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Mooncloud , 19 Sep 2018

Trying to stay positive

Hey guys. Sorry this is so long.

I've been a sufferer of dermo for about 15 years, diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder and anxiety/depression as well as OCD. I am on and off this site but this is one of those times I'm really struggling.

I've always had ups and downs with my skin picking - it's kind of an all or nothing situation for me. Sometimes I'll go for weeks without anything and be super active, happy and social, then I'll have the odd downfall where I start getting a breakout, I lose control and in the preceding week I'll be a mess, getting a taxi to work or coming in late everyday because I get so caught up fixing my face, I sort of become a zombie at work and withdraw socially or ultimately call in sick for a day just to get through the worst of it - that's a big indicator for when I'm really bad. It eventually clears up enough that I can continue with my life and I'm generally much much more on top of it in the last few years than in the past.

I've had a fairly stressful year this year with issues at home, work and among friends, I'd say over all I've been low-key pretty down on a daily basis and am just sort of keeping my head above water with it all, surviving but not really living if you know what I mean. Right around the middle of summer I took 3 consecutive days off work which is extremely rare for me - the worst I've been for quite some time. I knew I had to pick myself back up again in preparation for a 2-week family holiday in Portugal, and maybe it was the stress building up to it but I never quite recovered from that last episode up until the night before I left, and despite my best efforts I was on the verge of total nervous breakdown again with a huge weeping mess of a sore across half of my chin.

I somehow managed to get through it, I think my brain just switched into autopilot for the first few days and the forced routine took my mind off of it all so as we got to the end of the two weeks I was almost completely healed up.

The week after I got back from Portugal I was on top of the world with my skin. Even though I knew the holiday glow was temporary I was surprised by how long it stayed in control after the tan wore off, even at times forgetting my usual anxieties even existed.

But then life began to grind me down again and it feels like the last couple of months have been an endless snowball. I've been in a constant cycle of breakouts in all the areas that usually flare up in combination with the areas that haven't in years - even my scalp and neck are affected. It feels like everything is just erupting through my body at once.

I've had multiple social events in the last month, which I know is probably the main factor in why I'm so stressed and making it worse, but normally where I might have one bad episode triggered by an upcoming event and then it's kind of over and done with for a while, I've struggled to get through 3 weekends away after the other, and it's still not even far from over. No matter what I do in the days between or how I try to juggle things around to allow for as much extra healing time as possible none of my usual tricks seem to be helping slow this down at all. I feel like I'm drowning.

I know as soon as this last event is over this weekend I'll probably wake up healed overnight which is the most frustrating thing. I just want to curl up into a ball and hide until it's all over and I can finally stop panicking about it.

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