my progress


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July 17, 2012

That is ADORABLE!!!! What a sweet and genuine thing to say! :) And thank you so much! I am getting really excited! There is a bit of pre-wedding stress going on, and it has caused me to break out a little, but I haven't touched ANYTHING! My mom and sister are really trying hard to help which I really appreciate because neither one of them really understands and they get frustrated with me when I pick...but they are trying to be supportive and they've been keeping me busy and keeping my mind off picking!!!!! Only 4 more days until the wedding! I CAN DO THIS! And I have to give you the biggest thank you Sarah because there is NO WAY I could have come this far without you and your positive energy, encouragement, and support! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!!!!!! Also, my name is Julie:)
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July 17, 2012

OH! Andddd! Avocados! They are so rich in nutrients, and they are crammed with Vitamin E which is awesome for your skin, plus they contain the natural fats that your body needs!!!! I am so happy that you are so healthy, that is seriously amazing! :)
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July 17, 2012

yeah, i have heard avocados are great ! but dont know how to incorporate them into my diet.. how do you eat them ? i think they are kind of gross tasting but if there was a way to camoflauge the taste i would be all for it. i make a smoothie in the morning with bananas, blueberries, strawberries and then a big pile of spinach, it looks kind of gross but tastes just like fruit ! maybe i could try to put in half an avocado tomorrow ! im so glad i was helpful to you and im so so so excited and proud for you. i hope you keep posting even after your wedding !
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July 18, 2012

I definitely will be! I will be absent for a week or so starting tomorrow or Friday because of the wedding and then my honeymoon, but you can bet that I'll be back!!! :) Do you like tuna fish? I use avocado in my tuna instead of mayo and its actually pretty good! I've also had them in smoothies before and you can't really taste them!
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July 18, 2012

last night on my way home i picked up some avocados and then cut one in half and ate one side plain ! it wasnt even bad, i dont know why i thought i didnt like them! and then this morning i used the other half in my smoothie, and from what i can tell it just made it smoother ! haha, i like the buttery texture of avocado. also it made the smoothie a more appealing color (: and yes, i do like tuna. i have never eaten it with mayo because that is a scary food to me, haha. but maybe ill try the avocado thing ! tuna is good for your skin too ! it has a lot of selenium. i dont know what that does.. but its good and not found in too many other foods. i heard a long time ago that you can get your daily dose of selenium from eating 4 brazil nuts a day. so i eat 5 just to be safe (: also, ill miss you, but i hope you have the BEST wedding and honeymoon ever. you must be overflowing with excitement !
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July 17, 2012

this evening it got difficult to not pick. i started getting really anxious about my breakouts but i got through it (: and im proud of myself
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July 17, 2012

Great work Sarah!
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July 23, 2012

Been reading your posts. Thank you for sharing. I am so proud and happy for you with the small but steady steps you are taking to regain full ownership of your life. Keep us posted!
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July 23, 2012

thank you ! i will absolutely keep you posted ! (: (: (:
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July 17, 2012

so this morning, i picked at 2 spots. im feeling a little guilty but i refuse to call it a relapse because after i picked those two spots i took every ounce of will power (plus some) that i had, and i walked away from the mirror. my face is broken out, but it is all part of the process, and i have to get through it this time. these next few days are going to be a hell of a challenge, but i cant focus on it ! i have to get so excited to heal that i lose the temptation to pick. i did my makeup, so i feel relatively safe now. it sucks that picking makes me scared of myself ): gonna get through it though !
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July 17, 2012

i like to look around in the forum and read about people and their stories even if they having nothing to do with my own experience. i will see a thread title and be like "how in the world could someone develop this compulsion ?" and when i click it, and then read about it.. i can totally completely relate. it scares me sometimes, like, what if i picked up one of these habits because i read about it and needed a distraction from my face... do you guys ever think like that ? i feel for everyone on here, so so much because it obviously takes every part of a persons mind, body, and soul to overcome a thing like what any of us are going through, and some people just cant do it(anyone with the determination can, some people just dont take it seriously enough). maybe because they dont realize how much effort it takes, or maybe because there are things in their life keeping them from being their own main priority. a lot of people these days seem to think that doctors and drugs are the only thing that can solve their problems, but i think thats so untrue. especially when its a problem like this. i know that it will be so much more fulfilling when i beat this on my own than it would be if i was on drugs to stop picking. drugs make you not yourself.
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July 18, 2012

