My Repressed Emotions Over Acne Suddenly Came to the Surface Last Week (in front of my friends!)

In my last video, I told you all about my wonderful time on the off-grid island community of Lasqueti. It was a very inspirational time, and it also was a very strong time for self awareness and growth.

One particular awareness experience did happen to relate to my skin and my acne and the related emotional pain that hides deep inside of me. So I want to share the story with you!

If my skin is clear (which it tends to be for months at a time, and then it decides to break out in mild acne for a little while), I forget acne ever existed. It’s like I’m on top of the world, and there’s nothing that can get me down. It’s hard to even remember why acne caused me so much grief, and it feels like I’ll never have to worry about acne again.

But then it always comes back eventually. And then follows the anxiety about it. It doesn’t seem to be about the acne itself, since the spots are always quite minor and I know that no one cares about them or likes me any less. But just the presence of the acne at all activates this intense, emotional, fear that is hiding somewhere inside me.

And I’ve noticed that the anxiety particularly likes to rear its head If I’m breaking out AND I’m away from my comfort zone (as I was this past week on my trip to Lasqueti Island).

I can still have fun, but my time away is always spent overshadowed by this lurking anxiety monster, which is fueled by the deep emotional trauma of the past combined with the uncertainty that comes along with being far from home. This pattern has happened to me numerous times and I’m SICK of it because it’s always the same thing over and over. 

Anyway… all of this suppressed emotion about my skin seemed to come to the surface while I was on Lasqueti and I ended up unexpectedly breaking down and crying in front of my friends! That was not what I was expecting to happen!! (and while they didn’t really understand, I’m so grateful they are loving and supportive…!)

Watch the video to get the story:

What do you think? Can you relate to this experience? Share your thoughts below. PS – I love you and thank you for supporting The Love Vitamin!

photo by Elana Kalis

Comments

  1. Bri says

    Hey Tracey. I can totally relate. I get really depressed and upset about my breakouts. I was in Brazil for a month and I was getting terrible breakouts and it ruined everything for me.

    I feel so pissed off sometimes that im 24..in the prime of my life..and I cant bring myself to fully enjoy it because of my skin. Everytime I eat something questionable (wheat, dairy, alcohol, etc.) I am struck with fear and anxiety.

    I have also noticed that when I was on psychotropic medication for anxiety..that was when my skin was at its best…maybe there is a correlation?

    oh what to do….

    • Tracy says

      I know, it makes me angry too, especially because we know we have the power to enjoy our life acne or not… but it’s so HARD TO JUST DO IT. There’s got to be something more to it, that’s why I think there’s an energy block that I hope can be moved… I guess we’ll see!

      I do think that acne and anxiety and stress are highly linked (so it doesn’t surprise me that much if your acne disappeared while on anxiety medication), so I wonder what is really causing my mild acne… maybe if the energy block is moved then the mild acne would go too? Who knows!

  2. Samantha Anderson says

    Tracy! Thank you for being so honest. I know what you are talking about. I am still trying to get clear and at almost 6 weeks eating the way you recommend my face is doing MUCH better but I still have scars and small spots. It’s almost like I get that initial high from my acne getting better followed by a low feeling when I realize it’s still not where I want it. I just went on a vacation too and I can really relate to what you said in your video because I had a really low point looking in a mirror in the hotel with the bright sun shining through and my scars looked awful. I felt like climbing into bed and crying but I didn’t want to ruin everyone elses vacation. I can usually snap out of being sad because my husband and son are awesome but WOW I have never felt this emotional about my physical appearance. Thank you for your videos they keep me sane!

    • Annie says

      Yeah… This can be so rough, and it really feels isolating. When our skin improves and then erupts at the worst possible time, it feels even more horrifying and humiliating. For a month now I’ve felt trapped beneath a giant mistake of a face, because for months before that it was so wonderful that I glimpsed normality!… You know what’s crazy is studying psychology and having no real mention of this particular kind of trauma/anxiety/depression. I shall do a study on it in the near future! Actually… that might be a good dissertation ;)

      • Tracy says

        Yes, it’s the ups and downs that are the hardest part… the highs and lows. I wonder if it would be different if the acne was more constant, you know?

  3. Melanie says

    You’re beautiful in all kinds of ways! You’ll come through this, I just know it. Sending lots of love your way!

  4. Nathan says

    Thank YOU Tracy. No matter what I’m going through, I always find comfort in reading/watching your blog because you truly are the only person I know who can relate to not just skin problems, but the catalog of emotions that comes them.

