Do You Have a Mental “Safety Net” When It Comes to Your Acne?

A comment left by a reader named Annie on Wednesday’s post got me to thinking:

Do you have a mental “safety net” when it comes to your acne?

In other words, do you have a certain thing that you do because you are mentally attached to the idea that it keeps your acne at bay? Something that makes you feel “safe” from acne, as long as you are doing this thing consistently?

For example, this could be: using a certain face wash or skin care product, avoiding a certain food, using a certain medication, eating a certain diet that you believe in (such as paleo, or vegetarian), meditating every day, taking a certain supplement, etc etc. Anything, really. It could be a combination of things as well.

I’d like to make it clear that our beliefs are often not the truth. They are just that – beliefs. You may have a lot of personal evidence that a certain thing really does help your acne significantly, but we can often be tricked and fooled. There are a lot of unknowns and we can easily miss the big picture, because we are always seeing the world through the filter of our belief system.

Often we have no idea to what exact degree something can be attributed as our “acne saviour”, but we get attached to certain ideas anyway because they resonate with us for one reason or another. 

Is Having An Acne Safety Net a Good Thing?

I think it can be a good thing and a bad thing.

As we know, stress can be a major acne trigger for many people. So if you have a certain thing that you do that makes you feel nice and secure, then that serves to really lower acne related stress and makes it more likely that you really won’t break out. Like a self fulfilling prophecy.

The problem comes if you are forced to deviate from your routines and you, for some reason, can’t do your “safety dance”. Then stress usually goes through the roof. Then you may break out due to the stress, and that confirms your belief that your safety thing is truth. As a result, you may feel very trapped.

Obviously some safety nets are more complicated than others and certainly more prone to security breaches.

It’s for this reason that if you’re going to have a safety net, it’s best if it’s something simple. If you truly believe that tapping your ankle in a clockwise motion once a day keeps your acne at bay… then great. Not too complicated to perform, really, and can be done anywhere at any time.

If you have a repertoire of 30 things you do per day and a general, vague description of what is keeping your acne away, then it’s likely to cause more stress than not, since there will be many times when your rituals are difficult to adhere to!

What Is My Proverbial Safety Net?

Well, before my severe acne and all my ventures into holistic healing, my safety net was washing my face and applying benzoyl peroxide faithfully every morning and night. That’s it. I didn’t have any other acne routines.

This never worked a treat – I always still had acne. But I depended on it: I always assumed that it would be much worse without it, even if I only skipped one day.

And most of the time, that was fine because it was relatively simple and very defined. I was able to do this routine day in and day out, no matter where I was in the world, and as long as I washed my face and used my benzoyl, I never feared that it was going to get worse.

However, it did ruin a lot of camping trips for me. I loved camping, but I was always worrying about how I was going to wash my face and apply my benzoyl if I was out in the bush with my friends, and the resultant pimples that would occur if I didn’t do it (and then how would I be able to sneak away and apply makeup over them so my friends couldn’t see them!??). It felt like a ball and chain.

Of course, the ironic thing about all this is that I’ve now discovered that for me, not washing my face at all is the best skin care routine I’ve tried yet! So it really was just a complete matter of perception.

What is My Current Safety Net?

I think that many things contribute to healthy skin – sound emotional health, getting enough exercise, eating properly, not irritating your skin, etc – and I try to keep all of these things up to some degree.

However, I can tell that my true safety net – the one thing that I am deep down attached to – is the belief that eating a “generally healthy diet” (according what I think is healthy at that time) is what keeps my acne at bay.

Again, just to point this out – this is a HUGE matter of perception. “Generally healthy” means so many different things to so many different people – it’s all in what you believe is healthy.

When I first started trying to clear my acne, I believed a vegan diet was the healthiest, so that was my safety net. Now I believe that a more well rounded whole foods diet is the healthiest, so now that’s my safety net. Joe may believe that paleo is the healthiest, so eating paleo is his acne safety net. Julia might believe that the raw food diet is the healthiest, so eating that way is her safety net. James, on the other hand, might be attached to macrobiotics as the ultimate in health and clear skin.

This is kind of contradictory, don’t you think? There really is no truth here, just beliefs.

