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I'll try to make this as short as possible, like in an outline form:

I. Started breaking out at 15. Considering that I was 6' and rail-thin (fodder for psychologically sadistic classmates) you can deduce how this compounded my angst.

II. Grades suffered. No dates. Friday and Saturday nights alone. Retin-A and antibiotics helped a little, but my face was intractably red and scaly.

III. Somehow managed to get decent enough grades and SAT scores to get into Emory University (wanted to go to Northwestern but got rejected--no doubt because grades suffered due to acne preoccupying my mind more than studies).

IV. In college, still got rejected by girls. Had no friends. Still, I thought that one day my acne problems would subside and life would be better. Took Accutane, but acne returned three months after the course. Pursued a chemistry degree which would prepare me for medical school. BUT became afflicted with anxiety disorder, no doubt due to no social life, no sex, and preoccupation with my skin.

V. Graduated from college with a 3.6 GPA, 3.82 in chemistry courses. Wanted to take a year off before matriculating into medical school. Plus, I figured it would give me time to really study for the MCATs. However, the intensity of taking the MCATs rattled my nerves and I could barely breathe and concentrate on the test. My scores were uncharacteristically low. I decided not to pursue medicine because I knew my anxiety, succored by curse of acne, would cause potentially fatal problems.

VI. Worked odd jobs for several years, food runner, newspaper delivery, etc. At the same time, I decided to pursue writing as a career, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, or screenwriting.

VII. Through a placement firm, landed a job at a Fortune 500 company doing administrative work. At the same time, was working nights at a restaurant, one of the more "hip" ones in Atlanta. And considering how gorgeous some of the girls with whom I worked were, you can imagine how psychologically devastating it was that they ignored me. By this time I was 24-25.

VIII. Eventually got fired by the restaurant because my presence was "lowering morale among co-workers" which was odd considering that I was never mean to them or anything. I know some asked me to hang out with them after work, but I always declined because I didn't want to show my face at a bar or nightclub. I'll admit, on some nights, maybe I carried myself in a churlish manner because of the inner rage of having to battle acne. By the way, at this time I still never had a girlfriend and never dated.

IX. So I worked another 3 years at the Fortune 500 company. Saved up money to move to Los Angeles and seriously pursue writing. By this time, I was 27.

X. In Los Angeles, I couldn't find a job. I had interviews, but no success. I remember on some interviews being so uncomfortable in my skin, it must've of translated to my overall body language. Eventually burned through my savings and ran up 14,000 in credit card debt. Left L.A. and moved back to Atlanta.

XI. After eight months in Atlanta, I had to leave. I really wanted to return to Los Angeles. So I applied for more credit cards. I didn't care if I ran up 25,000 in debt, I was going to make something positive happen.

XII. Moved back to L.A. Eventually landed a low-paying job in entertainment at E! Networks. But I felt it was a start. Ran up more credit card debt. It would've been nice to have a significant other to share the expenses and go along with the ride (and engage in sensual pleasures) but, of course, that would disturb the entropy of the universe too much.

XIII. Could no longer afford the comparatively high Hollywood rent. Low-paying E! job was nullifying any hopes for self-sufficiency. Tried to find another or second job, but couldn't. Had to move to a Koreatown rathole in order to survive in Los Angeles. Rent was/is 425.00 a month for a bachelor apartment.

XIV. Found a job with a production company that barely paid more. However, my car was vandalized on numerous occasions, hence multiple insurance payments (about $4,000 worth). Obviously couldn't afford to pay that. In addition, I was desparate for laser surgery on my face.

XV. With credit card debt at about $25,000 and a car that was unsellable, my parents and their attorney recommended Chapter 7. I refused. But a year went by and there was no hope on the horizon. I relented. Now I have that stigma on my credit. No girl. NO GIRL wants a guy with unfavorable finances.

XVI. So, here I am. 32. Never had a girlfriend. Never had a decent-paying job. At least I can afford Smoothbeam treatments. I kinda like them so far, but I still get the annoying 2 or 3 blemishes. But still, my life is ruined. And yes, I have considered suicide on multiple occasions. For those who say that I need a psychiatrist, I just don't see how one can help. How can I be a success or happy when I know practically everyone is utterly revulsed by my appearance. 6' 2", 170 pounds. Wraithlike physique. Bad skin. Dark circles. Ears that stick out a mile. Everyone thinks I'm ugly. And they're right. There's nothing I can do about it besides running into a wall multiple times.

All this because of the ravages of acne. Before I started breaking out, yeah, I was ridiculed for being thin and all, but I remember thinking I was still beautiful. And I would've thought that way if it weren't for acne. Sorry for the insipid droning, but I'm not in the mood to be whimsically cute or entertaining. Gawd what a horrible life.

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Reading this makes me want to kick my own ass for whining about y petty problems. You're a modern day warrior, and I hope you don't give up. All the best writers have had horrible childhood/early adult hoods. With everything you've been through, I have to think that it will get better.

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It's never too late to start working out. 32, you can still put on some weight. If you put in some effort in the weight room you can be 200 inside of a year with about the same body fat.

