The Acne Scars May Be Small But The Insecurity They Bring Is Huge

The Acne Scars May Be Small But The Insecurity They Bring Is Huge

Your insecurities do not need to define you.

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By the title, you already know what I'll be talking about. You might think this is a testimonial on how I use to have acne and now I have amazing skin and want to share how I did it. Well, that's not what this is at all. This is my story of the most impactful insecurity that has been a burden of mine for most of my life. Don't worry, this isn't all sad, but I do hope in some way, you can relate to this even if it's not that you had acne or have it but the fact that we all have insecurities that we deal with daily. So here is my story.

Around the time I hit middle school I started developing acne which is very common, but what I wasn't prepared for was the shift in the way I thought of myself. I was never the girl who was confident enough to openly say that I was pretty or beautiful. Yes, my mom and family members would tell me I was, but it was never something I really paid attention to. Then when acne made its way into my life, my perspective on my life and my worth all changed.

Middle school is commonly a time in someone's life where they would rather not look back on because of the awkward stage most people go through. For me, middle school not only was an awkward stage but one of the worst stages of my life. Because of my acne, I had been given a nickname making fun of what I looked like. At this time in my life, makeup was not even really something that was on my radar so I just had to deal with the bumps and scars on my face uncovered.

I was always exposed. I started to hate the way I looked and hated walking into the school knowing not only what I saw of myself but what everyone else saw and pointed out to me. This was a very hard time in my life, especially because this was the time where people started dating and finding boyfriends/girlfriends. Yes, they had the beautiful flawless skin, and even if their skin wasn't perfect, mine was worse. I felt no boy could ever like me, especially the ones, whom I thought was cute. And that broke my heart on a momentary basis.

I started hearing more of what was wrong with me and fewer good things about me. The only compliments at that age I remember getting was from adults or from family. For me, by that time, there was no compliment that could make me feel any better about myself. I hated pictures of myself or even being around anything that created a reflection. I wanted to cry every day, all day. I felt my worth was defined by how many scars I had on my body and over time, I believed that any flaw, baggage, bad decisions, or anything negative about me, measured my value. This was my mindset for many years, throughout middle school and high school.

Now in high school, my acne wasn't as bad and I also started learning how to wear makeup so that gave me a little confidence, but honestly, it was the kind of confidence that was a mask that I put on and then when I took it off, all you saw were my scars. The more I started wearing makeup, I started to see all of the breakouts and scars as though they represented all of my imperfections whether that meant physically, or mentally or even just emotionally the way I felt. They were away I stayed in the reality of never thinking I could ever be seen as attractive.

Being reminded that no one ever saw the real me and if they did then they would hate me as much as I hated myself at the time. Now, I did date some, but not a lot. Even though I did date, I still felt as though they were settling until they found who they really wanted. That no guy could actually like me or even love me.

Fast forward to today, I'm a sophomore in college still going through acne, but this is where it gets good. I spend more time without makeup than with it and it is such a freeing feeling. No, I didn't have this breakthrough because more guys started to like me, or more people gave me compliments. I am where I am now because I chose to look at myself through the eyes of my creator, my Heavenly Father. Another great thing that I noticed that there are people in my life that still care about me and see me for me through all my imperfections. They treat me no different than people who have great skin. No this was not an easy process and this process is something I am still working through now, but I can proudly say that I am beautiful and wonderfully made and my identity is not found in my insecurities and what I fall short in, and that is such a feeling!

Your insecurity may not be acne but something completely different and may not even be physical. I just wanted to share my story to let you feel and encouraged that you are not alone in the way you feel. But I do want you to know that you don't always have to feel this way. The way you see yourself is the way others will see you because you are so concerned in pointing out your own flaws you don't give others the chance to see why you are so amazing! You are loved, remember that. Be you, because that is BEAUTIFUL!

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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The Things I Found At Rock Bottom

It was the darkest, but the dawn did come.

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About 3 months ago, my whole life was uprooted by a breakup.

My ex ended a relationship with me very suddenly that I had the full intention of being in for the rest of my life, and even thought I knew it was a necessary loss, coming down from that high and detoxing our toxic relationship from my system was the hardest thing I have ever been through. There was a day I finished up in class and zoned out and started driving, until I found myself three hours away from home. I didn't eat for days, and I woke up every day having panic attacks when I remembered everything that had happened. The first few weeks were a dark, horrible blur, with pain at levels I would never wish on anyone. On top of that, I was also forced to move an hour away from home and quit a job that I loved as a result of the breakup.

