quitting the picking


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January 11, 2012

Thank you too!! I hope you'll replace the bad habit with some constructive ways of dealing with fears/emotions/anxiety/add your own reason... I pick to escape too and I run from many things... Otherwise I wouldn't be picking every single day for so long..
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January 12, 2012

will do my very best Basta. thanks for support. imagine the free time we are going to have spare now we are not picing - there are going to be quite a few extra hours to fill with positive things! obviously its not possible to be positive all of the time but think that replacing picking with a healthy pursuit can only be good. talking of which i am off for a geranium/rosemary and lavender bath! with a great book -(Carole Matthews) light and funny. Healthy mind = healthy habits. Walking dog later on beach (she is also looking better!) all v. best to you Basta.
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August 21, 2012

Well maybe this site was meant to be:) I have had a chin problem for 5 years. I have been going to a few Dermatologists to find out what was wrong. I finally went back to a Derm. Dr. that I saw years ago for acne. He is the only one that told me that I have infected hair folicles!!!! So he IS treating me for this. I have been picking for hours in front of the mirror, wasting time, and missing out on alot, because I make things look way worse by touching, and fooling with the area. I constantly have to have a "duo-derm" bandage on my chin, to help it heal. Once it heals it looks like cottage cheese, so then I fool with it again. My Derm. Dr. has been very patient, telling me the worst I can do is touch it, pick, etc., but I seem, not to be able to help it. Now, if I am gathering the correct impression, on this site, that this is all caused by a psychological disorder. This touching and picking does seem to be some kind of addiction. My dermatologist has told me, that once it is healed by leaving it alone, that he can do step 2, to smooth my awful scars. But by the time that I get back in to see him, I have not left it alone. It is a vicious cycle with me. Is there help out there, because I never realized that so many people have this problem, not just me.
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January 12, 2012

today i am going to make some phonecalls that i have put off and i have to fill in a grotty form for tax. these things may seem small but they can result in major pick if not dealt with. realise that so much picking was also used as an avoidance tactic. trouble is once picked i was so less able to function because i suffered really badly with failure feelings, plus of course the physical results. Putting things off is not an option because they all eventually add up and become too much to handle - then guess what - vulnerable to picking. i am now going to refer to my picking as a habit in the PAST. Alot of what we say to ourselves 'internally' is what we become. for too many years i have told myself i am 'useless, disgusting, and unclean' due to the picking - right now i feel good. my daughter has noticed and is commenting on how nice i look. i can truly say that picking has affected my mothering skills. awful to confess this but it has. when she was young i would be all set to take her to park, or whereever, i would then 'find' myself picking and then be unable to go. i feel a lot of guilt about this because i love being a mother and have always done the best i can but picking has been a massive hindrance in virtually every way i can think of. ie. work (phoning in sick because cannot face people seeing my bad skin), cancelling activities, staying in because it is 'safer', and of course relationships. I had severe drinking issues but managed to become sober with help of AA (years ago now but still very, very grateful as similar to picking drink masked the feelings!). Picking has been harder to manage than alcohol - because we can never get away from ourself, whereas i could avoid drink by giving up and avoiding situations, bottles, etc. This is all happening under the guise of appearing normal. ummmm. I know that i haveoften had a negative energy around me - does this make sense? - what i am trying to say is that subliminally people pick up on how we are feeling inside. sadly i have been very enclosed in my self loathing and although have lived a full life - it could have been so, so, so much fuller. Well, better to quit now than never! still am in shock that it has been so long since last picking episode! I feel a sense of freedom and released from inner-torment. still going to start C.B.T. as i am never going to take quitting for granted. i am conscious of the need for maintaining the awareness of healthy mind, body and spirit. - these are my ramblings for today. these are my reflections on why i never want to go back and only wish to go onwards with strength and positivity. Strength to all of us!
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January 12, 2012

Strength and patience to us too. I remember that many years ago I would never imagine doing sports on a regular level, but then I started doing it - it was really hard (I started running) but I stuck to it and after 6 months or so it became natural to me to run or just being fysically active. Even after pregnancy (I didn't run from week 12) I came back to the routine right away, and it feels unnatural not to be a runner now. The same I did with smoking ("just" stopped) and drinking (thought about the reasons and cut it to a minimum). So there's hope but we have to stick with it. There's a saying: "Man can only become what he is able to consciously imagine." I agree so much and am trying to change the self-image from "picker" to "non-picker". Picking has affected my life soooo much, but I don't want to write about it here in this positive reply :)
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January 13, 2012

