It’s been a million years since I’ve updated this blog, I know. Life (finishing grad school, a new internship, interviewing for jobs, trying my best to stay as mentally stable as possible) gets in the way.
In late March I started to break out a lot and relapse into skin picking. I had no idea what was causing the flare-up, and in a sudden, desperate attempt to get my skin under control, I started using a facial cleanser with salicylic acid. After a week, not only did the acne get worse, but my skin was so dry and stripped of its natural oils that I saw wrinkles on my face! And I was only using the cleanser once a day–not twice, like the back of the bottle recommended.
Other things were going out of whack besides my skin. My moods were doing really fun (not) roller-coaster ride dips. Ecstatic one day, bitchy the next. I felt bloated and hungrier than usual and no, I wasn’t near my period. The urge to pick became so intense that I had to resort back to putting make-up on with a small, compact mirror. The icing on the cake was when my eyes were dry, itching, and burning. They would randomly tear up at the most inconvenient times.
My first instinct was to go out to Walgreens and buy a bunch of shit to put on my skin. My OCD brain spent a good day obsessively researching the best products on the internet before my rational, logical brain stepped in to shut it up. I took a step back and breathed.
Since the end of April my skin has been on the mend. I still don’t know what caused my mind, body, and skin to take a vacation, but I think I have a pretty good idea: Spring! More specifically, Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Unfortunately, for those of us who are sensitive to basically everything on earth, even the most minute changes can turn out to be catastrophic. In addition to all my other lovely ailments, I also have Seasonal Affective Disorder (though who doesn’t up north, right?). Most people get happier in spring. Their skin clears up, they lose that winter weight, etc. More light = positive chemical changes in the brain.
But everyone’s body chemistry is unique and different. For example, instead of gaining weight in the winter, I tend to lose it simply because I have trouble eating when I’m depressed or stressed out. This means that as spring comes on and my mood tends towards the happy end of the scale, I start eating more and gain weight–right before bikini season.
I am actually quite energetic, happy, and stable right now, but there were a few good weeks of bouncing back and forth between crying, anger, and ecstasy before I reached this point. The intense relapses simply meant that my brain was adjusting serotonin levels to the light and warm weather. The burning, itchy eyes were seasonal allergies. The acne flare-up was my hormones leveling out. Given that we had such a hard winter here, I think it makes sense that my transition into spring this year would be more difficult than previous years.
To assist me with my transition, I purchased a few supplements (evening primrose oil and borage seed oil) to balance out my hormones, and stocked up on my multivitamins. After taking all of them regularly for a week and getting in some exercise, I feel much better.
Moral of the story: be aware of when the seasons are changing, and take care of yourself accordingly. All my love.