Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Learning to Love My Flaws

Imagine stumbling upon an ant nest and the ants swarming out of the colony. Imagine that happening on my face.

I've been suffering from some serious breakouts since April, a few months after I arrived in Sydney. It's the worst I've ever had. It's like the acne CEO landed on my face and went woohoo this face is a nice place mate lets grow our kingdom here!

Since then my face has never been the same as before. I'll wake up to red huge bumps here and there every day. At first I was steady about it as I thought who never had acne? I went for facial, googled about products, natural remedies, diet; did various things I can afford to combat the acne army. I even start positive-talking to my face hahahaha.
But weeks and months later it didn't get any better and in fact, it got so bad that I decided to see a doctor (who gave me some cream to apply- I was suspected by a dermatologist earlier that I might be allergic to pollen). All these desperate attempts and efforts, yet my face doesn't seem to get any better. 

I remember once I was teaching the colour 'red' in one of my Mandarin classes to a group of 3-4 years old, and I asked my kids to show me what are some of the things that are 'hong se' (red) in our surroundings. As they excitedly look around...
'the table! we have a hong se table'
'There there, the book is hong se!'
And one of my kids happily point at me and said 'And your face! Your face is hong se too!'
HAHAHAHAHA that's how bad my face was! I love them nevertheless okay😂


Suffering this crazy change on my face had a crushing impact on my self-esteem and confidence.
I started avoiding mirrors, no selfies, and it just felt so hard to face people. I became sensitive to people's jokes about my acne and it feels like there's a tiny monster growing in me, controlling my emotions with what I thought others will think about me. It was so overwhelming that I don't even feel quite like myself anymore. 

I'm not drunk as I type this. But I think I've had enough of shying away from my acne and I can't be freaking bothered anymore.😎 Gotta face this fear upright and learn to truly accept that the scars left behind are a part of me. Funny it took me so long to reach this realisation that I still can be freaking beautiful even with my acnes okay. Paiseh a bit bu yao lian hahaha😝 

But yes, it's time for that piece of confidence to come home. 

We all know what people say about inner beauty is far more important than outer beauty. But the truth is one's perception towards own appearance has a significant say on their self-concepts, how they think and present about themselves. I guess the toughest thing about combating the mental and emotional 'damages' caused by serious acne is having to constantly pick myself up and slowly build on that missing piece, got shot down and try to tell myself it's alright it'll be fine again.

And here's a shoutout to my dear friends who have given me thoughtful and kind encouragements. 💓 It means a lot to know that our acne don't scare you away and they don't change what you think about us as much as we thought they would. Trust me it's crazy how suffering from severe acne can impact one's mentality.

When Johan came over to visit, we were taking wefies in front of the opera house but I burst into tears the next second I saw our photos. I remember him trying very hard to explain how okay it was that now I look different and it doesn't matter. Took me a while to digest that but right, who worries about the crooked shape of a Musang King when they know it's still the same golden flesh inside. 

And I'm learning to love these flaws. 

Haven't been taking proper selfies in a while and I took one yesterday after my workout, smiling.
28th November. in the midst of recovering. 

Phew! That took me a lot of courage!


Now if you have any friends suffering from severe acne, know that they are doing their best to fight acne. They might be having a tough battle inside against the confidence monster, hence your genuine and kind thoughts will be very much appreciated.

And last to the writer of this piece, that's a huge leap. Keep going! 



  1. I have been fighting with acne since teenage year and still fighting with it now ! :( Only those who have / had the same problem will know. I totally understand your feeling right now. After reading your post, I feel I have more courage to face the acne problem. Life still goes on. :)

    1. Hello, i agree with you that only those who've been through will understand how it truly feels. Hugs for you. It will get better! <3