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Jlhutch82 , 15 Oct 2012

My Story

I am a 30 year old single mother and full-time social work student who lives in Michigan. As a child I suffered from both anorexia and bulimia. I was hospitalized for both and continued to struggle into my mid-20's. After having my child I started suffering from chronic depression. I recall picking at my face as a child and young adult. I thought that the worst was over with because it has not happened in over a decade. I never had acne and currently do not struggle with this. What I do is pick and poke at each and every pore until they are red and irritated. I cannot stop looking in the mirror and I spend up to 2 hours every night doing this. Because I live alone with my 3 year old, I have plenty of time to myself after he goes to bed. I spend most of this time obsessing until I feel like I have nothing to live for. Lately I have missed classes and my internship to sit home and research "treatments" and products that can "cure my acne."(mind you, I do not have acne..I know this logically). My family is at a loss about how to help me, and they are starting to worry. I am currently in therapy, taking 100 mg of Zoloft and also see a naturopath every 2 weeks. I have altered my diet and do my best to lead a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, just when I think I'm having a "good week," I'll have a relapse. Last night being a big one. Usually these episodes happen after a stressful event or a feeling of rejection. Last night was a combination of both. I am glad that there is a group like this to offer up support. I know that in a matter of days my very light pink marks will disappear, but to me..they look enormous and prevent me from looking people in the eye.
5 Answers
October 16, 2012
Hi! Welcome to the group. I'm sorry to hear of your troubles, but you've definitely come to a place with familiar faces. Although we may be different in the "what's" and "why's" of our own personal condition, we are the same in that it is a struggle every day. I've been quitting now for a month, and although my picking is much less, it's still there. I'm hoping you're talking to your therapist about the deep-down reasons you pick, and that should help you come to grips with why you do what you do. I also have a son, 2 1/2 years old. He is my biggest inspiration to quit. Think about it this way: your son will likely mimick your behavior later in life. What better thing can you do to improve his life but NOT give him a "picker" as a mom? I want to be a healthy mom for Mica, and the more I pick, the more I think of myself and the more I am not there for him. You have an opportunity to gain control of a part of your life by quitting picking. It's empowering. Don't give up. Make yourself a plan to quit and follow it! Become devoted to something positive in the evenings instead of picking. You might find help in setting a timer when you go in the bathroom and getting out of there when it goes off. Or dim the lights. Or cover the mirror. Just do it for your son.
October 18, 2012

In reply to by olivegreen

Thank you so much for the kind words and advice. My son (Miles) has already displayed symptoms of O.C.D and I really want to make sure that he does not see me doing these things. I actually go to therapy today and have been using the B.D.D Workbook that my therapist gave me to read. I have an egg timer and should put that in the bathroom. I picked a tiny bit this weekend after going through a personal letdown. The person I was dating decided that it wasn't working out for him and told me as much. I tried so hard not to take it out on myself, but I lost that battle. The results were one medium sized spot and one tiny one. I am going to let them heal and try to start anew. I can't let that be the end all of my hard work to fight this. I am glad to have this support group. If you have a regular email address, mine is In case you are able to communicate that way. It sounds like we may have some things in common, and I could certainly use the support. I live in mid-Michigan, by the way.
goal orientated
October 18, 2012
Just messaging to send you some tlc from us all xxxx there is green concealer available for redness since you do not have acne. It has been invented to counteract redness since the two colours are opposites on the colour wheel. Give a a go. You then place foundation or coloured powder over it to make it look like you have clear skin in public.
October 18, 2012
Your story really touched me. I started posting on this forum a few weeks ago and was feeling optimistic. I was doing pretty well and had managed to stop picking for a bit. My skin was looking okay and I even exchanged my full coverage foundation for a lighter coverage this weekend. And then I slipped up this Tuesday and attacked my face. I'm so frustrated and know that I look like shit today. I can't hide the red flaky spots on my face. I'm at work right now and I keep wanting to make an excuse to leave early. I'm going to try and stick it out though and just accept the damage I've done. I keep telling myself that it looks worse to me and other people can't notice. I've gone through cognitive behavioral therapy but I think it's time to go back to a therapist. I've got a phone number of a doctor I call and I need to force myself to make an appointment. Hope your day is going well so far. Try and fake confidence when talking to people. That's what I'm doing today :)
October 18, 2012

In reply to by mschafer87

I am glad that you are able to have this outlet. I am finding some relief to see that I am not alone. It's funny that I'm a social worker and help others, but can't seem to stop doing something that causes me so much distress. I never used to be like this, until about 6 months ago. My OCD just manifested into this obsession. I hope that you make it through today and know that things will heal and you will find some peace. I've returned to exercise after a one month hiatus. I lost 50 lbs over the past year and am needing to get myself motivated to care again. It also helps to burn off energy and kick the endorphins in. I am glad to be in touch with you. Feel free to email me at any time if you need to chat.

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