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alex56 , 09 Sep 2015

Advice and motivation

hey everyone, my name is Alex and ive been picking since i was 8, started with my scalp. then later on began picking my face, chest, back, legs, arms, boobs, butt, anything i can get my hands on. Now 13 years later, been in therapy the last couple years , still picking. I'm still trying to help myself, but in the process I just want to motivate everyone else out there so try as hard as you can to stop picking. Its amazing what damage we can do to our skin and how it continues to heal itself, but eventually my skin started giving up on me and how much I abuse it. I think i was infected with staph for the second time and the last 6 months have developed the worse scars because every bump i would pick turned into a giant hole, some which took months to heal. I see pictures and read stories of people going through this so young, like i had started. and it makes me sad, because out of all the techniques and medications ive tried to help this behavior, the biggest win is just will-power. And it is so incredibly hard to do, but you wanting to stop this is what will. you have to want to stop this, and WANT to take care of yourself. realize we need to be taking care of our bodies inside and out and prevent infection and illness, not make it harder for our bodies to work to keep us alive. If you have CSP associated with depression (as I do), this isn't easy, because sometimes i really dont care about myself, why not. If I'm feeling mentally bad, then why would i care to be good to my body? Not everyones case is the same, but for me, its this repetitive cycle. I am down, I pick, go in that trance forget everything and just make up stories, then once im back out, feel worse because now i cant even pretend to feel confident in how i look with all these scars and scabs on me. I am sick of writing on the calendar 'Day 1-no picking'. starting over and over again at day 1 since i first recognized I need to stop 8 years ago. Over and over this cycle goes. but each day you can pass, is progress. Stay in touch with yourself, once you start picking tell yourself 'you know youre going to feel even worse after this ' and BELIEVE IT. don't just let it go, KNOW that the longer you can resist this urge the stronger you will get and more you can overcome this compulsion, caused from OCD then just resulting into a horrible habit. Resisting that urge is hard, and for myself picking serves as a distraction of my mind. We need to find other places to put that energy. So much energy is used in my picking, I'll will pick for 4 hours and feel so exhausted afterwards, just need to sleep.

Here's some ideas, I have an adult stress relieving coloring book, if I get the urge to pick, putting a pencil in my hand and coloring or drawing or writing can help. But i have to force myself. Theres no trick to it, you have to force yourself.
During the day if i want to pick and i have energy i workout, just workout until i feel that same type of exhausting feeling as i would from picking. But this is positive and good for you.
Keep yourself as busy as possible, avoid being alone, make others aware of your picking, dont feel ashamed of it, recognize it and fix it. Go outside as much as possible in public areas. form new habits such as exercising or meditating.
I am waiting for the day i can look or feel a bump on my skin and think nothing of it. We are all looking for some sort of physical cure like keeping fingernails short, covering mirrors, etc. and all these things DO help, but when it comes down to it, its mental and we need to fix this from the inside.
To start, keep nails short, throw away any needles you have, ANY, if thats a problem. I threw mine out and have been desperate enough started using tacks in the wall.
If it's tempting showing skin, keep yourself covered up at home so its not as easy for you to find things to pick.
Convince yourself you need to take care of your body, if you do pick, make sure to disinfect and keep clean. Don't pick easy stuff like your scalp or fingers after touching dirty things, such as for me one place to start is trying not to pick my head while on the subway, even though much time is spent in public transportation.
I don't care for myself as a person and don't see any reason to take care of myself, but I imagine my body to not necessarily be ME. its the largest organ of our bodies, and I am going to take care of it as I would care for another person. Because this organ is relying on me to keep it growing strong and every part of ourselves inside and out has to work together. Don't ever give up on stopping.

1 Answer
September 09, 2015

Hey Alex- what an inspiring post! I picked last night and woke up upset about it, and could easily have picked again today as a result, but your post has reminded me that every day is a victory. Thank you! If you want to join the Skin Pick buddy group/support chat thing we have started thanks to this website, we use the app KIK, you only need an email address and a smart phone to get it, then just tell me your username and I'll add you. It's nice having others to support and cheer up.

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