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July 23, 2014

Okay so yesterday I did not pick my face. Yay! I got into bed and told my husband and felt more attractive to him. Tonight I was tempted and punched a pillow instead and told him why I was doing that. Yay! But, I was picking at my cuticles during the day because I had a lot going through my mind regarding work and family responsibilities. I've been picking my cuticles ever since I was very young, like 5 I would say. And my mom and GRANDMOTHER do that too. I intentionally need to breathe, relax, and remind myself to trust God, He is in control. Put on some lotion and focus on the task at hand. I forgot to think of them as healing hands...I was so absorbed in my thought process it distracted me for long periods of time, even during a work meeting which I'm sure was obvious. Prayer: Lord, help me to focus on the tasks you want me to do without feeling the need to destroy the skin you have given me. I have seen time and time again the damage it does in all aspects physically and in my mind. You are the ultimate healer who can set me free from this bondage. I wanted to avoid an anti-anxiety medication but I'm so glad I gave it a try because it does help me to let go of petty things more easily. Thank you God for the medicine and doctors you have provided to aid in this process. I surrender to you Lord, again help me to bring glory to your name with the hands you have given me.

July 28, 2014

Well, this seems helpful to keep myself accountable if I know I have to post to others who can see it. I have been pretty good about not picking my face but have still been at my cuticles. I used to wear gloves at night to keep them soft..may have to do that again. I have been "taking things into my own hands" again instead of letting go and trusting God. I need to calmly wait for direction from Him, and it won't be stressful or rushed, and then go along with Him throughout the day. Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings in my life. Help me not to be a busybody like Martha but instead rest in your sweet presence, like Mary. The world pushes me, I want to walk with you instead. Amen.

August 02, 2014

Thank you for posting!! Your courage to include God is inspiring and I'm grateful. Glory to God. I've struggled with skin picking for years. Recently, I've become more religious and have gained understanding about where I'm supposed to direct my thoughts and where true healing comes from, but I've been losing the skin-picking/anxiety battle day after day by just avoiding these thoughts, distracting myself or trying to shame myself into just stopping. Your posts were exactly what I needed and they found me even though going online was just one more of the ways that I was trying to take things into my own hands. Amazing. Regardless of whether or not you continue to post, I wanted to testify about this blessing and either way I will continue look back to your previous posts for support and encouragement. I hope you are well!

September 01, 2014

Rainey13, Now you're the encouragement to me for replying to my last post! I pray for healing from your picking and healing in your soul. // I truly feel the key to stopping this once and for all is to live fully submitted to Christ. I imagine it's similar to quitting smoking. We know it's bad for us, but we do it anyway because it provides an outlet. We need a better outlet. Prayer, dancing, push ups, putting the brakes on faulty thinking. Why on earth would I want to spend time focused on little imperfections about myself when there is an entire world of people out there who need more love? Let alone a house that needs cleaning and boxes of memoirs waiting to be scrap booked. I am reminded about the saying that is something like this: God, give me the courage to make change where I can and trust you where I can't, and the wisdom to know the difference.// I stopped posting for a while and going to get back at it again, because I relapsed and came back to this site yesterday. Today I did not pick my face, and there are two spots I really want to get out, but they are so tiny it looks better if I cover it with makeup. But I did scratch and pick at other areas, especially my lips, cuticles and (ugh, so embarrassing) the inside of my nose out of frustration I guess. My finger joints are starting to suffer from self-induced arthritis from all the repetitive picking around my nails. The enamel on my front teeth is wearing down and sensitive now from biting my lip skin off so much. I also clench my teeth at night so my molars are almost flat and I wear a mouthguard at night. My doctor told me ear wax and mucus on the nose are protective against germs, so it's actually better if I leave whatever doesn't come out from cleaning the outside of the ear or blowing my nose. So it's faulty thinking that I have to get the wax or dried mucus out. I feel like I just need to run around and get more energy out or yell out loud sometimes Even though it's weird I find myself talking out loud to myself when I'm alone and it helps to vent frustration. It's better than picking I suppose.// One thing I worry about is whether I am letting someone down. My family moved away from our home town for a better life, but I still feel guilty for being far away from my parents. I struggle with how often to contact them and see them. I do love them and care about them, but sometimes the contact is obligatory and sometimes it is out of love. I guess all relationships have that...love is an action and not always based on feelings. I can get stuck thinking about the dilemma and it can be consuming my mind while I pick. I know they wouldn't want me to act out of obligation towards them, nor would they want to be the reason for me hurting my body. My schedule has been out of balance with working extra and taking care of kids, but somehow I need to fit in regular exercise. I exercise best in the morning, otherwise that would be a good replacement for picking. Turning off the lights in the bathroom really helps so I don't see the little details in the mirror. I have a little stress ball to squeeze while I'm at work that can help damper the cuticle picking. I am not going to give up. I will not let this habit control me! God, my life is in YOUR hands. Relax and enjoy the party!

