"Man, I really wish I could go back to middle school."
Those are eleven words that I have never felt compelled to say but to each their own.
In middle school, things are already confusing. You are trying to figure out who you are. Unfortunately, so is everyone else. What could make this awkward transition worse? Acne. And not just a little bit of acne, but face consuming acne that begins to get you all kinds of lovely nicknames around the hallways. My personal favorite being, volcano face.
Yeah, that felt good to hear about yourself at age thirteen, let me tell you.
I still carry those insecurities around with me today. Beauty shouldn't be skin deep, but kids are simply mean.
I began getting early childhood acne in the fourth grade. It started as a minor inconvenience, and slowly over time fused with my identity and the way I viewed myself.
By fifth grade, things were much worse in just a years time. I was wearing a full face of makeup to class by the first day of sixth grade. Meanwhile, all my friends have on the infamous middle school look, blue eyeshadow that goes up to the brow and their perfectly clear skin. They could run around at recess and be rowdy. Meanwhile, I had to run to the bathroom every day after recess to make sure my makeup wasn't blotting and exposing the redness.
And unfortunately, what many didn't know or care to recognize, was that I am intolerably allergic to the number one acne fighting treatment in the world, Benzoyl Peroxide. Those of you that use Clearasil or Proactive, count your blessings.
I couldn't do anything about this, and the comments that were made destroyed every ounce of my self-esteem.
There was a turning point, eventually. During my sophomore year of high school, I had heard it all. I rarely went to school. I would fake illnesses just to avoid the comments I knew I would hear. People were ruthless, and I was weak.
I had exhausted nearly every option I had. I tried charcoal face bars, masks, unscented soap bars. I was hopeless, and day by day was becoming more fragile. Kids at school would make comments to each other, and eventually even to me. "Hey, you should try this face wash." I appreciate that, but little did they know I scrubbed my own skin so much one night because I was so sad that I tore half the skin off the left side of my face the day before my birthday.
I just wanted one day. And it seemed like it would never come.
Until there was a turning point.
Towards the middle of sophomore year, I got approved to go on Accutane.
Accutane has a very serious reputation associated with it because you have to take so many precautions due to linkage with severe depression and liver or kidney functioning problems. Not to mention, if someone were to get pregnant while on Accutane, there are severe deformities that can occur. It was a serious risk to both mental and physical health.
I didn't know what I was getting myself into. However, I knew I had to try it.
Accutane changed my life. I looked like a dried up sponge for months, and there were days where I still felt hopeless early on.
The reason so many are hesitant to get an Accutane prescription is due to the side effects of severe Depression associated with the drug. Coming from someone who was severely depressed, I genuinely had never felt better in my life.
I felt optimistic when I was in the dark for so long, and I was able to go from heavy foundation to light concealer and power, all the way to where I am today, occasional tinted moisturizer to add some color. Accutane changed my life. No one should ever feel hopeless or less of a person due to physical appearance.
This subject isn't light, but it needed to be addressed. If you or anyone you know thinks they are out of options, you aren't and they aren't.