In high school, I was a shy, overly-polite wallflower. I was basically the girl that you’d bump into on your way to class, because you had absolutely no idea that I was there. College was a different story, thank God. I found a group of friends who I really gelled with, learned how to put on makeup correctly, and started to feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin. I was outgoing, adventurous, and, for the first time in my life, confident.
I remember my college graduation like my favorite scene in a romcom. When I finally said a tearful goodbye to my friends — my companions for the past four years — we joked about the next time we would see each other; we would be overweight, married, and have kids on each hip. Our 10-year reunion was going to be a weekend of reminiscing back to the “good old days” when we were young and beautiful.
Flash forward one year, and I became sickeningly depressed whenever that memory flooded through my mind. I was 22 years old, and, for reasons unknown to me, was going through the first bout of acne in my life. It affected everything, especially my relationships. I began to ignore the calls I got on Facetime from my college friends, because I was terrified to see their looks of horror when they realized how bad my skin was.
I stopped updating my social media accounts, because I no longer had photos to share. (I stopped taking photos altogether, actually.) I didn’t even want my parents to see me, because I couldn’t take another “It’s not that bad. You just think it is” lie. I lost weight, grew depressed, and felt like I was stuck in a nightmare that wouldn’t end.
That was five years ago. I wish I could say I’m completely acne-free now, but that’s just not true. Luckily, I’ve found sites like Banish that have helped me to understand the root causes of my acne, and I am slowly getting it under control.
I figure I still have five years before that 10-year reunion. If I continue down this road to recovery, maybe I can look back at this whole journey and realize that it happened for a reason. I do know one thing, though. If ever I do make it out of this perpetual cycle of acne, I will never again take for granted having clear skin. And, hopefully one day, I will tell this story again, beginning with my wallflower high school days, exuberant college years, the time I struggled with acne, and my triumphant recovery.
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