Beginning at 12, I internalized a truth I came to see as universal: Extroverts were better than introverts. I was on the losing team. I was the unfrosted side of a Frosted Mini-Wheat.
I lost my period the way other women lose their car keys, not once or twice, but habitually. I kept losing it, because I have spent most of my life dangerously underweight, struggling with anorexia of varying levels of intensity from 11 to 20. Getting my period meant I was healthy. And that was the problem. I didn’t want to be healthy, I wanted to be skinny. And I wanted to be skinny more than I wanted to be anything else. When I was 11, a friend asked me what super power I wanted. I told her I wanted to be invisible.
The Acne Years
What I know is that having acne stays with you like PTSD. It doesn’t matter how good my skin has gotten, because a woman who used to have acne is little more than a woman who used to have ACNE.