Stopping - for real this time god damn it!


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October 12, 2015

So 24hrs in and I need to pee. Went full into the mirror to 'have a look' before I realised what I was doing and pulled myself out of there! It was real close though ... taking my make up off later's gonna be real risky ... maybe I should just sleep with it on and take it off in the shower in the morning??? My skin feels filthy though
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October 13, 2015

Managed to wash off my make up and put on some antiseptic cream before bed last night ... might have picked off a few flakes of dry skin from the peeling mess that is my chin but I'm not counting that as picking. The swelling on my left jawline has come down, it's not an angry red lumpy line anymore, instead there are about 10 really big red lumps. I'm trying to focus on the fact that that's an improvement. I'm gonna be home all day writing an essay for college which is always a time I pick so I'm really gonna have to dig deep ... there's a white head on my chin I'm itching to get out. It's under a layer of heald over skin so it's quite deep and I know to get at it I'd have to scratch off the top few layers and then squeeze it out. Despite the fact I know the damage I'll cause (I can picture it vividly) I'm still squirming under the impulse to do it. I also know if I give in to that ONE moRe will follow and it'll be a literal blood bath... deep breathing mindfulness/zen time me thinks.... although that's defo not as appealing .... and makes me feel like a wanker
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October 13, 2015

So since I'm home studying I'm not wearing make up so my skin can breath and heal - I have a sneaking suspicion that make up makes it all worse ultimately even if it is my friend in the short run. Just been confronted in the kitchen by my dad who's home from work sick. He says that seeing me upsets him to the point he wishes he didn't see me so often so he wouldn't have to think about what I do to myself. He got all upset and said 'that's a horrible thing to wish you didn't see your daughter that often'. I know he's trying to motivate me to stop by telling me how it affects him but I feel so emotional and upset that I can't concentrate on my college work and I can't buy into the lie I've been repeating over and over to myself for the past few days - that it's my warped brain that's morphing what I see in the mirror to grotesque levels and that even despite the damage I've done most people wouldn't notice it as anything other than blemishes, that when you talk to someone you take them in as a whole person, their whole face and disregard the marks you may register when you first encounter them. .. I feel like I'm drowning
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October 14, 2015

Some how I managed not to pick my face yesterday despite the overwhelming urge to. Just threw myself into college work and thankfully one of my friends rang me unexpectedly which distracted me from the whole thing. Getting through my work managed to make me realize there are certain things I have control of and I should focus on them and not the things I have no control over. Incidentally when I got out of college this evening my car windows had been smashed. Usually I go berserk at stuff like that spiraling into a really negative tail spin along the lines of 'well I should never have parked there', 'this would only happen to me' etc but at this point my bar of expectation for the human race is so low that its just another thing that has happened and the only emotional response is relatively mild disappointment. Not sure whether that change is a good thing. Perhaps I'm stronger and things are phasing me less? Or perhaps it's negative... that I've become so emotionally numb and disconnected they don't even register? I'm so tired at this point I don't think I'm much at risk of picking coz all I want is my bed. Day 3 successful!
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October 16, 2015

Just posting to say I got through yesterday without picking. Was just to busy to post - having to go in and out to college on public transport makes the day so much longer. Luckily I had an appointment with my counselor coz later I left my debit card in the luas (tram) ticket machine coz the luas arrived as I was topping up my card and I grabbed the card to tag on and overlooked the other card. Thankfully my boyfriend was with me when I realized coz I was not as calm as yesterday when I'd realised - I just felt so stupid and incapable. Had to cancel the card. If I was at home or if I'd been on my own I would have picked the minute I got home but thankfully I managed to refocus on the fact the I'll get a new card in a few days - I'll probably save a little money coz I wont have immediate access to cash and that myself and my boyfriend were going home to have dinner together and cuddle ourselves to sleep. So I've got through to day 5 - haven't been here in the longest time. Its taken a lot of awareness and concentration, reacting differently to adverse situations and focusing on the positive - which is NOT my natural inclination.
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October 17, 2015