I know this certainly won't fix your entire life, but it's a start. Your story is heartbreaking, but I know sympathy is useless to you, so even though we all feel it I won't bother extolling it.

Don't give up, there is still plenty of life ahead of you. Start changing what you can, accept what you can't, and live life the best you can. That's all you can ever do.

Also realize that as women get older they start to value appearance less and less. As they creep towards 35 and 40 they worry about starting a family and just want a good guy, he doesn't have to be a hunk. In short, attractive doesn't always mean beautiful to the eyes.

j

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I'll try to make this as short as possible, like in an outline form:

I. Started breaking out at 15. Considering that I was 6' and rail-thin (fodder for psychologically sadistic classmates) you can deduce how this compounded my angst.

II. Grades suffered. No dates. Friday and Saturday nights alone. Retin-A and antibiotics helped a little, but my face was intractably red and scaly.

III. Somehow managed to get decent enough grades and SAT scores to get into Emory University (wanted to go to Northwestern but got rejected--no doubt because grades suffered due to acne preoccupying my mind more than studies).

IV. In college, still got rejected by girls. Had no friends. Still, I thought that one day my acne problems would subside and life would be better. Took Accutane, but acne returned three months after the course. Pursued a chemistry degree which would prepare me for medical school. BUT became afflicted with anxiety disorder, no doubt due to no social life, no sex, and preoccupation with my skin.

V. Graduated from college with a 3.6 GPA, 3.82 in chemistry courses. Wanted to take a year off before matriculating into medical school. Plus, I figured it would give me time to really study for the MCATs. However, the intensity of taking the MCATs rattled my nerves and I could barely breathe and concentrate on the test. My scores were uncharacteristically low. I decided not to pursue medicine because I knew my anxiety, succored by curse of acne, would cause potentially fatal problems.

VI. Worked odd jobs for several years, food runner, newspaper delivery, etc. At the same time, I decided to pursue writing as a career, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, or screenwriting.

VII. Through a placement firm, landed a job at a Fortune 500 company doing administrative work. At the same time, was working nights at a restaurant, one of the more "hip" ones in Atlanta. And considering how gorgeous some of the girls with whom I worked were, you can imagine how psychologically devastating it was that they ignored me. By this time I was 24-25.

VIII. Eventually got fired by the restaurant because my presence was "lowering morale among co-workers" which was odd considering that I was never mean to them or anything. I know some asked me to hang out with them after work, but I always declined because I didn't want to show my face at a bar or nightclub. I'll admit, on some nights, maybe I carried myself in a churlish manner because of the inner rage of having to battle acne. By the way, at this time I still never had a girlfriend and never dated.

IX. So I worked another 3 years at the Fortune 500 company. Saved up money to move to Los Angeles and seriously pursue writing. By this time, I was 27.

X. In Los Angeles, I couldn't find a job. I had interviews, but no success. I remember on some interviews being so uncomfortable in my skin, it must've of translated to my overall body language. Eventually burned through my savings and ran up 14,000 in credit card debt. Left L.A. and moved back to Atlanta.

XI. After eight months in Atlanta, I had to leave. I really wanted to return to Los Angeles. So I applied for more credit cards. I didn't care if I ran up 25,000 in debt, I was going to make something positive happen.

XII. Moved back to L.A. Eventually landed a low-paying job in entertainment at E! Networks. But I felt it was a start. Ran up more credit card debt. It would've been nice to have a significant other to share the expenses and go along with the ride (and engage in sensual pleasures) but, of course, that would disturb the entropy of the universe too much.

XIII. Could no longer afford the comparatively high Hollywood rent. Low-paying E! job was nullifying any hopes for self-sufficiency. Tried to find another or second job, but couldn't. Had to move to a Koreatown rathole in order to survive in Los Angeles. Rent was/is 425.00 a month for a bachelor apartment.

XIV. Found a job with a production company that barely paid more. However, my car was vandalized on numerous occasions, hence multiple insurance payments (about $4,000 worth). Obviously couldn't afford to pay that. In addition, I was desparate for laser surgery on my face.

XV. With credit card debt at about $25,000 and a car that was unsellable, my parents and their attorney recommended Chapter 7. I refused. But a year went by and there was no hope on the horizon. I relented. Now I have that stigma on my credit. No girl. NO GIRL wants a guy with unfavorable finances.

XVI. So, here I am. 32. Never had a girlfriend. Never had a decent-paying job. At least I can afford Smoothbeam treatments. I kinda like them so far, but I still get the annoying 2 or 3 blemishes. But still, my life is ruined. And yes, I have considered suicide on multiple occasions. For those who say that I need a psychiatrist, I just don't see how one can help. How can I be a success or happy when I know practically everyone is utterly revulsed by my appearance. 6' 2", 170 pounds. Wraithlike physique. Bad skin. Dark circles. Ears that stick out a mile. Everyone thinks I'm ugly. And they're right. There's nothing I can do about it besides running into a wall multiple times.

All this because of the ravages of acne. Before I started breaking out, yeah, I was ridiculed for being thin and all, but I remember thinking I was still beautiful. And I would've thought that way if it weren't for acne. Sorry for the insipid droning, but I'm not in the mood to be whimsically cute or entertaining. Gawd what a horrible life.