    In some ways I feel ‘bad’ because I don’t blog, or anything like that and I never really feel like I’m giving anything back to you :/

    I’m kinda pleased for you that you spoke out about your emotions whilst in Lasqueti to “outsiders” of your blog and I think it’s helpful that they suggested the energy guru… You obviously have been thinking about that too and hey, it could really help you!

    I wish you well on getting to the bottom of this, or at least understanding the path that generates the anxiety. Thank you for keeping me “grounded”, your’e a real true spirit. Much love!

    • Tracy says

      Thank you Nathan :) – don’t feel bad about anything! Simply your presence here, your thoughtful comments… you are giving back in all sorts of ways that are dear to me !

  5. Lena says

    Thank you for sharing from your heart! You are truly a beautiful spirit, and the work you do is so important, and makes a difference for many souls in this lifetime.

    Just want to say that I am so happy that I found your blog, I was looking to find information on green smoothies and found your video, and after watching it I have been following you since.

    I do recommend you to look up a healer for help and guidance with your energyblockage. Being a healer myself I know that you and your body do the work needed when the time is right, the therapist is only an enzyme in the process! We do go through difficult things in life in order to be able to understand and help others, because as you say, without the personal knowledge it is difficult to fully understand someone elses sorrow or situation.

    Keep up the fine work that you are doing, remember that you are important!

    Many greetings from Sweden, and lots of love,light, and healing to you – beautiful soul!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Lena!
      Thanks for your perspective as a healer… that’s helpful. I feel right now I am so aware of the pattern and the need to move it on that I definitely feel its the right time to work with someone. Hopefully it all goes well! I will certainly be blogging about it!

      Thank you so much for your support of the Love Vitamin :)

  6. Kendra says

    I really enjoyed your video Tracey. It really made me feel like less of a crazy person. I have been super emotional lately and feeling really down on myself. Especially about my skin. My body has been through a lot of changes post-surgery and I think it is coming through in the form on acne unfortunately. As I do not have an outlet for my emotions (no exercise or anything), I feel a little emotionally unstable. I have been having minor emotional breakdowns. So it is nice to know I am not the only one out there who cries about their pimples! I seems so silly and it makes me angry that it can affect me in this way. But I think it’s good that we can feel these emotions and open up to friends (even if they don’t understand) and just let it out. I always feel better after a good cry!
    Thanks so much for sharing Tracey!

    • Tracy says

      Thanks Kendra! I understand that feeling of frustration when you’re suddenly immobile… you suddenly feel kind of useless and that translates into a lot of anxiety. I’m sending you lots of healing love!!!

  7. Mary says

    I know what you mean about psychological trauma. Acne has literally given me a DSM-IV Social Phobia diagnosis. I don’t know what else to say other than to testify that acne really can bring a person down in a significant way. Good luck with the energetic work. I hope this is not too personal of a comment, but I have seen you get scared in your videos for a second when you refer to your bad breakout and have thought in the past of a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptom manifesting.

    What if we didn’t have any mirrors? Wouldn’t life be better, then. It’s our own perceptions that create our fear.

    • Yvonne says

      I was actually thinking last night that maybe a good solution would be to take down all the mirrors in my house – then I wouldn’t see anything to get down about. If I then made a determined effort not to touch my skin, I wouldn’t feel anything to get down about. Funny thing is, during the day it works – I don’t think about my acne much at all. I don’t like the lighting in the toilets at work, so I don’t check the mirror. I never touch my skin during the day either. As a result, I don’t think about my skin and therefore don’t get down about it. The problem seems to be once I arrive home in the evening. Almost without realising, I’ll be watching TV or something when I realise that I’m feeling and picking at my skin. Then I abandon what I’m doing to check the mirror for those pimples I’m feeling. Not just one mirror though, all mirrors. Then before you know it I’m feeling depressed because I’ve just wasted a good part of the evening fretting in front of the mirror instead of doing something I enjoy and will probably now have red marks from squeezing into the bargain. Yeah, I advocate a ban on mirrors! Worst thing ever invented. The animal kingdom get by fine without them.

      • Tracy says

        I’m starting to wonder if getting rid of mirrors is really the answer… I’ve been reading a lot about and getting a lot of intuitive clues about the concept of acceptance lately. Acceptance is the concept of, well, completely accepting the negative emotions, the acne, the everything that is bad, instead of fighting it which is what we normally do – and somehow in this paradox it leads to fewer negative emotions. I’ve heard over and over that this is the true answer to anxiety and I’m beginning to believe it although it may be the hardest thing to implement.