Anyway – eating “generally healthy” is pretty vague, yet still has a certain strictness about it. So as I said, there’s lots of opportunities for problems to arise, especially if you’re far from home. I can eat junk sometimes without it bothering me, but if I eat too much “junk” (again, a complete matter of standards and perception) for too long, I just start to feel like I’m slipping through the net and I begin pressing the panic button.

This is why I have no problem maintaining this safety net when I’m at home and “in charge”, but I stress about not having any sort of soft pillowy cushion to break the fall if I choose to again partake in long term overseas travel (which I would definitely like to at some point!), or ever find myself at the mercy of someone’s else’s food for a while.

You see, it just really isn’t as simple and concrete as something like washing your face, which makes it a pretty stressful net to have.

Switching Up Your Acne Safety Net

Personally, I’d like to move away from having safety nets with any significant downside, which is probably most of them. I do not want to have a long term travels ruined by my fears over food. But I also don’t want anymore camping trips ruined by fears over not being able to wash my face, despite that being a simpler net. I don’t want anything that traps me in any way.

As it turns out, I think that the best, most constructive, and ultimately HEALTHY safety net is the belief that happiness is the key to keeping acne away. Definitely sounds like the most freeing.

If you can pull that off, I really don’t think there’s much of a downside to that.

I believe that this is what I desire to do, which I hadn’t really realized until I wrote this post.

I deeply desire to switch my safety net from food to happiness. I want to believe deep down inside that if I choose to be happy (and therefore keep stress levels at an all time low), then acne can’t hurt me. And it can’t! Because even if I still got it, it wouldn’t matter – I’d still be happy.

I hadn’t realized that that is what I’ve been doing when I challenge myself by eating unhealthy when it’s not convenient (as described in my last two posts here and here). I was subconsciously seeing if I can switch my safety nets.

But the reason it doesn’t work is because I don’t truly believe it yet that being happy will keep acne away, and me safe. I just don’t fully trust it, even though I want to.

For example, tapping your ankle in a clockwise motion every morning sounds like an oh-so-simple safety net, but who actually believes that keeps their acne away? Probably nobody. That’s the kicker – you have to really, truly believe in your safety net.

If you don’t, it’s not going to work, which is why after I challenge myself with the unhealthy food, I inevitably break out and it makes me cry. I’m still fully identifying with food as my saviour rather than happiness.

Interesting stuff – it feels really good to realize and verbalize this “safety net” thing in concrete ideas, so now I can move forward knowing my goal for my personal growth: switch my net from food to happiness. What is your acne safety net?

photo by anoldent

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Comments

  1. Melanie says

    I love this post! You always give me something to think about :) I would say my “safety net” is washing my face. Since probably like 6th grade I have been a religious night time face washer. Even if I got home late one night and was sooo tired, I would just lay in bed until I made my self get up to finally wash my face. I literally could not fall asleep unless I made myself wash my face because in my mind that was a sure fire way to wake up in the morning with a zit. So anway, years and years (and many different product trials) later, I still NEVER ever miss a night washing my face. And now that I am sitting here typing this for all to see, it sounds a tad crazy…

    • Tracy says

      Ah, it’s not crazy… I was the same way when washing my face was my safety net. No matter how tired I was… it could have been the longest, drunkest night on the town, and it didn’t matter…. I would ALWAYS wash my face before bed.

  2. Jesse says

    My safety net… Brocoli and bell peppers! Haha!
    I’ve had a huge breakout on my chin and forehead for a couple of days, it’s clearing up pretty easily, I’m eating lots of green veggies. And you know what? In my head, I believe that if I eat lots of greens, it will neutralize the redness in my face and the inflammation. Green cancels red. Go figure!

  3. LJ says

    Thanks for another interesting post :)

    My safety net is probably the most common one of all – makeup. I absolutely cannot cannot cannot envisage going without makeup on my skin. It means I can hide and cover up and at least try and distract people, and more importantly myself, from obsessing about my skin whether I’m out and about or on my own. I find that when I wear makeup I leave my face alone – no touching and picking and worrying about it. Obviously I am waiting for the day to come when I can go without makeup, but until then I really do rely on it to improve my self-esteem and the way I feel about my skin.

    • Tracy says

      Oh yeah, I forgot about makeup because I was thinking only along the lines of things that you do to try and get rid of it, where as makeup is something you do to deal with it – but you’re right!!! This is also one of my safety nets. I’ve definitely downgraded my attachment to makeup, but I admit it’s still there!

