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tabhous , 07 Jan 2012

There is hope

There is hope. I was a nail biter, cuticle, scab and lip picker for many years. It started in early childhood and I am now 39. At around 20 I was able to quit nail biting for good. I am 100% cured in that area. As for the picking I am probably 80% cured. I don't have all the easy fixes or simple answers, but I know that if I keep doing what works for me and looking for new ideas and being willing to try them, then I continue to get better and better all the time. There are a lot of really good ideas in this forum. I think the biggest issue is learning to deal with our anxiety in an appropriate or healthy way. If we try to really be conscious of how we are feeling (instead of just functioning on auto pilot) and then address that anxiety logically, it can help a lot. We can ask ourselves questions like: What am I nervous about? What can I do about it? Is there a healthier solution to this problem. (If you are against the idea of having a conversation with yourself, you can ask a friend to help). Here are some other things that have really worked well for me. Eating healthy, Exercise has been essential, Getting fake nails, which was expensive, but later I discovered that PAINTING MY OWN NAILS WORKED JUST AS WELL, Drinking plenty of water, using chapstick, Any preventative measure where I did something good for myself, like moisturizing my cuticles or facial treatments. Many of these things just helped me to love myself more and want to hurt myself less. If I continue to do these tricks then I don't pick at all, but if I get lazy about them then I start picking again. The last thing that I wanted to mention which helps me is to Step outside my comfort zone on a regular basis. At first this seems to be something which increases picking because it causes anxiety, but in the long run it helps. After doing something that I am uncomfortable with successfully I feel more in control and there is an overall decrease in my desire to pick. This is not easy but it is way cool how well it works. Don't be afraid to try it, What have you got to loose? Mostly I wanted everyone to know that it can get better if you keep working at it.
5 Answers
January 10, 2012
THANK YOU!!!! This is just wonderful information - I will try to remember to step outside my comfort zone, I know how it feels and just need to do it more often.
January 11, 2012
hi. makes great sense. i can be quite fearful unless i tackle it head-on. have spent many hours picking rather than take necessary action. afterwards of course i realise that taking the action would have been far simpler than dealing with the post-pick blues! crazy. anyhow just thought of book which helped loads, got me through fear of seminars at uni - susan jeffers 'feel the fear and do it anyway' - its been out for years but is so well written and makes so much sense. just thought it related in with your topic about stepping outside of comfort zone. best wishes. sarah
January 11, 2012
I completely agree with the stepping out of your comfort zone bit; i'm at uni and everyday is a struggle - just going to a lecture makes me anxious as i'm worried what people will think of me. The constant worry is hard to deal with but i have noticed a bit of an improvement.
January 17, 2012
Hi! What a great advice! Thanks so much! I agree that its probably in our heads. Some odd way of dealing with anxieties and frustrations, at least for me. Ive always been sensitive, cried alot, lacked confidence. My mom worked really hard to raise five daughters, but I remember always craving for her affection and love and not getting it. At least not enough. And now I have partner who is very like my mom :). His exwife even called him emotional abuser :). During years with him I felt like I was getting angrier and angrier inside. Now I want to separate and it is really stressful and it doesn't help to stay calm and positive and makes me turn to my skin to relieve the accumulated negative feelings. Probably have to learn of other ways to deal with the emotions. Wish I could go to psychologist, but I'm afraid that it can affect my right to my son's custody and of course here in Norway it takes 1 year to get an appointment :). I think I'll just keep reading these forums and search for answers. Good luck to everybody!
January 19, 2012

In reply to by vensas

hi vensas. just read your thoughts here and felt that i just wanted to give you some encouragement. being with an 'emotional abuser' is v dodgy if we happen to be pickers or not! it is dodgy full stop. i know because i have most definitely been there, a couple of times actually. - have courage, use this site to get support and whenever picking urge comes along - think of all of us here, we are all in this together. strength in numbers. we are all trying to quit and life continues chucking out challenges but if at least the picking can be moderated then that could give you a little self-empowerment, its a start anyway. - maybe when picking urge gets bad get thoughts down here, ring friend, take son to park, whatever. i feel for you because i did some of my most destructive picking whilst trying to escape relationship with my daughter's dad. ie. put anger inwards because couldnt get it out appropriately. The good news is that what seems like an eternity stuck with the person and feeling like there is no escape - does eventually sort itself out. i have friends who have also been in hideous situations/separations/divorces and what seems like an impossible situation somehow begins to unravel and sometimes even a friendship between the two people has arisen at end! - Yes i agree with your comment 'probably have to learn of other ways to deal with emotions' - harsh but TRUE. You can do it but main thing is please dont be hard on yourself, it is a tough situation, tough being a mum, much less having an unsupportive partner. however one final thought is that one of the therapists i spoke to a few years ago referred to the picking as a coping mechanism. if this picking is only way to cope at the moment then just maybe you may actually need to use it to get by for now but concentrate on getting to a new foundation/space with your son as the priority, you may find that you are so busy doing that and finding new and healthy pursuits and new beginnings that the picking becomes a habit of the past. if it takes a year to get appointment then maybe just making that appointment could be a first step. in my view the 'knowledge is power' is important here, check if simply having some psychology sessions could affect custody - i would be extremely shocked if this were the case. more to the point i would consider it a healthy response to a bad situation, i.e. rather than giving up you have sought some positive support from professionals. cannot see how any 'judge' could see it otherwise these days (maybe years ago when it was seen as quacky but nowadays it is common practice). Vensus, with very best of luck to you and just get as much support around you as possible, web-sites, friends, networks, courses, etc, etc. you can get picking sorted as well but from what you say it v much sounds like getting your freedom is priority here as it may be just a little too much to try and attempt everything. of course if you can find alternatives to picking - even better! think we all have different times - dont think i could have perhaps have given up picking before now, this just happens to be right time as have a bit of a 'gap' in the dramas of my life, with you it may be now or it may be when youve got your separation sorted. whatever or whenever - sending luck, good wishes and positive everything to you.

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