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It's never too late to start working out.  32, you can still put on some weight.  If you put in some effort in the weight room you can be 200 inside of a year with about the same body fat....

j

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I, for one, have never liked muscle-bound guys. Unfortunately, I'm married. Not to mention way too old for you. But surely there are still girls out there who actually PREFER the tall, lanky, runner-physique that helps the lucky owner to look so incredibly good when everyone else is battling the middle-age spread, AKA beer-belly.

Maybe you are looking in the wrong place: beaches in SoCal might not be where girls that like writer-types hang out.

You used to think you were beautiful. You probably are. Stop looking in the mirror, practice a smile and an introduction and go out. Read the posts here and you'll see there are thousands of girls who know exactly how you feel.

C.

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i'm sure that as a writer you've heard of bukowski - he suffered from the worst case of acne vulgaris his doctors had ever seen, and his past history seems somewhat akin to yours: job jumping, lack of intimacy, etc. his book "ham on rye" is about growing up and dealing with the emotional and physical issues related to having severe boils all over his face and body. it's kind of a downer when you think about how his life was so impacted by acne, but regardless it is a good book.

edit - i forgot to mention that he was also around your age when he started writing seriously, so there is hope yet! =].

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oh wow - u sound like me cry.gif i am sorry *gives a big hug* --- your life isnt over yet. your only 32 some people will consider thta young. and your life isnt ruined yet ! there is still hope . i know acne helpd ruin ur life but it sounds liek anyones typical story - everyone had a certain dream for the future and makes bad choices along the way and loooks back saying -- oh shit how did my life get so fucked up im no where where i wated to be and then think about what went wrong ( i do it all the time too) i hate the stupid CC debt. i am in them up to my eye balls too adn im only 24 - doubt.gif and accidentally married a gay man who was using me as a cover so now i need a divorce afte r8 years of hell. my whole thing is i hear ya ! and u sound hella cool and smart and i can totally relate to waht ur saying. hang in there .. beside the bankruptcy can be off your record in a number of years and u can start buildng ur credit back up. u just got to stop letting ur stupid acne control you/your life. fuck it. i know im u gly too and i got acne but i am just not goin to let it rule my life no more. and i dont like muscley ass guys either . sounds like ur tall - girls love that. there must be something u can do to make urself feel better. oh and yes i have the whole panic/anxiety thing too. the main thing wit that u gotta face it head on and dont give up ur dreams dont let panci/anxiety or acne ruin ur dreams anymore. YOU can do it and YOU can make things happne. *hug hug hug kiss * so take charge and stop thinking negative. everything u have gone thru has taught u something. ur going to come out of all this a stronger person than before. i know i am.

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I can relate to your story.Acne also ruined my life as it has to many other people.The best idea is to seek help.At first I was ashamed to admit I have some psychological problems.Ive been diagnosed with depression and social anxiety.But the only way to get better is to face your problems and not be ashamed of how other people may view you.If you dont then another 10 years down the road wont make a difference as you'll still be in the same situation.

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i say you retake the MCAT and try again for medical school! your scores in chem were amazing, and your experience with the emotional suffering of acne would make you a wonderful doctor. i have met very few doctors in my life who were smart AND compassionate. its easy to tell from your post you are both smile.gif my ex boyfriend didnt get into med school his first time around.. he was 29 when he got accepted. i really hope things look up for you- caroline

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Yo brother Wad. Use those smarts to your advantage. Realize that although appearance is a part of your persona, how you handle yourself is a bigger part of it. You obviously need to get laid. Here's what you do.

Go out to those LA bars and get kinda drunk (not too). You wanna be loose. Zero in on women you think you'd like to meet, take a big drink, and just say "Hi - my name is _________, what's yours?" and take it from there. Damn brother - that's all there is to it. You'll strike up a conversation with someone - maybe that girl's friend, but you will succeed. But you gotta try. What's the worst that could happen. I think you've been throught the worst anyway.

Girls will appreciate your driving to the bucket. You'll meet somebody that you never thought you'd have a chemistry with. It will happen. You have to play to win bro.

I know your self esteem suffers with acne scars (like me). But you can join the human race and have a nice little life if you push yourself and not be so self critical. Just say fuck it and dive in. Change your tude around and fuck everybody else. You'll be ok. This plan will work. Get out there and go!

Report your results back to me and the others on this board after implementing my plan for you. Go slay em brother. Peace.

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That's a pretty intense story but it moved me quite hard- interesting that somebody mentioned bukowski though- his biggest asett as a writer was said to be that his social ineptitude; despite having quite appalling skin all his life he gained relative infamy eventually.

To be able to post as intelligently and honestly as you have takes ball in itself- I feel you, a lot like myself I fear, are a good man dogged unfairly by a cruel condition that most will never experience. But inside you lies the heart and soul of a great person; never give up the fight and one day you will find somebody. One person's ugly is another person's beauty; somebody will one day find you beautiful...

Best of luck man,

Cheese

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