  4. Lily says

    Hmm, I wish I had a safety net. Unfortunately, so far I haven’t really discovered anything that considerably improves my skin. Hopefully that will change after I’ve finished reading this blog, as it contains a wealth of information.

    I guess I do avoid gluten and limit my dairy intake to a daily serving of sheep’s milk yoghurt. However, I do it merely out of superstition, as it does nothing for my skin. I’ve come to discover that unless you have some sort of lactose or gluten intolerance, you will get zero benefits avoiding these foods. Zero. Zilch. I know there are so many arguments about how these foods can raise inflammation in anyone, but honestly, I just haven’t seen it happen. I’m sure avoiding these foods is greatly beneficial and even essential to those who are intolerant to them, but to the rest… it’s pointless. There, I said it. :)

    • Tracy says

      Yeah I agree – if its obvious cutting out a certain food does nothing for you, then just eat it. I’m eating cheese again for this reason, as I don’t think dairy causes huge issues for my skin

  5. Zee says

    You might try and believe that the less you do about your skin, the quicker it will heal – a sort of paleo-oriented sort of thing :) If you manage to truly believe it works (and I’m nearly there), I don’t think there may be any situation in which you can’t rely faithfully on such a safety net :D

    • Tracy says

      Thanks Zee – that’s definitely a good safety net along with being happy and as stress free as possible :) both are pretty awesome. Glad to hear you’re almost there!

    • Tracy says

      Hey Mario – good video. Interesting, I’ve never heard anything specific about the lungs being linked to acne (aside from like… breathing deeply releases stress, which can obviously have a positive effect on the skin).

      Which specific tips from this video did you put into practice that helped you?

      • says

        Traci- Glad you enjoyed!

        Reishi mushroom. Salt water flushes once in a while..

        And many of his other video’s that just improve many areas of life/stress that i feel also improve acne just from feeling better about my self overall.

        Yeah and breathing deeply also helps balance ph levels.

        Just actually ordered some more Reishi from Dragon herbs(duanwood reishi) Got it in the mail today! Many benefits from it ;)

  6. Tyler says

    My safety net used to be a daily shower (or 2 showers-one in the morning and one at night). But after going no wash caveman approach I realized how over washed/dry I was making my own skin so now I shower when I need to, more like every other day or after exercising. So I got over that! I have gone back to washing my face though, but it is with colder water/no soap so it shouldn’t dry it out as much. Good post tracy! Be defined as a healthy/happy person, not by adhering to a diet/food. Learned a lot right there!!

    • Tracy says

      I learned a lot just from writing this post – I actually feel very happy today after having defined what it is that I am trying to do! Like as if I really can achieve it now.

        • Tracy says

          No I just mean that I learned what I was doing from writing this post – the pattern of “testing myself” with unhealthy food was actually something I was doing to see if I could switch my safety net – I didn’t make this connection until I wrote this, and for me, this feels significant.

  7. MJ says

    This is a great post.
    I don’t have acne but i’ve been in position where I’ve made a belief system, based of off truth, that soon became rule-like . I was a personal trainer… my ‘rules’ soon turned into orthorexia and certain exercise rituals which i believed would save me from my fear. Really, everyone does this to some degree. some are just more false. some are just more recognizable etc. Thank you for writing about this. Also I think you would really dig Vipassana meditation.

  8. Nathan says

    I have a few ‘safety nets’, but I don’t really rely on them, so I guess it’s more of a way to ‘prevent’ acne… Green Pastures butter blend cinnamon tingle – I really think this keep inflammation down and it’s full of nutrients! Not washing my face half as much also seems to help as I’ve been getting dry skin for a few months now. Just washing with water once a day or two is good, but occasionally I will apply MSM cream. (also not washing my hair everyday has helped a lot! – I have curly/wavy hair which we all know tends to be drier.) Lastly an all rounded ‘good’ diet, based on Paleo/Primal.

    And of course, reducing stress in all accounts helps!

    Thanks for your blog, like you say these articles make you realise things that you would normally ignore because it’s a routine that you ‘just do’.

