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I usually dont waste my time on these message board things, I prefer wasting my time else where, like stinking myspace, haha...but I dont think I would feel very comfortable venting about my acne issues all over myspace...because people just dont get it...which is why IM making an exception for this site. It helps me to feel like Im not alone.

I was looking forward to my 21st birthday this year, not because I could go drink it up legally, but because I thought my acne would clear up by then. It was always my understanding that it would clear up as I got older, it did for friends, and for my Dad whom I inherited it from...but as 21 came, I realized it wasnt going away. I have pretty much let acne ruin my life so far. Your teenage years, although awkward anyway, are supposed to be a time of experimenting, and experiencing new things as you discover yourself, and claim an identity, which can be hard, but fun too... I cant really think of a time in my teenage years, when I had so-called fun. Most of my time was spent avoiding people in one way or another, and although I made an effort a few times, going to a dance or two, I only found myself so self concious around the other girls, with thier perfect, glowing skin, that I just couldnt allow myself to enjoy it. I skipped school quite a bit, my parents were constantly on my back about it, which made things so much worse...skipping school,so that I could lay under a blanket all day, I got 0s in all my classes, I had no social life because I wouldnt allow myself to have one, and my parents were ultimately disapointed in me, and wouldnt let me hear the end of it...I was weighed down by all of these things that I got so depressed at one point, I really wanted to die despite believing that acne is only temporary...we still have to live in these bodies, and make the most of them for all of our time on earth, which can feel like an eternity when you have acne. Finally through my dramatics, yelling I wanted to comitt suicide in one of our many morning arguments, my parents got the severity of the situation, realizing the extent of my depression, and decided to do something about it. They took me to a dermatoligist when I was about 16, and I was put on an antibiotic...it cleared me up from severe acne to moderate acne...which still continued to affect me.

I often wonder what I would have been like, If I did not have acne.

I think I am an extrovert turned inward, I think I am a low-maintenance girl turned high maintenance because of acne. Many people argue, its not about your appearance, its whats on the inside that counts - The outside directly affects the inside, and when you look in the mirror, you dont see the inside...when you have acne, your eyes stop on the outside, and you can not penetrate through to the inside, and fix the problems that go deeper than the skin, when you cant see past the problem that is right in front of your face, or on your face...it has nothing to do with vanity.

And although you might be aware that other people are probably too consumed with the way that they look to care or even notice how bad your acne is, you are aware of it, and in an exxaggerated way, which causes you to carry yourself like everyone is aware of it in the same way that you are aware of it...your confidence is crushed, or non-existant, and that is what other people pick up on more than the fact that you have acne...so you try to compensate for it with big muscles, or nice clothes, or a pretend smile...but at the end of the day it still robbed you of your potential to be a you that day without acne.

I almost didnt get my highschool diploma, and I decided not to go to college...settling for cosmetology, which is ironic in itself because I am going into a profession where I will be paid to make other people look beautiful...and I dont feel beautiful myself.

Because of the time I seperated myself from people, and starved myself of social interaction, I feel as if my personality hasnt been fully developed, but rather is made up of my interests, which are pretty loud...I also have a hard time communicating in person, I guess because I hadnt learned how to.

Despite the impact that acne has had on my life negatively...it has had some positive impacts in a twisted way. All of the time I seperated myself from people, I wrote stories, and poetry, and journal entries that helped me to escape from reality, or reason with it...I have pretty good writing skills because of this, and I hope to get something published someday. I have also been drawing since I could pick up a crayon, and when I wasnt writing, I was drawing things...I consider myself a pretty good artist today.

If I didnt have acne, I think I would have been a lot more social, I wouldnt have been afraid to approach people, and people would have influenced me greatly...which IM not sure would have been a good thing. I think I would have gotten myself in a lot more moral trouble if I did not have acne...so maybe it saved me in some ways. Who knows, maybe today ID be a preppy, probably blond(my natural color) outgoing, little party girl, rather than an individualized, introverted, book loving, artsy fartsy hermit...maybe one day, I can find my place in the middle.

Today, due to over-active hormones or whatever, my face is eaten up with acne, and I skipped school again after looking in the mirror and having an anxiety attack. I surfed the wed all day for answers, I found this forum, which is hardley an answer, but today I realized, IM really not the only one that feels this way.

