Why Am I Writing?

Thursday, September 10, 2009 No comments
After several months of weighing the pros and cons of writing about my personal struggles with my complexion, I’ve decided to go ahead and make the leap and put everything out on the virtual table. I’ve hesitated writing about it because I was concerned that friends and family would read my entries. I feel like reaching out to my readers is a major sign of desperation. This is something that should be handled on my own, right? Well, after battling with complexion issues since I was thirteen (I’m 26 now), I obviously need to look for support from people that have or are going through the same problems.

I’m holding myself back from activities. I fear what people will think and I almost feel as if I disgust people because they are grossed out. Have you ever looked in the mirror with excitement and thought, “Yes, it’s clearing up!” and then you have someone make a comment about your acne? Do you know what it feels like when your mood just completely sinks for the day or maybe even the week because of one person’s comment? Oh, maybe I should share some of the comments first.

Rude person: “Did you just have surgery on your face?”
Me: “Ummm… No.”
Rude person: “Oh, I thought you must have had something done because your face is so red.”

Unaware person looking at my driver’s license photo: “Wow! You must have gotten a horrible sunburn!”

“You’d be pretty if you didn’t have acne.”

Then there are the people that slip me pieces of paper with the names of prescription drugs or make little comments like, “You should do something about that.”

See, I have acne, but I also have an incredibly red face. People think I’m sunburned, upset, or hot all the time. It’s ten times worse in photos. I was horrified at my senior prom when a display was made of our photos to interest students in purchasing them. There I am among the sea of pretty dresses and tuxes…. red face and big bright smile. There’s another photo of me in our yearbook dancing at a winter dance. I had so much makeup on that I looked like a ghost. (One of my friends was sweet enough to do my makeup to try to hide the redness.) I was voted “Most Studious” by my peers. I had a color photo taken so my complexion is captured in yet another photo. I typically alter my Facebook photos using Photoshop. I’ve become pretty good with smoothing out the bumps and painting on a new skin tone.

I don’t know what it’s like to get excited about a party or dinner. I dread them. I don’t know what it’s like to sit comfortably in a classroom and not feel as if everyone is looking in my direction. I remain quiet because I don’t want to draw the attention of people and give them another opportunity to think, “Geez. Poor thing.”

Relationships have been tough. I believe one of my exes broke up with me because of my complexion. Another arranged with his parents to setup a dermatologist appointment on my behalf. At that time I was put on Accutane and for the first time in years I knew what it felt like to not have oily skin.
Then, another ex constantly made comments and wanted to control my diet for me. He was allowed to eat anything he wanted but I had restrictions. What?! My current boyfriend is very supportive.

So now that you know some of my background I’ll explain some more reasons I’ve decided to write about myself. I haven’t really found another website online where someone has documented their struggle with their complexion. I’ve found message forums, but it’s hard to really read the story and get to know a person from a few posts. I’d like to meet other people that are willing to share their lifestyle and diet information. I really hope that I can get enough readers so that I can document common diet and lifestyles for all of us to stand back and analyze. Although I know I need to change my diet and lifestyle, I need a support group of readers.