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anonymous20 , 15 Apr 2011

Success story...maybe it will give you hope.

Over a year ago, I joined this site in desperation. I did not know what I had was a disease. When I was 16, I started picking at the skin on my face when my family made a big move in my life. I didn't have much to do, I was severely depressed, and I had a lot of anxiety. That's when the picking began. Before the picking became severe, I had always picked a little bit. I think the problem started when I started to break out with more acne due to stress and normal teenage hormones. I hated how I had to cake my face in makeup and people would make rude comments to me. What was I supposed to tell them? I felt very insecure and the picking was just a viscous cycle, as some of you have mentioned. There would be good periods and bad periods. During the bad periods, I became a makeup expert. However, in worst case scenarios, where makeup didn't help, I became a recluse. I still managed to have boyfriends and guys like me. All were oblivious to my problem. My ex boyfriend, though, was extremely physically and emotionally abusive. I can say that the skin picking was bad during this relationship because of my stress from him. I finally left the abusive relationship. I was alone but determined to change my life. I don't know what happened, but I just got so sick of degrading my skin. I never wanted to feel embarrassment because of my face again. I started seeing another guy and it was hard to pick when he was around. This helped. I started making changes. When I got out of the shower, I would not stay and look at the mirror. I started taking out my anxiety by exercising and running. While my skin is not perfect, I was so happy when this past March I could finally go swimming at a hotel and have no shame about showing my face without makeup!! I am not perfect, but the point it I have learned to stop myself. Today, I got out of the bathroom, and popped a few whiteheads. I stopped. Every day is a struggle, but the feeling of freedom is so much better than the feeling I get from picking. Its so nice to take a shower with my boyfriend and not have to hide my face. I do have my bad days, but I try every single day. I feel like that is somewhat of a success. I am putting this up here to say that you can overcome it, but for everybody it takes something different. In all honesty, I do not know what the breaking point for me was. I think with this disorder we see flaws that aren't really there. That's why the picking is so easy. I think when I see all of my pores clogged it is SO horrible, but in truth, it is not. And in truth, nobody is looking that close to your face. And if they are, who cares? Their pores are probably just as clogged. One thing that helps are those blackhead clearing strips. I put them all over my face and pull. It doesn't hurt my skin and it removes a lot of the dirt in my pores. I feel relieved when I do that. Well, I hope this helps somebody feel like it is not hopeless. If you ever need somebody to talk to, I am here.
6 Answers
April 15, 2011
Your story sounds exactly like mine. My family moved us from Illinois to Tennessee and I am mixed race, I had no friends, I was 14 and my hormones were all over the place. I had left everything I loved behind and on top of that my father was emotionally abusive to me, and physically to others. That time in my life was so bad I hardly saved any memories of it. we finally left but now I had a new problem. I was picking and at first it just seemed like a bad habit but now I've realized its been 10 years and its not just a habit anymore. I also had an abusive boyfriend. Its so strange reading some of these forums and realizing there is a common thread. I'm glad you were able to overcome it, I think I am nearing my breaking point as well...I write poetry and that helps me.
April 18, 2011

In reply to by md.0101

Wow...our stories are really similar! I know exactly how you feel, and not many people can say that. How old are you now? Have you tried any other methods to help you? its never too late to change, and its amazing how your skin heals. Plus, you can always talk to me :)
April 15, 2011
thank you for sharing that, it is really nice to hear that is has gotten better for some one. I am also trying to tell myself that the flaws are not really there. I don't see them when I see myself in the mirror in the elevator where I live. So i know other people don't see them either. But I forget that whenever I am too close to a mirror, and I just feel certain that I must have the most clogged pores in the world, and that they just have to be emptied. It is incredible how all sense and logic can keep disappearing, every time a mirror is to close, no matter how many times I have acknowledged that the only probem with my skin is the one I am causing with my picking. I can no longer count how many times my husband has told me, that hair is not dirt, it is supposed to be there, that pus will take care of it self at some point. And I always know he is right, but the urge is stronger. where do you buy the strips you mention? I think they could help me as well. can you buy them online? I don't live in the us, and I have never heard of such a thing.
April 18, 2011