        It’s funny that I actually got sent a really amazing email from a reader the other day about this exact topic of mirrors – she explained that instead of getting rid of mirrors, which is just an avoidance tactic (because it doesn’t really solve anything…. you can go without mirrors, but the next time you see a mirror, you’re still going to hate your acne and it will make you sad), that she worked instead on loving the acne and loving herself and loving her whole person when she looked in the mirror. Complete acceptance – and it worked. The anxiety diminished. It was a great email.

        I’m going to explore all this acceptance stuff in a blog post/video sometime in the next week or two. I’ll share her email too

        • Annie says

          So my skin is all weird right now cause it’s flaking off, and I totally had to avoid looking in a mirror all weekend with my boyfriend or else, basically, avoid the weekend entirely, which just cannot be an option. So I managed to pretend that I could be strong and beautiful and just happen to have a little unevenness…

          But finally, Sunday morning, no makeup, the mirror became this white-light reality, right there, huge in the middle of the living-room, and my awful mixed-up tones were glaring at me, and I couldn’t look away, and even when I did, there was my face burned in my memory. I was so traumatized that I couldn’t look at my boyfriend in the eye for an hour. I could hardly stand to kiss him. I wanted to walk right out the door and go home to cry. But I took a long shower, put makeup on almost without even looking, and faced the rest of the morning, horrified that I’d almost let acne win. I felt like screaming, “This ISN’T MY FACE, just so you know!” Before the olive oil incident, I would have gone happily without makeup on a Sunday morning. I was devastated, and it was apparent that something was seriously upsetting me. But I didn’t talk about it. I just swallowed my pride… Another trauma for the books. If it’s no mirrors, it’s got to be no mirrors ever, or the shock hurts, darn it!

          • Tracy says

            Agreed! the shock hurts! Does your boyfriend know about your skin troubles? Have you ever talked to him about it? If so, I’d recommend it… I used to NEVER EVER mention the word acne to any of my boyfriends because I was far too ashamed. It feels good to be “out of the closet” now, so to speak, when it comes to acne… it doesn’t necessarily get rid of the hurt and embarrassment, but does cut down on the anxiety of trying to hide the problem

  8. Renee says

    Tracy, I absolutely feel your pain. I’ve been reading your blog now for about a year (I never commented) and at the time I began reading, I had SEVERE acne. Like cysts all over my face. Like, I should have been on high dose Accutane. It was the worst time of my life. I’m 23 years old and I was so angry and depressed and felt like no one understood. Now, through diet, supplements, and overall lifestyle changes, I can say I’m 95% clear. It truly is a miracle. However, I have horrible scars (they’re fading, though) including pitted scars that I will have to have treated someday with laser therapy. They’re pretty bad. Anyways, although I’m so happy the worst is behind me, I have horrible fear about it all coming back. I will be elated one minute that my skin is clear, and I will break down the next. I have self esteem issues about how I look now with my scars. When I’m not in my own home doing my own routine and eating my food, then I get anxiety. It really sucks. Even if I just get one or two pimples that aren’t even that bad, it’s the end of the world to me and ruins my day. So, I just want you to know that you are not alone and I appreciate all the work you do to help us acne sufferers. We will all heal from these fears and anxieties, whether it is time that will heal us, or another intervention, like energy therapy. We will overcome this, Tracy. And just so you know, you’re beautiful and your complexion is really glowing in all your videos. Peace and love to you, Tracy. Thank you for everything.

    • Tracy says

      Hey Renee.. I’m so happy to hear you’ve managed to get nearly clear! That is so awesome… but I can attest that the acne seems to be easier to get rid of than the emotions :/

      It’s certainly been a journey for me, although I must say that things really have gotten significantly better over time… when I contrast how absolutely petrified I used to be when I first got clear vs where I am now – there is a HUUUGE difference. This anxiety I feel now is annoying, but it’s definitely not like it was…. and I know in my heart that one day it will pass and it will be all solved and acne will no longer have any say in my emotions, even if I do still have some spots. I know that in the end it will work out for you too – personally I like to think that we were meant to have this challenge of severe acne so that we can grow as people. For me, nothing – NOTHING – in my life has spurred more self growth and awareness than this whole acne debacle. And I am grateful for that. I’m sending you lots of healing LOOOVE!!!

