Acne Scars — Battle Wound or Badge of Honor?
Week 4 of my 8 week challenge to heal acne from the inside out.
Remember when we were kids and getting a scar felt like wearing a badge of honor? I remember getting hurt and thinking, “at least I’ll remember how much fun I was having forever.” More adventurous kids would climb trees and then fall and break an arm or an ankle, and I was always so envious of them. They were so brave they didn’t care about getting hurt — they looked so cool with their casts on — and all our friends would sign them in celebration of another heroic battle collected in a long list of adventures. As a kid, being vulnerable is a way of life, we didn’t know there was any other way to be.
I thought this challenge was going to be very practical with one goal: By using my adult-onset acne as a barometer for my progress, take steps to restore balance and heal my body from the inside out.
And while it sounds like I was focused on the larger goal of healing my body, I can honestly say my primary motivation was to get rid of the acne that’s plagued my life for the last 2 years. Adopting a healthier lifestyle was a more of a ‘great bonus’ — and, I hoped, a sustainable way to keep the acne from coming back.
Then last week I found myself in a position I didn’t expected, even though I should have assumed scarring would be a part of this healing process. We all know acne causes scaring — I have collected so many over the last two years it seems like they’d be impossible to overlook. But for some reason I hadn’t considered what I would do (or how I would feel) when the burns on my face from week 1 started to heal. And while I’m thrilled to report that the worst acne spots on my nose and cheek have retreated, they didn’t go down without a fight. So I spent the last week coming to terms with the dark spots and scars that now replace the burns, or “licking my wounds” as my dad loves to say.
Giving myself time to love my face without concealer became this kind of radical form of self-love that was new and exciting.
But just 3 weeks in, I didn’t expect to be so blatantly reminded of what a long road this is going to be. It was almost like that moment of panic after you move in together and your life starts flashing before your eyes — where everything’s planned out and falling into place like you wanted— but all you can think about is how you’re only going to have sex with one person for the rest of your life.
I was faced with a choice — one where I could fall back into old, destructive patterns or I could rewrite the narrative. I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point of wearing my scars like a badge of honor, but I have accepted that this is part of the healing process. I am healing and that’s what matters. So what do my acne scars mean to me now? They represent the beginning of my journey to living a cleaner, healthier life —the first of many crucial steps on my healing journey. One that sparked my interest in exploring how food can be used as medicine and creating a deeper connection with my body. They are a sign of strength, resilience, and a reminder that nothing is permanent.
As I was coming to terms with all of my emotions last week, I also learned a lot about my body and healing physically.
At my Well Woman exam, I talked to my doctor about how a new pill may help me manage any excess hormones being produced in my body and I’m trying a new form of birth control that should help regulate my cycles. I also had my first Herbal Medicine class ever — I’m so excited about it! I’ll be bringing what I learn from that class into my healing challenge over the next 5 weeks, to better understand how I can apply natural remedies for long-term management. Check in on updates in our stories @daughtersbrand to see how the next week goes. #lovebelowthesurface
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