hi just entering my thoughts for today. i feel this is my place to come and just 'be' - to be honest it is probably a bit like the place i would go whist picking - a safe place, very much MY space. however this is a healthy space, a space i can share in a healthy way. If i am on my own and feel a little vulnerable, instead of picking i think 'great i can check in to this site. For today i am doing great and am grateful. i will always be aware i am just one pick away and will catch myself going for skin when an anxious moment occurs (frequently!). for eg. from november last year i have been having issues with tax and they have been hassling me. not good when i am a picker, sorry WAS a picker. i would normally be in a very bad way by now because they have been hounding me and i would have attacked myself very badly - i know this because it WAS my coping mechanism (haha - because it actually made it all/everything so much harder). anyhow talk about crazy, had a call from bank this morning and they have credited me with a load of money, this is so bizarre. i will return it all of course but it just made me laugh. these kind of complex situations would send me in to a virtual frenzy in my mind, worry, etc but now i find i am taking things more in my stride. My thoughts on this are that the picking has stopped me maturing properly. it has interfered with me facing things head-on, in other words, it stunted my thoughts. this in turn takes away more confidence from making brave decisions. i have decided to be braver, not too much because i dont want to push things too much too quickly but i do feel a new sense of bravery, freedom and i have a strong resolve to make up for so much lost time. wow, this is so positive. picking is hell and i am heading for heaven. wishing us all strength and abstinence. boyfriend staying for few days and may not be able to get my thoughts down but feel ok just knowing that we are all here and cheering each other on. it makes such a difference. thank you.
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January 16, 2012

I do feel it too! The braveness. It's like I am not afraid to look into other peoples' faces anymore. And I am not afraid to treat myself with respect. These are big words but it's indeed a wonderful feeling. I think of this site as a temporary help - like going to a therapist - eventually when I heal completely I won't have the need to come here anymore.
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January 16, 2012

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January 18, 2012

havent been 'here' for few days as had b/f staying and dont get time to myself. will think about this because i must ensure that this is a priority because i know it helps me alot. think it is the process of having to check-in with my thoughts and do it honestly, no editing as such. know that iv had a bit of a problem since meeting my b/f about putting his needs before mine. to an extent. that is ok because he treats me v well (unlike some past relationships this one is pretty healthy) but i need to remain in 'my' head and not try to get in to his. it is easy for me to be occupied with what he is thinking and forget to stay with my own thoughts. he is very driven and organised and consequently i can get worn out - i am v aware that when i am tired i have less motivation and therefore it is a danger time. i do try and practice the HALT system because it has helped me in the past but it is not so easy when i am being encouraged to carry on being productive when in fact im ready to stop and just watch telly or read, or whatever. think it is good that he is like that because i wouldnt want someone lolling around all the time, but need to perhaps take more 'time-out' moments and regenerate. since 'quitting the picking' i definitely have more energy because im sleeping more (many a night i would be dog-tired and then pick for bloody hours!) and i am generally much happier, apart from little blips, lets face it there are going to be grotty moments, but they are straightforward grotty, not post-pick grotty, ie having to deal with problem itself, plus the horrid sabatage-shame. - anyhow that is my thought process for today and suspect there is more but right now i am going to have dinner and sit down (he has gone now so its ok!!!!). phew.
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January 18, 2012

haha i know exactly what do you mean when you say you wanna "go in your BF´s head" - i used to do it too and its really not healthy! Also, its kind of addictive, imagining what the other person is like, what is he thinking etc. (at least way too much addictive for me!) btw what exactly is HALT system you mentioned? thanks for posting ;)
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January 18, 2012

hi svetlana, yes as you rightly say, not healthy since we can ever only know, i mean really know, what is going on in our OWN head - and lets face it, this is complex enough! blimey i find myself hard enough to work out without trying to work out him. i guess i am aware that perhaps ONE of the ONLY slightly useful things about picking was the escapism. i could have a concern about something and do the picking and because i would feel so dreadful about the picking the original problem seemed fairly inconsequential. trouble is problems lurk around and dont just go away and healthy solutions have to be explored. this is where i am going to be occupied for a while, i dont think i have learned to deal with things in a spontaneous way yet. i think this is going to take some practising. initially the slightest bit of anxiety and i would have a virtual reflex action - picking. now, as a non-picker i am floundering. i must admit i was abit moody with b/f at moments because i found it difficult to 'switch off. ' - if i think about it, i would think i have not really truly 'switched off' for a few weeks, ie since not picking. So, Imperative to find substitute remedy. I need to find hobby FAST, do meditation, etc. positive challenges. oh yes and posting here. - p.s. H.A.L.T. stands for Hungry, Angry/anxious, Lonely, Tired - states whereby we could be vulnerable to addictions (think it originated in AA), if you are interested i posted on it couple of weeks ago under H.A.L.T. best wishes and thanks for comments
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January 18, 2012

My hubby is very productive too but it influences me the opposite way - I just get very lazy and demotivated. I really want to be a productive and energetic person but when he is close I get the feeling that I'm not as good as he is, and just stop even trying. Quite a negative pattern. But since I've quit picking I find myself doing things - and not being influenced by him that much. This is huge!!! I guess it comes from being good to myself. When I don't pick I respect myself and when I respect myself I want to do nice things to myself, like being active for my own sake. I hope it's not too messy to read :))) I'm glad you're back!
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January 18, 2012

