The bank holiday at the end of April was a tough one for me, I was so down, I had no motivation and everything just felt rubbish. This was partly out of boredom as I had no money to do anything but was also thanks in a large part to the state of my skin. Having suffered with acne since the age of about 12 I am well and truly done with it! I’m starting to lose my patience and it’s getting to me more and more. Nobody wants adult acne. As a kid I always dreamt of the day where I would grow up and out of the condition but this just hasn’t happened yet.
Even if I’d had money that weekend I highly doubt I would have left the flat. I had an overwhelming desire to hide away. I didn’t want anyone to see the reality of my bare face and putting make up on would have been painful and itchy. I hadn’t had a break out like this in such a long time and for things to be getting worse after having given up my favourite thing in the world (cheese), I just couldn’t cope.
At one point Jon asked me to go to Tesco and the request filled me with dread, I was so self conscious but in the end I got over myself and agreed. I can go to the shop, it’s really not that difficult, this is your body own it! However once I actually got to Tesco my brain went into overdrive, I swear everyone was staring at me. I text jon, trying to stop myself from having a mental breakdown in the middle of the bread aisle and he said not to be silly and that nobody was looking at me. I didn’t really believe him but I knew I had to finish the shopping. I even helped a guy find some dairy free chocolate and started to feel a bit better considering he didn’t recoil at my face.
Then I got to the till and it all went to shit from there. The woman cashier took one look at me and exclaimed: “OMG you poor thing! What’s happened to your face”. Aaand there it is! I knew it! I knew people were looking at me, I knew I was disgusting. I just wanted to run out of the shop! It took all my strength to keep my cool and carry on getting my shopping. I informed her that nothing had “happened”, this was just my face. She then proceeded to ask if I’d had a reaction to something to which I replied no it’s been this way since I was 12 and fell silent. She did not take this as a hint that I was about to break down and carried on telling me about a gross lump she had on her back which reacted to something she put on it and how it had spread. She told me how embarrassing it was so she knows how I felt. The woman clearly didn’t have the first idea how I felt! If she truly knew, there is no way she would have said any of these things to me! As soon as I walked out of the shop I burst into tears! I practically ran to the car and just broke down.
The sad thing is, this is not the first time something like this had happened. Another time I was in new look and the woman behind the counter said “I used to have really bad skin too and I used this, you should try it” – nothing had prompted this conversation, I hadn’t mentioned my skin, I was merely paying for my new clothes. I was also wearing make up at the time so the comments hit me harder. I have this ridiculous theory that my make up can transform me into the person on my Instagram, that filtered babe without a flaw. Clearly I was wrong and now had to pull myself back together before reaching the office, more self conscious that ever that everyone I work with is secretly grossed out by my face.
It has become apparent that people just don’t understand what they’re saying, they aren’t trying to be mean or nasty, in fact they think they’re being helpful or sympathetic. But if I had a birth mark on my face or a big scar, would you comment on that? It’s also never happened if I’m with someone else which is interesting.
The quote “everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind always” could not ring more true here. They don’t know the struggle it can take me to even leave the house and how much they had set me back.
The reason I’m sharing this story is 2 fold, this is not a woe is my post.
Firstly, if you’re the kind of person who makes these comments to people thinking you’re being helpful, please only do so if they have asked for it, you cannot know the damage you’re doing. I never forget the occasions where strangers have made remarks to me (the stories above are by no means an exhaustive list) and it makes me feel more and more anxious about leaving the house on bad skin days, there are times it’s been so bad I’ve wanted to call in sick to work cause I can’t bare the thought of people seeing me!
Getting into an acne anxiety slump really ruins everything, I spent that entire bank holiday weekend in bed and got absolutely nothing done. I’m an emotional eater so I consumed a stupid amount of sugar which only served to make it worse and to add the icing on the cake my skin is effected by stress so the more stressed I get about it the worse it gets, which stresses me out! What a babe right!?
The second reason I’m sharing this is for those who are going through the same thing, to know that you aren’t alone in these thoughts or these experiences! I’ve been dealing with this for years and it’s still tough! I’m getting better at it but there are still days which cripple me in self doubt. I’m now using my @notsoperfectlifebylaura instagram to document my skin issues in the hope that it might help others. I’ve had so many amazing comments from people saying how “brave” I am for sharing these pictures but please know that this is not always the case. I worry so much that I will get a nasty comment and it’ll tip me over into a depressed like state but if they can help just one person it’ll be worth it! But so far the support has been overwhelming, the fact that people have taken time out of their day to show they’re concern or share their own story is just beautiful. You will never know what it means to me.
I’m going through stages where my skin is getting better and then falls back. It’s so amazing what a difference it makes on my life and my mood when my skin is good. This will seem ridiculous to people who aren’t going through the same thing and it even seems silly to me but that’s the thing, our brains often contradict themselves and play nasty mental tricks on us – We just have to stay strong!
There are a couple of new things I’m trying and I’m really pinning all my hopes into this working! I’ve been so slack with my diet and regime over the last week or so as I haven’t been feeling myself but I hope I can get back on track now. I previously did a post about my skin care routine and the products I use but I’m attempting to strip that right back and put as little on my face as possible! It’s all a learning curve and I will put as much information as I can on here.
Please let me know if there’s anything you would like to ask, I promise I won’t be offended ’cause I’m ready for it! It’s the shock of random people in the streets calling me out on my flaws that knocks me for six.
Also if you’re interested in following my skin journey please come and say hi on my insta @notsoperfectlifebylaura – my aim over there is to be as raw and real as possible!
Remember, as hard as it may be to believe sometimes – you are beautiful! You are enough! Your skin does not define you!
Peace and love xoxo