I think I kinda get how you feel, because I had really terrible acne once, it started at about 11 and just got worse and worse...

Anyway, I'm not so sure about this PROACTIV thing, because all I know of it are commercials on TV with Avril Lavigne saying this and that and I normally don't take products like that seriously, but it might be good.
The one thing that I can really recommend you is

...because first a professional will find a product that's right for YOUR skin, second you'll know who to turn to if you have problems (there can be side effects to the real stuff, just saying) and third, it WILL work because if not...you're in the US, sue the sucker

btw I used CURACNE, but I think you can't get it anymore in the US.