September 02, 2014

Today I have been more aware when I start picking my cuticles and able to stop. I work in a healthcare setting and became anxious to leave towards the end because a patient was demanding so much time that it took away from the rest. I ended up not being able to stop as easily with the added stress. I had another patient who thought he had cancer. Out of the blue he said he didn't want the doctors to do surgery right away if they detected the cancer, because he "knows human nature and the docs will just want to squeeze it out like a teenager with pimples. They just have to get the pus out of there. Those docs are crazy about cancer like teens have no self control with pimples. They can't just wait and see see what the best solution is." Of course he didn't know that I'm a recovering picker, but it was sure a slap in the face if you will! Hearing it put like that made me more disgusted at the thought that's exactly how I am as an adult! But like God loves us, I'm not disgusted with myself as a whole person, just that choice. I had counseling a long time ago and the advice was to "be a friend to yourself." I certainly wouldn't pick on a friend the way I pick on myself. So I gave myself a pep talk before I got home from work and tried to make the best of the evening. I was having good self control until I faced another trigger...my 5 year old messing around past his bedtime despite my many reminders to stay focused and get ready for bed. I have to try really hard not to baby him and do everything for him. So I had some serious temptation to pick again and I did a little but then stopped and the consequence for my son was natural that we ran out of time for a book and a story. He was upset but he has to learn in order for us all to get enough sleep we have to stick to the schedule. Then my husband wanted some cuddle time. I tried to enjoy him touching me in place of me feeling for spots to pick, and that was a great replacement. And I felt more attractive for him, like I could offer my clearer skin as a gift to him. Lord, thank you for how you are moving in my life. Help me resist the temptation to search for and create unnecessary problems in my body. Amen.

September 02, 2014

I am super proud of you healinghands! It sounds like the positive affirmations on your way home from work really helped out. Even if you picked a little, it was only a little!!! And finding yourself feeling more attractive for your husband is a wonderful thing. Keep it up! I know you will get around to reading that bedtime story tomorrow :) <3 Rae

September 03, 2014

I'm doing a 30 day challenge and will call it day #3 like the day of the month. Today I woke up being really intentional about not picking. I could stop when I found myself starting. Except biting my lips I wanted to get the dead skin off it. I use lip balm daily to help with that but my lips are also a temptation. At work a coworker/superior abruptly shared that our department was changing leadership which meant I would be in a different department than her. I have worked with her for over a year and thought with a big change like that she would have more to say to me that would show some appreciation for what I've done with her department. So it threw me for a loop and the rest of the day I was trying to forget about it but I didn't have as good of self control. I was picking my cuticles while driving which is never good. I had to put it all aside to pick up kids from school. I didn't pretty good after that until bedtime, and I found myself just picking at my toe cuticles because it felt good and I wanted the hard skin off. The very sad thing that I haven't revealed yet is that by picking I've spread little wart seeds around my toe and finger cuticles and I keep having to put on this wart cream to get them to go away. My husband picked up on it that I was in high risk for picking my face, because he probably saw me trying to dig in my back while getting changed to get at a blackhead there. I closed the bathroom door to go after it. He sweetly and gently said, sweetheart, open the door so you don't pick! I took a deep breath and said, I was going to, I want to! But you're right, thank you, and opened the door and turned off the bathroom light to wash my face. I put some antibiotic ointment on the back spot and realized I was going to have to confess all this here. Good grief when it's written down it is so gross to admit to myself I do it. My husband has been wanting to buy a new fridge for $1000 and I keep saying no because it's too much money. He have jokingly but half seriously said if I pick then he gets to buy it. Maybe that's good incentive for me?!? The fridge is a want not a need and we have debts to pay off. // So, kinda feel like one step forward two steps back today. Didn't pick my face, even though I still have spots I know I could get at. So at least that's a good thing. // God, thank you for this place to help create change in me from the inside out. You are the vine and I am the branches, prune off the dead branches and renew the live ones. Thank you for the other people you have provided here so we can help each other stay accountable. Your created this body, give me the self-control to take care of it. Amen.