I have a wonderful, extremely handsome boy freind, whom I want to marry one day. He met me with acne, and fell in love with me with acne... we have been together for two years, and have recently decided to take a break for three months to pray about our relationship, and find out if we are meant to be together for the ever... My problems with acne have been something that have gotten in the way of our relationship, and I fear they will continue to get in the way, until I find a solution...I have experienced clear days, and felt a freedom that I can not express in words, so my answer is, make the acne go away, and be free... I know there is no cure for acne...and I have no money, so I havent been able to go to a dermatoligist for treatment, but I am on a 3 month quest to find an identity outside of acne...even if it remains on my face...because I realize that when three months is over, and my boy freind and I reunite, I have to be over this, because if he stays with me, and I continue to be like this, I am dead weight to him, and he doesnt deserve that. I will continue searching...and I will post my findings.

-First of all, focus on other people, to take the focus off myself.(if I can get myself out the door)

And whatever you do, dont let your teenage years go to waste, allow yourself to have friends, find something besides acne to place your confidence in, like your brain, or an interest...whether you have acne or not, life happens, dont let yours leave you behind...I will regret for the rest of my life, choosing to be depressed all of my teenage years...and even now...I know I cant let it steal my 20s!

thanks for listening.

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Guest Realist

Good story... lots of similarities. I do have one question though... why are you giving yourself an ultimatum? A couple of months aren't going to fix years of psychological damage. I honestly believe you're setting yourself up for failure. You say your boyfriend loves you, so he should be understanding of your situaton. I don't see why you two took a break, when right now you probably need his support and encouragement. Saying 'if I continue to be like this, I am dead weight to him, and he doesnt deserve that,' is equivalent to saying you're not worthy of him. You need to get over this feeling of inferiority, and realize that if you love him, and he loves you like you say he does - acne and all - you will be together forever. Don't push him away, because that's what I think you are doing.

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I'm glad to hear that you've decided to work on yourself rather than your acne--it sounds like you're going into this with the right attitude, and I'm sure you'll figure out what you need to figure out in order to be comfortable with yourself, with or without acne :clap:

One thing that struck me while reading your post is that you feel that you lost your teenage years, and that you will always regret this...don't. While teenage years may be fun, don't let anyone tell you that they're the best years of your life, or even the years for figuring out your identity, etc.

Teenagers are often more concerned with fitting in and following the pack rather than finding out who they are--that comes in your twenties, which is the time that you're entering into now, so bloom and flourish, and don't worry about the past.

I'm 27 now, and honestly, my twenties (so far) have been soooo much more valuable to me than my teenage years were. Not that my teenage years were bad, but honestly, you have a lot more freedom and independence in your twenties: you can live on your own, go to college/univeristy and have the time and leisure to read and think and just be, or work to save up to travel, and people are no longer teenagers so they're usually not so caught up in a group mentality, so there's more freedom to be yourself and diversity among friends.

So look at your 21st birthday as the starting point for what could potentially be the best years of your life--you haven't lost them!

In fact, I believe that "the best years of your life" are always with us. I actually look forward to growing old and don't want to ever look back to a time that was the "best" in my life...I want that moment to always be where I am now, and it's very possible to achieve this--just go out there and live and love, acne or no!

Good luck! :D

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That is a really good read, maybe you should write an acne diary book, amazon needs on of those thingys.

I think what realist at the start of his post is true, its good you are trying to 'discover yourself', but this is all on the premise that you have to perfect yourself of something?

Your problems are with your esteem, and self image, this three month endeavour should tackle these problems, you say you like books, so some reading on how to reduce anxiety and negative thoughts.

chow

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Very good post. I agree with Polka, you should write this stuff out somewhere - the world could definatly use an acne story.

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Very good post. I agree with Polka, you should write this stuff out somewhere - the world could definatly use an acne story.

Thanks so much for all of your replies...I truly feel embraced by acne.org now, haha! Maybe I will accept the challenge of writing a diary like novel about how I was affected by this skin condition...I have been reading some random posts...and although I was there at one point myself, I cant believe that some of these people have actually posted suicide notes! I just feel this lump developing in my throat when I read posts written by people that have just literally given up. I think that people that have never struggled with acne can not comprehend the emotional affects of this condition...and maybe I will write something that can bring better understanding to them, and give the kids that have lost hope through this a feeling that someone does understand. In my teens, I read diary like novels about the drugatics, and the twisted teenage sex stories, and the mental illness stories...acne can lead to a type of mental illness...and I think that these collection of posts would be perfect material for developing such a story! Now IM excited about it...IL start on it as soon as I can figure out what to do with myself...haha.

- this is unrelated, but I have wondered...Do they have counselors specifically for people with depression linked to acne? Because if not, they should have someone working at a dermatoligist clinic for acne sufferers!

thanks all

mandee

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