  9. eva says

    thank you so much for sharing this, tracy! I’m always glad that I can come back to this blog whenever I feel down, I’m a little addicted to the lovevitamin..I can absolutely relate to what you say. only recently a had a longer period where my skin looked really fine and I didn’t think about it anymore at all. I didn’t even come back here to see what you are doing ;) and it seemed as if these skin problems I’ve had almost all my life where suddenly far away and had never been a problem in the first place. but then I started breaking out a little again a couple of weeks ago and started picking again and made it worse and since then I’m really struggling. I’m just obsessing over my skin and I cannot stand myself for spending so much time and effort on trying to find a solution. I can hardly think of anything else. at the same time I’d never dare to talk to anybody about this. I didn’t even tell my therapist when I was in therapy for a while. but the truth is that 90% of the time my mind is obsessing over my skin and I, too, get very anxious. at the moment I really feel out of control of my life and I just cannot relax (despite yoga and meditation in the park). this food topic is also driving me nuts, I’m trying my best to eat really healthy, I’m the healthiest among my friends, but still I’m the one with the pimples. so I’ve been reading “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay lately. although the book is really very simplistic and I find a lot of points she makes where I could proof her wrong, I find the connections she makes very interesting. so from her point of view having acne is all about not accepting yourself where you are right now. she thinks once you really learn to accept and love yourself fully the skin issue will just go away. I've been trying to work with her affirmations for a week now, but got very impatient quickly..and only a few hours ago I found myself in the bathroom of a museum looking into the mirrow just wanting to cry just being so fed up with myself and my petty issues. I'm traveling right now and it's very difficult for me to find the right food, and I just think that either I get pimples or I get fat or both from what I eat. this thinking is just not healthy and also not true. the truth is, I just cannot enjoy my life at the moment, and it's written in my face, my skin is telling it to everyone. so, looking forward to hear about your energy work. all my love from Germany!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Eva – I’m sorry you’re going through such a rough time right now :(
      I’ve been meaning to read Louise Hay’s book since forever, but I haven’t managed to yet… however, i’ve heard it referenced many times that she says that – acne is about not loving yourself and not accepting yourself. I often ponder that and wonder how true it is. Acceptance is a theme that has popped up over and over again for me recently and I do realize that I don’t completely accept myself – because that also means accepting the negative feelings about having negative feelings. Just letting it be okay if we’re broken out or anxious, or scared or mad at ourselves for feeling that way. I know I’m not there yet… it’s a tough place to get to. Hopefully we can both get there and maybe acne will become a thing of the past for us??

      Either way, thanks for being a Love Vitamin follower, Eva. I really appreciate your presence here :)

      • eva says

        Thank you for your reply and support Tracy! Well, Louise Hay says mainly that every illness or issue comes from not loving/accepting the self completely. Sounds easy, but practically it isn’t. I mean, somehow we think that if we accept the pimples they will stay, right? And if we accept our mistakes, we won’t learn, somehow a lot of us are programmed to think that way. I just end up beating myself up about everything, and I see a lot of things in my life just as failure, which is really toxic in the end. Even telling myself, hey stupid, after all these years you still going in circles about your skin issues? Though it seems that most people don’t really accept themselves completely. It’s defintely worth looking into the book, it’s also very easy and fast to read. Just putting it into practice isn’t that fast and easy :). It really is practice and learning, like exercising. Also for being able to love and accept oneself fully it’s very likely one has to go through a lot of forgiveness work with others and oneself to get over the resentment one might carry about people or situations. I have a lot of work to do there. Louise Hay is interesting because she comes from a really horrible childhood and she somehow made peace with her past and obviously really learned to love herself, although she couldn’t have known that much love from growing up. (But she only made that change in her 40s!) The topic also made me think how my mother and sister relate to themselves, remembering that they both used to have skin issues and they both were skin pickers, maybe still are, not sure. The pimple issue is definitely in my family and also always made me believe that I must get skin problems, too. From early on I saw them not really accepting themselves, my sister even wanting to get a nose job, although her nose is perfect. And my mother always saying: You gotta suffer if you wanna be beautiful. Which is a terrible misbelief in my opinion, put it is her point of view how things work, and part of me adapted this belief. Well I could go on an on about this topic..Will let you know when I am further with my affirmations..and by the way: I could calm my skin down by using tamanu oil, which another follower of you recommended to me. I was very skeptic at first, thinking not another oil I test on my face. But so far it works great, better than anything I tried before, even better than Manuka honey and I don’t mind the bouillon scent!