September 03, 2014

I'm glad we are both on day three of the 30-day challenge Healinghands! The support is really helping and you are totally right, the accountability makes it more difficult to pick. I'm sorry to hear about your job, but perhaps if you were under appreciated it's a good change! Sometimes big life changes can help us stop bad habbits too :) it's like a fresh start! I'll check in tomorrow! Keep up the good work!

September 04, 2014

Thanks...you're right, sometimes I have to be totally out of my element for a wake up call to change. I very much appreciate having an accountability partner! We can do this!

September 04, 2014

Day #4: - some picking my cuticles before getting to work today. I put lotion on and that lessened the urge. When I'm in a time crunch I find myself picking, which only adds more time before I get my tasks completed at work. I hate being in a hurry. It's not a good way to live. I found some toe cuticles I wanted to pick while putting my son to bed, but I said out loud, nope, not going to do it. So I didn't continue there. At bedtime I felt the pimple on my back and thought, hmmm, I could get something out of there but it will look more ugly afterwards. So I just put some ointment on it. Need to get to bed earlier tonight...that should help. I am at risk for picking tonight because my husband and I have another financial issue to discuss. Conflict breeds stress and the desire to numb it...so I have to choose between talking about it and being more at risk for picking or waiting until a better time. // Lord, please help me not to pick whatever happens tonight. Help me to respond to my husband in an understanding way and and open his heart to understand me. May we honor you with our conversation and the financial resources you have given us. Amen.

September 04, 2014

Healinghands it sounds like you had a great day! I am going to try talking to myself aloud next time I feel like picking. That is a great idea! I totally picked tonight and was really frustrated at myself, but seeing how well you are doing is definitely motivating me to try harder tomorrow! Sending prayers your way to help ease the stress. Best wishes <3

September 05, 2014

Thanks Rae for checking in too. I took TJ's advice (I think it was TJ?) and got some Acnomel. Will get to try it tonight. Day #5. Not feeling well, headache coming on, some digestive issues, so will need to not procrastinate pick and get right to bed. Last night my husband was almost asleep and he didn't feel like talking. We talked briefly this morning and I did feel stressed but I told him "I don't like feeling like you're upset with me" (because he wanted a fridge but now the sales are over), and I could feel a weight lifted by verbalizing that instead of picking my face to relieve the feeling. He said he just didn't know what to say because he's been tired and not getting enough sleep (because he can't sleep until I'm in bed and I am up later than him on the computer and/or picking often). I also layed in bed this morning and prayed about the day and people in my life before getting up. Throughout the day I found myself lip biting or cuticle picking here and there, and was able to stop after getting a hangnail that I could feel. I definitely have a hard time leaving it alone until I can't feel the roughness or jagged edge. I just want it smooth. I have been trying to tell myself it's not noticeable and just use clippers when I get home, but so far I have not been able to resist the urge. I have been making more of a point not to stress, and a big chunk of that is leaving enough time to drive to get places on time. But even if I'm late I'm trying not to stress about that either. This morning I took quality time with my younger son and didn't leave enough time to get ready and we were both lying on the floor saying "I don't want to go to school/work" (I was trying to imitate him to show him he's not the only one who feels that way), and eventually he said, "but we have to. C'mon mom, I am late. Lets not be late tomorrow." Hurray! I was a few minutes late to work but it was all right, and he was late to school but his teacher excused him. My coworker/supervisor said that the department change was out of her hands and it was nothing to do with my performance, with lots of words of appreciation, so that was a relief. It helps to have lip balm close at hand and lotion or cuticle softener because those are my "in public" areas that I can't control. I found strange relief in clipping our older son's nails and opening pistachios. Lord, thank you for helping me make progress so far. Thank you for this forum which Sooooo helps me stay accountable.

