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Marcia B. , 14 Apr 2013

So happy I found this site I could cry

I had NO IDEA face picking was a disorder, I'm a black woman with a caramel complexion and I pick at the hairs on my face constantly. I wear heavy foundation to cover up the horrible black scars I've caused. I'm so good at applying my makeup people think I'm beautiful, whenever I post pictures of myself on FB I get Likes and comments that make me feel like a million $$, if they saw me without makeup they wouldn't recognize me. I live in a condo and I can't even go down to the mailbox or garbage chute without putting on SOME foundation. It's horrible, some days I just want to die. I have terrible anxiety and take an antidepressant every day but it doesn't help. I'm divorced, my kids are all adults now and I live alone, as soon as I get home from work I run to the bathroom to wash off my makeup so I can pick my face. The area I pick is mainly the left side of my chin and under my neck. I hate summer because I have to wear makeup even on the hottest days!! I'm going on a cruise with a friend from work this July and all I can think of is "she'll find out my secret" . It's the trip of a lifetime and I want to heal my face so bad!!! I want to go to a dermatologist but I'm so afraid the Dr. Will do some treatment that won't allow me to put my makeup back on to leave his office. I started picking when I was still married, it was a horrible marriage and the stress started then and continues 15 years later. Thank you for reading this, I am open to any suggestions.
3 Answers
April 16, 2013
I have scars everywhere.. someone once called me crater head years ago.. my face usually looks like a boyfriend has seen me at my worst..with my face bleeding all over. I always thought that guys didn't like me because I wasn't pretty like the other girls..but this guy thinks I'm gorgeous even without makeup. He supports me in learning to be confident and healthy. I have no doubt that you are beautiful..and I'm sure that there is a guy lucky enough out there to love everything about you, scars and all.
April 17, 2013
Thanks so much for sharing, Marcia B. I identify with your story. I started wearing make up when I was 12 or 13, when I started picking. There are a lot of suggestions on this forum for how to cope with urges that you may find helpful. The strategies that have worked for me have been to journal about my anxiety before or after picking, so I can be aware of my anxieties and patterns, and to avoid mirrors throughout the day (except for getting ready in the morning, 5 minute limit, and washing my face at night). If i'm in front of the mirror longer, I'll want to pick and get my fix and make myself late. I recently started a 12 step program to deal with compulsive behavior. Even though it's not addressing skin picking specifically, it's helping me a lot to feel not so alone and it's getting me out of the house and in a room with other people. Since I've started therapy to deal with my sexual abuse as a kid and the 12 step program, I have been able to deal with my skin picking much more honestly. Some progress: in the last 2 months or so, I am wearing make up once or twice a week, as opposed to every day, multiple applications, which was my life for 10+ years. I'm proud of this progress. Right now I'm doing the 21 day challenge on this forum and have had a pick-free day 2. Reading this forum and responding to posts has allowed me to share my story and release some of my anxiety. I was abstinent from picking today. I'm super grateful for that. Good luck. You are not alone. Rosa
Cloudy Days
April 17, 2013
I know how you feel. I've never worn makeup though because I was always afraid it would cause me more acne. If I have acne I will pick at it and it will look worse and worse and before you know it, it's a wound on my face that will take weeks to go away. Anyways, you really should try out the dermatologist or a therapist to deal with the picking. When I went to a dermatologist they just looked at my face, popped some pimples themselves and gave me some perscriptions to treat my acne. I'm sure you could go to the bathroom afterwards to put your makeup on. You have to aprove anything they do to you so just ask. I am currently in a very stressful marriage, although I started picking when I was 11-12, it's continued for 18 years at a steady rate, it picks up when I am more stressed out. I've always been a very anxiety filled person (shyness does that). Living with my husband doesn't help anything...However he knows something about mental torture because he lives it every day too. If this lady you are going on your trip with is a really good freind, you should be open with her. You don't have to say more than I have an anxiety disorder that causes you to pick at your face and leave it at that. Having someone who knows your deep dark secrets can be very liberating.

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