        • Tracy says

          Hmm interesting! I thought she had a specific thing that she said about acne… is there something further she said about it in her book? Also, I’m going to have to look into this tamanu oil thing… I don’t really know anything about it

          • eva says

            In the book that I have she doesn’t say that much, maybe there is more in other books of her. As I said, her writing is very simple she doesn’t go that deep into psychological complications. From the list she has in her book I can quote the following propable causes: Acne -Not accepting the self. Dislike of the self. Blackheads/Pimples – Small outbursts of anger. Face – Represents what we show the world. Eczema – Breath-taking antagonism. Mental eruptions. Inflammation – Fear. Seeing red. Inflamed thinking. Skin problems in general – Anxiety, fear. Old, buried guck. I am being threatened. Hives – Small hidden fears. Mountains out of molehills. For each problem she suggests certain affirmations, they are all similar, they only vary a little bit. I am still feeling a lot a of resistance when I try to work with these affirmations. You also have to find out yourself how the affirmation should be worded that it works the best for you. Acne would be: I love and accept myself where I am right now. Which you gotta repeat at least 200 times a day ;) Since I have the book in English but my native language is German I cannot make up my mind if I should rather do the affirmations in English or in the German. I would assume that my subconsciousness speaks only German, but the stuff sounds so awkward to me in German that I actually prefer English..

  10. Steffi says

    You are such an amazing woman. You should never feel down because of your skin. You are an inspiration and we all are greatfull to read about your story and experiences. I wish I had someone like you as my friend!
    What you are doing is unbelievable!
    I enjoy every blogpost and every video!
    Thank you Tracy <3
    Steffi from Germany

    • Tracy says

      Wow, thanks so much Steffi! I’m so happy you enjoy the blog so much… thanks for your support :) I’m sending lots of light your way

  11. Marie says

    Like another reader said, you keep me sane and I am so grateful for your work. I am looking forward to your input on the therapy you’ll choose.

    • Tracy says

      Thanks Marie! I’m so happy I could help you… and yes, stay tuned to see how the energy therapy turns out… I will be going to see the woman I have in mind as soon as I can

  12. Leigh says

    I am so thankful for this website! When I get home after a long day at work feeling so terrible and embarassed about my skin, reading these posts and the responses for others makes me feel like i’m not alone. It’s so hard when no one around you suffers the same and I feel like they don’t understand. And no matter how clean and healthy my lifestyle is i’m still met with so much pain. Has anyone else experienced a huge breakout after coming off antibiotics, like still several months later? And was the acne worse than ever before?

    • Tracy says

      It really is hard to find someone who understands. If you feel supported here, than I’ve done my job :)… I’m so happy we can all feel like we can share here

  13. TB says

    Ive been dealing with the same problems as you :C my skin got clear from following a particular way of eating, the usual no irritating foods, low sugar, leafy greens etc. way to get clear skin. and it was like that for maybe 3-4 months until it broke out again and completely defeated me. Id get to the point of randomly crying in front of my family all the time if id start talking about it. I think that every time my skin breaks out though, it isnt becuase i eat something that i shouldnt or do something off track, but its my own minds fault. i think my mind manifests my skins acne. when i eat something like dairy or gluten and all i can think is “oh this isnt good for my skin, it could cause a breakout ..etc” whats actually happening is me telling myself to yes, break out. so recently ive been practicing affirmations, and eating whatever i feel like i want to eat and if it isnt what would be on the perfect diet, instead of freaking out about it, i just tell myself that it can not harm me, and that nothing can harm me. its been maybe 3 weeks of doing this now, and actually…my skin Has gotten better, without a restrictive diet to help me feel in control or safe. so maybe, just maybe its mind over matter?

    • Tracy says

      That’s great! I believe that I kind of manifest it too, or at least causing myself more anxiety over food than needed. I’ve been way slacker with my diet lately and so far it doesn’t seem to be making any real difference as to how much I break out… so being strict about food isn’t really all that useful, is it. I’m so happy that you’ve found a way to break that food anxiety and come out the other end better than before :) That’s so awesome…

    • demetra says

      TB,

      I’m really interested in what you’re describing…I’m trying to do something like that for my skin at the moment, but it’s really hard for me. Would you mind emailing me to talk about it? It’s demetra0309@aol.com. If that’s okay with you