September 05, 2014

Oooh Healinghands let me know how the Acnomel works!! It sounds like you made great strides today! I did too ☺️ Day 5 seems to be a good day for us! I love your story about you and your son. He seems to be very supportive too. I also tried to be very forgiving of myself today and it has worked wonders. I can't wait to hear about tomorrow's successes!

September 06, 2014

Gotta make this quick, need to get to bed. Day #6: picked cuticles when I was running late to get somewhere again. Bit lips when on the phone with my mom, worried about what she might be worried about. Went to examine my face just now in the mirror and stepped away to do this. The pimple on my back I covered with a bandaid because I kept itching it. Husband wants me to come to sleep. Acnomel cleared up two baby pimples overnight, the big test will be in another 3 weeks when I have my period. Good night and sweet dreams fellow skin healing friends!

September 07, 2014

Did well today...will check in later I have a 11 yr old peeping over my shoulder :)

September 08, 2014

Day #8. I am excited to report the pimple on my back is smoothed over now! It did have a scab from when I scratched it and covering it with the bandaid helped it to heal on its own. I haven't abused my face since I started this 30 day challenge. I put on nail polish, and that deters me slightly from wanting to pick my cuticles because I don't want to mess up the nail polish. But biting my lips is still an issue...last night and this morning my bottom lip even bled a little. The more I bite the more it has to heal and the more "rough" feeling lips I want to pick. I gotta let it be rough in order to heal. I'm trying not to stress so much so that I don't pick. It's like when I recognize I'm "stewing" over something it just feels natural to keep stewing and picking. Stewing and picking only makes the stress sink in more. Either I need to stop thinking about it because it's pointless, or get on my knees and fold my hands to pray over the situation for some direction and take action.

September 09, 2014

Day #9...I feel like I did better at not picking cuticles today. But I started doing it when I was talking to my supervisor and also when I was giving a presentation. I was feeling a little tense about both, or feeling self conscious during both. I was getting rough dry lips again and started to feel like biting them but I was able to put on lip balm in time. Sometimes I find myself scratching a spot and then realizing I don't need to keep scratching just because it's a spot.

September 10, 2014

Day #10. I think just making myself do this every night helps me not to pick. I have a deep cyst on the back of my neck, the Acnomel didn't make it go away overnight. I keep feeling it but it's too deep to squeeze out anyway...It will be a challenge to leave it alone when the pus comes closer to the surface; hopefully I can just put ointment on it until it goes away instead. I haven't picked my face yet, and today I even let myself cry about something involving our older son instead of going to the mirror to pick. My husband came in the room and saw me upset, and said, "you picked you face, didn't you" and even though I was upset I was also proud that I didn't pick even when I was vulnerable and could tell him that honestly. He understood why I was upset but still needed my help with the kids.// Today I have been more fixated on my nails since they are still painted but the paint is rubbing off. I haven't picked my cuticles as much but still somewhat. I did do some lip biting also. It is hard not to react when I feel a rough spot there and if the lip balm is not immediately handy. I did pick the inside of my nose (ugh, how embarrassing to admit again) when I went in the bathroom. The bathroom is the worst trigger. How vain I can be.// Tonight I didn't have as strong as an urge to pick when I was putting our younger son to bed. I am really committed to recovering from this addiction. But I know if I stop posting here I will get lazy again so not sure if I can ever say I'm "cured." Kinda figure I will be in recovery for the next 30 years since I have been a picker for about 30 years. On my first post I said I have been picking since puberty...yes that is how long I've been picking my face but I can remember biting my nails and picking my fingers since I was a little girl. // Lord, help me see with your eyes and not get stuck picking on myself. Amen.

