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cleanandsparkle , 14 Dec 2011

first step admitting to outside world

i will keep this brief as it really is a big step for me to actually type out the words - I pick. yuk i feel ashamed but have a bit of hope too. i have only admitted to about 4 people in my life and they have all been kind but confused. I have found this site and I cannot tell you the reflief that there are others out there! I have often thought i am the only one and have suffered so much self disgust and feelings of isolation as a result. i have a relationship and he does not suspect. all he knows is that i can get highs and lows. the highs are when i have managed to not pick at all and the lows are when i have. i will leave it here for now because i have to get ready to go out. now i know this site is here i will not feel alone. thank you.
7 Answers
December 14, 2011
I'm new to this site too. I just created an account and this so happens to be the first post that I've seen and read. Thank you for posting it. This is something that I've done all of my life as well. I never felt that it was right or something that everyone did, but for some reason I felt that it was right for me and even some what normal. The funny thing is, as an adult, my career has been working in the beauty industry. I'm a licensed Esthetician (not in practice) and I've been in skincare and cosmetic sales for nearly 10 years. It's something that i've had to hide my entire life, especially working in that industry. I've talked to many clients about acne and how they pick at it, and I've always been able to identify with them, only I don't have acne, I just obsess over the smallest things that no one but myself can see. I don't know.. I'm just glad that I was finally diagnosed with this and learned that it actually has a name and that I'm not the only one that suffers from this. This site is a breath of fresh air. I believe it can help me along with the other therapies that I am undergoing for this disorder.
December 14, 2011

In reply to by justjax

hi, thank you so much for responding to my post. it feels quite amazing to be actually discussing something so personal for the first time with someone that really knows. ditto about the 'hiding' aspect. I have had a lot of shame around this. I feel a sort of guilt and after i have done it i have to use all my energy to be positive again. i find it exhausting sometimes. whenever something important comes up, work or social, i think, oh blimey, i must not do my picking (funny it is so hard to write the P word! I want to waffle around it and put a more socially acceptable word!). but pick it must be because unfortuntely that is the truth and my gut feeling is that it is very empowering to speak out the blunt truth of my 'habit'. I have been told by the first therapist that i talked to about it that it was a coping mechanism. I accepted that in a way because during extreme stress it has sometimes alleviated it. however given the choice i would stop immediately. i cannot tell you how many times i have promised and convinced myself that i would never ever do it again! made me feel a failure many times. have to admit it can make me feel horrid and lethargic. i am not sure what an esthetician is but funnily enough i too am in, or was, health stuff. i could be so healthy, often i get to a peak, feel fit and then sabatage. sorry if waffling on but it is so good to speak out and admit that i have a condition and that there are others who have it too! thanks again for replying. i am going to start some more counselling as have not had any support for a few years and feel that i need to be heard and maybe even helped! now it has a name and that helps too! I also think this is going to help.
December 15, 2011

In reply to by cleanandsparkle

We share the same feelings. And yes, it's so good to know that we are not alone. I'm glad that I found this site. I've been working through therapy, and my therapist is great, but still, i felt alone. I've recently just admitted to myself and my family about what I do in secret. Even though I knew they knew, it was still good to finally say it out loud. I was open to their feelings about it as well as they were about how I feel about it and why I do it. I now feel that through this community and my family being able to accept it and try to understand that I can truly be on the path to recovering from this addiction. I have to admit, it scares me a little bit, because I wonder how i'll cope with out it. The only time I ever stopped picking my skin was when I became bulimic. Even then, I still picked, but it wasn't as bad as it was before. Now since i've recovered from bulimia, I'm back to picking again. Just know that you have support in this.
December 16, 2011

In reply to by justjax

thanks again for support. Congratulations on bulimia conquering. do suspect that if give up one habit another materialises. if could choose i would choose a mixture of keeping house tidy (not that good at this), keeping fit (not that good at this) and being creative (you guessed it ... not that good at this). would be great to choose habit wouldnt it. am wary at moment because tired and find this a danger time as defences are low. i can self-attack at this time. often i will think 'right must clean teeth/ put dog out/ get hot milk, or whatever and instead just sit and pick! oh god how embarrassing, how humiliating to see this in print! would so hate anyone i know to see this! feeling v exposed but want to keep practicing not having this secret as it makes me feel unacceptable. i am a striver and feel good when successfully avoid doing it. glad you have good therapist - have assessment appointment monday and hope will be allocated a therapist who has experience with this. feel optimistic actually. have a connection to this site now. its empowering to know that if i have 'slip' i can log on and waffle on about the terrible feelings that come with it. normally i have felt totally alone with it. friends may ring and ask why i sound down and i say im not well or something. avoidance tactics. for now i feel quite strong and i too believe that this site is part of the path to recovering (just need to stay on it and- with a) this site and b) the knowledge that there are so many like me afterall, staying on this path should be a whole lot easier. I, for now, seem to have lost some of the 'horror' surrounding the whole 'out-of-control' feelings.
December 19, 2011
I can totally relate to the apprehension of actually coming out and admitting it. I think as people who do this we spend a lot of time trying to cover it up with clothes or makeup so it feels completely against our nature to be open about it. I'm new on this site too :) Glad there are others out there.
December 20, 2011

In reply to by Miri

thanks miri. yep. covering it all up is part of why it is all so exhausting! just want to share that i went to log in as usual and then found that couldnt remember password and spent so long faffing about trying to get logged back in. had to change user name by adding s at end! guess what? found hands immediately trying to commence the 'damage'. amazingly i kept thinking, keep calm just keep calm and it will be ok - and i got through eventually - pick free. my time i do it most is when i am feeling stressed. the thought that i had found this site and then not being able to access it was really horrid! i feel so much stronger since finding this site and having people to share with. its great. unfortunately have spent so much time trying to get on have wasted time that i wanted to spend sharing but at least have managed to reply to you! spoke out to assessor yesterday (monday) and starting c.b.t in few weeks. will use this site as back-up and v grateful, best wishes
December 22, 2011
want to share my experience. my boyfriend commented on my scratching! instead of denying it or changing subject i discussed it with him and acknowledged that i have a DIRECT anxious thought = scratch reflex. hoorey. did not like admitting the scratching but could tolerate revealing the scratch side of my problem. not ready to admit to picking yet. i feel liberated to be honest. a little step to feeling less 'guilty' 'different' 'unclean', etc. i have picked when feeling good, sad, bored, jealous, cross, motivated, attractive, ugly, healthy and just about every state of mind there is. however, now i feel different. since finding this site i feel accepted. right here in this forum i feel a part of something deeply personal. i pledge my loyalty to this site because this was the first place i found this feeling of being ok for who i am. it is a common condition after all. i have spoken to my boyfriend a little of how it is, i have put myself down for cognitive therapy and this site is now my therapy too. i am grateful beyond belief for this site and will be alongside it for the future. for now i am pick-free for 5 days. already i feel healthier and have more energy. also more time! i will invest my extra time speaking out to all of you, sharing and encouraging. good days and not so good days! i am going to try and tackle anxiety and work with it. i will learn (hopefully) to control it - NOT LET IT CONTROL ME! i want FREEDOM from this and i believe its going to be possible. i am here if anyone else feels similar.

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