I do this too. Reading about others struggles helps me to not feel so alone, even when it isn't quite the same situation. I feel for all these people too, but also I am sad for some of them because like you said, I don't think they take it seriously enough. I know I didn't at first...the very first time I posted on here I was looking for a quick fix that I knew didn't exist. And then for months I stayed away. Then one day I just decided that it was time to get serious and to really try. To stop looking for in the moment solutions and to start trying to solve the problem completely. It's been so hard, but the rewards have been so satisfying. I have been so resistant to drugs because my mother, father, and both my sisters are on drugs for anxiety or mood disorders, and I see what it does to them...and I don't like it. So, for now I am right there with you...going all natural. It might be harder and take longer, but we will beat this.
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July 20, 2012

Hey skreed29, just jumping in with an alternate point of view: that this disorder is a symptom of or linked to minor and major depressive disorders that, research resoundingly indicates, are aided by the use of talk therapy and psychotropic medication. Speaking as someone 20 years your senior, I wish I could go back in time and have started therapy and medication earlier than I did because even though things like skin picking have persisted, many other aspects of my anxiety and depression have lessened. What I see from this experience is that veritable medical conditions--including chemical imbalances in the brain--don't necessarily improve through sheer wishing/will power/community support alone. This isn't to say that such tools are right for you, but I'd just hate for someone reading your post to conclude that therapy and meds are "taking the easy way out". All this stuff is hard work. I just advocate people looking into all the resources available to be able to make the most informed choice for them. More specifically: I would argue that the drugs I take make me myself again, whereas when I'm off them, I'm "not myself". Again, just an alternate point of view for our forum readers. Best of luck with your journey!
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July 20, 2012

i sincerely appreciate your concern ! and i completely agree that everyone needs to deal with and overcome this disorder in their own way. and getting professional help im sure has the potential to be a humongous help ! personally, though, i refuse to medicate, and anyone who asks for my advice or opinion will be encouraged to do the same. i have made great strides towards overcoming skin picking with nothing but my own will. i have been working on improving my lifestyle through my eating habits, excercise, and taking care of myself in natural and holistic ways. in no way do i see medicating to be taking any kind of easy way out, i know i probably dont have the information to say this, but i have always seen it as a temporary way out ! i dont want to rely on drugs for the rest of my life, i want to do this on my own and there is no doubt in my mind that i am going to !
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July 18, 2012

i love days when im cozy at home and its stormy and overcast outside. like today ! i just showered and exfoliated and it was seriously the most relieving, therapeutic exfoliate i have ever had ! i feel so much better, less anxious about my face. its almost the weekend ! and i learned that i like avocados !!! good good day so far
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July 19, 2012

today i did a little beginner yoga video that was on demand. i work out every single day and this was kind of hardcore for me. i liked it (: i hope i can convince myself to do some yoga everyday. it made me feel good.
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July 19, 2012

not feeling so great but getting by. when i dont pick for a while i feel so unclean because of whiteheads that i want to get the stuff out of so bad but i cant do that to myself. i know that if i keep it up, everything annoying will go away soon but this is so hard for me ): i feel so gross and dirty right now, its making me so anxious. i decided that every week i make it through with no picking sessions ( a spot or 2 is forgivable, but not a session), i get to reward myself with a meal. like a good hearty comfort food meal. its probably bad to bribe myself like that, and when i think too hard about it i hate to be compromising about what i put in my body... but its so hard not to pick, and i deserve it ! i think and hope it will help to have that kind of incentive.
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July 21, 2012

