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I'll be 42 next month and I don't want to seem like I'm into self pity and I don't want people feeling sorry for me but I've had acne since I was 16 and it has destroyed a lot in my life. I always think of my life before acne and what I could have been and my life after acne when the stress of college or a new job was making me break out or the date I had with a girl I had to cancel because of a cyst. Yet most of my friends and family just believe I quit on things in life. Maybe I just wasn't strong enough. You see I was a good looking guy in fact voted best looking my freshman year. That was the year before acne hit. Then I was known as the guy who was good looking and now has bad acne.
my acne has definitely changed my life a lot, and in more ways than one. similar to everyone else, i have lost almost all my confidence and my self esteem has gone way down. this is probably the worst time of my life, at least that i can remember. i hope that one day this will pass and i wont have to think about it anymore, just like other bad memories which i have either forgetten about or need something else to trigger the bad thoughts.

i have changed my entire lifestyle. my diet is now geared towards helping my acne, mostly by eating a lot less junk and fast food, and eating less carbs. i used to eat a lot of rice, but now, i just try to eat meat and vegetables. although im not sure how much my diet is helping, it just went from unhealthy to neutral, and not necessarily healthy eating (still eat ranch and crutons with my salads, eggs which have a lot of cholesterol, spam which isnt the healthiest meat, and some fried food with sugary sauces). and i cutdown to mostly water and iced tea, no more soda, but i do drink alcohol on occasion, which i usually regret after i see my face the next day, not really from a new breakout, but just because i know its not productive to helping my face clear up.

in addition, i force myself to do many other things that i hope will clear up my face but hasnt yet. been exercising more and working out 3-4 times per week, and going to the steam room for at least 10 minutes every time, for 1 month now. wash my face twice daily with capsiderm, for 2 weeks now. do microdermabrasion with epidermx, for 1 week now. using sunscreen, for 1 week now. been using retin almost everynight for about 2 months. have been using clindamycin as a moisturizer for a couple years now. started the digestive cleanse regimen 3 weeks ago, and started taking vitamin e pills 2 weeks ago. im also thinking about starting to drink lemon water and using green tea on my face.

on some days, i wake up and feel good about myself and others, i feel like horrible. i try not go out in the day time because under natural light, my skin looks its worst. ive been trying to stay at home more of the time, and hide myself from the public, friends and family because i dont want them to see my bad skin, which i have never done before. i come home and look in the mirror to see how bad the display of my acne was for the day. and when i feel horrible, i check this website to try to find a new technique to clear my skin and add it to my already complex regimen. i constantly look in the mirror to see how bad my skin is and i try to reason with myself that its getting better, but honestly, i know that its just temporary, under different lighting my feelings will change instantly.

as a person, i have also become more understanding and sensitive to other people. i hate it when i see someone who i havent seen in a while and they comment on how bad my face got. i just think in my head that they are really insensitive and i just want to say "hey, if someone came by and they had a missing arm or leg, would you point that out to them too?" i have become a deeper person and like to engage in deeper conversations where i really get to know a person. i try to find people that i can relate my skin problem with but no one is interested or i dont think im close with them enough to talk to them about it. when i see people with acne, i want to talk to them about it because i know what they are going through, but im not sure if its as big of a deal to them as it is for me.

ive also become a lot more self-consious about myself. i have really bad acne on the sides of my face so i try to talk to people facing forward but i do notice them looking around my face which them causes me to just look down and end the conversation as quickly as possible. i always look in reflections to see the current condition of my acne, and i look at my side profile to see how bad it is. i try to assess which side is worse so then i try to avoid people from seeing me from that side.

pretty much, acne has changed/ruined my life. but i think when it clears, and hopefully it will, i will be a better person for it. ill be healthier from my change in diet, ill know a lot about skin care and maintain good helathy skin for the rest of my life, and ill have sort of a life changing experience under my belt that i can say i accomplished and have moved on from. having acne is a roller coaster, some days feeling good and other days being at my worst. i cant wait until it levels out and i get my confidence back, and probably with a few more confidence points that before i broke out. as for now, ill use this down time to improve myself by reading, exercising, and being more independent. im not ready to go back into the world yet.
[COLOR=Chocolate][FONT=Arial Narrow]Yeah, right on.
Why get depressed, I do not understand. Okay, so you don't look like Miss Universum, but take a look around. People got their faces burned, bleached, permanently scarred and they will never ever regain their good looks, yet you can and you sob probably more than them. You have the power over acne, use it.

