I can’t decide if acne is better experienced as a teen , when pretty much everyone is struggling with it – or as a forty-something, when you have very few shits left to give.
I’ve never really had bad skin – up until the last two weeks of my life. Because I assume it is temporary – likely the result of stepping off the steroids I’ve been on since September – I approach it mainly with curiosity, rather than frustration. It’s somewhat intriguing to wake up each day wondering, “Where might I have a new pimple today?”
I’m reminded of a friend I had in my early twenties, who was quite pretty. When we caught up a decade later, after her first pregnancy, I asked how it had been. “The pregnancy was fine, but my face was NOT. I had terrible acne,” she said, clearly still not over it. “I mean, I’m used to getting the best table or whatever when I go out to eat – and for three months I honestly knew what it was to feel ugly.”
At the time I laughed, thinking, “Finally! She knows what life is like for the rest of us!”
Now, though, I can muster a bit more sympathy. While I haven’t experienced the horror of receiving a downgraded table (probably because I never experienced the thrill of an upgrade!), I can relate to looking in the mirror and seeing – if not a stranger – then a somewhat bizarro version of myself.
It’s a good reminder: beauty is only skin deep, and looks can be deceiving. I’m healthier (knock wood!) with a bumpy face, than I was before with a smooth one. The fact that I’m stepping down from the steroids means things are working and I’ll soon (fingers crossed!) be on a single medication.
Who knew I’d be giving thanks for zits? Oh, Crohn’s, you silly bastard!