The Cross We Bear

What did I do to deserve adult acne?

Earlier in life I expected that at 35 yrs old I would be spending my time shuttling my kids to and fro activities, trying to navigate the professional jungle, putting/keeping our finances in order (I have no intention of working until we are 60) and keeping my husband in check. Surprise, surprise but as an expat in Indonesia we have a driver and nanny so I need not get too involved in the shuttling of the kids. The professional jungle is not for me so I am instead trying to build a business that accommodates moving countries every few years. The finances are tricky and we should have been born with a guide book (but we are still determined to retire quite early). The husband is more or less in check. Thanks to the work his mom must have done with him as a child he is quite trainable and responds well to my needs and that of our relationship. I give the Supreme Beings thanks that he is mainly a home body and his vices seem limited to an overly strong love for mango and a need to be babied for even the smallest nick (are these actually vices?).

Strangely my life is still not perfect: I am instead stuck with acne and weight problems. I have already blogged about my weight issues which are ok right now thanks to the Indonesian parasites that had moved into my intestines only days after arriving in Jakarta. Acne, however, is another story – not only am I acne riddled but it is sucking my self-esteem. I want to look in the mirror and not see blotches, spots and whale-like bumps that seem to rise from my skin like lava from a volcano.

What is amusing to me is that as a teenager I had beautiful skin with no blemishes and now as a grown woman I am struggling to keep my number of whale-like bumps to 2 per day and small bumps to 20 on each cheek. There is something terrible wrong with those statistics!!!!! I do not want to be known in Jakarta as the black woman (there are so few of us here) with the horrible skin. I wonder what others think when they see my face? Do they think I simply ignore it and am not rubbing, washing and exfoliating my face with everything from the salts of the Dead Sea to whatever my dermatologist has recently prescribed.

I am now so desperate that I am willing to try a herbalist from a small village who picks the right herbs at 3 am in the morning when the level of dew is just right. Oh, let us not forget that he did not even complete the first 5 years of school. What I am not willing to do though is take any medicine internally as I fear that in doing so I may damage my liver, kidneys and lungs. Have you all seen those ads on American TV where they laud the success of the medicine then tell you the potential damage to your internal organs?

So what do I do? Before I forget let me tell you my husband’s theory: he believes that if I stop feeding my sweet tooth all will be well. I refuse to believe this. I refuse to accept that in order to be at the right weight and have beautiful skin I must live a life of salad and tofu and not eat bananas foster, gizzarda, coconut drops, spiced bun from Jamaica, banana bread, coconut ice cream, rum and raisin ice cream and Jamaican Christmas cake (which I can eat all year).

To the Supreme Beings be the glory because I have one life to live and refuse to live it in misery. As my 6-year-old often says, “there is always a solution’. I need to find this solution to my problem because I am truly bothered by my acne but refuse to accept that my sweet tooth is the problem. Good thing my doctor agrees that what I eat is not causing my acne. Instead she thinks its hormonal.

What a cross we bear as women…I won’t get into it but at what point do we not have some issue in our life to worry about? When do we relax and enjoy the fruits of our labour without worrying about weight loss, acne, being cute and let us not forget that layer of fat that also starts appearing below our chin as we get older. I do not have the answer but I pledge to make it part of my life’s mission to find the solution. If you have the answer feel free to share it with us.

Until next time……One Love!!!!

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8 thoughts on “The Cross We Bear

  1. I struggle with this as well. I started going to get facials more regularly (okay I have been to 2 in the last 4 months). She told me I have to just make sure I go in for more facials so she can clean out my skin. I don’t know if that was her sales pitch or if it is true. It does clean my skin thoroughly so I am going to try to stay on a regimen. (I have been through all of the products, doctors, everything for years and years. I’m with you.)

    What helped me tremendously is Obagi. You can buy it on Amazon http://amzn.to/gTkKLJ (this is the link to it for normal to oily skin – there is a normal to dry skin as well). It is strong but totally reduced my problems. I started using it in 07/08.

    Of course my facial girl says its too strong and to only use it once a week because it is drying out my skin and then my skin produces more oil. So she gave me this bar soap that I honestly have no idea what it is called because I threw out the label.

    But I think for stabilizing, you can start with this. I was reco’ed it by a friend too.

    As for always having an issue. I agree. Even the most strong, beautiful, intelligent, confident women I know (like us obviously) get really bummed when there is a acne, weight, cuteness issue.
    But I think the best thing to do is not let it get us down and continue onward!!

    (just read awesome book that I will write about in my next post – The Art of Non-Conformity – you will love)

    • Diana, I will be checking out both the book and the facial product. Thanks for the tip. I really should do regular facials as others have told me it really helps. Not to mention the fact that here in Indonesia, facials are reasonably inexpensive and the products they use tend to be natural and oh so fragrant.

  2. As women I think we will always have a cross to bear. I don’t have a huge problem with Acne but could it be hormones? Do you drink enough water? I’m no expert so that is all I can suggest.

    • Marie, thanks for even venturing a response.
      My dermatologist says its hormonal. Presently I am not drinking enough water (if the target is 8 glasses per day) but I have been through periods of time when I drink so much water I fear that I will drown my internal organs.

  3. Hey Natz, totally agree. I was wondering also what else can we women bear. But at the same age, I am still teething, have a brace face (wearing braces), and acne, and quite a few bad hair days, this truly reminds me of being in high school. The professional jungle is quite a maze, which I am at a lost as to how to manage, so I sometimes pay presenteeism like at school. The answer to the problem I have heard (and it does help with flattening the belly) is to drink a glass of water right after you wake up before brushing your teeth or eating anything then wait half an hour before eating. From experience, the taste is horrible but it does give you a hunger pang and flush the system. I haven’t tried it long enough to see the acne go away but hey, I am comforted by the fact that beauty if fleeting and my dear husband and two boys still love me.

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