October 10, 2019

7 years later, I help others learn to love themselves

Grace Nesbitt @anotheracnepage

At XQ, we value student voice and storytelling. That’s why we create spaces like our blog for young people to share their truth and tell their stories. Today for Mental Health Awareness Day, we’re featuring a special guest blog from Grace Nesbitt, who worked so hard to find her inner-confidence as a high school student.

My alarm goes off at 6:45 am. I walk to the bathroom to get ready for the day.

As the water trickles down my face, it starts to turn red. Suddenly I find myself crying.

And now I know the day has finally begun.

My dad drives me to the bus stop as I hold a warm rag to my face to stop the bleeding.

“Don’t make me go in today, dad,” I plead as the bus pulls up.

“You have to go, Grace, you already missed too much last week,” he replies.

So I unbuckle and walk out the door. My legs begin to shake as I embark on another day of school where I feel like no one understands me. 

Taylor Swift blasts in my ears as I try to escape my reality for just a moment. In my head, I’m singing and laughing and dancing around with my friends. But in reality I have to stay silent in order to control myself from bursting into tears.   

I run to the bathroom as soon as I arrive to check on my face and reapply the makeup I smudged from the warm rag. 

When I get to homeroom, my friends are all laughing and talking about the drama that happened the day before. But I’m too afraid to speak, so I sit at my desk silently listening to my iPod.  

Period one goes by. Then two. Then three. Finally, lunch. I’m starving but the thought of eating makes me feel sick. My skin is so bad that any movement in my face could burst a cyst. And I am terrified of gaining any weight. So I sit in a teacher’s classroom for lunch with a few friends and claim that there is a lot of work I need to catch up on.

Fourth period starts. The teacher calls on me to answer a question. By now I haven’t spoken all day because of my skin but I don’t have the option to be silent now. I answer as softly as I can but it was already too late. I can feel the blood dribbling down my face and quickly I reach for the bathroom pass.

 Now I’m hiding in a stall, crying, holding a paper towel to my face. When people come in, I try not to make a sound. Once the bathroom is clear I check on my skin in the mirror. The bleeding has finally stopped.

Once the final bell rings, I walk out with my head low so no one can see me tearing up as the cold air burns my raw face.

No one knows what I am going through.

No one knows how much pain I am in.

No one understands what it’s like.  

I feel so alone.

I don’t even know why I am here.

I feel like I am suffocating on my own pain.

View this post on Instagram

I feel like I only show you the photos where I’m happy. But tbh most of the time I’m not always a happy go lucky gal. I usually look more like the second photo when I’m not having a good day. If you’re not aware I suffer from depression. For the past 5 years it has controlled my life. I’ve lost people over it, I’ve missed out on amazing opportunities, and I’ve done some shit I have yet to forgive myself over. I don’t talk about me being sad because for a long time I was the “sad girl” even though now I’m doing so much better with it. . . . . But I’m still sad a lot. I cry everyday. Sometimes a happy cry sometimes a bad one. Sometimes I’m super sensitive and can’t watch tv. Sometimes I lose my temper and don’t recognize myself. Sometimes my thoughts make me believe no one likes me. Sometimes I beat myself up for the things I’ve said or done. Sometimes anxiety takes over and I can’t leave the house. Or sometimes…something as little as clicking on this app makes me depressed. I’ve been working on boundaries and in order to keep up with my mental health I need to take breaks. I’ve learned that putting myself first is what I need sometimes in order to feel better. I don’t really know the reason for this post. And if you’ve gotten this far I love and appreciate you. Just know that behind every social media page is a real person going through real life shit. And it’s more than okay to not always be ok💛

A post shared by Grace🦋 (@anotheracnepage) on

Fast forward 7 years later.

I don’t cry in stalls anymore.

I don’t feel alone.

Instead, I help others learn to love themselves as they are.

I show them they are not alone and that being vulnerable is a sign of strength, not weakness.

The world may seem against you when you feel like you are the only one standing in your corner. But I promise you that there are so many out there who know exactly what it feels like to be going through what you are going through. Sometimes you need to let people in to feel free.

Grace Nesbitt

Grace Nesbitt is a 23-year-old from Philadelphia who has suffered with cystic acne since she was in high school. But after years of struggling with her skin, she has shared her story on social media and gone out bare-faced for the first time, in order to inspire others to find inner confidence.



"The world may seem against you when you feel like you are the only one standing in your corner. But I promise you that there are so many out there who know exactly what it feels like to be going through what you are going through."

"Being vulnerable is a sign of strength, not weakness."

"I help others learn to love themselves as they are."

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