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  • Ashley Carlstrom

Honesty Hour: Accutane Edition

'Twas the night before I started my Accutane journey and all through the house, no anxiety was felt, not even an...

Who am I kidding? I'm genuinely filled with anxiety and fear at this moment! I have one final appointment tomorrow before I begin a medication I swore I would never take. For three years, I prayed that my skin would heal itself holistically, but here I am still struggling. I am hopeful that this is the final chapter of my story with acne. I know the fear and uncertainty will be forgotten once I reach the end of this; once I finally know what clear complexion feels like.

To know me well is to know how tumultuous acne has proven to be on my self-image. While I know every woman struggles with their confidence, adding acne to my already persistent body-image struggles only heightened my insecurity. But somehow through this process, I have learned to accept myself as I am, as I appear. I pray every woman reading this learns to do the same.

The obvious reality is I hope I don't have acne as severe as I do now once these six months are over. But while the evidence on my face will be gone, the evidence in my heart will definitely remain. As cliche as it sounds, the road my skin has taken me down has completely shaped who I am- a woman who strives for confidence, radiance, and transparency. I honestly wouldn't trade my experience for the world. I have come to learn how to enjoy life's greatest moments despite the constant presence and discomfort of acne. I have figured out how to maximize my heart and improve my inner-self to compensate for the insecurity I felt externally. But yet, I have also realized that no matter how hard I try, how many rounds of Accutane I may go on, how hard I workout, I will always want to look better. We all do.

And that is the truth, friends. I know we already know this, but let me remind us all: we focus more on what we don't have than what we actually do. I have no doubts that once I finish Accutane, I will find another part of my body that I am insecure about, another part of myself that I will want to change and this time I am positive that there won't be a solution as simple as Accutane to fix it. We must rejoice with what we have, what we take pride in, and the smile we see staring back in the mirror. If you are lucky to have a functioning body, a body that allows you to dance, walk, run, jump, and see the world, you're already more fortunate than most. Be thankful for the body you do have, rather than the body you don't.

With all that to say, starting Accutane will help combat one of the most destructive insecurities I have faced. I am confident that I will always continue defining my confidence, especially as I embark on this journey over the next half of a year. I remind myself daily that I am so much more than my physical appearance; I am so much more than the external. We are all more than what we look like.

I feel excited but nervous. I feel anxious but hopeful. I feel uncertain but eager. I feel a lot of things this "Accutane-eve" as I call it, but one thing I feel more than anything? The comfort and solace of Jesus.

I know you may not be starting Accutane or struggling with acne, but I know there is something in your life that is as crippling as acne has been for me. Whatever that may be, I want you to find Him. I often imagine Him saying "Come to me, my sweet child. Lay it at my feet. I am always protecting and guarding you. In both the darkness of the of storm and the light of the sunshine, I am with you."

He is with me. He is with you. He is going before each and every one of us, paving a clear road to the destination He has intended for us. Right now, the road I'll be on with Accutane looks pretty dang bumpy and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared, but with Jesus, I know He will clear every rock for me. I have a feeling it's going to be a lot smoother than I expect. Let's do this thing!


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