Valentine: I'll be mine


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February 14, 2012

P.S.: For the record, I've done just about every sort of therapy for the picking, except when I was enrolled at an OCD treatment center I was, this is years ago, too depressed, I think, to do my CBT homework so I have been thinking of re-trying that therapy. If anyone has feedback about that I'd love to hear it. I met with a specialist last month but found his affect so off-putting that decided not to go with him. My regular therapist (I have depression and am on SNRI meds that still need tinkering with after all these years and that, for me anyway, doesn't really help the picking) said he'd try the program in this workbook I got on Trich and Skin Pulling (a combo of CBT, HRT, and several other therapies) but I've found that I need our sessions too much to turn them over to just this issue. Anyway, I'm in the greater NYC area so if anyone has ANY reccomendations for therapists trained for this speciality I'd be super super grateful to hear who they are. tHANKS!
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February 16, 2012

Ok. Slow start. Several hiccups/picks. But I think I "got out" faster than prior times. And I'm OK being accountable here. It's humbling but I think it's what I need. So here's to Thursday Feb 16 as a 24-hour pick free zone.
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February 16, 2012

Two new things to add: my lightbox arrived today (supposed to help my mood, which is treated in part with meds and therapy but finding it a lot shakier this winter... and/or since I've decided to try and really give up the picking). Wondering if anyone here uses one and if so, how long they used it before noticing any difference. Also: got the OK from my doctor to start on inositol—an amino acid supplement you can buy in the vitamin store—which has been shown via established medical research to help reduce picking/hair pulling (for me, the same, since i pretty much only pick at ingrown hairs). There's also N-acetylciysteine, another supplement shown to reduce picking but it seemed from my research that inositol had stronger research behind it... Anyway: Fingers crossed that adding these tool to the regimen helps.
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February 17, 2012

Twenty-four hours pick-free feels great. It's just I'll admit to feeling like it's a "special treat" that I "deserve" after abstaining for even a day. Isn't that just crazy? This disorder is just so wily, it's hard to know how best to psych it out! Ugh. Anyway, here's to Day Two.....
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February 17, 2012

Day One pick free. Found that it was helpful to be out after work, get home and *not* turn lights on in living room (my biggest trigger spot for picking).Also, I took the lightbulb out of the small lamp in that room last week so that helped too. Finally: a plug for AVEENO or generic brand (they're all equally good) oatmeal bath packets. I mix some of the powder with water in my palm to make an oatmeal masque/paste and put it on my bikini line overnight. It stops sores from 'weeping', reduces inflamation, redness, and leaves skin soft *while* acting as coverup so i don't pick. Anyway: thanks to you all for keeping me so inspired.
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February 20, 2012

Checking in to say I've been struggling and I feel ashamed and embarassed and just plain sad about it. It's almost like the pressure of my New Commitment has me picking more. Still, today is a new day and I'm going back to posting twice. Will check in again once I'm in my PJs and in bed. Boyfriend arrives back here in two weeks some I'm getting sort of terrified about stopping in enough time for things to heal...and about just plain stopping. I found out there's a 12-step group near me--a pickers/hair pullers anonymous--and though I loath the idea, I think desperation sometimes leads to a more open-minded approach to the problem. Anyone out there lean on such a community? I'd love to know!
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February 20, 2012

Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed! I had a huge slip up last night and you know what? it's a new day! We can beat this...the commitment is hard but we can do it!!
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February 21, 2012

Thanks for encouraging words... I think I just feel "in deep" this time, though today is pretty near over and I've abstained. I just hope it gets easier down the line, as it usually does after collecting some days, but after a tough two weeks my "healthier" spates feel farther away. But yes..Slips happen and don't define our progress so here's to us for putting "getting better" at the forefront!
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August 12, 2012

What a helpful and sweet comment :) x
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March 05, 2012

Ok. So I'm checking in to note that I've been struggling, over the last 10-12 days to amass any number of days without picking. Today I'm at three, but I'm now less tied to getting the number superhigh than I am committed to A)Purchasing the inositol (why do I keep "forgetting" to pick this up?), B)Calling a new specialist in my area, and C)Maintaining momentum in my overall "commitment". My boyfriend (we live in different states) arrives in two days so that's helping curb the picking a bit--it's confined these days to my bikini line--as I'm due for a wax but the site of the hairs just below the surface...just waiting to be lifted out with a pin and tweezed out...it's too much to take but I torture myself by looking anyway. And I look despite the fact that I'm trying, overall, NOT to look because, as I've repeated to myself a lot lately: "looking leads to picking", for me anyway. So, I have put on my oatmeal mask down there and logged on to type this. I think I may have to try using bandaids to cover high-risk areas again but I can't do this just yet (he's here for two weeks for work/to see me), AND I seem to have an allergy to most bandaid glue so I can only use the really flimsy, hypoallergenic ones. Any other "blocking" or "interference" tips would be super appreciated! Thanks for reading!
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March 05, 2012

