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ItsTimeToStop , 14 Dec 2011

New to the forum - Would love support!

Hello. I'm new to the site as of today... It's been really great reading through the forum and learning about how everyone is handling this awful, obsessive addiction. I've been picking my face for probably 8 years now (I'm 24) and in the past two years it has gotten SO bad. I want to stop really badly, and I'm hoping that this post is the beginning of dealing with my problem and working towards a clear face. I can't even tell you how many Sunday nights I have said to myself "starting tomorrow, I am GOING to stop once and for all." but it never happens. I like the idea of standing farther away from the mirror, but my need to face pick is so strong that I truly can't help but get right up to the mirror and start - every morning. My morning and bedtime routines last so much longer than they should because of my picking. And worst of all, my boyfriend and I moved in with eachother two months ago and it makes me feel so embarrassed because I know he knows I'm covering my face up with makeup all the time (even when I get out of the shower at night before bed), because I have to since my skin is so bad. I've never talked about my skin picking problem with anybody, including him. And he's never brought it up.. My mom has said things to me before: "You have to stop ruining your beautiful face," "You're going to have horrible scars." She asks me what's wrong and I just tell her I have really bad acne that won't go away. I know she knows better, but I'm too embarrassed to admit it. It's such a gross habit. My picking does stem from acne. When I get a pimple I squeeze and pick relentlessly. Recently my acne has turned more cystic, so the squeezing doesn't even do anything and just makes my face look SO bad with wounds. I have gone to dermatologists and been prescribed acne medication (topical and oral) but they haven't really helped at all. Over the past few years I've become more anxious and stressed than ever before, and I attribute my worsening skin to that. I am very successful at work, in relationships, friendships, etc. I have an amazing boyfriend, a very close, loving family, and a big group of incredible friends. I am pretty, and have a lot of good physical qualities (hair, body, eyes, etc.) - but my bad skin outweighs all of that now. I have stressed about money in the past (mostly in college) but don't really anymore. My parents got divorced around the same time I started picking - and I'm thinking that is how and why I started. But now I have a great life overall and am not sure why I have this severe compulsion. My face isn't the only place I pick (though it's the worst) - I pick my chest too, and sometimes my upper arms. My chest has gotten very bad recently, and I have horrible marks/scars there already. I get really worried and upset when I think about eventually having a wedding, and not being able to wear a dress that exposes my chest. It makes me sick to think about actually ... that I've done something so horrible to myself that I can't wear v-neck shirts anymore. I know this addiction is very destructive to my skin, and to my life, and I NEED to stop. Would love advice on where to start with this recovery. I know it takes time to reverse a habit. I see a lot of you try to stop for a few days but start up again. I just need to know what you're finding works best and some tips I can try. This is the first time I've admitted this problem so I really appreciate everyone's support and feedback. Thanks so much.

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