Yep! Basta. relate re 'feeling not good as he is'. i have found that it can have this effect. what im hoping is that without picking a certain maturity can develop! think it is to do with becoming a 'whole' person. personally, i think iv been operating on a very much below capability level. sounds like you are discovering that being good to yourself, etc is a key to not being influenced so much and this is brill. the self-respect has to be a major, major factor here because if we dont respect ourselves it permeates our personality. it takes time for new enlightenment to show results but i am getting glimmers of possibility. no not messy to read Basta, great to be back and i know you mentioned your running and have to share that i have agreed to climb mountain with 'energetic one' (ie b/f) and we did a lot of hill climbing at w/e. feel lungs are responding and little things are becoming easier, like popping to shop, etc. its the famous adage, the more you do, the more you can do (or something along those lines). so true. i found picking stultified my energy and now the possibilities are amazing. i love the idea of getting fit and cannot think of a better way of getting close to nature, improving fitness levels, sleep patterns and ofcourse exercise is great at treating mind stuff. i am always dipping in to eckhart Tolle 'The Power of Now' and really love the concept that the mind should never control us, we need to use it as a productive tool and be in the now, not in past or present. whilst climbing these hills at w/e i was most definitely in the present and had no time to analyse trivia, it was only post climbing that i got too stressy (prob because exhausted!). anyhow sorry this is very definitely messy but i wanted to respond to you. :))
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January 20, 2012

just about to listen to meditation tape to calm my thoughts. feel ok but need to be ready for major action soon as am being dragged round shops with my daughter. - actually it should be fun in lots of ways, as long as she had some sleep last night (she had sleep-over with friend so probably not). - i havent had as much work these last couple of weeks and find that although i love it, the free-time, i also am better with a little structure. guess im not that good at creating any of my own. - i thought to myself last night that i hadnt really achieved that much during the day so made a mental assessment and discovered that i had done more than i thought, just not as much as i would have liked. - if i am honest i think i could probably have slept as do love sleeping but knew my little dog needed a good run so took her to beach and it ended up being v good for restoring spirit. - did various houseworky things (not enough) and read some of a book got for christmas (the Understudy, david nicholls - good so far). all of this is good but feel a little selfish in my existence. at the same time i can reflect that actually its the first time in years and years that i havent been dominated by the whole picking syndrome and it is a chance to really become a more complete person. just not sure quite which way this is going to go. - had letter with confirmation of C.B.T. which starts on Thursday next week. i am sure that this will help to clarify a little more of the possibilities ahead. - i need to be aware that this is a very special time for me, a chance to perhaps really achieve some sort of ambition? know picking has got in way of progress and equally i have probably used it as an excuse as well as a reason, ie easier to pick than go out and take action (well not easier more like safer). - anyhow that is no longer a valid reason so reality hits. - what to do? - have always wanted to be a writer and must say that i get some fulfillment of this on here - trouble is there is no salary for it. my b/f wants to start some sort of business and this is a possibility. - we made 16 jars of marmalade (more arduous than i realised!) at w/e and we are going to try and sell these, along with various other things. just not sure if this is going to fulfill me. - thiink this is important. i need a sense of fulfillment. Probably will find some sort of volunteer work as know when i have done this in past it has helped to quench that slightly useless feeling i can get otherwise. - also being a bit more organised as, like it or not, if i can get organised then things are easier. so on this note i will go off now and get some washing hung to dry and fit in meditation so that i am calm and prepared for the mayhem of the shopping trip later today.
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January 21, 2012

ok. here goes. i am writing something here that i never thought id write. plus i will keep it short because i am slightly in shock. - something my daughter has told me which changes the way i thought the future would be. - changed the way her future could be and basically i feel grief. - i know i will adapt. i love her as her, whatever. full stop. - what i feel so sad about is the chain of events leading to all this and feel it has had such a HUGE, MASSIVE impact on her. plus how she sees herself., etc, etc. whilst typing i have decided it is not appropriate to detail too much about this here, primarily because she could possibly read it sometime by accident, or nosiness. - she shares the laptop so its a possibility. - thing is i feel pretty scared and confused and sobbed myself to sleep. - i just have to rearrange all my thinking around. - oh hell. - what i have learned recently is there is a certain process that occurs on hearing shit 'news'/ shock stuff, whatever. - what happens is the initial 'carpet pulling physical blow' and that is what i have right now. however - and i am reassuring myself here, i seem to be learning a very NEW gift. this gift is the ability to see to the NEXT stage, the next stage being accepting that this feeling wont last, that there is another stronger reaction yet to come, that is if, sorry NOW, that i dont pick any longer. i absolutely hate to think how i would have attacked myself over this news, previous to this 'site therapy'. anyhow, she wants laptop now and she is going out shortly so am going to have to leave it here. probably best since i could get too waffly and fell that this particular issue needs to be discussed with a)my daughter and b)the C.B.T. therapist (starts thursday - am grateful that it is in place because has helped me last night knowing i have a place to really discuss this) and my friends. However, i need to once again acknowledge my gratitude to this site because even though i havent put the specific details, what i am trying to do is get the feeling of sorrow out here, on this little box because if i do this i know i wont feel the need to sabatage my skin because picking is what has stopped so much of my development emotionally. i can see this so clearly. i am learning to process information in a positive way and not just disappear with it, internalise it and fester with it. - 'it' being life. 'it' being 'things that happen' - to me, my family, friends, people, animals, what/whoever - things that can upset me and cause me to, sorry DID cause me to pick. - here i go. growing up at last. better now than never. really. ouch. ouch.
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January 21, 2012