This happens to me too. And it makes me think - maybe I'm no different from anyone else. But I know that it's all about control. Nearly everyone squeezes pimples, but I squeeze them more than I should. They hurt when theres stuff in them! And they don't heal for ages! But they look really bad when you squeeze them too much. It sounds like you take very good care of your body. Enjoy your comfort food reward!
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July 20, 2012

feeling pretty good (: i have been thinking really hard lately about the reasons why i HAVE to stop picking. and why im so excited to be healed. it helps (: im feeling optimistic.
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July 21, 2012

picked at 1 spot this morning and feeling so guilty for it but i need to forgive myself. i stopped myself, i should be proud ! this coming weekend is so important for me, i have got to get through this week with no picking so i can be as healed as possible. i take such good care of my body and i just want to look radiant and healthy ! i feel like i deserve it
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July 22, 2012

i relapsed. bad. there is too much pressure lately and not enough support. i really dont like my relationship with my boyfriend lately and its taking a toll on my face. i guess all i can do right now is move on.. its hard, im feeling so mad at myself and on the verge of tears.
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July 22, 2012

Poor Sarah :( its awful to feel like that. Just remember, there are no ups if there are no downs. So things will start looking up for you. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, then start afresh. Things don't always go our way in life. And it's harder to get by when things aren't working out. But try not to be hard on yourself. Start again tomorrow. If you're happy with yourself, you won't be so upset about the other things in your life. I know you're a caring person. You should feel good about that.
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July 22, 2012

thank you. life is hard sometimes, and even more so when your only escape is also the thing that makes everything a million times worse ): its nice to have people like you on here who understand because no one in my physical life does. not even close. i dont know how im going to get through this picking thing.. but i am. ive got to. i think thats the silver lining to every relapse we have, is that we are a little bit closer to beating it, even if we still have a long long way to go.
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July 22, 2012

feeling bad, but also lucky that i only pick on my face. i used to pick my bikini area and that was just the worst. i have never felt more lonely or hopeless than when i picked and was covered in scars down there. i hate that i picked yesterday because it was a huge setback and now im not going to look pretty for the 28th. i really wish there was something i could do to recover faster just this one time, and then it would be the last time because the only reason i ever relapse is the post- picking breakouts i have. i wish someone would just tie me down, or i could take a pill that would make me sleep for like 2 weeks and then everything would hopefully be okay. i am so antisocial and depressed lately, trying so hard to recover but this is just killing me. when my face is really really really broken out i get some relief out of hardcore exfoliating but its probably terrible and worse for the acne to do that. does anyone have any good tips on how to dry up a zit really quick. so its just a scabby thing ? its so much easier for me to resist scabs than pimples.
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July 24, 2012

Hi skreed29:) First I have to tell you that reading your forum really helped me and what got me on this forum. Thank you for being so honest and open with everyone. I have the opposite problem in that I pick at scabs more than fresh pimples:/ As far as healing using a serum or mask that has a lot of vitamins and minerals in it is good for the scabs. And with the pimples salacilic acid and benzoyl peroxide work best. Those are my textbook answers (straight out of esthetics school) but they have also helped me in real life. I thought going to school for skincare would help me to know what damage I am doing by picking and that my skin would majically be clear and I wouldnt need to pick anymore.. well I now know and I still do it just feel more guilty for it. Trying soo hard not to touch my face tonight. I'm going to take this 12hrs at a time. Hope the vitamins and everything works out good to help you heal!
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July 24, 2012