Glad to hear that you are doing at least a little better. maybe not a physical but a mental block i put up...i make sure i don't have mirrors around and that if I'm in the bathroom i have a magazine or something to do...actually, clipping my nails while i potty helps. try to stay clothed at all times, Im sure we have all had those times with the tank top and short shorts where most of our body is exposed which leads us to picking. You could maybe even draw on yourself...lol. Put a big red, black, green, washable x right on the place...silly i know but its an idea! another thing that has helped me also is baking. I find that when i preoccupy some time with that...i relax and don't focus on what i could be doing...picking. Also, journaling has helped immensely. I always fought the idea of journaling because i thought it couldn't help but it does!! hope this helps at all :) best of luck! you are loved :)
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July 28, 2012

i love this idea of drawing on yourself where you are tempted to pick ! haha. it sounds a little silly but i think it is genius. thats kind of what you are doing when you pick anyways, is leaving a big mark on yourself, but this one wont leave a scar you and you can wash it off in the shower !
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March 22, 2012

Hi All. Just checking in to report on my progress. I believe I last wrote in just before my boyfriend arrived for 2.5 weeks and I have some good news to report. Firstly, being around him makes me pick less because I have less alone time but also, just before his visit, I tried a full Brazillian wax, as in 100% hair gone (before I'd left at least a little, like a strip or a small triangle). Basically, I think having all hair off, i.e.: no "edges" or "borders" btwn the hair and no-hair areas has helped me reduce picking by a huge degree. I tried the "all-off" for my boyfriend (who is totally pro-woman, asked in a super-aware way, just to see if it was something I might feel comfortable with) but he also suspected it might help the picking. And, well, so far so good. It's growing back in a much softer way and *without* ingrowns! I don't think I can afford to have this done nonstop (my place offers the service at about $40, less than other places but still an expense), but I think I can try and have it done maybe every other month for a while to see. The cost also being worth it if I can drastically reduce picking a)overall and b)as well roll toward summer, my hardest season in this regard. So fingers crossed but repeated thanks to you all. I read the new forum posts continually and it always helps to remind me I'm not alone. (Also, it's worth noting that I'm in Week Five of my Renewed Commitment [started on Valentine's Day] and though I feel not 100% since I haven't been exercising, I do really feel better for the reduced self-abuse!)
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March 23, 2012

So happy for you! Keep it up! :) Im on your side :) :)
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March 28, 2012

So today marks 6 weeks to the day since I started my commitment to stopping picking and I definitely see *some* improvement. Since my last post: picked at maybe 7 not-yet-above-the-skin-line hairs along bikini area but no longer super satisfying since a full Brazillian eliminates any real bikini "line". Same for squeezing blackheads along nose (where, thankfully, no marks are ever left b/c I manage to do it really gently/keep nails cut almost to the quick). Still, there's room for improvement, i.e.: ZERO picking, so tonight I'm turning in early after applying Klaron (my miracle gel) to the face & panty line and watching an episode of something fun.
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July 26, 2012

Well, it's a handful of months later and I'm happy to say that *overall*, my picking has lessened a good deal since joining the forum. (It's really just one corner of the bikini line area that I pick at now, and only when I'm between Brazillian waxes). Still, it's these times--when my boyfriend and I are apart for weeks at a time--that are the biggest challenge because I have all this extra alone time. Still, I'm hoping to make our next reunion date (18th of August) a day that finds me pick-free for several weeks. So here goes. Again. Day one. And from now on I'm going to not let myself on this forum until I've *already* washed up for the night which is the danger timezone for me. Maybe this way I'll be able to reward myself with a post, i.e.: I'll be motivated not to pick. Fingers crossed.
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July 27, 2012

Day one. Again. Fingers crossed.
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July 28, 2012

Day two, no picking... And I've been reading through tons of old threads on here. Thats definitely helping. And the last places I picked on my bikini line are drying up and healing nicely. It feels good to see that overall, my picking is way down for summertime, usually my hardest season, picking-wise, because we show more skin which in turn makes me examine my skin more closely, etc. Anyway, I'd love hear how everyone else is doing. Sometimes I also find weekends challenging because I have more free time to manage... Ok. More soon...
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July 30, 2012

Day three no picking. I know it will get a lot harder when the bikini area that I lay into starts to regrow hairs (because the little one just below the skin line are always the ones I want to go after with a tweezer) but for tonight trying to be grateful for the reprieve from the urge.
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July 31, 2012

