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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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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A Second Person Has Achieved Long-Term Remission Of The HIV Virus

A second man has had long term remission of the HIV virus.

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Over a decade after the first man, known as the Berlin Patient, was declared HIV-free, another patient may also be cured. Though it's too early for scientists to say for sure, the London Patient has been in a long term remission for around 18 months without the help of medication. Both men were treated with a bone marrow transplant. However, these stem cells carried a rare mutation in the genes that affect the production of the CCR5 protein, which HIV viruses latch onto to enter the cell. The virus cannot latch onto the mutated version of the protein, thus blocking its entry into the cells.

With the transplant of these HIV resistant genes, the body effectively builds a new immune system free of the virus.

After the Berlin Patient went into remission, scientists tried and failed to replicate the cure and were unable to until the London Patient, whose HIV count has reduced into undetectable numbers. While this is extremely helpful, bone marrow transplants are not a viable option to cure all HIV infected people, as it is an extremely risky process and comes with many side effects. Even so, scientists are developing ways to extract bone marrow from HIV infected people, genetically modifying them to produce the same mutations on the CCR5 gene or the inability to express that gene at all, and then replacing it back into the patient so they can still build resistance without the negative effects of a bone marrow transplant. There have also been babies whose genomes have been edited to remove the CCR5 gene, allowing them to grow up resistant to HIV.

This does not eliminate the threat of the HIV virus, however.

There is another strand of the virus, called X4, that uses the CXCR4 protein to enter the cell. Even if the editing of the CCR5 allows immunity against one strand, it is possible for a person to be infected with the X4 strand of the virus. Despite this, immunization against one strand could save a countless number of lives, as well as the vaccine that is currently in the stages of development for HIV. Along with the London Patient, there are 37 other patients who have received bone marrow transplants, six of which from donors without the mutation.

Of these patients, number 19, known as the Dusseldorf Patient, has been off anti-HIV drugs for 4 months. It may not be a complete cure, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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