I can't help wondering what happened - I have a daughter too, strart having thoughts! Cbt is really good in many cases, so I'm happy that you'll be able to speak to someone who has experience...
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January 21, 2012

well - ummmmm. eeek. have spoken to old school friend and she has slightly reassured me but im still reeling. have blitzed downstairs with hoover and now going to have to have lie down and put on meditation cd. think that because am 'feeling' all these feelings i am perpetually knackered. yes basta - if you have a daughter you will know that when they relay something quite fundemental it impacts - hugely. - i probably will discuss it sometime, once my daughter finds her answers a little clearer. for now i suppose i need to be a little careful. - dont know maybe its my own fears of saying right things to her. oh blimey. - processing all this has worn me out and feel very ungrounded - more like wafting several feet up in the air. need to recuperate by tuning-out for a bit and then hoover upstairs as daughter and friend coming back to prepare for a party they are going to. - normality is still continuing on the outside at least. - actually thinking about it, probably reason daughter told me is because she feels a strength within me that has been lacking? - may well be because i do feel this inspite of all this 'stuff'. ummmmmmmmmm. more thoughts to chomp on. anyhow, thanks for encouragement on CBT, v good timing i suspect! best to you :)
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January 22, 2012

Things come always when you are ready for it (and it doesn't mean that you feel or know that you are ready) so you are probably right that maybe the development you are going through has given her an impulse. And no matter what, if she shared the truth with you, it's a declaration of her trust and love for you. It's always great to be standing in a bad situation and having a mom beside who would want to help. I wish I had a mom like that... I never told mine anything really personal because she'd just let me down :(
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January 24, 2012

hey basta, thanks for reinforcement - re trust declaration. feels good to think of it in that way. - lots going on. - . am in bathroom about to have quick bath and typing by candlelight virtually, mainly because b/f here and snatching a quick private 20 mins where i can log on here!! - if he knocks on door will have to cut-off... still in meantime things going ok. - daughter v hot and cold at moment - not just about this but about everything. - teenage years. - hope all going well for you too - unfortunately have to dash but have missed this outlet, will have to find way of doing it more overtly. not ready to share about this site yet, may cause complications. humm. anyhow right now it is for me. and this feels great. :)
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January 24, 2012

basta, also wanted to acknowledge your comment re: your mum. and sad face, you said you are a mum - i bet you have changed history. personally i think that is what is is all about. doing our best. i fail miserably lots of times, ie getting it right but i never give up - guess that counts. :) thanks again :)
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January 25, 2012

I've changed the history - but there's so much more to improve. I agree with you - it's about doing our best at every single thing we do.
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January 26, 2012