In my new class, a girl has terrible acne and a guy has terrible acne.
The girl is outgoing, fun, sometimes pervy and acts as if she had no acne. She's loved by everybody and we don't pay attention to her cysts nor whiteheads because she always cracks us up and is intelligent. We see them, it's not like we look at her through a steamy glass, we can see she looks bad, but we don't CARE.

While the other boy is silent, never looks into your eyes and talks so quietly.
He's very shy. He has cystic acne and a scarred face. We attempted somehow to get to know him, complimented on how he looked on his class picture, but it's like he's completely deaf. Though when I told him he looks like an Italian loverboy something cracked in him, he even told me 'hello', looking into my eyes. I bet he's cool, but as long as he stays away from us and signals that he knows he looks bad, the longer we will see nothing besides acne in him.

But okay, so you may say that there are always others who will talk crap about your skin, so what?
There will be always others who will talk crap about your hair, nails, clothes, shoes, legs, nose, whatever? Why bother about something you can't change, because you cannot change them. You can show some pride and ignore them, or lock up and hide away from them.
I just ask if it's worth.

Having acne doesn't mean you can't have friends, score higher, gain experience. It's to you whether you want it to make it a barrier or a catalyst.

And get your hormones tested, too. Diet is helpful, but if your acne is purely hormonal, it won't do your face good.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=DarkOrchid]I could dwell on what my life was like when I had active acne, but I'd rather not. Basically I only had a select group of friends and would only ever go out when I felt most confident about my skin which was generally once a month at the most :( I know I shouldn't be so vain, but that's just the way it is in Western civilisation. The media places so much emphasis on looking good that when you have cysts on your face, red marks, dry skin, and wrinkles at such a young age, it's incredibly difficult not to feel self-conscious. And that's even before ignorant non-sufferers lash their vicious tongues to utter some throwaway comment that sets your confidence back to zero.

But like I said, there's no point regretting things from the past. That's no way to live life. What has happened to my skin this year has been nothing short of miraculous. Sometimes I honestly wonder when I'm going to wake up from the dream. And because of that feeling every time I look in the mirror - the fascination at nearly looking fourteen again - I think I appreciate life more than most of my peers. For example, I [B]love[/B] going to work nowadays, despite the long hours and relatively low pay. All the girls like me, not because I have clear skin, but because I am able to be my outgoing, generous, caring self (not to sound too big-headed!). It used to be that I avoided everyone, let alone the girls, at work because I thought they would only judge me on my skin.

My social life has gone through the roof. Some smarty pants might point out that I am posting this reply at one thirty on a Saturday night, but that's because I really had to have a night in for a change since I have to do some studying tomorrow. If it weren't for that I would be out in London with three or four clear hours of dancing ahead of me. It used to be that I only listened to dance music in my bedroom and fantasised about actually staying out all night with cool friends, stomping to my heart's content :D And because of that, whilst some of my friends feel the need to take drugs to complete such a night, I am happy with a few drinks and the music. I'm not saying I am better than them; I just appreciate the simple things more than they do, probably because of what I've been through with acne.

And I think things can only get better. Those of you who have seen my big thread will know how I have achieved clear skin through internal cleansing. And the best thing about that regimen, and accompanying lifestyle, is that it far outreaches just the skin. I believe that I am a far healthier twenty-something than the average. I never have to take any time off work because colds or stomach upsets, I take regular exercise, I drink lots of water and generally watch what I eat. Returning my skin to the condition it was before acne hit has become such an obsession for me (a healthy one, I think), that the effects will hopefully mean that I look and feel younger for longer than most people.

The bottom line is acne will impose constraints on your life if you let it. But if you make the most of that time to invest in your skin then it won't have been time wasted, it will have been a preparation to a better life where everything seems that little bit more beautiful :)[/COLOR][/FONT]

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