September 10, 2014

I agree that the forum helps to reduce the picking! I like how you were able to express your emotions in a healthy way by crying. That's always better than picking. Your husband must be proud of you too. I would like to think that we can extend this challenge as long as we need to. Perhaps the accountability will get annoying enough that we will be forced to stop! Posting for the next thirty years might become a hassle :) I get my Acnomel tomorrow! It seems to help you, so hopefully it will do the same for me. :) I can't wait to read tomorrow's update!

September 11, 2014

Raeina, Thanks for your support, my healing friend! Hey, I might drive everyone crazy if I post every day for 30 years but at least I won't be picking as much! LOL

September 11, 2014

Day #11 Bit lips when I was over-thinking on two occasions today. Picked my baby toe cuticles and felt around for other rough edges while reading to my older son...goodness I don't want him to pick up on me doing that! Picked at finger cuticles while driving but caught myself and stopped. Still have the pimple/cyst coming in on the back of my neck. It's the kind that hurts when you touch it but I know if I squeezed it nothing would come out except blood. I gotta get more sleep, these late nights make it harder not to worry and I haven't been able to get up early to exercise. My husband and I are wanting to do yoga together in mornings (it's the only exercise he is willing to make time to do), but so far the daily grind and child-rearing prevents that.

September 11, 2014

Seems like a good day. I like how your posts are becoming more observatory and less judgemental. I am going to try and do that too. Observe without judgement. Keep going ❤️

September 12, 2014

Day #12. Late night...a little cuticle picking when ruminating over various things. I need more reaction to it when I start, it just seems a part of me and takes a while for me to realize I'm doing it. The pimple on the back of my neck is getting bigger and more sore, which means I will be more tempted to squeeze it. I can't tell myself enough times it will take less time to heal if I leave it alone! And it won't be as ugly. I didn't wear makeup today bc I didn't have to work. It was refreshing to leave the house not worried about red gashes on my face. Off to bed, tomorrow is another day to refocus!

September 13, 2014

Day #13 Today I avoided emptying the pimple on the back of my neck which is "ready" as I used to think. That is a victory. I know it will heal faster if I leave it alone and just put cream on it. I can't tell yet whether the Benzoyl Peroxide or Acnomel with Sulfer is the way to go. During the movie "Brother Bear" I totally bit off the dry layer on the right side of my bottom lip. I get so involved and emotional during movies...I can't hardly go to the theater because my heart races and I really feel the suspense and drama. When I was talking to my husband before bed about an issue with our older son, I succumbed and dug my nail into what felt like a blackhead on my back. I just wanted to relieve some pressure I was feeling inside. It's OK, no blood or anything, but probably reddened. And I don't like how I felt inside as it led up to that moment. I need to start being aware and take a deep breath or clasp my hands together or something instead of reach back and feel what could be picked off. Before bed I was cleaning our bathroom because we have company. It usually takes overnight guests to motivate me to do a deep cleaning. It was a similar "got to get all the dirt off" feeling as when I am picking, and probably some OCD...and I knew it was a better type of outlet. Perhaps housecleaning could be one of my alternatives instead of picking, if I can remember and be motivated to do it!

September 14, 2014

Day #14 Today went well for most of the day. I had groomed my nails gently, and avoided picking until this evening. Then when I discovered our dog had run away, I started really picking at the skin around my fingers while driving around calling for him. I recognized it was happening, but my defenses were down and I have been feeling thoughts like "I wonder if it was my fault." After that initial reaction I started to verbalize that I was sad about it and that helped me not keep picking. I guess my natural reaction would be to overreact and even cry about it, because I feel like an irresponsible dog owner. Then in the bathroom I picked my nose and just don't feel like I can relax knowing he's out there and probably lost, or maybe he's glad to have escaped so he can be "free." // The pimple on the back of my neck was less tender this morning and felt smaller. I went with the Acnomel. I have a blackhead under my left breast and another one above my left hip. I know I could get them out but they are really small and leaving them red would not help in my self-image. Hmmm...it's really hard to change. Stressful situations really trigger me to act out this way. I think I need to take some time and sort it out in my head properly or just cry or put words to my feelings to help me not to pick. I still haven't picked my face, which is the most obvious. But inside I'm still learning how to deal with strong feelings and real life situations in a healthy way.

