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smm23 , 26 May 2014

Living Hell

SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME! I can't stop picking my face! I've tried everything but I still can't seem to stop obsessively picking at my skin. I constantly have my fingers on my face tracing over every imperfection and scratching at any "bump" I can find. I sit in front of the mirror for hours digging into my skin. I have scarring and scabs all over my face. It is disgusting and impossible to hide. It is RUINING my life. I can't work, I've lost all my friends, I barely leave my house. When I do try to do something as simple as grocery shopping I end up sitting in the parking lot trying to work up the courage to go inside and usually end up driving back home because I'm too embarrassed to be seen. It is affecting my relationship, my parenting, my entire life! I am so ashamed of myself. What is wrong with me? I keep lying to myself and telling myself that I will be better someday ...that I can't feel like this forever but it is only getting worse. I've been doing this for 5 years. A lot of the time I don't even know I'm doing it. I find myself picking all the time. I do not get enjoyment out of tormenting my body like this. I feel anxious and ashamed every time. I feel I have to pick the scabs and dry skin off in order to smooth the appearance so that I can layer and cake on foundation, which can only cover so much. No one knows what I am going through and I'm too ashamed to tell anyone. I'm at my breaking point. I don't know what to do anymore. My skin hurts.. I'm emotionally drained ..And I look like SH*T.  -Feeling Helpless :(
1 Answer
May 26, 2014
Thank you for sharing. You are not alone. I have been a skin picker for 15+ years. I'm 27 now and I can relate to a lot of what you shared. What has helped me reduce my picking considerably is writing about the feelings that come up that cause me to pick, sharing about it at 12-step meetings, and asking my higher power to remove the obsession. What also helps is practicing self love and acceptance, i.e. being gentle with myself after picking, saying encouraging things to myself in front of the mirror, like "I love you no matter what" or "I know you are doing the best you can and I love you." At first it felt awkward and didn't feel true, but slowly I am starting to believe these affirmations. I understand my picking is a broken coping tool, just like drinking/using drugs, so support groups have been essential for me. You can probably Google local open 12-step meetings or support groups where you can hear other people's stories and share your experience, strength, and hope with others. What works for me on a moment to moment basis is surrendering to the fact I can't change me or this habit on my own, but something greater than me (a forum, a support group, and God of my understanding) can help me find strength to make progress in loving and accepting myself exactly where I'm at today.

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