Do you have something that just won't change or go away? That one thing that haunts you and taunts you almost every day? Maybe it's a weight issue, maybe it's an unsightly scar, maybe it's your hair thinning and falling out? And it sounds so superficial but the struggle is real!
For me, it's acne.
The fact that I’m in my mid-twenties, slowly heading towards my thirties, and still struggle with acne... That is something that causes me both embarrassment and shame.
I’ve tried everything. Radical diet changes, lifestyle changes, a million different lotions and potions. I even went on a treatment that was so risky, I had to do pregnancy tests and blood tests every 4 weeks because the drug could seriously damage my body and they could NOT risk me getting pregnant.
But, nothing has ever quite worked. I’m stuck between hormone medication that gives me migraines and mood swings or emotionally and physically painful cysts and spots on my face, covering up daily with an inch deep layer of makeup. And I'm not even a makeup person!
My acne makes me insecure around new people (because I’m so acutely aware of it myself) and it makes me deeply uncomfortable in front of a camera.
In fact, during the months and weeks leading up to our wedding day, this was something that really stressed me out. When I thought about being photographed, all I could see were my own imperfections and insecurities on display, staring back at me.
I wish I had felt comfortable enough with my photographer to tell her about it, because I would've liked the reassurance that, for the bride and groom portraits, she would do her best to find flattering light and poses that would take away focus from my skin problem and divert attention towards a moment or a feeling instead. Don't get me wrong - the pictures turned out really well. But they was a constant worry on the day, and if I could go back to before the wedding, I would've brought it up with her. Just to have one less thing to think about.
Instead, I put my makeup on and tried really hard focusing on the fact that my husband-to-be still loved me and found me attractive. He still thinks I'm beautiful. And really, isn't that enough? That the important people in your life loves you and thinks you're beautiful, despite all of your insecurities. That they would still pick you over anyone else.
That sort of love is healing and restoring and it's the one thing that continues to strengthen me the most in this ongoing skin battle.