people who think acne has made them a better person cause i'm sure anyone can view a disadvantage as a gift of sorts but i'm just not one of them. yes i know i choose that option but there is nothing good to come of it. if there is i'm just not aware of it i guess.

p.s. if some girls are saying 'you're hot' and you got girls running to class for you......i think you're doing pretty good. but i guess it's what you tell yourself that matters.

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thatoneguy,

Sorry if I came off as agressive - I understand what you're trying to say, but I was reacting to the generalised statement about depression. I get kind of frustrated when people say that depressed people should just "get over it" - it's like telling someone with acne that they should just wash their face more, or whatever. I think it's important to distinguish between feeling crappy or sad and being depressed.

Anyway, sorry if I'm going off topic here.

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acne has made me a stong healthy and intelligent person..sure its tough..first i fought the pimples with diet amazingly they went away then came back then went away for 4 yrs..now im on mincylcine..i have scarring ...verry shallow scarring..that i would like to treat if its possibel

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Well heres my story.

I've never been particularly socially adept if you catch my drift. In elementary school I was pretty much rejected except for my best friend, who stuck by me the whole way. I guess I was pretty weird lol.

Well after elementary school I felt like I couldn't handle those people any more, so I started homeschooling, which was really great (Hardly did any work haha) except for the fact that theres not really any great way for you to make friends. So I homeschooled for about 4 years, during which time I developed acne. Also since I didn't see anybody regularly, I kinda slacked off on my hygiene, prolly not so great for the acne lol.

Anyways last year I decided to go back to a private school, which seemed like it was gonna be great, however due to my lack of hygiene habbit I had gotten into, I didn't make so many friends straight off the bat hah. Anyway this year I've been much better about that, but my acne has been gettin worse, and I've really gotten self conscious about it.

Things have really deteriorated now though, cuz I'm being so obsessive about acne, that I tend to shut people out I guess. I kinda want to be left alone somtimes, cuz I don't want people to look at my face. Also I been gettin really depressed lately, and I just wanna sleep and sit at my house. Its really no fun. People are usually pretty nice to me though, but I can't tell if its because they like me or if its just common courtesy, like they don't wanna be assholes u know? Anyway I have a hard time makin new friends, and I wanna keep sayin to myself that its all because of acne, and that if I could just get rid of it, that I could be popular and make friends easy. But I know its not that easy.

I gotta change the way I think, and accept who I am, but its just not that easy you know? As someone said earlier in this post, the statistics say that about 90% of teens suffer acne, but in my school its like, 2 people have acne thats even beyond mild, which is me and another kid that I know, everyone else has like these completely minor pimples, that you can hardly even see, or that they hardly ever get. Then theres me with my little constelations all over my forehead and chin. Big ass whiteheads just waiting to be popped all the time. I spend all day looking at these people, and when I get home and look in the mirror, Its just too much. I've always had a positive outlook for the most part, and I think I look pretty good (minus the acne of course) but then you hear these assholes with their perfect skin try to give you advice about acne. I was just over at my friends house, and his brother, who has never had a pimple in his life is all like wtf is wrong with yer face man, its all dry and flakey, so I tell him im usin bp, and hes like yea well it aint workin too well haha. Starts tellin me all about how I should take a shower twice a day and shit like that, just wanna punch him in the mouth lol.

I really hope that I can find something that works soon, cuz I been gettin suicidal thoughts, and it really sucks. I can't bring myself to talk to people anymore, I just wanna hide. I gotta get my confidance back jeez!

Whelp thats my story lol. I'm gonna try to cut out the dairy, cuz I know I'm lactose intolerant, and others have said that cuttin out the dairy clears them up, so I'm hopeful :D

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Thanks for sharing your comments and experiences everyone. They're much appreciated. Keep'em coming.

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Ok, here goes...

I've never been an outgoing person. I'm the silent type of guy, I never made lots of friends, so acne is not entirely to blame for the below average social life I have. Maybe it has something to do with the fucked up class I was in in elementary school. On the other hand, acne hasn't been a big help, when it comes to smiling, looking people in the eye and keeping your head up. When I see that another breakout is coming, I get depressed; the only thing I want on a day like that is to go to bed soon, wake up in the morning, and inspect how my face looks. Waiting until the sun sets is what those days are about.

I still remember getting my first zits, when I was twelve, because some guy at school pointed it out. Then I thought it wasn't such a big deal; everyone would get them once, and they would probably clear in a short amount of time. It didn't. The acne became worse and worse, and I don't even remember the time that my back and chest looked clear. I must have been 14 or 15 when acne reached those zones. Being the stupidest person on earth, I started picking the spots: I still have lots (and with lots, i mean LOTS, my skin looks like shit) of red marks on my back and chest because of that, even though my back's pretty clear right now *knocks on wood*. I don't know if that will ever improve. Maybe someone here knows.

In front of the mirror in the bathroom I look okay, but sometimes I take the test and stand naked in front of a mirror where daylight comes in from a window. About a year ago, that mirror-image of mine sickened me. I felt that I looked like the monster of dr. Frankenstein. I had suicidal thoughts, and I didn't care about the few friends I had anymore, and became addicted to my PC. Luckily, I didn't lose them.