Managed to get to day 6 yesterday and as my boyfriend said this morning it's been a long time since I've managed this. Really wanted to pick yesterday coz even though my chin is healing there's new "erruptions" let's say due to the previous damage I'd caused and the dry brittle layer of skin over the damaged area is inflexible and peeling. I can see the damaged and enlarged pores with puss etc in them underneath. It feels like I did an incomplete job of it last week's work and everything in me is telling me to just get the last of the puss out and i can stop picking then..... But of course I know what will happen if I give in .... I really badly want to peel the dead skin off and smooth it out too. There also ingrown hairs coming up in the damaged skin which are painful and in one instance causing a very large angry red pustulant "spot". I really want to pop that, get all the puss out (down to the very root until there's only blood left of course) and then get a tweezers to remove the hair ... I'm really fidgety and itching myself on the arms and legs and pulling at my lips coz my hands are little manic demons and I'm trying to block the impulse to go to the mirror or indulge in a non visual expolritory feel of my chin. I will make it through to the end of day 7 and hopefully then all the way to day 10 - 10 days is the longest I've gone since I started picking, that was back in Easter 2013 - I had decided lent was as good a time as any to give up. Since then 7 has been all I could manage - maybe once every 6 months (if even). My boyfriend has decided if I can hold off till this evening he'll make us a celebratory dinner and we'll get a bottle of wine. Here's hoping I'm telling you what we had tomorrow! On a positive note about my skin the less damage areas - forehead and cheeks are looking really healthy with any evidence of picking minimal (light pink and flat). I managed to go around to the shops this morning with only tinted moisturizer and concealer on, which was sufficient coverage allowing me not to feel hideous and self conscious nor like I'm caked in an unbreathable layer of gunk to hide my shame. That's got to be worth it surely? I feel empowered ... is that strange?
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October 18, 2015

Day 7 completed -ta da!! Might have had a little squeeze of an ingrown hair ( not the sore one) this morning to get a trapped folicle out ... but it was only a small squeeze to get it out and then I realized what I was doing and stopped - so I'm not gonna count it, but confessing feels theraputic. Nobody's perfect right? And I'm sure that's part of the stopping process. That you find yourself in 'comfortable' territory and without judgement pull yourself out. Most of all it's the non judgement I'm proud of. I just kinda went - Ro you know this isn't part of the plan and yes you've given into this one but you can still walk away. And I did!!! Usually I'd be telling myself how inevitable it was to find myself there because I'm weak and who did I think I was fooling that I could stop. So this is definitely new ground. Also this is all happening amid what I can only describe as a torrent of shit that keeps getting dumped on me all week. Found out yesterday that admin at college have fucked up an application that's essential to one of my modules which may mean I can't sit the exam and therefore have to repeat that course next year. I genuinely feel like the world is conspiring against me and if I believed in God that he was testing me. But I suppose what I'm learning is it's not what happens in your life that counts, it's how you deal with or react to it that does.
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October 18, 2015

Hi, girl, I so wish will power was enough for us all to stop. I have been picking for 15 years and been trying to quit for just as long. After a picking incident, I think no more, never again. But then, next week, after the wounds have healed and my skin cleared up, picking doesn't seem like such a bad idea. After all, the little voice in your head will say whatever he has to say to convince you to pick. It's like I'm schizophrenic, or something. "If you pick, it will make the pimple look better. You have to pick at this blackhead because it's so huge that everyone can see it. If you don't pick at this little whitehead now, it will be terrible looking by tomorrow." This voice is there right before and during picking, but after you made a mess out of your face, all of a sudden he disappears and you are left all alone and desperate for help. Who's gonna help me now as I wait while the scab heals and the scar goes away? That 20 seconds of picking at a pimple will cost you a month to be completely gone off you face once the scab and the dark spot heal. So sad. There has to be a way to silence that annoying evil voice in your head. He doesn't know what's really good for your skin. He only knows that he wants you to pick at every little imperfection on your skin, even if they are better left alone. There is no reason in his words. We have to use logic to make better decisions for ourselves.
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October 19, 2015

Better decisions is what I'm all about! Yeah there's moments of weakness but I have to be kind enough to myself to know those moments are part of the healing process. Will power is pretty much all I've got and if I don't believe it'll get me through I'm done for. I'm a stubborn bitch and I need to use that to my advantage
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October 19, 2015

