I am a 21 year old woman from Australia and I've been struggling with this issue since I was about 13.
Talking in detail about it kinda grosses me out but it's supposed to help right? well, the first time I remember picking was when I was about 12 or 13 and i had this big, painful blind pimple right in the middle of my upper lip, I squeezed it and squeezed it for ages even though it really hurt, until all this pus splattered over the mirror, really surprising me. A part of me was freaked and grossed out but another part was so satisfied with it. From then I started doing it more and more frequently until I was picking everyday until my face was a mess, feel totally shit and angry at myself, swear to never do it again and then be back at the mirror the next day. It progressed until I was not only doing my face, but my arms, chest, legs and whatever I could reach of my back. Leaving ugly scabs and eventually scars. It got to the point where I would not take my jumper off even if the weather was really hot, and I never wore skirts or shorts if I could avoid it.
All through high school, and even now, I felt ugly and as if no boy would ever look at me or want to go near me because of how I looked. Reading all this stuff now it seems obvious that I'm using a pretty out there way to keep from getting close to people, even though I crave that closeness.
Recently I've had bouts of going a week or so without doing it, and I feel so good about myself, until I get sucked back into it. It's so stupid, while I'm in front of the mirror picking, I'll be thinking, "Stop, you are goig to hate yourself after this," but still keep going, until the skin of my whole body is such a mess that there is literally nothing left to pick. When I think that I've been doing it for that long and how much it has held me back, I feel so angry. It's like lost time because it has brought my confidence so low that I've never done so many things that I want to. I've only ever had one boyfriend, when I was 12. I've very rarely felt attractive and am very self-conscious all the time about all my behaviours.
I just don't want to get to 80 and still be doing this godamn thing, and feel like I've wasted my life, like I've missed out on so many experiences because this thing has held me back.
I'd appreciate any comments or support. I've decided it's time to reach out and beat this thing. Recently I spoke to my sister really openly about it (I've never spoken openly with anyone about it before) and it really helped so I'm going to try talking to others with it and see if we can't help each other. It's time to start living, you know?