On the morning of my first day of high school I woke up with the first of many severe acne breakouts, and it felt to me like the end of the world was at hand. For my first two years of high school, just getting out of bed was hell. To survive at school, I took no risks, kept my head low, and reached out to no one.

In my junior year, the strain of hiding became too great, and I moved myself into some self-expression. I wrote for a school newspaper, ran for student office, and auditioned for a school play.

To my shock, I got the lead!

Landing the starring role in a comedy, I was to play an awkward teenager with a face full of pimples, few social skills, and zero dates.

In other words, myself!

When I took a more thorough look at the script I seriously considered backing out. I had to say things like “Damn these zits! I’ll never get a girl interested in me!” and “If anyone knew just how scared I was, they would laugh or throw up. Or both!”

This would not be acting, but a harsh reality show of the most embarrassing kind, a cruel form of social suicide. The only thing more terrifying than doing the play would be everyone in school knowing exactly why I backed out. I had to follow through.

My performance turned out to be a big breakout hit. For the first time in life, breaking out was a good thing. Even more surprising was how much I enjoyed it, and how I felt myself relaxing and lightening up about my pimply predicament.

When the play was over I had fewer secrets, and almost overnight became a visible and popular person in the school. I was invited to parties, given compliments, and approached by people – even female people!

Within a week of doing the play, I woke up to something major staring back at me from the mirror: a clear complexion!

In breaking out of an emotional prison, somehow my face stopped breaking out.

How has the mind-body connection showed up in your life?

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