well, todays the day for CBT session 1. - eeek. - i am really hoping that the woman is clued-up on stuff like picking. - must admit am not particularly looking forward to having to sit opposite stranger and expose myself - mentally (not physically!!!! - blimey that would be scary!). - thing is i am hoping to learn some techniques for dealing with fears and general strategies so that life can be a little easier. - am prepared to work and give it my all because: - a) I want to find more peace within my turmoils; - b)I want to be a positive role-model for my daughter and - c)in order to do the previous it is imperative to continue NOT picking. Have been doing much more housework which is crackers as even though i love having clean, tidyish house, keeping it that way is another matter. i have a dog who sheds fur like crazy, all year, not just in molting season. - feel disheartened when i have hoovered and then she wafts by and distributes a blanket of new white furry bits, still she is worth it as she is great, with a capital G. - its v calm in the house today as 'partner'/boyfriend or whatever (we are meant to be getting married, but i only want oaths, not all the legal stuff) has gone (he lives 101 miles away - or 101 barks as we say in dalmation speak). - although i love his company i must admit i do feel i need the peace of my own company sometimes. - he stays 4 nights and is away 3, on average. - this is quite a good ratio. he wants to move nearer, or move in but i am adamant that this will only happen once daughter finishes school and he is complying (just). - i have a thing that i find it really hard to be a mother and 'partner' at same time, this way i can just about manage to merge it all so that it works for all of us. i would never compromise relationship with my daughter for a relationship with a partner. my b/f is someone who i knew from childhood and we got together last christmas in a reunion. still amazes me as i was determined to be single for ever as had not had successful relationships in past. oh well. do love him - first time in love. now i know what all the fuss is about. have only had crushes/lust or versions of before. - Think actually that being with him has enforced a shift in the picking initially as quite literally couldnt do it with him staying over. - also felt yuk with sores/rashes everywhere. Vanity definitely played part in conquering the need to quit picking, but MOST of all it is for ME. i literally could not continue with the way i was. - desperate was putting it mildly. well - am still so completely gobsmacked that i have been pick-free - seems incredible. incredible. know that surrounding myself with positve stuff is part of it. it is being selfish to a degree but i am sticking with true friends only - vital, ie. people i absolutely trust (not told them though, about picking i mean). i have had a school friend who to be really honest i have never really felt good about. i would often pick after a phonecall with her, meeting up with her and even thinking about past-outings, or future meetings with her! - for some reason have kept in touch and now i have made decision to think of me in this - no more contact. believe me she will be fine, irritated maybe, but fine. anyway thats it for now. onwards and upwards as opposed to downwards and backwards. - thanks to this great site and all of you as always. :)
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January 28, 2012

How did the cbt go? Was it worth it? Life is unpredictable (thank god!) so love can come around without a warning :)
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January 27, 2012

Hello, I am new to this forum. I recently have come to the realization that my skin picking is more serious than I ever thought. I am 48 years old and have always been a picker. I went to the dermatologist thinking I had hormonal lesions or acne. She put me on antibiotics and Albatax and said I needed to get hypnosis for the picking. My skin has not cleared since I pick and I constantly have open wounds on my face and back side. I started taking Adderall for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and mild ADD about six months ago. My picking didn't start then but I do believe it has been exacerbated. I am at my wits end. I am thinking about taking an SSRI for the OCD. I didn't even know it was OCD until recently. I just used Retin A to hopefully dry up the lesions...I need some help. What are some solutions which have worked for any of you? I appreciate all of your feedback...
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January 27, 2012

Hi LALady, so glad you have found this site and i hope that it helps you as much as it has helped me. i am afraid that i dont have personal experience of the medication that you are taking but know that there are references to many of these on this site, some good and some not so good but worth a read. My own relief from picking has been a miracle and i put this down mainly to finding out that there are so many 'pickers' in the world, trying their best to stop and also reading through and being absolutely shocked to find that there are so many similarities with so many other people with this habit. I have also made a pledge to keep posting my thoughts, however insignificant, in order to get them 'out' - this has helped v much because i often have too many! - as well as complications, i also like to share positive things that may have helped and this keeps a healthy focus on the new possibilites of a life without picking. - LALady, I hope you find help from this site and if you go back to previous pages there are so many subjects that people share on. just one thing, if you think that one drug has made anything worse, if you havent already done so, do discuss your thoughts with your doctor because, as far as i know, since we are all unique, it can take several tries with different medications to get it right. very best of luck.
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February 01, 2012

hi. well i havent written since last thursday when i was about to whiz off for a 'much-looked-forward-to' C.b.t. session. - since then i have been somewhat perplexed. - at first, during the session i felt that there was zilch connection between myself and therapist, and i still maintain that. i must say that part-way through i almost got up and left. howevever, what would that solve or achieve. so i stayed put. - thing is i have had therapy before and always felt a great rapport and safety factor (apart from one - when i was late-teens, she was quite elderly and fell asleep!!! imagine what that did for my self-esteem at the time, it took me years to believe that therapy could be a positive experience!!!). - anyhow since last week's appointment with this lady i have almost used the 'disappointing' cbt session as a challenge. i am so determined to get well, i will get well inspite of anything, and keep well. - this is a priority because if i am good in my mind then i can get on with using it as it needs to be used, ie practical, positive stuff. - this in turn enables me to enhance health of body and spirit / soul. i found that my picking used to infect my mind and make me so bloody miserable and unable to function properly, in any area. now i am out of the cycle i am aware of how appalling it was, even more than i KNEW it was. - i would feel happy only when i hadnt picked - and those times were so few!! could dwell on this now and feel sad at vast time lost - but no - i have been a SLAVE for long enough. so - C.B.T. - well, cannot really comment on how effective it is yet because i am still working out how to make it work for me. what i did do though was come back from the 'far-from-what-i-hoped-for' session and i looked up C.B.T on web and found a statement that really, really, and did i say - 'really'? - spoke to me. i am going to type this out because it hit home. it has empowered me. - here goes. . . . . . . . . . . . . 'THOUGHTS cause our FEELINGS and BEHAVIOURS - NOT external things, like people, situations and events. The benefit is that we CAN CHANGE the way we THINK to FEEL/ACT better - even if the situation doesn't change.' - .......................... i suddenly thought yes, - to a massive extent i am in charge of my destiny. - i want happiness and this means appreciating the simple things. - I am going to ressurrect my 'Gratitude Journal' and fill it with things that i am grateful for. - when i did this a few years ago i was doing it whilst desperately trying not to pick - now i am going to do it as an XXXXXXXXX - picker. i have gazzillions of gratitude. - due to past picking i have lost hair (twice), lost friends, relationships, jobs, opportunities, nights out, days out, holidays, time, priceless opportunities of laughter with my daughter growing up, been ill with infections, high temperaatures, and more, and more and more. - Right now - no way am i returning to those dark enslaved years, no bloody way. - end of rant. there, feel better now. - i have missed getting in touch with myself here. it is a key for me, a key to new beginnings. :)
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February 02, 2012

