You know what I realised recently?
It’s that even though we were excited about something in the beginning, the longer we have it/do it, the more normal it becomes. Which means that we start taking it for granted. This applies to so many things in our lives. Relationships – in the beginning all the butterflies and whatnot, but after 15 years you can forget that the person you’re Netflix and Chilling with is still the babe you fell in love with. Clothing – that pair of jeans that you got and were so excited about wearing just become the ones you throw on before heading out. Or the perfume that used to illicit such intense memories of a special time doesn’t even register in your nostrils anymore.
I realised that I am feeling this way about my skin.
I started this process a hell of a long time ago now. In fact it feels like a lifetime ago but in reality it’s only been 4 years worth of struggle. I know because I checked and this was the first post about it. The first time I felt comfortable enough to share. But I was too scared to even throw in a photo. Ashamed and quite bitter, I still thought I could kick it to the curb by doing absolutely nothing but giving it time.
I realised it was a problem though (no duh), so I tried to do something about it. But the avenues I tried didn’t work. I was told I needed to talk to my inner child, not wear make up for 7 days and even threw in a course of antibiotics for 30 days. Here’s where that got me (for more pictures).
Guys, I can’t actually believe that I looked like this! Every day my face would be red, thumping with every heartbeat and so so so sore. It used to make my eyes burn. I cried every time I looked in the mirror. I cried every time I saw a picture of myself. There were tears literally every single day.
In fact I think I needed to see this now, just to remind myself how bad it was and how far I really have come from that very top picture there (which I took this morning before my Skin Renewal appointment).
But I didn’t stop there. Couldn’t stop there really, because I still looked like a troll. So I also went on Roaccutane. TWICE. The first time I almost went blind. Those pictures with super shiny lips and red swollen eyes are just the best. Roaccutane may have helped my skin but it stuffed up the rest of me. Unfortunately the positive effect of clearer skin didn’t last and against my better judgement, I tried it AGAIN! I didn’t even really document that round because I was so demotivated with life.
All through that I have persevered to try and get my skin to something that resembles a normal person and not a blotchy old tomato. But this was still what I looked like on the daily… Better, but getting worse by the day.
Before I started with Skin Renewal, this is what I looked like. That was October 2016.
I felt like I was in a totally hopeless place and then Skin Renewal found me and helped me to get on the right track. We did some blood tests and checked out a few other things like sleep and stress. The result was that I should try and cut out wheat, dairy and sugar from my diet. So I did. With gusto. I really wanted to do ANYTHING to fix myself. Not only did we change my diet but Skin Renewal helped me skin from the outside with various treatments that made my skin easier to live with and a lot less red and painful.
This was three weeks in.
And a month in.
Then I don’t know how many weeks in and how to keep up such a hectic lifestyle change.
A little comparison with how far I have come on the various Skin Renewal treatments has been astounding.
But I realise that I haven’t really been keeping you updated since then. You know, aside from a few make up free chats on Instagram stories. Naughty blogger that I am. And like I said at the beginning of this post it’s because it’s just become normal. Part of what I do. My red face is just who I am and even though the Skin Renewal treatments and eating right is keeping the worst of it at bay, it’s still there.
That last three month picture was January 2017. I haven’t updated the comparison picture just purely from a time perspective (I’ll have it ready for the next post). But this is me now.
(I took it on my phone. I suspect that there is slight filtering from the camera itself only in that it’s not clearly showing off all blemishes in all their glory.)
My right cheek is a million times better than my left now, and I needed the perspective of seeing all the befores to see how far we have come on this journey. Even my nose is less red most days.
But it’s still a major issue for me. As was proved by an event that I went to yesterday. It involved a Thai massage that started on my arms but somehow ended up on my face. I honestly had a full blown panic session when she tried to touch my cheeks. The fact that she took all the make up off my red forehead and some off the side of my cheek made me actually want to leave the event totally. I felt completely self conscious. But I made myself suck it up and stay. I even went to another function that I rocked up late to with manky looking make up because I told myself that I just needed to get over it.
But I can’t. It’s been eating at me ever since.
Looking in the mirror can still be demotivating. I try not to let it be, but some days I can’t ignore it. From just dealing with those feelings of how I look, I also feel like I am letting down the amazingly supportive people at Skin Renewal. I think that even though we have made so much progress I was sure as heck hoping that this would be something that would clear completely. You know? Like that poster case of how to fix it.
Clearly I never really made peace with the fact that it might never stop. That I might never be able to eat like a normal person again. That I might never look like a normal person ever again.
It’s easy to sink into that kind of thinking and let it take over. But I’m not going to let it. I’m going to keep on doing what I can to eat in a way that loves my body, I’m going to keep getting the treatments that make my skin feel and look so much better and I’m going to stay positive, because you never know if we’re on the final lap.