  14. Bethany says

    I just stumbled across one of your videos on youtube and am very excited to read your ebook and follow your blog. I just turned 30 last week and the excitement and emotional turmoil that has created not to mention the fact that my skin has seemed to completely turn against me all of a sudden, has left me feeling really upset and down on myself. So when I found your video about hormone imbalances and acne because of it, I was ready to dance a jig. I was so frustrated because I try my best to eat very healthy and I am a yoga instructor so I exercise a lot and have lots of stress relief yet my skin has turned into this canvas of gross, painful blemishes. So needless to say I am again hopeful, ready to try out your advice and begin to fully enjoy the newness of being 30 and not feel trapped in a dilemma I though I left in my teen years

    • Tracy says

      Aw Bethany, Im sorry you have to ring in your 30s this way! I’m stoked that I’ve given you some hope though… there’s nothing better than some hope in a dark time. Im sending you lots of love on your new journey!!!

  15. Annie says

    I thought of you today as I struggled to make it through Day 3 of the peel-face weekend. Healing feels better than breaking out, but the clusters of red spots is heart-wrenching. It’s ironic that we are to muster the self-love and confidence in such a state. I found myself in tears, thinking, ‘but this isn’t me… How can I expect someone to love this face?’ And yet I reminded myself of this very very strange thing… I don’t ever feel differently about someone for what is on their face. I know it is not them. It’s so weird… But I cannot fathom that my boyfriend could love me while my face looks like that. I was apprehensive about going even to see my family this evening, wanting very much to postpone our dinner date until my face was healed properly and I could make them proud. But I have worked through the thoughts in my mind and find little resistance now to facing the world however I am. This will pass, and when I see it on the face of anyone else, I know it is not a permanent part of their soul.

    We are always changing, shedding skin. This is the mind-over-matter that is meaningful for me, but it is probably the single hardest lesson I’ve had to learn. It sure is taking a long long time.

    The hard thing, knowing that you could be so much happier without spots, becomes the blessing when you have super-strong self-love skills… but it isn’t weak self-love skills that causes acne, in my opinion; I think it probably just makes diet-related acne problems much much worse, especially over time as the trauma strengthens the stress response.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Annie, thanks for this comment.. I love that part about “This will pass, and when I see it on the face of anyone else, I know it is not a permanent part of their soul”.
      Good luck lovely… you are a strong lady! I’m proud you were able to work through those thoughts of your boyfriend or your family not loving you – those are tough thoughts to overcome – I know because i’ve definitely felt them!

  16. Caye says

    This made me cry. I know how you feel and I really admire you for putting yourself out there for us all to hear – I don’t think I’d ever be brave enough. When my skin was horrible, I used to envy people who only had a couple of small spots. Now that I’m pretty much clear as long as I control my diet, every little spot scares the hell out of me.

    I’m terrified of returning to that dark place where my self-esteem was so low. It doesn’t help that when my skin was bad, I was in an abusive relationship with a person who used my insecurities about my skin to make me feel like crap. Even though that person is long gone and I would never allow for that kind of mistreatment now, I guess I associate breakouts with having other people look down on me and feel like they’re better than me.

    I’m considering some kind of emotional therapy as well, because like you said…I’m just so freaking sick of this. My diet is also very high maintenance, but I can’t “just let go” because I have too many allergies and sensitivities – one little bite of something WILL bring up a cheek full of spots, regardless of my emotional state. So I live in this box of fear, afraid of food, afraid of spots and afraid of people who will look down on me for breaking out. I try hard to be happy and most days I do well, but it’s always there just under the surface.

    Please let us know what you think of any emotional counseling you receive. I hope it’s helpful for you. You’re a lovely, open person and your blog really makes me feel less alone. Thank you.

    • Tracy says

      Aw, Caye, thank you, and I’m giving you a great big virtual ehug.. I know what you mean about it being “just below the surface”… you can ignore it, but you know it’s gonna pounce at you sooner or later. I will surely update you and the blog when I start exploring the world of energy healing…

  17. Heather says

    Hi Tracy,

    This anxiety topic really hit home for me too. I had just been doing much better after “behaving perfectly” as far as diet, but got bad again recently after getting too short on sleep, feeling overworked and resentful about it, and having one of my occasional “nervous breakdowns.” (I don’t have any sort of clinically diagnosed issues, but every few months or so I have a crying spell and debate whether I can/should quit my job.)