i am so glad to hear that ! (: it makes me feel so good to help people. i hope you post in here to let us all know how you are doing, i personally had a pick free monday and am on the same track for today ! sharing my progress on here has helped me so much. i read a thing about anxiety disorders yesterday that was saying its better to talk about the things you are obsessing over than to try to suppress them..the example given went like this; the author said to take 2 minutes to relax and not think about a dancing elephant. at that point, all you can think about is a dancing elephant !!!! so basically, the more you tell yourself to stop picking at your face (or whatever you pick), the stronger and stronger the urges will become. thats why i think this forum is such a useful tool, because some of us dont feel comfortable talking to people in our physical lives about it, but you can always come on here and get everything off your chest ! i wish you the best best best of luck and i hope you will stick around on skinpick.com (: (: (: (: (: (: (: (: because we can overcome this.
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July 22, 2012

i picked again....
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July 22, 2012

it sucks so bad. i have 5 days to heal now, i need to take advantage of them. i think im just going to do what i need to to feel okay and clean about my face. which probably means exfoliating everyday, i guess its okay as long as i dont pick. ive been trying to learn more about ocd in general because i know that for me, my ocd is definately the root of my picking compulsion. also, im gonna start painting my fingernails and toenails, so i can use picking the polish off as a replacement to picking. i hope i can make some serious progress this week
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July 23, 2012

Hey Sarah, I'm sorry to read that you're struggling. But know that we've all been there. I picked one scab on my bikini line today but that's one scab too many. Maybe you can try a 24hr commitment with me right now? To try and keep picking at bay for one day? I think sometimes a day at a time is the only way. And I really want to start accumulating some more days. I have the inverse problem you describe. The only place I still pick is my bikini line. And, even though it's not *that* bad, I feel awful about it and want everything to heal by the time my boyfriend is back in town in a few weeks. Argh. Anyway, I tried starting yesterday but will try again today. Wishing you luck and hoping you remember you're not alone!
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July 23, 2012

sounds good (: lets do it ! and i think you are right about the one day at a time. we can do this
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July 23, 2012

Hi valentine and skreed29. Valentine I saw another thread where you posted a reply to teenpicker and I want to commend you for your outreaching support to the sufferers on this forum. I also applaud your perseverance and the progress you have made in controlling your impulses. I myself am a therapist (although currently unemployed and yet to be licensed) and although I know all about the treatments and know all the things someone with CSP should and should not do, I myself still struggle daily (if not hourly) with compulsive skin picking. I have struggled with it since adolescence, when I first started getting acne (acne is my target area) although I remember picking scabs occasionally when I was a child. I also have struggled with OCD for the past 20 years or so (I'm one of the 23-25% of OCD sufferers who also have CSP -lucky me!! :P ) and was diagnosed with Major Depressive D/O at 15. While I take medications that significantly reduce my OCD (Paxil (aka Paroxetine) was truly a God-send and I have taken it for over 10 years) and depressive symptoms, for most people, medication does not completely eradicate the disorder or its symptoms. The rule of thumb with psychopharmacology, particularly with anxiety disorders, is that if the medication is lessening the symptoms and associated distress to the point that you can start to have some sense of control and empowerment in fighting back, then the medication is working!! That's when therapy becomes essential. So, I did that for about 8 years too -as the client- and it still benefits me as a practitioner. Getting back to my point -which I will make now :P -my CSP was never something I really acknowledged so it never got better. It was more bearable than my other problems, until now. Now, it has gotten to the point that I must acknowledge that the problem is there. Whereas it used to be just my face -maybe my back a little, NOW it is my breasts, my pubic area (those cursed ingrown hairs!!), all over my back and shoulders, and even my upper arms. In the past couple weeks, I've also began to...ugh, I hate to say the word...PICK my hips and buttocks. The worst part (and I saw someone mentioned this elsewhere on the forum) is that for the past year or two, I've started to pick at my husband as well. It's hard to acknowledge that I've let that go on for two years -now, he's never been okay with it, mind you, but only within the past 6 months or so has he really been resistant -and reasonably so. What's even worse, is I get irritated at him when he protests my picking at him. I know he has every right to say no to that and really, I wish he would never let me do it AT ALL, but he's just trying to be patient. Problem is, the more he allows me to do, the more I do. I can't do this to my husband or myself anymore -I'm a pretty woman and I'm still young-looking, (for now :P ) -except for the red spots and bumps sprinkled around on my face -and to see the dozens of red sores and scabs on my arms and back -I feel so ashamed and wonder how my husband could possibly find me attractive. It's painful because I know he used to really think I was pretty and attractive, and I just can't imagine him feeling that way now. If he didn't know what caused the marks, then maybe it wouldn't seem so bad, but he knows, and I feel so disgusting and guilty for making myself look like this. So, it has to stop. I'm trying to think of ways to keep my hands busy as I tend to absent-mindedly pick while I'm watching tv, or reading, or lying in bed. I've also thought of wearing gloves, or putting band-aids over the tips of my fingers. Anything that works for the meantime, while I'm trying to heal my sores and develop permanent solutions. I think working on being mindful of our picking as well as our feelings when we are feeling anxious is one of the main keys. However, I think this is something people like us will have to continue to cope with and control indefinitely. I'm going to do like you skreed29 and valentine, make short-term goals, but we must remember that telling ourselves that we are just not going to 'pick' -is not enough. We pick as a means to self-soothe, to cope with anxiety/stress and if you take that away, you have to put something else in its place -a better coping mechanism. This isn't a typical habit that can be broken in 30 days. This is a chemical imbalance in our brain, a chronic psychological/medical condition, that we have to learn to contend with on a daily basis. Knowledge is power, as is self-awareness. Let's take it day by day, like you ladies have suggested. Tomorrow my goal is going to be to try and be aware of when I'm starting to pick, and to brainstorm ways I can re-direct myself when I feel compelled to start picking. Can I join in the fight with you ladies? I'm ready to take this head-on and gain control. It's time I really fight this.
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July 23, 2012