In reply to by garfield

I am glad that you enjoyed hearing a success story. I know your struggles because I deal with them every day. I tried to post the link for the site for pore strips, but it won't let me. However, if you type in buy biore pore strips on google, I bet you can find them right away. I hope that you keep trying and you can always contact me if you ever feel that you need someone to talk to :)
April 24, 2011

In reply to by anonymous20

thank you so much, that is very comforting to know! I just had a relapse today, after doing well for a week while being away on vacation. It made me feel very discouraged and sad, but logging in here and seeing your reply helps a lot, and makes me feel ready to fight it again tomorrow. so thank you for your support!
April 25, 2011
All this sounds eeriely similiar to my life experience as well- but also give me hope! . Traumas in childhood thru adulthood, constant feelings of isolation, high anxiety, a pattern of abusive relationships despite being 'pretty & smart'... I didnt so much ever have "acne" as I created a greater problem with my picking that snowballed into what I know now is dermatillomania. Now reaching age 30 I have been mostly "under control" the last 5 to 7 years with brief ups and downs-- though I always scan and clean out some spots if I have them, but day to day was skin makeup free. For a variety of reasons I am in my worst PICK SLUMP in years- like take down the mirrors out of control reclusive :( ! Through some therapy and self reflection ( I hate that word right now because it makes me think of my skin in the mirror) I have discovered that though much of my picking is an ANXIETY issue, I also had a &^*& ton of unresolved ANGER that I was forced to repress my whole life...and it turns into this frantic sense of anxiety and frustration that I take out on my skin. I don't know how many of the writers on here are also women, but I think, at least in my case, any anger or dissappointments or f**k you's! that we have experienced in our life we have been taught, or learned, or forced to not express it-- just supress your rage and anger and hurt and be sweet and polite and keep up appearances of normalcy. I recently started talking to my estranged family again and that seems to have been a huge trigger for me--having to be polite, nice, and act like nothing happened and they are good people (as I was always the "bad & damaged one") when I am raging inside about so much that I have to realize they will never acknowledge, admit to, or change about their behavior that is still painfull and degrading even as an adult. Positive relationships, identifying and removing "toxic" people from your life, learning to 'tune out' the people you cant remove, acknowledging your own past & present anger or disappointment and feelings of loss of control ( = anxiety ) can help get to the bottom of the psychological aspects of picking. I know these therapy list sound kind of silly sometimes but it helped me and helped me realize I had to cut ties with people, as well as the psychological ties they still had on me, to ever get "better". I had to TELL MYSELF these things and we all should- I DESERVE TO BE HEALTHY. I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY. I DESERVE TO BE BEAUTIFUL. MY BODY IS SACRED DESERVES TO BE TREATED WITH CARE AND RESPECT. I DESERVE LOVING AND REWARDING RELATIONSHIPS AND PROMISE TO SURROUND MYSELF WITH CARING AND ACCEPTING PEOPLE. I DID NOT DESERVE THE PAIN OR TRAUMAs I EXPERIENCED AS A CHILD/TEEN/ADULT. I DO NOT DEESERVE THE PAIN I CONTINUE TO INFLICT ON MYSELF OR ALLOW OTHERS TO CONTINUE TO INFLICT ON ME. I DO NOT HAVE TO REPRESS, SUPRESS, AND ALLOW NEGATIVE FEELINGS TO EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY DAMAGE ME ANYMORE-- identifying and letting things out and letting go isnt easy, I know I am not done and it will likely result in being estranged from my family members again...but I would rather have my sanity and my life back and feel like a "whole person" for once, not just damaged and crazy and always waiting to fall apart again. thoughts?

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