I wasn't just losing a person, I was losing everything that I built my identity up to be. Our relationship was my whole life, and that's why I knew that us breaking up was necessary, but that didn't take away the two and a half years of memories I was left with. He also chose to end it in such a violent and excruciating way — telling me he never loved me, cutting off all contact with me, and basically telling me to kill myself. Sitting in the rubble of all of this, I had never felt so empty and void of happiness before.

But when you're completely shattered and sitting in nothing but rubble, you're presented with a beautiful opportunity — a blank canvas. There are no morning and night routines laid out for you, you don't have the same people texting you as before, you don't have the good morning text that you were used to. You have nothing. Because of these things, your own interests and desires become the default setting you're programmed to operate on, and you get to know yourself in a way that you didn't before.

Here's how I found my way out of the void.

1. Small distractions are so helpful.

.There were a few things that I turned to that were absolutely crucial to me when I was struggling to keep it together: New Girl, playing the game Words With Friends, and journaling (free-writing, and writing in these that I found at Target). Honestly, these things rarely actually made me feel better. However, the value I found in them was creating new habits and filling my life back up with things that didn't involve my heartbreak.

2. You need a support system.

I have always had a hard time trusting people and talking about my feelings. So I thought, naturally, the way to cope with that is to find one person you can trust, and for them to be your ride or die. That's what my ex was for me. When he was gone, I had to learn how to open up to people again, which was extremely foreign and uncomfortable for me. It was an odd feeling to text a friend and say "I'm not okay right now and I need you", and even more uncomfortable when they were nice and supportive back. But all of the dozens of people I leaned on ended up being literally a support system for me- giving me advice, keeping me in check, and telling me all of the things I didn't want to hear, like how pathetic I was acting at some points.

3. You absolutely cannot avoid pain in life.

A quote I found by Jon Kabat-Zinn reads, "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to swim" and that became a guiding philosophy for me in dealing with pain. As comforting as it would've been for me to tell myself I'll never let anyone hurt me again, or I was never going to be in another relationship again, I instead decided to tell myself that I was never going to let something break me so deeply again, because I would have a stronger foundation of me and a stronger sense of self. So that when the next person left my life, I would be sad, but I wouldn't feel shattered to the core ever again. Life involves constant rejection, constant disappointment, and constant anxiety. You will never escape that. You will hurt so much throughout life. But if you can build yourself to be strong enough, it won't matter.

4. You can empathize with somebody and forgive their actions and still want nothing to do with them- and that's okay.

When my ex and I were together, he messed up and did a lot of things wrong. He would scream at me and tell me he hated me and apologize with so much fear and hurt in his eyes and say, "I'm sorry, sometimes my anxiety causes me to demonize you" and in the moment I wasn't strong enough to say "it's okay, but you're abusive and I need to be away from you". I instead would say, "It's okay, let's not worry about it and just go to bed" and it would keep on happening. I empathized too much with his demons and gave him too much understanding at my own expense. Now I've learned that I can still feel that way about him, but when he reaches out asking for another chance, I can say no. And I don't feel guilty anymore.

5. Your relationship with yourself should be your top priority.

To explain my experience of learning to love myself, it would take pages. Simply put, I started being okay with things just being me, myself, and I. If I had a rough day, I would at first come home wishing I had my ex there to talk to and be there for me. Eventually I started going to Target, picking up a bottle of wine, and taking care of my damn self. I stopped thinking "oh I'd love to do this but I don't have anybody to go with me" and started eating at restaurants alone, going to bars alone, and going on hikes alone. I bought myself jewelry that I wished a guy would buy me. I said yes to every guy that asked me out on a date just to put myself out there. I spontaneously went and got a new tattoo completely by myself. And now that I steady to the core in my own being, anybody in my life is there because they're a complement, not a supplement. This will protect me from ever staying in a relationship again that manages to gut me in the way my previous one did.

A quote that I love from J.K. Rowling reads, "Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life", and that is absolutely true of what the past three months have been for me. Day by day, I've pieced together a new identity and healed my soul. I wouldn't have been here if I hadn't hit rock bottom.

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