“My skin story started just over two years ago when I went through an intense breakup. It was the kind of separation that leaves a permanent scar in your heart and makes you feel like tomorrow is not worth living. I spent my whole time in bed, hunched up in the dark, waiting for time to flow by. I remember thinking, ‘What am I supposed to do with my life now?’ It is very unsettling to relearn how to live on your own after being with someone 24/7, someone you used to love so deeply.
I felt like it was all a bad dream, like I would eventually wake up and life wouldn’t be a nightmare anymore. But it was very much real. I ended up losing 25 pounds and all desire to live. I just wanted to lay there and sooner or later, time will do its magic. I couldn’t take anyone’s advice for the longest time but eventually, everyone’s efforts worked. Eventually, my friends and family got my head out of the water. And every day I count my blessings for them. I wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for them and I’ll never thank them enough for saving my life.
After that moment of darkness, it was time for me to pull myself together and start all over again. I completely changed my lifestyle and logically, I decided to come off the oral contraceptive pill to try and live a healthier life away from all chemical drugs. Following that change, acne started with only a few pimples but the pain in my ovaries was straight away unbearable. I decided to go and see a gynecologist, who diagnosed me with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and told me there was nothing to do but going back on the pill. This obviously wasn’t an option for me. When I asked her what other contraceptives I could choose, she replied: ‘Why bother with contraception? You’ll never have children anyway.’
Those words resonated deep down in my soul and her tactless attitude was like a bullet shot straight to my heart. To this day, I remember the immense pain and despair I felt. By telling me I could never be a mom, she put the heaviest weight on my heart. I never thought about kids before but her taking the option away from me was another brutal thing I’ve had to go through during my 27th year on earth.
I came out of her surgery disorientated but instead of putting me down, this news gave me a lot of strength and endless motivation to cure myself and prove the world I could reverse that syndrome naturally, without taking any chemical drugs. My endless quest for clear skin and painless ovaries begun. Not a day would go by without me trying a new, natural remedy. I’ve experimented with everything under the sun: supplements, diets, natural and spiritual treatments… anything. I became some sort of a holistic monster and developed orthorexia, an obsessive-compulsive eating disorder defined by an obsession with proper or ‘healthful’ eating and living. I would kill myself at the gym, not eat anything if I couldn’t access ‘healthy foods’ and spend an awful lot of money on cosmetics and supplements.
It goes without saying, I was also extremely body conscious and I would forbid anyone from taking pictures of me without editing them. If anyone dared to put it up on social media without my review, I would enter an uncontrollable rage and chase them relentlessly until they deleted it. This behavior lasted for a year and despite the fact it was absolutely intolerable, it did bring good into my life as I managed to reverse my PCOS and got it under control. But the acne was still there.
I remember the distress and despondency I felt. ‘Why is my hard work not paying off?’ I was thinking. ‘Why does my skin hate me so much?’ Disheartened, I just wanted to give up and hide from the world.
Acne is way more than just a skin condition.
Acne triggers anxiety immensely.
It creates a very intense state of mind, where going out in public and risking being judged for what our skin looks like is unbearable.
We want to hide, either staying indoors or putting a lot of foundation on to go out, hoping it will make us look ‘normal.’ At the time, it was all I wanted: to be ‘normal.’
I wanted people to stop feeling sorry for me and looking at me with compassion.
I wanted people to stop staring at my skin and giving me unsolicited advice. Uninvited advice is as detrimental as a nasty comment. We never know what’s going on in someone’s head. People need to understand yes, we have tried every we possibly could to cure ourselves and no, celery juice is not the answer to every problem on earth. All acne is different. What worked for your cousin probably won’t work for me.
For the longest time, I couldn’t spend a day without heavy foundation. I was too scared of what people would think of me and I didn’t want my skin to be a point of conversation. Even at home, I couldn’t bear the thought of exposing my ‘real’ skin to my flatmates.
I used to think people shouldn’t have to be ‘forced’ to look at such disgusting skin. I used to think I wasn’t worthy of love. I mean, who could possibly love such an ugly face? I used to think I would end up alone in life because no sane person could love me like ‘that.’
Do you know what got me out of that terrible ethos? Love. It might sound cheesy or cliché but it’s the truth.
When I was at my lowest point mentally, I met a boy at university. Our story didn’t last long but it was enough to build me up greatly. It was the most precious relationship and he gave me so much support in so little time. He’ll never know how much he helped me by simply paying attention to me and making me realize I was so much more than my skin. Having someone attracted to me physically was exactly what I needed when all I wanted to do at the time was putting a brown paper bag over my head to go out. It’s fantastic how someone can change your life for the better and don’t realize all the good they’re doing for you. So to you, thank you.
Since that time, I’ve kept blooming every day. I started to go out without any foundation on. I started taking pictures of myself and more importantly, I started to find myself beautiful again. For the first time in years, my reflection wasn’t my foe anymore. Now, I wear foundation because I want to feel extra.
Now, when I spot people staring at my skin, I simply smile at them, especially if the person has a skin condition like mine. A smile is like a warm hug, it’s my way of telling acne sufferers everything is going to be okay and they’re not alone. I also gathered the courage to create a skin and body positivity Instagram account to share my journey and expose my skin to the world. It’s been the best decision I’ve had in a long time. The acne community is amazing and gives me so much strength. Every day, there are nice comments, every day we build each other up, and we glow together.
Today, my skin is healing nicely and I believe happiness has a lot to do with it. Today, anxiety is a distant memory. Today, I’m glowing with a very powerful solar energy. It’s all I want to keep doing: glowing so bright, it irradiates everyone and inspires others to glow the same way.
Today, I want all of you to know you’re not alone. I want all of you to know the light will always overcome darkness and there’s hope for all of us. Things will eventually look up, so hang in there, my beautiful friends.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Morgane D. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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