please please please join in ! (: (: im sorry to hear you are struggling but its so much better to share it with people like us than to suffer by yourself !
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July 24, 2012

Amy thanks so much for sharing your story with such detail and honesty. I absolutely agree with you that CSP isn't a mere bad habit. I also utilize some 12 step philosophies in my efforts to keep the picking at bay as I do think some of the principles carry over..particularly the point you make about replacing the old behavior with a newer, healthier one. Anyway, I'm happy to share that it's been 24 hrs pick free for me. I hope you'll update us here as well.
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July 25, 2012

Hey Valentine, I like your idea of one day. I'm really going to try for 24 hours. Sometimes I tell myself I'll only do one or two, but before I know it my hands have crawled all over my skin. It's the greatest feeling in the moment and the most shameful afterwards. I think taking small steps is a better way to approach it. I really want to beat this.
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July 23, 2012

feeling optimistic today (: monday is a great day to start over with a clean slate. time to get on with the healing ! (:
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July 24, 2012

i had a good good monday and am going to have another good day today. i am so excited for my face to heal. there is no thought that crosses my mind that makes me more excited than i am to have nice smooth face skin. even if its scarred a little bit. i want it to look nice with just a little makeup on. and then i will just be like, this radiant glowing goddess, and no pretty girl will ever make me feel self consious or intimidated. jeeez i cant wait (: (: (: (:
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July 25, 2012

Glad to read you! I picked tonight...at several different spots...and so am just hoping tomorrow's easier going. I knew I was really anxious tonight so I have to take that into account and be extra vigilant when getting ready for bed if I want to prevent a lapse into the picking zone.
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July 25, 2012

anytime you pick, you just have to pick yourself back up. you cant lose the battle as long as you stay positive. if you pick in the mirror, try to keep a distance. dont look too close because then it is likely you will see something that just drives you crazy to not be able to pick will often wind up relapsing. usually if i can make it into the shower with no picking im safe. and on days where i just cant handle it, i exfoliate and its usually very relieving ! i hope you are having a good day today. good luck !
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July 26, 2012

