The Never-Ending Struggle

Susan - Louisville, Kentucky
Entered on May 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

The Never-Ending Struggle

I am only a mere sixteen and a half years old and three or four of those years I can only vaguely remember, but I have found something that I believe which has changed me for the better. I believe that the greatest battles lie within and that they must be fought and won every day of my life.

I came to realize this tid bit because I am one of thousands of teens across the nation and around the world that struggles with acne. For years, my face has been a growing problem. It seems that I have tried every wash, mask, medication, and miracle pill that is out there and to no avail. A few months ago, my dermatologist finally put me on accutane, and since then my skin has been improving.

But here is the point of all this. Every day I was forced to wake up and look myself in the mirror. In a culture that preaches perfect complexions I am definitely the odd man out. I woke up every morning hoping that my skin would be magically cleared of every blemish, but, unsurprisingly, my wish went unfulfilled.

One day, it finally hit me. I sat there, staring in the mirror and realized that a vulnerable and insecure girl was staring back at me. This was a person who desperately needed people’s approval, and someone I hadn’t even realized I had turned into. I realized that if I was ever going to love myself for who I really am then I would have decide for myself that I was beautiful, acne or not.

Since that day, I have woken up each morning, not with dread at seeing how many pimples there are today, but with hope, determination, and newfound self-confidence that makes FEEL beautiful from the inside out. Don’t get me wrong, this battle has been one of the most difficult of my short life, but each and every day I am winning more convincingly.

Now, I truly see myself as more than a pimple on my forehead, more than a dress size that would only fit a stick, more than people’s views of me. I have learned that if everyday I can learn to love myself a little more then it will be easier to accept others. Going through this period of my life has at times seemed like a social death sentence, but now I have come to appreciate what it is teaching me about myself. It is up to me to decide for myself who I am, and each day I must make that decision. This, I believe.