    I just wanted to thank you for your site as well… I had never thought to explore the depths of how and when my problems began in the first place. I could never before understand how I’m such a mess but my older sisters’ skin is perfect, and now I think I get it… I had an entirely different teen life than they did. My problems began after they left for college, my mom became manic depressive, my dad was never home due to a new job, and we moved away, leaving my old life behind. I felt so, so alone and stressed out trying to adapt.

    Due to your site, some other recent reading, and my long experience with self-experimentation (I’m 34 now) I’m quite convinced that our skin’s behavior is due to a complex mixture of our genes, lifestyle and diet. Addressing one thing alone won’t solve the whole problem, but trying to achieve an overall balance of physical and mental health seems to be the best bet. Now, just how to actually manage that is the big challenge…

  18. Tyler says

    Hey Tracy, I like stopping by every now and then and commenting. Like the video I can relate. It is sad that we all, everybody not just acne suffers have problems (ours just manifest on the outside). I can relate to a lot of people here about restrictive ways of eating (I still believe in real food paleo but it is very hard for me to maintain in my environment). Sometimes I wish I never became “conscious” that food affects our health/skin when I did (2 years ago) because it led me down the rabbit hole of contradictory nutritional dogma. But I feel like I am at the “point of no return” and can’t unlearn all the nutrition/physiology of it all now and sadly I don’t look at food the same way, not sure if I ever will. I really really really want to be good to my body and eat the best things, but I can’t seem to do it while maintaining an active social life because everybody else doesn’t seem to value their health like the way I do. But then again, I don’t want to become apathetic and give up healthy eating entirely. I just want to find a natural BALANCE. Plus I am scared because I am starting college in the fall and we all know that story… My biggest problem is binge eating it is terrible and even when my skin clears up eating clean I feel anxiety the minute my diet slips, but if my skin is clear while my diet is crap I feel like I don’t deserve the clear skin because I have been eating junk and then it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Obviously I have a long way to go on my personal journey to health (physically, mentally, and spiritually). “He who conquers others is strong, he who conquers himself is mighty” Lao Tzu I need to learn to CONQUER myself, both my mental negative thought patterns and physical bodily cravings.

  19. Tracy says

    @ Heather and Tyler – I couldn’t agree more that healthy eating and living is not the only piece of the puzzle. It is only one aspect to being healthy, and emotional and spiritual health is so important to us and the health of our skin too… balance is the over all goal, but can be so tricky to find.. I wish you both lots of love, luck, and everything else good in this life! :)

  20. Adam says

    I came across your site by accident, but i’m glad did. I was shocked when I was simply looking up a way to wean myself of benzoyl peroxide (withdrawal process was leaving me with breakouts,)I came upon somebody else with polmpholyx/dyhdrotic eczema. Although I’ve had the condition since fourteen, I never had an even remotely serious outbreak since college. I began my college years on a campus meal plan, essentially overly processed and nutrient deficient meals. Although my acne never got worse, my(hand) eczema, which was unnoticeable to the world began to flare up immensely. The cause was most notably my comprised immune system, depressed by a terrible breakup and nutrient deficient food. Its been a year of struggling, and half a year of remission, all thanks to a healthier life style of nutritionally complete organic foods and running. I have no doubt the processed staple foods of the American diet are much to blame. I understand the anxiety that can plague skin conditions. Sadly, our government ties questionable ingredients to acquire quick results which will fuel our economy. These conditions are likely to remain uncurable in order to stimulate our economy. I want to thank you for guiding many in the correct direction for healing their skin conditions. For yourself, for you have done to others, you are beautiful, intelligent woman who has obviously grown from her suffering. If you hadn’t gone where you did in the past, you wouldn’t of been able to spread your new found knowledge to others. Thanks for reading.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Adam!
      Wow, sorry you went through the hand eczema thing too… it’s really sucky :/ I mean at least it’s not like acne where it’s all over your face, and really obvious to everyone else… but having painful sores on your hand… just… hurts! You don’t realize how sacred your hands are until they are in pain. I’m so happy you have found that you are able to keep it in remission, as I have. !! Thanks for visiting the Love Vitamin, I’m glad you found me :)

  21. trish says

    so this video is totally legit and clicked some things for me. see, people know i have acne and i clearly know i do and its not like i have some disease that people dont like to talk about. but when it comes to acne i dont talk about it with other people, like its something i will never bring up and if people do i vear off subject. its something i just never discuss. and it makes sense that it may be something thats not helping my skin to keep it bottled inside. i am one to always keep my emotions on the inside, ive just grown up having issues when its comes to the f word (feelings, eeek). so maybe if i find someone i can openly talk to it might help me out. yes i think its a good idea!!
    thank you so much tracy, you’re absolutely amazing