Day four no picking. Excited to amass some days but remember the AA saying about not letting one's guard down because their disease is just/always out in the hall, doing push ups.
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August 01, 2012

Day five no picking... Feels good to say that. Still, I look at my face and all I can see are the imperfections in tone.. Or that my eyes look too small or that, etc etc. I know that people tell me I'm a very attractive woman but the word "hideous" is usually what comes to mind and I think that this lingering self hatred--plus the desire to "fix" any perceived flaw that can be picked or prodded--will keep me in a lifelong cycle of picking if I don't really address its cause.
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August 03, 2012

Up with insomnia so I can post what I forgot to post last night: Day six, no picking. I want to get microretinA to use very sparingly on the part of my bikini line that's healing so I won't get ingrowns under the thicker skin but overall Im super pleased with the results of keeping hands off my precious skin! I think the fact that I'm reading a new novel that I really like is helping to keep me occupied in the evenings as well .
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August 05, 2012

More insomnia. But day seven had some picking. Messed with a couple not-yet-above-the- surface hairs on my bikini line. Maybe three before I stopped myself. Upset at the stumble but pleased that it didn't go further. And get why it happened.. Was experiencing stress at having a subletter in my apt for a few weeks and worked from home on Friday. Working from home is Always a high-risk proposition for me, picking-wise. Anyway, day eight, Saturday, no picking. And here's to keeping up that trend!
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August 06, 2012

Day nine, no picking. Just two weeks til my boyfriend and I are together again--and two weeks before we're at the beach for two weeks--so I need to keep my awareness up. My goal is to get a Brazillian on the Friday before so that means 12 days and counting. Who wants to count days with me?
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August 08, 2012

Day nine, no picking. Feel like its way easier to get out of bathroom now that I have a subletter...but hey, I'll take all the help I can get. I guess whatever degree I was bummed out about having to have a roomate again for a little while, the less-picking side effect helps to ameliorate those feelings a bit, so that's good. Still, I know that when I know she's gone for a few hours will still be a danger zone to watch out for. Like, sometimes I pick more when my private time is limited down. So we 'll see. But for now, I'm just happy for another pick free day!
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August 08, 2012

Whoops, that last post should have said Day 11, no picking. So far only picked one day out of 11 and even then, just a few hairs! Yippee! I think it's getting a little easier!
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August 09, 2012

Day 12, no picking. I just don't feel I'm being tested as usual with my subletter here but she'll be gone this weekend so we'll soon see how I do on my own. Fingers crossed that I don't relapse!
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August 10, 2012

Day 13 no picking! And subletter is gone for weekend so I could have picked tonight if I needed privacy... Maybe this is getting slightly easier? I definitely think that everyone's posts are keeping me going as logging onto this site is the first thing I do when getting ready for bed these days! I'd love to know if anyone else is having luck and if so, how theyre interrupting the picking ritual.
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August 10, 2012

Day 13.5, picked after last post. Clearly I had spoken too soon. Still, 2/13 is a good score for me so far and I believe I can take this momentum all the way to next Friday, the day I want to have a waxing on skin that is 100% pickmark/scab free! (Only broke skin one place tonight so that's really just one spot that has to heal in time and I think it's still enough days for that to happen.)
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August 13, 2012

Day 14 & 15: no picking! Definitely coming into home stretch with my waxing set for Friday and seeing my boyfriend--two weeks at the beach--Sunday. Feel like I can stay strong through this week as long as I remember to log in here after finishing all washing up for the night.. Meaning no extra trips "just to look" after applying all my night cream (Klaron to prevent pimples and a hydroquinine to fade sun spots). Fingers crossed!
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August 13, 2012

Good luck. I am having 5/10 today. Not bad but not where I want to be. Keep up the good work!!!
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August 14, 2012

Thanks for the note! It helps to be reminded that someone else is reading my story--just the way I'm reading yours and so many others'. We can do this!
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August 14, 2012

Day 16, No picking. Subletter has returned so I have less privacy again but feel like this week might be an easy one if I know I have a wax appt on Friday. Doesn't mean I don't still fantasize about going at it though! I mean, it's hard to find anything as satisfying as freeing an ingrown hair. Isn't this disorder bizarrre??
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August 15, 2012

Day 17, no picking. I think the spirnilactone (sp?) I take is really paying off as I don't seem to get pimples anymore. Still, I know that next week, in the days following my wax, I'll have to be extra super vigilant since that's like my favorite time to go after tiny little beginnings of hairs. Seriously, I will go straight to the pharmacy and buy a new, cheap pair of tweezers in such states. Now, though, I'm counting on this forum to help keep me strong. To remind me why the immediate, fleeting thrill I get from purging my pores Just Isn't Worth It for all the damage it causes--which it does cause. I know every time I say I'll just pick at one follicle I always end up going to town on a whole area and make a mess and feel awful, etc. Ok. Hope everyone's fighting the good fight tonight!
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August 16, 2012

