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The first steps... || Tips + Anyone know of a good self-awareness book? || Face & Scalp picker, with a history!
**Advanced warning is anything sounds gross. It is even to me. AND if anyone knows of a website of a free online self-help book, please let me know. I know it was mentioned before, but I can't find it anywhere. After I read some of it, I stopped picking for a record amount of time; two weeks.** I currently: - Have the urge to always pop/pick at my zits and blackheads - Have the addiction of keeping my eyebrows finely shaped/ plucked. If I feel a stray hair and I don't have tweezers, I'll use my fingernails - Have the CONSTANT urge to scratch and pick at my scalp - Have eczema on my arms, which I think is genetic. Sometimes I pick at it, too - Have the habit of chewing the inside of my cheeks When I was younger I: - Bit at the corner skin around my fingernails - Picked at the skin on the bottom of my feet, and ate it I was able to stop picking at my feet after one unfortunate visit to get my toe-nails done. By the expressions and chatter of the lady, and soon ladies looking at my big toe that I'd recently picked at, I forever stopped picking my feet right then. I was so embarrassed I thought I'd cry. At the moment I'm fighting the addiction to pop my zits and pick at my blackheads. When I see past pictures of myself, I can't help but wonder at the BEAUTIFUL skin I had, and then I realize I was fighting the same problem then as I am now. I often pick when I'm stressed. I become stressed about anything, really; even things that happened a long time ago and that I can never change. I feel a sudden burst of anxiety, and before I know it I'm picking my face in the mirror. I've been working on quitting, and I've been semi-successful with short periods of times. The longest I have in many years was this past two weeks before I broke down yesterday and tonight and picked at my skin a little. I've definitely improved from full out mutilation to prodding, though, and I find that a success so far. I keep a tally on my mirror with expo marker of how many times I could mark the mirror instead of my face, and simply walk out of the bathroom. In the two weeks, I had reached over 25+ times I had resisted. As I had mentioned, I also have a problem with picking at my scalp. I'll even look at my scalp to try to find dandruff to flake off. It's gotten so bad over the past 7-8 months that my dark, thick hair is now about 1/3rd of what it was. Out of paranoia, I cut nine inches off of my previously 15inch + hair. When I look at pictures of myself just a week ago I think I look normal, but when I look in the mirror I think I make myself uglier than I am. When I look at pictures from less than a year ago, I see a beautiful young lady, when even then I was struggling with the same problems. Now, onto the topic of plucking. I have the strange constant urge to pluck any stray hairs when I see them in the mirror. This is just as it sounds. I think all of my picking problems have to do with my anxiety and low self-esteem. If you were to ask someone about me, they'd probably tell you I was confident and upfront. I'd then have to tell you that I'm only confident, ever, when I'm wearing a layer of foundations and then another layer of powder. I've had my picking face problem for 6+ years, and I think the scalp picking evolved later when a large amount of stress entered my life through family problems. I'm literally like two different people with and without make-up. I don't go ANYWHERE without my make-up, and if I do I demand to stay in the car and hide. After I pick my skin on my face, I feel horrible afterwards, but not directly afterwards. Right after I pop a zit I feel relieved. When I see my reflection in the mirror, though, a knot forms in my stomach. Later I become stressed about the scar, and pick more. This cycle has been going on for 6+ years. My skin easily scars, so there's dark dots all over my face from where I've messed with the natural healing process of my skin more than once. I think the first step to overcoming my OCD-ness about my face is admitting all of this. I DO have these problems, and no matter what anyone says, it IS a problem. It IS an addiction. *Please excuse myself if I sound a bit coarse in this next bit. It's sort of a little venting for myself that no one else cares about. I have quite the odd childhood. My parents are separated, and I've never met my mom. M grandmother was a very controlling and judgmental character, and is very OCD herself. When I got my first zit, instead of letting nature run its course, she popped it with her nails, leaving a scar for a couple weeks. I wished someone would have slapped her for it. Because of her and my controlling grouch of a father who can't seem to look past his own problems to help his only daughter, I was raised to be the definition