    • Tracy says

      I used to never ever EVER discuss acne with anyone, since it was like an admission to the world of not being perfect, which wasn’t cool with me. I feel a huge sense of relief from being “out of the acne closet” when it comes to admitting to friends/boyfriends/whoever that I have this problem. Bottled emotions aren’t too healthy! They seem to just build and build… if you can work up the courage to discuss it with someone you trust, I would recommend it. I hope you can find someone who understands, or at least tries to

  22. Mike says

    Thank you for your video regarding some of the emotional scars and pain of having acne. I’m over 50 and have suffered with fairly bad to mild acne/rosacia for 35+ years. It really has effected my whole life in negative ways. Mostly I suppose just not wanting to interact a lot because of never knowing when I’ll look bad. Honestly, I have not adopted the complete “whole foods” practice but would like to. Anyways thanks for sharing- it does help to hear others. You are wonderful & thanks for the site.

  23. k says

    i know exactly how you feel. it’s funny that this video popped up now because i recently went through the same thing. i just went on a backpacking trip with my boyfriend (who doesn’t know about my skin insecurities) and i told myself that i would not wear makeup the entire time. and i didn’t, which i am so proud of! but the whole time i had this anxiety cloud looming over me and i would think about my skin at the weirdest times. I have been on medication for anxiety before but stopped because i didn’t feel like taking a pill forever was the way to go about things. i’ve cured my acne for the most part with a new cleansing routine, but it’s my rosacea that is really difficult emotionally to deal with. so thank you for the video i really appreciate all of your insight

    • Tracy says

      Unfortunately, it’s always the emotions that are the most difficult to get rid of! I hope you still had a great time backpacking, despite all the anxiety..

  24. Hannah says

    Tracy, you are right. Every acne sufferer goes through this, I know I do. The only person I’ve shared these feelings with are my boyfriend but it’s like what you said, they sympathize but don’t really understand. He’s surprised that these little spots bother me so much, and I had to explain to him, its not just the spots, it’s the fear and history of it. The psychological trauma that it has given me, the shame, the embarrassment, the frustration and stress. And every time I look in the mirror that’s what I’m reminded of. Like you, my acne has toned down considerably and I have gained control of it through diet and products, but sometimes it seems like no matter what I do I’m not satisfied. I am happy that I no longer break out like I use to, but at the same time I feel guilty that I’m not more grateful.

    But I’m also comforted that there are others that feel the same way as I do, and I’m hopeful that if we can all acknowledge it, we can also be bigger than it. As they say, the only way to get rid of fear is to confront it and I’m proud that we are doing just that.

    • Tracy says

      It’s a really hard balance to achieve, isn’t it? I too feel so blessed that I don’t have acne like I used to… it’s hard not to put yourself down for getting all worked up over something that seems so silly, but it is really is simply what it reminds us of every time we see it. It’s hard to let the emotional connection go.

  25. Laura says

    Acne really does affect us emotionally. How could it not? We feel it, and we see it. It doesn’t feel good, and it doesn’t look good. And the ones who suffer from this skin condition for prolonged periods of time are the ones most susceptible to emotional damage. I’ve personally had mild, average, and severe acne throughout the past 5 years. Though sometimes I have those moments when it really doesn’t seem so bad. Something that has always stuck with me ever since I read your blog was that “life is ever-changing. Everything in life has a beginning, a middle, and an end.” I don’t know why, but remembering that just makes everything so much easier, especially on those really bad days. I know that no matter what, my skin will never stay as bad as I think it is. :) Keep your chins up!
    Love, Laura.

  26. Perkins says

    You are incredible. Like everybody else has said, I am so grateful for your blog. Beyond your wonderful, honest writing and videos like this, it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone! The Love Vitamin has fostered this amazing sense of community amongst all of us who follow it–where would we be without you, Tracy? :)

  27. Diane says

    Hi tracy
    I totally understand what you mean in your video.People who never had real acne dont understand how “emotionally loaded” small pimples can be to us, when you skin goes from clear to so-so. I am always terrified a few pimples means everything will go downhill and my acne will go back to it’s worst possible state.

    To Eva.
    I too purchased Louise Hay”s book. I like her affirmations, and although i dont see huge improvement in my skin yet, ( it is in a so-so stage right now), i feel it helps me with the emotional side of it when i feel like i will lose my mind!

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