I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Samantha for some time now. Like so many of us, she’s struggled with acne in difficult ways and she’s currently having a rough time.
We had a phone call recently and I asked her, what do you enjoy doing? What lights you up? She told me that she liked writing and helping others. As part of her skin therapy “homework” I asked her to write, to share her story. I wanted her to take even just a small moment, to connect with something she enjoyed, while at the same time letting out what she has been bottling up.
I also wanted to offer her the opportunity to help others. In those dark times, when nothing seems to pull you up, there can be comfort in merely knowing you are not alone. That the struggle is a path that others are walking too. And so, with Samantha’s permission, I am sharing her story, in her words, in case you recognize yourself. If her words resonate with you in anyway, leave a comment. Connect with each other.
I send you all much love.
Life is a journey they say, filled with many ups and downs. No one person has the same struggle. Yet some people can share a common problem. What can be easy or simple for one person might be very difficult for another. Maybe this deals with the emotional and mental tools we have been given in our upbringing, or maybe its our life experiences that have allowed us to feel either strong or insecure about ourselves.
So… Here I am battling with my skin. I am battling with my self. I am not 16, but 33, struggling with acne. Acne that I allow to take away from the beauty of living my life. An acne I allow to give me depression and anxiety. An acne that I never had as a teenager but started getting three years ago. But is it really the acne that’s troubling me? Could there be something else that’s causing this breakout and breakdown?
God only knows! That’s if you believe in God. At the end of the day we have to keep trying, which is hard for any human being sometimes. We have to try and find a solution to our problems. I allow my anxiety, depression, and skin to cripple me when I don’t have a hold of it. Once my skin breaks out I don’t know how to stay calm or be happy anymore.
Last year I thought I had overcame one of the darkest places of my life with my skin. I thought it was over. I had a breakout from stress, used topical medicines prescribed by doctors that made it worse, and then was put on Accutane. In that time I completely lost it mentally, emotionally, and physically. My skin purged out the ugliest crap you could imagine. I lost weight, couldn’t sleep, and looked for people, anyone to fix me from this unhappiness.
It took several harsh experiences during that time for me to realize people won’t make a lot of effort to help you unless you help yourself. So when I finally broke free, and started working on myself, my skin miraculously cleared and I was happy again. I can’t say if it was the Accutane, as I quit it as 5 months, or if it was just my belief in myself… but everything fell back into place.
How we treat our self is so important. The things we allow to effect us is also another issue. Obviously, I am still dealing with these things. Somehow I have allowed unhealthy behaviors and people to creep back into my life, to lose faith and hope in myself, and now my acne has returned. Now I am miserable again.
So this is my crossroad once again, and I am having to relearn and refigure my own steps and measures of how to treat my skin and how to treat myself. My fear of how I look, how I don’t look, my fear of not wanting to go out and live anymore, fear its not going to go away or get better, but in the back of my mind there is some sort of hope. If I could just push it forward maybe I would feel better.
I know many of you reading this might be going through different emotions. Your acne might not even come from an emotional place. We all are different, but at the end of the day we have to find strength, hope, and determination in ourselves. I believe it all starts with love. Somehow underneath the skin and in our so called ugliest moments we have to learn to love ourselves.