Nowadays, I feel that my acne is better, I don't get these huge pimples anymore; I break out at regular intervals, and in regular regions of the body, but the zits I get are smaller than before. Maybe the acne starts to go away? Maybe, but that doesn't take away the emotional damage that acne caused. I feel less than some guy who doesn't have acne, and I don't have much confidence in myself, and I don't think I'll ever get more confident if the acne curse persists in haunting me.

It's a curse, yes, I can't even practice a sport because of the acne on my back and chest, every single moment of the day I am reminded of my problem: when I'm watching TV and I see some guy standing in a locker room without his shirt on, I think: 'I'd never be able to do that.' My worst nightmare is that people would find out about my acne on my back.

But I'll persevere, and I'll win this battle!

Veni, Vidi, Vici: that's what I'll say then.

PS Sorry for the incredible amount of text :D

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Well. I feel your pain. I work offshore with guys that are twice my size. But my other job is a Reserve Police officer. At the age of 24, I don't look my age. After years of people not taking me seriously because they think since I look younger, I have the knowlage of a 10 year old. But in alot of ways, my acne has helped me in my police work. I don't judge people as they judge me. I know that the knowlage of a 60 year old can be that the same in alot of ways in a 20 year old. I do not judge by looks. However, that is not the same when your talking to someone and looking strait in their eyes.

The point is that things are not always as they apear. That goes for people too. I am a prime example of that. I am not a big guy. I am tall, but I don't weigh much. Who would know that I hold a blackbelt in Aikido? Or have 5 years of patrol service for the police dept? The same goes for those I come in contact with. And in my years of service, I have seen that acne has made 50% of the population wiser, and the other 50% bitter. I don't hold the bitterness the 50% hold, however, I harness it and turn it into wisdom on a one by one basis.

In retrospect of my life, I think as much as acne has hurt my physical attributes, it has helped and healed my mental state. Look at it at a simple rate. Does a pet care if you have acne? No. they focus on what you project tward them. Thank God that more and more people these days are acting in the same way. Life is not what kind of skin suit you wear, or what car you drive, but what is in you. It is the unseen that counts. It is what you can not see in the natural that matters.

btw..uruk, I have bad back acne aswell. Believe it or not, it is not all that uncommon. Even for those without facial acne. I went to police acadamy with some that wern't tanned, some who had scars, and some who had alot of hair on their back. And the most common, was back acne. When you have guys walking around with nipple hair, your back acne doesn't seem so bad. If anything, all the ads on tv and in the magazines should show you that that is as good as it gets. 99% of America and UK are avarage, nto supermodels. So for every 95% perect model there is out there, there are 100 billion more people on this planet that are not even close.

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The worst thing i find, is that when talking to people i'm CONSTANTLY thingking about what i look like...and i hardly ever look people in the eye. Because mirrors/different lighting can be so deciving, and you never really know how other people TRULY see you...Even though my acne has got slightly better, my confidence is still so lacking, and hasn't really improved...At the moment i am seeing someone who also suffers from it, so it's nice to not feel like my complexion has to be clear to match his...Someone already said this but it's true...only about 10 people in my 6th form out of hundreds suffer from acne, so saying every teenager does is just silly.

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Well, I guess I should start of saying that this is a great topic..and it's been good to hear all of your stories so far. It seems to me that everybody has one thing in common, and that is how people who HAVE acne perceive others, either for good or bad.

Some people who have acne view themselves as these ugly, horrid, human beings....therefore some people view others as ugly or what not if they have some minor problems. Then there are those who have always been the more mature, less-superficial kind....who don't care what others look like...it's all about what's inside. And it seems that they reach this "mature" stage either by already going through the "negative" stage, or they have always been this way.

I'm sure some of you might disagree, but that's what it seems like to me. As for me, I went through the "negative outlook" stage where I thought everybody was ugly cuz I viewed their MINOR problems THAT DON'T EVEN MATTER NOW! People use to gross me out. But now i'm a better person as far as that goes. I look at people and I usually always wonder WHO they really are. I'm becoming less and less superficial towards others (still working on myself.)

Now let's hit the way we view ourselves. I'm doing better, but I still need a LOTTTTT of work. I have become a little distant with some of my friends over the last few months/years cuz of acne. I've only been on like 3 dates...never even kissed a girl. Sure there have been some pretty girls who were attracted to me over the last few years, but I always thought that they would never want me cuz of my face. I've only been to ONE school dance (was back in high school). All of this cuz of the way I viewed myself and the way I thought others would also view me.

I've only touched the tip of the iceburg of problems/things that have happened to me cuz of acne. Maybe when my acne is all gone i'll write my whole story.

I just want to make it clear though that I personally think that everybody has that perceiving type of view on others....how they will look at someone and say "oh, she's pretty", "she has nice hair." It's just that in this "mature" type of stage, your not DEGRADING others cuz of acne, cuz of only 4 fingers on their right hand, cuz of braces, cuz they have freckles...whatever it may be. Any problem you can think of, somebody has it.

So I just pray that everybody, not just here but EVERYBODY, will stop degrading others and treat everybody as equals. Cuz if you got to know person by person, you'll find a unique personality that actually creates them. You may not necessarily be attracted to somebody, but once you get into their heart and soul, you can find the strongest of love towards them.

Anyways, good luck to you all...and God bless.

-Shawn-

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