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Lily19 , 05 Mar 2013

Anxiety and stress driving me mad, but still day 8, no pick.

Today I feel as if tomorrow I will fail. When I wash my face, I'm starting to become aware of the bumps on my face. It drives me crazy. I want to pick at them but I know fighting the urge wil reward me far more than the crying, scarring, and hopelessness that comes from picking. I think I'm so afraid of failure that it will drive right to its brink. I need to breathe. *Breathe*. And remember this is for me, not for "not picking." This week will put me to the test. With two essays, a midterm, and my great monthly gift, I'm already on eage. I feel vunerable. Stress is the culprit of my picking, and it's lurking around the corner as I speak. It's in the pit of my stomach, growing larger with each passing moment I don't study, don't start my essay, and possibly don't earn perfect grades. It's hard to breathe easily when stress and anxiety wrap me. But I want to. I want to breathe easier. I want to wake up tomorrow and see that clear face I've been seeing every morning. I can't begin to take that for granted. And I will try my hardest not to.
2 Answers
March 05, 2013
You remind me of myself so much, except you are doing far better than I am. Stress from school is a HUGE reason why I pick. You are doing awesome, just keep being strong!! I honestly can't tell you the last time I've gone 8 days straight without any picking. Unfortunately I start doing it subconsciously sometimes and then all of a sudden I noticed im picking at myself. It's like my hands have a mind of their own sometimes. I'm seeing a CBT therapist and I'll give you some tips that he's given me so far: -Keep a log. Write down your feelings about picking and why you want to pick. Just get it all out. sometimes when you write stuff out it helps you to rationalize and realize picking will not help your situation -Put bandaids/tape/gloves on your hands -Try to avoid the mirror. I know that one is kind of almost impossible, but try not to focus or stare too long. -Get something to hold to keep your hands busy. I use a stress ball at home and a paper clip when I'm out and about because it's more discrete. -Do something, anything to keep yourself distracted. Be it studying, hanging out with friends, taking a walk. Just try to find something to take your mind off picking. -Find other outlets to reduce stress. My personal favorite is taking a bath with the lights off and candles lit so I can really see any pick marks on my body. I put lavender oil in the water, which has a calming effect. My therapist has also suggested yoga and meditation, but I personally find baths far more relaxing -Sometimes a good, strenuous work out can help get out extra energy and anxiety. -Every day you go with out picking, give your self a little treat. It doesn't have to be big, it can just be a nice glass of wine or something small like that. -Instead of focusing on the negative focus on the positive. Going 8 days straight is a HUGE accomplishment. Give yourself credit for how well you are doing. -Instead of telling yourself "don't pick" try to just not think about picking at all. My therapist calls this the "red button effect". If someone keeps telling you "don't press the red button" over and over again, sometimes it makes you want to press it even more! If you find yourself thinking about it, try to stop and think about something else. Think about something that makes you happy, be it a favorite book or movie, a funny joke you heard, a special time you had with a lover or friends. -If you have a friend that knows about your skin picking and is supportive, try to use them as extra support. If you feel like picking you can call them and they can help to distract you. I hope this helps. Stay strong. <3 *Also, I'm not sure if you see a psychiatrist, but I have a prescription for Ativan that I take when my picking and anxiety is REALLY bad, like to the point where I feel like I'm going mad. I don't take it every day, just as needed, when things are really bad. You might be able to get a prescription if you voice that anxiety is a main reason why you pick and you need something to calm you down. Please note that this is not a cure, more so something to help you along the way. For non-pharmaceuticals I like drinking camomile tea, aromatherapy, such a smelling lavender which I mentioned before, breathing exercises. They also have Kava Kava supplements, which are made from the roots of the Kava Kava plant. It is a natural/homeopathic remedy for anxiety. Although you can buy this over the counter, there can still be side effects you should know about: "Several adverse interactions with drugs have been documented, both prescription and nonprescription – including, but not limited to, anticonvulsants, alcohol, antianxiety medications (CNS depressants such as benzodiazepines), antipsychotic medications, levodopa, diuretics, and drugs metabolized by the liver." (that is from the kava wiki page: so be sure not to mix kava with any of those drugs listed if you do decide to try it. I personally have never tried Kava since I have a prescription for Ativan, but my friend swears by it.
March 06, 2013

In reply to by ahistoryofabuse

@ahistoryofabuse: Holy moley, I think you just answered my prayers. Your comment was exactly want I needed, what I have been trying to tell myself for the past two days. I guess sometimes we just need to hear it from other people. I appreciate everything you said. I love how you talk about being positive - isn't it crazy how easy it is to talk positive to other people but we fault to give positive thoughts to ourselves? I love meditation and do it often, and also have essential oils and what not. Sometimes, when I'm really busy, I start to see working out and meditatoin as a duty instead of a stress reliever. Hopefully as I continue this journey, I will overcome that and revel in the fact that I'm there, feeling good, and relieving stress. Basically,I just have to realize this is a hard week and not take it out on myself. It will pass! I think I'm going to copy and paste this comment so I can come back to it anytime I'm feeling like I might start to take my accomplishments for granted. Thank you times a million, and I wish you the upmost best on your journey. Because that's what it's really about - a challenging, long journey of learning how to find and love the beauty in every part of us.

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