ok. I have had a full-on day today. however i have had an epiphany. another one! - todays is - I am going to realise my potential. Until very recently, due to the picking, I did not feel i had any potential. - any good feelings i had about myself were instantly quashed once i gave in to picking. I could not sustain good feelings because i was always so ashamed of my habit. i would feel so much self disgust and feel so controlled by it that it prevented me achieving very much. I am having glimmers of what I could possibly achieve now because i am able to do so much more with my time because i have more emotional energy available now that i dont spend hours lamenting about - how bloody awful i feel, - how bloody awful i look, - how bloody disgusting i am and how it is going to be the last time ........... it was always the last time but i never made it beyond a short time span. This is by far the longest and this is by far the most different and ironically the easiest! Why? because I have somewhere to come - here. somewhere where i can be ME. this is vital because i have not really had a space in this world for just me. dont know why that is? i have friends but even within friendships there are certain expectations, limits/boundaries and however much i care about them i have no wish to delve in to the murky depths of my PAST picking habits with them! - i do however feel liberated that i have spoken more freely about the scratching element with partner. thats good. he has no idea of the extent of the 'story' - he just knows i scratch a little when anxious. the scratching is not the issue, just a fragment of the remains of my x-coping strategy. I had second cbt. this session the lady was so much nicer, the barriers seemed to dissolve and i felt much more able to get across how much i wanted to find positive replacements for the future. i need support around me right now because there are so many things going on. - some of these involve my daughter. i so want to do my best, absolute best to rewrite history. i will leave it here now because i feel good to have written these things. i am sleepy. .....
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February 04, 2012

hummmm. not sure what to blab on about this morning! dont mean to sound flippant but guess do feel somewhat up-in-the-air. and im not in a plane, im in bed. being lazy - however i have an excuse of sorts - my daughter stayed away for night and hence a v quiet house, - except for barking of my terror-terrier jack russell. she is fab as she barks at random but also at any suspicious noises, and i am not good with suspicious noises. - Night time is always a little tricky for me - i have an over-active imagination and can turn a squeek into a gang of hooded men trying to crowbar their way into the house! - nightmare. - I have always had to have a light on somewhere in order to sleep but am always on alert. ok, yes, there have been times for no explicable reason that i have managed to overcome this, but on the whole, its a trait which goes back to forever. - funnily enough it is more acute when daughter away, even though shes tiny, it is just another good presence in the house, it helps. - bizarrely, last night ended up sort of not alone since nightly phone conversation with 'partner' concluded by us keeping our phones connected and going to sleep together at other ends of the country! - i could hear him snuffling/snoring away like a little gerbil, and went off to sleep, comforted, knowing he was on other end of phone. - at 4.00 a.m. i heard him cough and we had a little chat and although both our batteries were low we kept them connected until the morning! - he is great in so many ways. dont know how he puts up with me sometimes, i am not an easy person. i do have qualities (not easy to always acknowledge this!) but i am high-maintenance on a trust level. i have zilch trust in truth and faithfulness with relationships - however i am working on trying to find these elusive qualities. i do think he is the nearest and most likely candidate. i HOPE he is the nearest and most likely candidate! - so, re: picking, i am still pick free, scratching a little now and again, on back mostly, but zero bothered about that. - i am feeling a little grim physically due to a) infection and b) antibiotics for the infection. only another 3 days to go. phew.. roll- on 3 days. - so for now, over and out - and thanks for being there. :)
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February 05, 2012

it's so wonderful he supports you!! You say, you are not an easy person - what do you mean with that?
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February 08, 2012

Basta - isnt it obvious from my entries! nightmare person i am !!!! - :) - i am not easy because i think i am quite damaged from having a messy upbringing. it has had an impact on my ability to 'love' in a healthy way, i suffer from jealousy and i am so insecure about my femininity and compare myself with other women constantly (and find myself lacking) - however things have been more straightforward since i have stopped the picking. - i am feeling more confident. - i would not go so far as saying 'easy' to be with, but a lot better in lots of ways. - as for trusting him - dont know how to. - does that give you some idea of what i mean now? ! - i will give this relationship my best because he is great, but i do have to fight a lot of ghosts......................................
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February 09, 2012