  9. Christelle says

    I think my safety net is maintaining a healthy lifestyle too. I can get freaked out if I eat junk even in small qualities for more than 3-4 days running, but I actually think that’s not a bad thing. When I eat out, at friends’ houses, I just eat what they’re having (unless it’s reaaaally sugary, in which case I just ask for a small portion “to taste”) and I choose not to worry about it (it’s one meal, for goodness sake). I think it’s all about perception… how we feel about actually having a safety net. I think this world is way too polluted. Wherever we go, we’re poisoned by toxins, and stressed by noise. I don’t want to have to live in the world and worry about everything I put in my mouth, but this is the place we’ve been born into, and unfortunately today that’s how it has to be.

    Having a safety net is great. I’ve chosen to embrace mine, not only so that I can keep acne at bay, but because man, look at this planet, and what capitalism has done to it. Even having to worry about making sure our bodies are kept “pure” is unnatural. Acne itself isn’t really natural. So what the heck, having a mental safety net is my cross to bear. I might not live longer than others. I might break out anyway. But I choose this lifestyle, and I truly enjoy it. Once you start educating yourself in holistic health, you can’t go back. To a certain extent, you’ve lost your “innocence”. Where before you could travel anywhere, happy-go-lucky, and forget about what you were putting in your mouth, today it’s impossible, because you’ve gained all this knowledge. But in the end, do you really want to be care free again? And if so, why is that? That’s what you have to ask yourself.

    Maybe junk food really does break you out. And frankly, I think that’s great, it means your body is so pure it’s rejecting anything that isn’t natural and wholesome. I don’t think it’s bad to have a mental safety net, as long as it’s rational, and as long as it doesn’t forfeit your happiness in the long run. :-)

  10. brook says

    lemons and bentonite clay are my safety net. i feel like if i go eat something unhealthy or drink, then the next day im just like…bentonite clay!! yea! i used to use turmeric as a safety net, basically the same principle as the clay, only i was sucking down turmeric with water instead. it can get so difficult sometimes when you just wanna go live your damn life instead of worrying about this kindof stuff :( i think im on board with you…i will make steps to making happiness my new safety net!

  11. Pinkconverse says

    My safety net is definitely being on the pill. as much as I hate taking it, my skin cleared up drastically when I had mild acne on my cheeks. Its now almost 10 years later and I am so scared to come off it as Ive often heard horror stories about people suffering bad break outs. My skin is very clear, my regime is simple and I rarely use much makeup. My diet is about 90% about good all the time. I would love to come off the pill eventually but too frightened!!

    • brook says

      im actually thinknig of going ON the pill! haha. i know its definanetly not the best thing for the body but…im a teenager and am so exhausted of ´worrying over everything i eat, and everytime i might get emotional, that my face could suffer. i want to live again just a little bit ! and if i have to take a pill to have such a freeom…hmmmmm. :/ its a tough one.

    • Laura says

      mIne was the pill too, it seemed to be the only thing that cleared acne up for me – although looking back now I realise there are deep emotional issues there relating to acne too.

      I was on the pill for 6 years and have been off it 5 months now and have had no significant breakouts (a couple of spots here and there, but I seemed to get those on the pill anyway). Since coming off the pill my safety nets have been eating as healthily as I can and drinking copious amounts of nettle tea, white & green tea and peppermint tea. Nettle tea just seems to deeply cleansing and nourishing to me, whereas peppermint and green tea have been known as anti-androgens, which I figure are my main problem when it comews to acne.

  12. C says

    Retina-A. This is the one unclean product I still cling to. Anyone have experience weaning off of this? My skin just gets really congested when I try to go without it. I get tons of tiny bumps everywhere. I think my skin produces too much keratin or something too. Any advice for that?

  13. Annie says

    As the kids say these days, O-M-G.

    The “safety dance” and the safety-dance withdrawal spots? Ugh. Genius. For me, a religious face-washer (now with Manuka honey–wooo), not washing strikes me as a perfect metaphor for not *caring* (i.e. being above it and trusting your body).

    I have an exemplary friend who has chronically beautiful skin–no visible pores, one hairline spot every six months… the woman will **wear her makeup for three days–the same makeup application… for days…!!** She also eats whatever she wants. She happens to have the spirit of a wild stallion and the heart of a deep, deep romantic. She certainly doesn’t block out emotions or deny herself. That’s interesting, huh? She says she breaks out when she gets stressed out.