Day 18 no picking. Going strong but feel like it almost doesn't count because I'm obviously super self aware because I have a subletter til the end of next month and so can't be in the bathroom for hours at a time and I also think Im just in one of those low-risk phases that I get into sometimes. Still, building up so many days--and posting about it--feels good and makes me wonder if maybe I'm not "building muscle" that will help me during the next high-risk period. Does that make sense?
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August 18, 2012

Day 19 no picking. Except I did examine my skin for a long time in the mirror, obsessing about my sun spots and one or two areas that, if you came nose to nose with me, you might detect some very minimal scarring. It's so slight that the average human wouldn't notice but because I see my skin as if looking through a magnifying glass, I both see it and fret over it. Plus I'm going to be at the beach for ten days (!) and so am starting to worry about getting too much sun. My goodness-- even when I don't pick, I am thinking about my skin constantly!
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August 18, 2012

Way to go..you are doing a great job. Hang in there.!!!!!
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August 19, 2012

Forgot to post last night. Day 20, picked one bump on my upper arm but did no real damage so feeling good. I see though that the impulse is still raging , it's just that there's nothing to pick at right now. For anyone still getting pimples, I urge you to go to a dermatologist and get a prescription for Spirnolactone. It's as good as anything I've ever tried and I really don't get even the stray pimple anymore!
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August 19, 2012

Day 21, picked--with a safety pin (not safe to have in house. Normally throw any and all out but saw one that slipped past me in the junk drawer)--at several ingrown bikini area hairs. The good news though is that I used such a slight touch that you really can't tell. I know it's a slip but I feel happy that when I was picking, a loud voice in my head was yelling "watch out! This is the danger zone! Get in and out as quickly as possible and NO deep picking! If the tip of the hair won't come up with the tiniest of touches, you MUST leave it alone!". Again, I know it's not as good as abstaining but given that I had a safety pin (threw it out now), knew my subletter was gone for the afternoon, and that I just had a wax, I think I handled things way better than as recently as a month ago! So repeated appreciations to everyone on this site! Your stories and honesty are really helping me to stay head-above-water on this issue! More tomorrow...x
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August 19, 2012

Oh yes the dreaded pins!!!! Once I even tried to use the back of an earing to hack!! Unbelievable!! good on you for being aware of your triggers. Just think of us when your doing it..we are watching you you know!! :) XXXXXXXXXX
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August 26, 2012

Day 22 to 27: no picking. On vacation at the beach. No real privacy but still am proud. Also, was my big 4-0 yesterday so it's nice to be free from an obsessive cycle on a big birthday. Fingers crossed that it lasts past next Saturday when my boyfriend goes back to England! (Though I visit him a week after that so I have lots of incentive to not pick). Hope everyone else is fighting the good fight!
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August 26, 2012

Day 10 for me girl. I am hanging in there. The urge is really strong but so far i am fighting it. I have been slowly using less makeup. I only have one healed spot that is still a little red but i am trying not to let it get me down. I am using retin a on it at night and glycolic acid during thr day in hope that it will soon fade. I am very happy you are doing so good. Happy belalated birthday!!!
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September 05, 2012

Day 10 on the 26h, good for you! Using less makeup is a big step for lots of reasons and way healthier for your skin to boot so glad to hear you're making strides. Know that I'm out here thinking of you and wishing you all the power in the world to fight this thing! We can do it together!!
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September 05, 2012

Day 28 (27th of Aug) to 35 (3rd of Sep). Ok. Back from vacation but I see what happens when I fail to post nightly: I pick! Yep, picked on Day 33 and 34, right after boyfriend left. Frustrated but feel like I caught each session before it got too bad (bikini area, what else?!), and I feel like I've confined the "slip" to those days. Still: it makes me angry. Why is this disorder so insidious?? Anyway, I see my boyfriend on his home turf Sunday for a week so working to heal the spots I created and will do my best to be back here regularly. Hope you're all fighting the good fight tonight!
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September 06, 2012

Day 36 & 37: No picking. And looking back over the days since this has started I see only about 6 slips in 37 days so I'm feeling happy though there's certainly room for improvement. It's almost like I've been too busy to pick so maybe busy is a good way to be!
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September 07, 2012

Amazing achievement :) Very proud, 6 out of 37 is probably as much as any person in the world would pick at their skin. Great work :) Looking forward reading more about it :)

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