Why Acne is a Wonderful Thing

Thanksgiving break is now passed, and I thought it would be a very good idea to keep being thankful throughout the year to little things that we may overlook and take for granted. Furthermore, I thought it would be interesting to be thankful towards things that many of us like to complain about: acne, for example.

 

I have come to a point in my teenage years where acne isn’t a major problem anymore. It may pop up here and there, but in general, as long as my hygiene is well maintained, it’s nothing out of control. There was a period in my life, however, where cold sores would appear out of nowhere. And that is one of the very first things I’m thankful for.

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The sun rises. I wake up with a headache but no acne to be seen on my face. Halfway through the day, a cold sore pops up above my lip. Painful as hell, too. And getting rid of them hurt- that’s as far as I’m gonna go. This was an extreme case, but one of many. Acne would just appear out of nowhere throughout the day. Some big, some small. The point is, it was always unpredictable. And that taught me one thing.

I had to love it. Complaining wasn’t going to help. Acting miserable wasn’t going to help and was going to make people notice it more and would make me look pathetic. There was only one possibility to dealing with the unpredictable red terror (other than maintaining a good hygiene): I had to love it. I had to love my face, whatever happens to it, and love the sometimes painful demon spawns that decided to inhabit it. Why? Because worrying about something as unpredictable yet unavoidable was (and still is) pointless to me. Learn to deal with it. It will make your life easier.

My acne calmed down now. It may pop up here and there but is mostly not a problem, especially thanks to that lesson I learned a couple of years earlier. It does, however, get bad when I am not consistent with one of the most important things I should do: maintain a good hygiene. And that is my second main point:

Acne doesn’t care if the shower I skipped was because I stayed home during vacation and didn’t have to interact with people. It doesn’t care if I stayed up late studying – or playing video games – and neglected cleaning up my skin. It doesn’t care if I’m neglecting my hygiene because I’m depressed after a breakup, hell, the stress might even increase it. It doesn’t care that I’m too lazy to be eating right or to be filling up my water bottle throughout the day; the circles will follow through as soon as I get off track.

My acne is a beacon for personal improvement. Not being consistent with it will leave spots on my face that will last for days, and acne scars that may last for months, or even years. It is an intrusive but effective way of keeping me on track with what my personal priorities are: not waste time worrying and complaining, loving myself to a very deep level -including things about myself I should be tempted to hate-, and making sure to take constant good care of my body.

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