I'm 38 years old. I'm more confident now than I have ever been in my entire my life. I am confident with my age (there was a time I would try to hide it), my opinions, and with who I am as a person. I am confident with my body and my weight.
I am confident with everything about me...with one *minor* exception.
I hate my face.
Ever since having kids I have dealt with major rosacea. It wasn't always "major"--it started as a mere annoyance, a "what the H is going on here?"
But those days have long passed and I have entered the "I don't want to leave my home because I hate my face" stage.
I am constantly red. It's different levels of red, but if you see me, you will immediately notice the red. And if you say you don't? You're lying. (Or I ingeniously invented a way to wear an Instagram filter in real-life.)
I'm not saying this as a way to get compliments. I don't need compliments. Compliments are external and I need to actually feel better.
I am struggling with this current situation unlike any other because I feel helpless.
For example, I gained 50+ pounds during my pregnancies (might have been 60, but 50+ seems better so we'll just go with that). I hated my body. I took action after having those babies and I lost the weight. So, to summarize: I had a problem, I took action, I got results. And trust me, I know how lucky I am because that is not the case with all women. I am not making light of this common struggle.
But the difference now is that I feel like I have no control over this. I have a problem and every. single. thing. I've tried has failed. In fact, more often than not, I feel like the things that I have tried have just made it worse.
Do you know how hard it is to do ANYTHING when you hate your face? I remember how self-conscious I felt post-babies. However, a lot of the time (but certainly not ALL the time) I was able to find some clothes that I felt ok in and could actually leave the house with some semblance of confidence.
That doesn't work for me now. The redder I get, the more makeup I use to cover it up and the worse I look. But, without makeup, it's just redness and acne all over the damn place. (And puffiness! It's truly a beautiful thing.)
I'm currently trying something new. I have no idea if it will work. I'm waiting on sharing what it is because I'm all about actually seeing results before I advertise what I'm using.
But, I'll be honest, I don't have a lot of hope. Which makes this whole thing even harder. I know something will eventually work (god I hope so anyway), it's just hard trying so many different things--and spending a lot of money in the process--and not seeing any results.
Plus, it truly has affected my social life. Like I mentioned before, I'm 38. I'm also married and have two kids so it's not like I have a ton of free time. But I just don't want to go out. All I think about is my face & how awful it is. I spend my time obsessing and wondering if anyone is going to ask me about it. And then I realize that no, people are polite. They won't bring it up. But I'm sure they are thinking about it.
This dialogue just circles in my head the entire time I'm out. It's exhausting.
That doesn't mean I never go out--I did attend a conference this weekend. And I saw a lot of people in real life that I typically only interact with online. Meeting people face-to-face caused me a lot of stress and I was incredibly self-conscious the entire time. I refused to take any selfies (couldn't enter a contest for a giveaway because I wouldn't do it) or group pictures. The one group selfie I tried to take I quickly realized that no amount of filters would help me so I just deleted it.
I also have noticed a steady decline in the pictures I'm in with my kids. And, to be honest, that bothers me more than anything. My kids don't care about my face--I'm letting my own doubts prevent us from having lasting mementos of this time in their lives. And that sucks.
But, so as to not be the most depressing post you'll read today (oh, wait, the election is still going on, never mind), I will say one cool thing happened at the conference.
I really don't share this struggle with a lot of people. I've shared it with some close friends, but I've largely kept it private--my own silent struggle. However, at the afterparty of the conference, I was hanging out with a couple friends and for some reason I just started talking about it. I had a moment when I felt myself get a little emotional and it was the release. By keeping it bottled up I was giving it power. By talking about it I was asking for help and was amazed that these women have experienced similar things.
It's funny. You think you're alone and no one would understand so you don't talk about it. Plus, you don't want to talk about it because it would bring attention to the one thing you don't want to bring attention to even though you are convinced that's all people see.
Does that even make sense??? It's a vicious cycle.
But then you open up and share and BAM! suddenly you hear that others have experienced the same thing and you're not alone. And oftentimes they have ideas. Some good, some bad--but you're NOT ALONE.
Which brings me to why I'm sharing this--I want your ideas. What do you use on your face? Do you struggle with rosacea? What has worked for you? What hasn't? Because sometimes that's just as important to know.
And don't say you stopped drinking coffee and wine. Those are non-negotiable items. And the amount of water I drink should MORE than balance out those vices.
So, if you start seeing more selfies, then you'll know I'm both feeling better about myself AND that something I've tried has worked. And, before you start digging through my selfies, just know that I'm very good with filters and temperature control on pictures so I'm SUPER good at hiding my issues.