This article isn’t about taking control of your acne by changing products, eating better food, exercising more, sleeping more, or stressing less. This article is about taking control of how acne makes you feel and how it affects your life.
Acne used to make me feel ugly and unworthy. I looked at my pimples in the mirror and thought, “Why would anyone want to look at me?” It affected the way I interacted with my significant other. He told me constantly how beautiful and attractive I was to him, but I would always combat it with accusations of him lying to me or just trying to spare my feelings. I even went as far as to say he should find someone else, someone more attractive. In other words, someone without acne. When I think about this now, it sounds so incredibly silly and shallow, but I still find it hard to believe it when he gives me a compliment. I used to need reassurance every single day, even though I still didn’t believe it. I suppose I thought if I heard it enough times, I finally would. I was putting my self-worth in the hands of someone else and not taking ownership. I didn’t feel worthy of love because of the pimples on my face. I didn’t think about that I am the kind-hearted, loving, smart, and funny person who was deserving of love and happiness.
I hated taking photos and always had to take at least 10 photos from different angles, trying to make my skin look better. I would get frustrated, sad, and angry, most of the time I just gave up and had no picture to capture something important to me. It was a rarity to find a photo of myself smiling. I avoided looking people in the eye because I didn’t want to see them staring at the big blotches on my face. I was getting depressed and wondering if I should just wear a bag over my head for the rest of my life. Sounds like a pretty miserable way to live, right?
I knew I needed to change my attitude. I used to compare my pimples with other people’s – is mine more noticeable, more red, more all over my face, more disgusting? Sometimes it would give me comfort knowing that I wasn’t alone, and that was the key. I WASN’T alone. I see people all the time who have acne. They aren’t hiding away in some dark closet or wearing a mask over their face. They were out there, living their lives, being happy, and not being held back by acne. They didn’t seem shy or too afraid to look someone in the eye. They took pictures with their friends and posted them online. They laughed out loud without fear of messing up the concealer they so carefully applied in the morning. They spoke up in classrooms and weren’t worried about all eyes being on them. They smiled, big genuine smiles, and didn’t care if it hurt their faces. They had significant others that loved them, doted on them, complimented them, and wanted to show everyone that they are a couple. They were confident, beautiful, smart, funny, caring, kind, and loving. Acne didn’t define them. They didn’t let it, and they certainly didn’t care what others thought. So I decided that I could do it too and not let acne run my life. I figured that someone out there would see me as being confident, beautiful, smart, funny, caring, kind, and loving and that I would believe it about myself too.