I had the same issues (messy upbringing too) 10 years ago when I started dating my hubby. It was terrible: I was jealous all the time and actually felt that I didn't deserve him. But I learned how to love and how to trust him. It took some time but now I am happy. The most important thing that helped was when I told him about my childhood and why I was having jealousy and negative feelings about myself and asked him to help me. He was luckily happy to help and very patient with me. I can see that your bf is patient too, so maybe he would love to help you flourish :)
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February 11, 2012

yeah basta, i am in process of talking a little more openly with him. think your words are wise. he is very good, amazing in lots of ways. patient very. i have just done timeline thing for cbt and its very painful having to recall events, etc. know this is making me vulnerable and consequently more prone to wanting to protect myself. he picks up on me withdrawing and it makes him more insecure. oh to just be lighthearted! - thing is that is how i long to be. i use humour a lot to heal stuff. i find b/f and i do a lot of genuine knee bending laughter and its great. some days i just think how well we get on and then the green-eyed dragon hits. hard. thank god for the ability to find a funny side to things because without that it would be a nightmare. i also find we can start off talking seriously and then before we know it we are giggling about something. laughter helps as he and i have both been damaged early years. seems llike you have too. thanks for encouragement basta, sounds like you have a good relationship with your husband. Relationships do require nurturing dont they. it comes down to what we put in effortwise and positivity, if he/she is worth it, we then get all the rewards back again and its self-perpetuating. :) smile - and lots of smiles :) for you too basta and know you have your exam today - GOOD LUCK :)
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February 11, 2012

Just came to site and hadnt logged on and thought there were no new postings, however it was just that they dont show up unless logged in - duhhhhhhh. i am a little slow sometimes with technology. today i am checking in with what may seem trivial to some, but what i realise is vital to me - i have, have, have, HAVE to act on something pretty immediately or i can create a massive, huge, vast, mount-etna-ish volcanic-kind-of-a stress around it. eg. this morning i received two letters, one addressed to previous tenant (who was a little dodgy) and second letter was regarding a Sun holiday confirmation. the first was about a direct debit payment request whatsit and i immediately started projecting about identity theft, etc and remembering all the other debt letters i have received regarding this individual; i got scared about the possibility of losing my property, etc. - these thoughts went from 0-50,000 in precisely 5 minutes!!! - the thing is - this is precisely why i picked. i could not recognise what was happening with these thoughts. i did not catch the thoughts before they escalated and reached the 50,000 mark and ABOVE. Thoughts, mine anyway, can take on a life of their own - whoosh. before i know it the thoughts are seemingly factual. so without even leaving the spot (haha - unfortunate use of word!!) where i am standing - in my mind - i have lost my house, have no home, ive got all his debts, im in court trying to prove my innocence, etc. - please believe me, i am not even usually aware of all this happening - but i am now. oh heck i am getting to understand my head - ouch. Second, re holiday had an invoice for £239. - thing is i expected it to be only £34!!! - old me would have stayed in that spot (previously mentioned :) and gone in to a major drama - well actually i did. i started crying! - i had a quick drama, feeling like id been ripped off, horrid feelings of betrayal and injustice (mad!!) - etc. - HOWEVER, guess what? - THIS TIME, i got on phone and sorted them both out. just like that. yes i had the drama in my head first but i acted on it practically rather than stay in it. i pretty much guarantee it would have got me picking eventually if i hadnt taken action. i used to take a lot of action in my head, sylvester stallone and bruce willis had nothing on me! - but in reality i was pretty lacklustre. now i am having to be more active. previously i could be active on the RARE days when i hadnt picked but i had no control on when they would be. Now i am getting more confident on being able to look forward and know i will be 'ME' on that day, not just a shell of me. I just want to end here with a note of sincerity. seriously - if i can do this, the way i was, so utterly controlled for so many years, never ever believing that i would find a way out, ever, of the picking-hell, then there is hope for anyone. i know we are all different, its just that i tried everything, seriously, (except medication as my mum was on stuff and it never helped so it is a route i never went down - even though i have had prescriptions). the pit i used to be in, regularly, daily with the picking is a long way from where i am now. i am probably doing a bad job here of wanting to say to anyone who may be trying to quit - keep going. keep believing. truly. its a real commitment, but lets face it, we are all used to making commitments arent we? i feel for us all. i know how much effort goes in to all the hoping and trying to manage it all. i am so respectful of our different ways of coping, it fills me with such heartfelt wrenches when i read some posts by us. we are good people doing our best. courage and strength and love. :)
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February 23, 2012