September 16, 2014

BTW, our somewhat less intelligent dog got himself stuck in our closet. I found him shortly after this post! All that negative self-talk for nothing!

September 15, 2014

Day #15 Today was more improvement. I stopped myself from picking my finger cuticles during the day. I did pick my toe cuticles when I took my slippers off tonight while reading a book to my younger son. Need to put cuticle softener on them instead. The pimple on my neck gets bigger by the end of the day and in the morning is smaller. Annoying. Was able to just blow my nose instead of pick it today, so that's good. Went without makeup in public today, and that was nice, too. Still feel the blackheads under my breast and above my hip, but letting them be. Apparently they are supposed to go away on their own, but it takes a long time so we'll see. Lord, thank you for helping me through today. Help me to make it through tomorrow too, trusting in you.

September 16, 2014

Day # 16 of 30. Past the half way mark! I had a bad dream last night about going to the airport and forgetting my passport, as well as some social situations that bothered me. So I woke up at 3am and picked my toe cuticles and bit my lips, and plucked out the two blackheads under my breast and above my right hip. Now of course there are bright red dots where before you couldn't even tell in a mirror. I thought, oh man, I'm going to have to report that tonight. Then today at work I did fairly well, I think because I had the kids all ready for school with backpacks and lunches made and bus notes written the night before. I didn't get to exercise yet, but I feel like investing time into this forum will be beneficial for my health. I notice I get stressed easily when I'm in a hurry. So I've been purposely trying to stay aware of that and not try to cram more in 30 minutes than I can accomplish, otherwise I will get all worked up and that will lead to picking. I do want to get into an exercise routine again, because it just makes me feel good. Tonight while I was on the phone with a friend, I desperately wanted the "girl time" to speak to her, but at the same time I was thinking about laundry, dishes, kids' homework and parent teacher conferences to arrange...and so I compulsively picked off all the ends of my toenails while on the phone with her. I thought again, great, Im going to have to report that too. My toenails were looking so nice before I did that! Rats. I should put on gloves when I feel that way and decide if I can afford to talk and leave the rest of it or if I need to postpone the conversation and take care of business. So, while I have not picked my face, my inner wellbeing leaves much to be desired. Breathe, take it easy, I can only do what one person can do in a 24 hour period. //Lord, please forgive me for not trusting you with the little details of my life. I can't do this without you, I can't stop this out of my own strength and willpower. I can do all things through you who strengthens me. Thank you for my family, my job, and the life you have given me. You gave up your flesh for me to be free, I don't need to live in bondage to this habit. You created my hands with the abilities they have. I pray for help to use them for good and not for harm. Amen.

September 17, 2014

Day # 17. It's been a decent day. I exercised this am! But I did not get enough sleep last night. There's too much to do to get kids ready for school it seems. I did well not picking in the morning. I picked a little while driving then put a stop to it. I felt the pimple on the back of my neck and it's getting smaller. I have to admit there were some small hard blackeads? that were just about out on their own and I did scratch them off with one finger and they came off easily. I was feeling particularly stressed today in the afternoon because of the "I want I wants" from the kids and whining. Then my husband came home and he was stressed. But then he made a fire and we had a "picnic" dinner by the fire in our living room and once we had two spills of food and beverage we laughed it off and enjoyed the family time together. I have still been biting my lips subconsciously and by the time I realize what I'm doing I have a loose piece I just have to get off. Just keep swimming!

September 17, 2014

It's great to hear that your pimple is getting smaller! It's nice to be able to leave it alone and see it digress. You are always so thankful and hopeful. It's inspiring!

September 19, 2014

I am traveling the next few days and will continue to work on being at peace inside through prayer...and hopefully picking less and less. I can definitely notice that stress or worry leads to picking. Will post again Monday or Tuesday night.