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hopeful , 10 Jan 2011

new and feeling blue but looking to kick this habit!

I’m new to this forum – i hoped someday to wake up and not bother about picking my face anymore but now i know, from reading these posts that its a real problem that is going to be very hard to ignore. I’m 39 years old and have been picking squeezing and gouging the skin on my face for as long as i remember prob 30 years. I did get a few spots from time to time but otherwise if i left it alone my skin would’ve been lovely. I say ‘would’ve’ as i’m not sure now if i can reverse the damage done now. I have scars (deep scars and surface scars), blemishes, marks and pigmentation on my skin and now some lines too just to make it worse! I googled this yesterday as i had been doing so well but yesterday morning the sun was very strong and showed up all kinds of things on my face when i looked in the mirror- in a trance like state spent approx 3 hrs at my face i felt so wretched afterwards i put on a facemask and eventually washed it off and tried to cover the damage with make-up and concealer. Lucky i didn’t have to go anywhere yesterday but wasted a whole day and felt so ashamed and low. I actually would use the word ‘depressed’ as i really wasn’t happy with myself at all. Today i’ve take a day off work as my skin is still sore and i feel i need to deal with this and get over myself. Hence writing this out. Its the first time i’ve written about my problem. Growing up we all did it in the family- 5 girls-i know some sisters do it still but i seem to be the worst. I’m the one with the scars. Although my other sisters have/had different emotional problems ranging from anorexia to alcoholism/depression. From this you’d think it was something that happened in the family. My parents were strict and hardworking – they fought alot and there was never a display of love or affection. Despite this me and my siblings (4 sis 2 bro) got on well and always had fun. I don’t know what to do – i’m hoping to conquer this myself. Once about 5 years ago i went to see a therapist. For me it was such a hard thing to do. When i got there i was left waiting in the waiting room unbeknown to the therapist. I was a nervous wreck by the time i went in. I cried all the way through the session and felt like a basket case basically. I would consider some sort of therapy again but cant seem to find anything that would be appropriate for this problem. From what i’ve read – cbt – sounds like what is needed. I’ve sabotaged relationships in the past because of my skin obsession and only lately feel like its happening again with my marriage. My husband is patient and sensible but i don’t expect him to put up with this. I suspect if he knew i did what i do(if you know what i mean) before we got married (although i did try to tell him) we might have not got hitched. You see other than this (skin picking) i am really nice, fun, good looking(under makeup)and am talented as a designer. I can do such great work with my hands but also sabotage too. There are times when i don’t go at my face and everything in life is fantastic. I’m gonna post this eventhough i know its a bit waffly but its getting a bit long and i need to put it out there anon and i’m going to save this in a folder, date it and write some more on a new page – good or bad- but really hoping to get control of this. Thanks for reading this – sorry its more of an outpouring than good writing! Lets try help each other x
3 Answers
January 11, 2011
I do not think your post was "waffly" at all. I can relate with most of what you spoke about and I suspect the majority of the folk on this forum can as well. I just wanted to say thank you for posting. Don't be ashamed of yourself. You are obviously aware of your talents and you're better than this condition. It is not you, don't let picking define your life. (That sounds like a terrible paraphrasing of some fortune cookie I once got at a bad Chinese restaurant.) Outpouring is a good thing at this point. I should take my own advise, eh? :-)
January 11, 2011

In reply to by Liberty5-3000

Thanks Liberty. You're right 'its not me' and i will try not let it become me. Its good to get this out in the open for once and for all instead of it playing on my mind. I was trying to think there while i was coming home in the car that maybe because we do it so secretly - picking that is - that thats part of the attraction? I If somebody ordered me to 'go in to the bathroom and pick your face for an hour' and kept on at me to do it - i dont think i'd have any desire to do it at all! In fact i think i'll try take that perspective and see does it work! i'll try anything;)
January 13, 2011

In reply to by hopeful

I think that sounds like a good starting point. If it works for you, then by all means, do it. I'm one of those people that will do the opposite of what I'm told to do, so maybe I'll try on your perception also. For the last two days I have been able to avoid picking when I look in the mirror. I removed the tweezers from the bathroom and put them in a closet on another floor of the house. :-) I also used some prescription cortisone on the areas to speed the healing on my face. (Yeah, I know I should not use cortisone on my face, but I'm a little desperate right now.) When I catch myself in front of the mirror, inspecting for a target, I have been able to pull back from that impulse. I will look myself in the eyes and say something to the affect of "What do you think you're doing? Look at the damage that you've done, and how long it will take to heal. Don't go back there!" Even with all of that, I can not say I've had a full no-pick day because I have continued to attack my legs and back. Though I catch myself doing it now and do the whole talk-yourself-up/down routine. I do have a lot of allergies and have passed this off as such for a VERY long time. I suppose fessing up to some people and telling them what I am doing will help me to quit. I'm pretty sure if I do that I'll straighten up. I'm also fairly sure they are privy to what is going on anyway as this is very hard to hide from the world, particularly those whom you live with and those who love you. I also have some clothing I'd love to wear again some day. That might take a miracle though due to scarring. Perhaps you have some things you'd like to wear and can't because of this? I've heard of dieters hanging a favorite outfit out so they can see it as motivation for their endeavor. Do you find inspirational quotes helpful? Maybe using the sticky-notes to post words and phrases around yourself (on the mirrors of your bathroom, bedroom, car, make-up compact, etc.) will be of use to your psyche. If you work on a computer during the day you can put post-it's on the monitor, and even on your screen-saver's marquee setting. Inspirational quotes and sticky-notes seem to be a popular item on the forums. I'm still finding my footing on this path and expect there will probably be some large stumbling stones a long the way. Finding the right tools to assist in the journey is part of the process. Not every person can use the same tool. Hope you have a wonderful day and create many beautiful things with your hands! :-)

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