Thank goodness I found this website... I have felt so alone and weird with my CSP for so long, and now I've been on here for hours reading stories, and I feel so much better. I've hardly picked at all this whole morning! :]
My CSP is centered only on my bottom lip. I know that is no where near as bad as a lot of all you have it, but it is still a problem, and I am still embarrassed about it. It started about 5 years ago, when I was 13. I used to have really chapped lips and would just peel the excess skin off. No big... it would always heal by like, the end of the day, and it was only a teeny spot. However, it continued to get worse and worse - I kept doing it more and more, and now I don't have a high school memory where my bottom lip wasn't just a huge scab. It's so embarrassing... people ask me, "what happened to your lips?" or "uh, your lip is bleeding..." all disgusted and weirded out, and it makes me feel terrible. It also makes it difficult to do certain things with my mouth painlessly, like kissing my boyfriend or anything that involves stretching my lips. I feel like such a weirdo and I'm full of shame for what I do. I try to combat my CSP by putting Vaseline on my lips every night before I go to sleep, but that typically just makes the scab really soft and easy to pick off in the morning :/ I also try to cover my lips with lipstick, which actually works pretty well as long as I keep applying it... but when I forget, it dries my lips a lot and makes me want to pick at them more.
There are periods of time when I have enough willpower to stop for a couple weeks, and each time that happens, I'm always so stoked and tell myself "never again," but of course, it does happen again eventually. I don't do it because I'm stressed... I just do it. The only way I am forced to stop is by getting acrylic nails, but I can't afford to get them all the time and they make it too difficult for me to play guitar.
It kills me to read some stories on here about people who are in their 30's and have been picking for 15 years or so... I never want to end up like that. I want to stop so bad. I'm also scared that eventually it won't just be my lips, but I will move on to other parts of my face and body. I used to take scissors, pins, razor blades or toenails clippers and cut off the calloused skin on my finger tips and on my feet for a good portion of my childhood and adolescence (which has stopped inexplicably), so I know it's possible. I'm lucky to not have acne, because when I do get a pimple, I pick the hell out of it. Even if I get a pimple on my back that I can't reach, I make someone else pop it for me because I can't stand the thought of it being there.
It's very cathartic in itself just to write my story out and feel like someone will be empathetic, but if anyone has any advice on how to help me stop, I would greatly appreciate your input. Thanks so much for reading what I had to say; it means a lot :]