    Tracy, your Theory of “Good Diet”) Relativity is definitely relevant… I think it must matter quite a bit for each person though… It’s got to be more than belief or we’d heal with the power of our topical potions. Food is sustenance. It’s deep earthy stuff. I couldn’t trust my skin to heal quickly and glow until I began eating a conscious, balanced diet, with plenty of greens and fish… I don’t think it’s any one thing, but I think the better we do, the better… [I've said dairy, and for me, I definitely think so, but I guess others are different.] Gosh, what’s the difference between severe acne and occasional acne? It simply isn’t just emotional, mental stuff… Is it? Could it be happiness? Is it just that controlling food in a creative and responsible way is actually just a vessel for happiness? Ooohhh….

    Super-nice idea. I’ll stick with my kale, eggs, avocado, and spirulina in the meantime. Yeah, yeah, that’s my safety net. And honey+jojoba on the outside, for now, yep. No, but really… It must must must be both. Right? Some voodoo blend…

    Safety dance. Here I go to remove my hour-long manuka mask… :) Cheers, Ms. McCullough!

    • Tracy says

      Lol :D
      Actually, I do think it’s both… I really do still believe that having a healthy diet makes a big difference!

      I figure that there are a lot of things that you may feel contribute to healthy skin…. but there is usually (at least for me) one or two safety things that you are REALLY attached to. The mental attachments. For me it’s diet – I’ve blown it out of proportion to be the be all and end all of my skin. Even though at the back of my mind, I know that emotions, exercise, sleep etc are important too… and I try to keep those up…. but they don’t freak me out the same way diet does if I mess those things up…

      Also, while I legitimately think that diet IS very important, I also think that the more emotionally sound you are, the more license you get to cheat with your diet without it wreaking havoc on you. I think that if you had a “perfect” diet (whatever that is) and messed up emotions, maybe you could achieve perfect perfect skin…. but at what cost? You wouldn’t be able to leave your house.

      Basically, what I want to achieve is more mental reliance on happiness for my skin’s health than my diet (while still keeping up a healthy diet as is appropriate for whatever situation I’m in), and as a bi product, it also means I can have a bit more leeway with my diet before it causes problems :) Hopefully.

  14. says

    Not entirely related to this post–just commenting on your what you said about not washing your face being the best skin routine yet.

    Still going strong with that? I remember in another recent post you sounded a little iffy on it? I’m about to go off Benzoyl and trying to decide my next step–Must admit, the lazy girl in me thinks caveman sounds positively divine. Haha.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Kate – nope, still going strong… I don’t believe I was iffy on it? Not sure what you’re referring to anyway. I can’t say it’s a miracle, as internal factors seem to be much stronger than anything you do to your face, but yeah… it’s definitely no worse than when I washing it, so the lazy girl in me says yeahaw

  15. Tami says

    Tracy, I feel like I relate to you with so many things you post. My acne looked just as bad as yours. I was clear for 3 years after my candida cleanse, and it has come back. I am so devistated that I can no longer leave the house without makeup. I eat extremely healthy and see a naturopath. I am just so sick of fearing food. I think everything is breaking me out. I feel like im going crazy! I feel even more crazy when I look in the mirror and I cant even recognize myself anymore. I feel so deafeted. I cant stop obsessing over getting clear skin again. I have just found your blog after hours, and hours on google. I found so much comfort reading your blog knowing that im not alone. Thanks so much :)

    • Tracy says

      Aw Tami, I’m so sorry your bad acne came back. That’s pretty much my worst nightmare :( do you know that it’s a candida problem?

  16. Ana says

    Hi Tracy,
    I know this is like a year old, but I have found your blog just recently. Your advices have confirmed my guesses so I no longer think my mind just made all up and I am gonna regret my decisions about my skin :). (trust issues with my intuition mixed with mind/reason)

    But regarding safety net – what my life and experiences have to say about – the point is not to have any. It is remotely similar to a very mild OCD (to ease your anxiety you need some kind of artifical “affirmation” that what you are anxious about is not going to happen). So the goal should be to get you into the state when you feel/believe that if anything happens, you can handle it. That you have enough resources to be OK, to survive, to find a way out, to accept it, or to change it. You cannot really anticipate what life will bring your way (so you cannot prepare specifically in advance), but WHATEVER it is going to be, you yourself is arsenal strong enough to deal with it (your mind with ideas, your intuition, experiences, courage and all your strengths :)) = basicaly, it grows directly out of your self-esteem/confidence/awareness.