Hey cleanandsparkles, how are things going? I can see that it's important for you to deal with the anxiety. What I get into my mind is that when you create all the catastrophic pictures in your head your mind is somewhere else - in the future. In order to stop the thoughts it's important that you come back to the NOW. It does work for you to act right away like you did here - what is it that helps? Hugs, Basta
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March 02, 2012

hey basta, thanks for your comments. im going to pop onto your site now and say hello :) - yes not projecting is v important. truth is nothing is usually as bad as i ever think it might be - thank goodness. :)
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March 02, 2012

hey. wanted to come back here and add some thoughts. its helpful reading the ups and downs of so much familiar stuff. it has helped through good and not so good times. i am still doing great but i can not lie and say its been easy. - there have been moments where the temptation is almost, i repeat ALMOST unbearable. but somehow after failing to stop for years and years, i have stayed stopped. ???? i can barely believe it sometimes, especially considering the stress that has arrived from nowhere. - this is perhaps the biggest shock. - i did think i was a fairly relaxed person. no. no. no. - not anymore. - But ... i would rather be stressed and dealing with it than revert to how i was. ........ - I am treating giving up almost as a career. i take it seriously in that i am careful to do the things that help me in a positive way. - if i am honest, the best thing was firstly finding not alone with this, second has been getting the feelings out. I was doing this regularly here but felt that maybe i was taking up too much 'airtime' on here and was aware that i needed to share personal stuff so started a journal on another site. this has really helped me. cannot explain what gives the healing power. - dont know why the process of typing out my feelings acts as a release mechanism - all i know is that it does. reality is that since iv stopped the picking-sabatage my thoughts have rampaged. - there are too many for my head to retain .... The other method im using is a CD for specifically relaxing my body, - again, because the picking used to relax me (ONLY positive about it) without this 'addiction' i now find my muscles lock in my neck, shoulders and forearms. Unfortunately i cannot hire a permanent masseuse (! if only) so i listen to cd at least twice a day. (boring sometimes but it does trick). - I have a wam bath with a couple of drops of essential oil and because it is antibacterial, etc i dont need soap. - i need to drink water because it makes a massive difference to skin (think of us as being like plants - we need quenching). - i used to use huge array of products, latest this and bloody that. - realised that most of it made it worse. - i now use - NOTHING! - literally bog-all. ............. thing is my skin has never been better. I do have to eat well though because if i eat ready-made stuff or fried foods it just gets reflected in my complexion. - Another thing is walking. - fresh air is amazing as the process of getting the body working as best as possible helps it regenerate. - however, i must add, i love walking with someone if i can. - good, genuine friendships. A great chat with a friend with a good giggle is a remedy ( usually after ive got the grotty stuff out in my online journal!) - Lastly, pistachio nuts and a comedy, or something cheerful. I do need to keep hands occupied so oranges, or whatever keep me out of mischief. .......................... love this site - encouragement to everyone :)
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March 15, 2012

Water is just the best! I don't really know what it is that does wonders: the fact that I get calm when I drink water or the moisture supply to the skin. Anyway it's wonderful. This is a great idea with the music! I may try that today, thanks!!! I would love to read your journal and your thoughts, so I don't feel like you have been taking too much "airtime" here at all!! :)
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March 29, 2012

just popping on here to update some stuff. i am still doing journalling, nearly every day and pouring out my feelings. i do it on a 'sister' site to this, a private journal section. its healing. it feels amazing. some days i just start with insignificant stuff and before i know it, out comes some incredible insights to how i have been operating. - especially concerning my perceived 'truths'. - thing is they are not necessarily THE truth. just my perception. - this is what i am dealing with the most, changing my perception. - my perception is often what made me pick. - there is no doubt to this. - i would feel something and believe that 'feeling' to be how it is. - recently time and time again i have had this disproved. - i am now starting to challenge negativity very much by looking more at EVIDENCE rather than feelings. it is helping enormously. i am still pick-free and doing so much with my time. - trying new things, treating myself - booked 2xtheatre trips, v excited. i often think about these treats but somehow dont actually do them. now i am rewarding myself more and more, not just with material things, not at all, i mean small things, a picnic, a coffee, a dvd, a bask in the sunshine, dressing in prettier clothes rather than grabbing jeans (love jeans though). - just little things that add up to make me feel special. - why not? who does it help if i dont? - no-one. it feels good to like myself. i find it amazing that i spent so many years as my own worst enemy. literally hurting and attacking myself - not just physically but my internal voice was so harshly critical. not now though. i treat myself well. i respect myself more. it helps me stay stopped. i dont pick. i attack all areas i can, positively, to stay stopped, i just dont attack myself, that was part of the problem. curing this self-criticism has been part of my success. :) there is usually not one key to the cure, there are several. it takes each of us a different set of keys. i wish you all strength to find yours.x
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March 29, 2012

Wow! It looks like you are becoming better friends with your own "judge", that's great!! I am happy to hear that you are treating yourself well :) Hugs