Alright so I've been lurking around here for a little while now and finally decided, hell, I need support too and signing up can't hurt me.
I'm 19 and live in vancouver, home to some of the worlds most beautiful and thin women. I'm a total perfectionist and have been for quite some time. I've never been into perfection in terms of school work or tidiness, but always in terms of my appearance.
I was 13 the first time that I was hospitalized for anorexia and bulimia, I was hospitalized a total of 3 times. I fell into substance abuse at 13 as well, which would later develope into a full blown life threatening addiction. I checked into rehab at 15, and then again at 16 to treat my addiction to cocaine, ecstasy, prescription medications and alcohol.
I still struggle at times with both the anorexia and the drug addiction: I have been clean from narcotics since november 2nd, 2007, the night that I was brought to the hospital in fear that I had overdosed on cocaine and alcohol. Although I'm at a healthy weight, there are times when I will eat 400 calories a day for a week straight.
The road to recovery from my eating disorder and drug addiction has been painful, bumpy, emotional and full of ups and downs.
I was 17 when I decided "no more" to all drugs and alcohol. I built up just over 13 months free from both. It was about a month into that span of sobriety that I started to break out severely. I figured it was the toxins flushing from my body. months passed and it only got worse. I had terrible acne all over my face and body. I had never struggled with acne before in my life. I tried everything that the doctors would let me, FORTUNETLY I was banned from taking accutain as my heart, kidneys and liver were already so damaged from the years of starvation, purging and drug abuse.
My skin just wouldn't heal. it got worse, and worse, and finally I fell back into anorexia because of my terribly low self esteem. I lost 65 pounds in a short span of time, my family and friends said it was almost over night, really it was over the course of 12 weeks. I was sad, alone, self-loathing, depressed and dropped out of school due to my self conciousness.
I had just turned 18 and was being threatened with hospitalization again. I broke down in tears, I had been in treatment 5 times by the age of 18, I refused to go through it again, especially at a new facility where the "treatment" is borderline torture. Think about being strapped down to a hospital bed for a few days with a feeding tube being run up your nostril, down your throat and into your stomach, not nice. Anyways I decided that I had to change my life, and I had to change my attitude, I had to fake it till I made it, because I knew that if I was hospitalized one more time, then this would be my life, in and out of treatment until I died of either overdose or malnutrition, and scary as it is to think, possibly suicide.
I started eating. I started going back to school. I decided to get a job, which I credit much of my emotional growth to, and I started to feel good again. I was happy for the first time in a long time. I had put on 20 pounds, and started to feel like myself again. I still hated my appearance in terms of my skin, but things were getting better. I started to notice a difference when I switched make-up brands. no more cheap drug store garbage, I was buying high end dior foundation and powders, which really did help with clearing.
I dabbled in drugs over the next few months, but in comparison to the amounts and methods in which I was taking in the past, this was nothing really. A few more months past, my new job had helped me make friends, and had made me feel like a steadfast of a funky neighbourhood in the city. People started to hit on me. The customers would tell me I was beautiful. Despite them only seeing me in make up, it still felt nice. People *wanted* to be around me.
I noticed more and more change in my skin the less I focused on it.
the summer passed and I was back in school this last september. The progress my skin had made in a year was outstanding. I still had bad acne, but my back and chest cleared up, and my face has recovered about %35. Things were looking up!
The winter was harsh on my face, and finally I said "enough is enough" I examined myself in the mirror and then put my chips down. I decided to get fraxel laser treatments.
My first treatment was in January, it was painful, REALLY painful. I was shaking all over my body, I have this tough girl persona so I tried my hardest not to cry. I still cried though, a lot. I hybernated for 4 days before I even dared put make up on. Now it's been just about a month since my first fraxel and I have noticed a difference.
I still have A LOT of acne scarring, I have minimal ice pick scars, but my entire face is covered in red marks.
My skin is MUCH smoother now though. I'm going to get 2 more fraxel laser treatments done. I know a lot of people think that fraxel is just a way for doctors to cash in on insecurity but I know my doctor outside of the office as well. He was brutally honest with me about price, gave me a huge discount (!!!) and was so supportive through the painful treatment. He even warned me to come in at least an hour early to let the freezing cream REALLY help with the pain. I trust him very much, and am very close friends with his daughter, so I know that he wouldn't screw me around you know?
So from where I started, 2 years ago, to where I am now:
I get 10% of the whiteheads I used to. I break out, but think much of that has to do with picking at my skin. I have completely cleared on my back, and have MINIMAL acne on my chest, little enough that I am comfortable wearing low-cut tops. My main insecurity at this point is the mass amounts of hyperpigmentation. If you were to remove the red scarring from my face, I would have beautiful skin, with minor breakouts (AKA look like a normal person)
I've come SO FAR in my journey, and intend to keep writing about my successes, set backs, and most of all my progress with fraxel.