    When I was a kid, I was pretty insecure (not about my flaws, but I figured out that if I needed help, my parents would not have been there for me, so I basically got to learn how to deal with stuff on my own). So I was wearing a special bracelet as a “shield”. I believed (not really, I just needed something to rely on and ease my anxieties) that as long as I have it, nothing bad is going to happen to me (and if yes, I had the bracelet with power to help me deal with it). Then I lost it and I had a serious thought: “Now I have to replace it quickly, but since things get lost, this time it could be something I cannot lose.” I was travelling on a train at that time staring out a window and noticed my reflection and I thought: “My hair. They are always there. So as long as I have my hair, I am fine.” Some time later I got a hair cut a lot shorter than I wanted. So I felt like I lost my hair :). For a few months I felt really lost but slowly I started to tell myself: “Maybe the best thing would be to just give up on this and switch to yourslef. If you have managed so far you will be fine in the future too. You will never lose yourself and anytime you need help, I am here for you.”

    That is my story and I realized that if you put a lot of baggage on anything (if you ascribe too much power/or inappropriate powers to something) you make it rule your life and then, when you lose it or it breaks or it goes away for a while or anything, you assume your life is gone as well.

    IMO, even Happiness does not deserve to be loaded with such a load of duties. Sometimes you are not happy, maybe you are sad or depressed… but it is because of something and it is good to find out the reason so you can see if something is not attacking your balance. To feel threatened that it is going to cause you another disaster is just more stress lowering your courage and self-esteem to sort out what the problem is with ease and without panic.

    (sorry for such a long comment – not a native speaker and to be sure I am clear I use too many words)

    • Tracy says

      I forgot about this post as no one has commented on it in a long time… it’s a very interesting topic…. and I think you are so right about everything you saidAna. I love that… that we are our own safety nets. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this!

      • Ana says

        Exactly. Be your own safety net :).
        It will aslo solve the control issues. As long as you rely on yourself and not outer world/conditions/things/people/circumstances, you do not need to control anything. (And if you rely on yourself as a whole — not only on a part of your body/like my hair, lol, or on just a particular behavior or something — you do not need to control yourself either. :))

        Like you say that we should not be caught in our past.. well, we can use our past in a much better way – we can lean on it and build our self-confidence with it (and learn from it, of course). That is how really true self-esteem is build. You know what you are good at, what you are capable of, what you have to work on, what you like and what you do not, what you accept and what is intolerable and why.

        So when you are anxious about your skin, you can just say: “If I managed it then, I can manage it now (will be able to in the future) as well.” or “If I had a clear skin once, I can have it again too.” or even “Do you remember when your skin was just really aweful and you did not want to go out with friends and then they convinced you and nothing bad really happened? If nothing bad happened then, nothing is going to happen this time as well.”

        Repeat for some time and you will start to notice that you do not care much about your skin anymore. And when it needs some cure (I actually do not suffer from acne but psoriasis), you do it without that emotional load (just like you do when you cut your nails :)) and when you e.g. do not have time to do a procedure you just skip it without even paying attention to it.

        (anyway, I have questions regarding caveman regimen, but I will ask them below some more recent article :))

        Keep up good job, Tracy. Good luck!

        • Tracy says

          I think I might write another article about this Ana! I love your perspective on it. Do you mind if I quote what you wrote here in it?

  17. Ana says

    Thank you Tracy.
    Go ahead, spread a word. All I wish for is Earth full of self-confident people who share this planet with love and passion.. you know what I mean :)

    Some time ago I stumbled on a forum about… well, abusive relationships. Being in one, fortunatelly for not a long time and not harmed severely, it broke my heart knowing how many people go (literally) through hell but cannot move out of it. And shortly after, I visited my sister, now mother of 3year old boy, and I saw in front of my eyes how her selfishness was torturing her child. Since then I strggle with some kind of powerlessness (you know that old saying – if you want to help the world, help those around you). I can do anything to change my nephew´s situation. I talked to his mother million times. I begged her, then I threatened. So, actually I feel it is easer to help the world than to help those around me…

    (I am getting too personal here… I should take a break from your blog for a while I guess :))

    Anyway, thank you for your work.

    • Ana says

      correction: I meant “I cannot do anything to change my nephew´s situation” — hence, powerlessness.

      (ps: Tracy, whatever you are going to quote, just correct my mistakes so the statemens make sense :))

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