‘Probably because of your acne.’

mirrors

I think I was on holiday in Cornwall when I got my first spot. I think I was about 12, although I might have been younger. I’m pretty sure it was on my chin, in the middle, right underneath my bottom lip.

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It will always upset me that one of my clearest memories of my grandpa – who was so many brilliant things, and is totally disserviced by this one moment that’s crystallised in my brain – is of him asking me, loudly, ‘when are you going to get rid of all those spots then’?

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At some point in my late teens, I noticed I had a large bump on the side of my neck, near my jawline, just underneath my ear. I asked a family friend who’s also a GP (and who’s always the best at calmly dealing with my ‘am I a freak?’ medical questions) what it was. He had a quick look and told me it was a raised gland. ‘Probably because of your acne.’

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