of perfect. I had to keep my room perfect, although raised by a father it was confusing, as you could guess. My grandfather constantly emotionally abused my grandmother, by cussing at her 3-4 times a day and calling her very rude things. Being raised by a single dad and two grandparents sounds nice, but not when it's in a volatile environment like that. I learned to just ignore it as it happened. I was raised to think it was normal for a grandfather, (who had previously been a preacher), to yell and cuss at his wife, and then go to church and for them both to put on a mask of lies. He would even curse at her and about other people directly after church when no one else was around to hear it. It was from them I learned how to be fake, and how to tell convincing lies. Just thinking about them makes me want to scratch my scalp. Earlier in my life when I was about 6-7, I was molested by a older cousin. I didn't know any better, as I had looked up to him and thought it was all some secret game only best-friends told each other about. It wasn't until a few years later I realized it WASN'T right. Later in life, (now), when I'm trying to make relationships for myself, the male figures in my life are a grouch who can never admit he's wrong,and a lier and cheater who curses at his wife. I mean really, how did I turn out THIS normal in the first place? /end rant. It think getting all of that out and admitting the reasons for my bad habits will help me break them. I think what everyone really ever needs is a listening and caring ear who understands. If you have any similar problems, feel free to share.I won't scorn or ignore you, because I know first hand these problems are real. I have this set as to subscribe, so I'll always be checking back. Tips: 1) Make a tally like I did on my mirror with expo marker. Feel free to write personal messages such as, "It does not control me," or "I am beautiful." It helps if you repeat them to yourself. 2) If you catch yourself consciously doing the bad habit, stop IMMEDIATELY. Later, you can remember you had the strength to stop. Stopping once means you can do it once more. 3) Instead of picking your skin/face/foot, etc., compile a list of 20 random things to do before you pick at it. Just compiling the list should be interesting and time consuming, and should get your mind off of the habit. Here's one to start you off: Draw a rainbow penguin flying over an icecream meadow in Antarctica. MAKE IT DETAILED. By the time you're one, I doubt you'll remember why you were doing it in the first place. 4) Before you pick your skin, you should always recall that you're harming an ORGAN of your body! You wouldn't poke you're liver with a pencil, would you? Your skin only has so many layers. Your fingertip covers over at-least five pores. 5) Make it a goal to text/ facebook five friends you haven't talked to in awhile. If you're like me, though, and can't think of any friends worth talking to, do it anyway. Writing letters is a good way to keep you mind busy, and to exercise your fancy typing skills. Wouldn't you be happy if you got a text from a friend about how awesome they are? You never know the problems they're having, either. 6) Overall, find things to keep you busy. Fold clothes if you have to. My favorite thing to do is listen to music and envision fantasy lands of my imagination. It's a fun exercise that can keep you busy for hours. Something similar is to imagine you're a character from you're favorite movie, whether it be the Little Mermaid, Harry Potter, or Inception!
September 23, 2011
Well that didn't break-up at all like I thought it would. x) Sorry for writing you all a novel. &I found the web-book that is helpful in kicking bad picking habits: http://www.stoppickingonme.com/ It made me quit for a straight two weeks!
October 04, 2011
I have had a LOT of luck with the amino acid N-acetyl cysteine, which is sometimes sold as N-acetyl L-cysteine, for my 11-year-old daughter who severely picks her skin (arms and legs). I'm hoping that everyone on this group will check it out. We started out at 1200mg each day, 600mg in the morning and 600mg in the evening. Then we worked up to 2400mg, 1200 mg in the morning and 1200 mg in the evening, within about 3 or 4 weeks. The study that was done in 2009 showed the best results were after 9 weeks of continuous treatment with this amino acid, also just known as NAC. We saw great results after 6 weeks. Please consider trying it. I am not a doctor, so please weigh out the risks for yourself. It has truly been a godsend. My daughter used to pick to the point of staph infections. She has scars all over her body. It works by regulating the URGE to pick. You can download the summary text of the 2009 study on this website - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19581567. The study was for hair-pulling, but skin-picking and nail-biting result from similar sets of urges.