Thanks Sarah. I did pick again today but very little. I was looking over the thread I started in February and realize that I am picking much less than I used to but it's like the better I get, the less tolerance I have for "slips," you know? Anyway: tomorrow marks 24 days til my boyfriend and I are back in the same place so I'm hoping that 24 will be a magic number for me. I'd love to try and amass all those days before he comes but for now I'm just hoping to get to this time tomorrow. Fingers crossed. And thanks for the encouraging words!
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July 25, 2012

I'm glad to hear that you are staying optimistic! And I totally agree, I can't wait for the day that I wake up and feel good without having to put on tons of makeup. That kind of thinking is seriously motivating! Have you ever tried having the juice of one lemon into your water? Lemons have tons of vitamin C to help your skin heal, and i personally feel it really really really does WONDERS for my skin. It just makes me feel like my skin is glowing, and it makes my skin silky-smooth! Just remember to drink it with a straw, because lemon juice is so bad for you teeth. Stay positive Sarah! :)
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July 25, 2012

its funny that you mention it because actually, i eat a lemon every day ! like i would eat an orange. haha. i dont really know why but i have for a while ! i have always appreciated really intense flavors. like things that are super sour or spicy. always go to brush my teeth right after though, of course. i will stay postive (: and i really hope you do too.
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July 25, 2012

You're back to your normal self :) great to see. You deserve to feel like a glowing goddess :) you can do it!
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July 25, 2012

yes (: i made it through yesterday and have had a super good day again so far. im excited (: (: (: WE can do it ! not just me
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July 25, 2012

so for the past few days i have been getting these throbbing headaches in the back of my head near my neck when i start working out, i googled it and i guess its relatively common but it hurt so bad today that i had to stop my workout. its frustrating because i love working out, it makes me feel good a bout myself, but i think i should probably take it easy for a little bit. i feel so guilty when i skip a workout though.. so im gonna try to not give up altogether, but just do some gentler excercises. no picking yesterday, or today so far ! i think i will get through the weekend because niko is off work from now until sunday ! i was up way too early this morning though and i think i need to take a nap now.
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July 26, 2012

Sarah: have you mentioned the headaches to your primary care doctor? It's probably important just to run it by them, so they have a record of it and everything. And it sounds like you're super healthy in lots of ways but maybe if the headaches keep up it would be a good idea to get a checkup? You know, just to be safe?...
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July 27, 2012

no picking yesterday. here comes the hard part but i will get through it this time (:
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July 28, 2012

big show tonight.. this morning i picked at 5 really on the surface spots, then i stopped, exfoliated and put on and anti inflammatory honey mask.. and then i did my morning workout ! i could have done so much worse and im proud that i didnt. i was feeling guilty but i did super minimal damage and i need to forgive myself. i also need to remember that i treat my body so well and even if i do pick its not the end of the world. i still have a beautiful skin everywhere else. and big pretty eyes and juiiccccyy lips and a wonderful body (: im glad im me (: (: thats what i need to be focused on
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July 28, 2012

when i have a day where i pick a few spots, i notice a pattern of usually having a serious session the next day. just making a note to myself that thats not going to happen tomorrow. its just not.
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July 28, 2012

I've been having similar thoughts lately! I think that my picking has really made me appreciate my beauty. I know what it's like to really hate what I see in the mirror, whenever my picking is bad. Now that I am able to control my picking and my skin is clearing, I see a beautiful girl with long, naturally blond and wavy hair, dark eyebrows and beautiful light green eyes and a wonderful fit and toned body from years of doing sports and eating well :) I'm not saying this to sound like an arrogant idiot, it's just been so long like I have been able to feel like this, and to like what I see in the mirror! This kind of thinking is great to keep myself from picking as well. I am beautiful, and I wish I could let myself believe that a bit more often. Everyone should really just focus on what they like about themselves.
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July 28, 2012

you dont sound arrogant ! youve gotta appreciate yourself ! you are beautiful !!!!!! (:

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