Day eight - jesus this one was long! Did squeeze a humongous black head... It basically exploded at the barest pressure. That's gonna be the hardest thing here on in - my pores are getting very full and lumpy.. . From previous experience if I break now coz there's such rich pickings (literally lol!) I go to absolute town on my face - a four hour date with the mirror instead of 30mins-1.5 hrs. And Im in a worse of position than if I had been picking consistently all week. Hopefully that's enough to deter me
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October 20, 2015

Don't like admitting this but I picked this evening... Ugh. It wasn't crazy bad or anything but the mindset and the fact that it was more than just one means I can't justify it. I've got quite a few spots coming up that are quite painful and I picked about 4/5 of them... obviously it didn't help but as my boyfriend said - 10mins is still better than the usual half an hour and my skin looks so much better even having picked a little bit than it had in ages. So I've got to focus on that. Day 1 starts tomorrow it seems....
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October 28, 2015

So I was at a wedding for the last 5 days - managed not to pick and was all exited about being able to write as much here when we got back But of course, we had a fight in the car on the way back and I went straight to the mirror to pick. It's bad. Not like the nitpicking I've done over the last two weeks - a good 2hrs and there was so much fucking gunk in my pores coz I haven't done it properly for ages which made it so hard to pull away and even had me justifying why I pick in the first place. Ugh it obviously wasn't helped by my emotional state at the time or the fact my boyfriend who's usually so supportive and amazing just said - 'do that in the bathroom and turn off the light on your way out'. So I felt pretty alone in it - which I haven't for a while coz as I said he's been great. So without support and (seemingly) unconditional love it felt like I was back to square one. Alone. Repulsive. Weak. Ugly - inside and out...... It's not fair that I lean on him as heavily as I do coz when he's having his own bad days I allow it to impact me instead of being able to support him like he does me. It also makes me remember that this is mine and mine alone. That nobody can help me however much they try or however much they want to so I have to stop relying on the support of others or I'll never truly recover. I feel like absolute shit - physically and emotionally...... I'm that low, that I feel hungover and my skin is crawling to be picked again coz its so red and ugly looking and even after all that I did yesterday I didn't get all the lumps and bumps smoothed out. They'll never go away and I'll never be ok with seeing them in the mirror .... I'm destines to be this sorrowful, confidence lacking, repulsive human being for the rest of my life and no amount of convincing myself otherwise will change that - I can be peppy and happy as you like and try to see the positives as much as possible but eventually the reality of the situation which I'm not letting myself acknowledge will roll back around and I'll realize that I was lying to myself when I say that my skin wasn't that bad or didn't need to be picked or that I feel in any way comfortable with the world or my place in it. Ugh on that note I'm gonna pull myself out of the mire and say that, today; Today I'm not going to pick my face. No point thinking further it hasn't served me so far
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October 28, 2015

Ugh this is so fucking frustrating!! So I've picked 3 times today, my skin is now really red and sore in the usual patches (chin and left jaw line) and there are blotchy picked sights in my less frequented (what I like to think of as historical) sites (coz I used to focus in them more about 10 years ago - forehead, temples, bridge of nose). Myself and the bf had a chat about our fight yesterday - so I'm on more emotionally stable ground but since it was all based around the fact that I don't support or listen to him while he spends most of our time together listening to my problems and being supportive I can't exactly go there for comfort or reassurance (despite the fact I know he doesn't begrudge it coz that's not in his nature), he's just got too much on his plate and work is difficult for him at the moment. Time to learn to self sooth Ro ... Ugh I don't think I can do this ... My period is either due today or a week overdue ( I can't for the life of me remember!!) so I'm PMSing or some shit all on top of this... Ok Ro lets rationalize... You came home from 'holidays' ( BTW why the fuck are the only holidays I have had in the last 5 years been to weddings!!! I can't afford holidays but I have to spend money I don't fucking have going to weddings - which are hard fucking work generally - in places I wouldn't necessarily chose to go!) .... The stress of all the work you had to catch up on got to you ... + rent being due ... + PMS ... + boyfriend being in the same boat (-PMS) = fight ..... + fight not resolved last night = not able to sleep ... + face picking for 2+ hours = even less ability to sleep ... + lack of sleep today = foul humor + too tired to be hungry = not eating properly = even less energy = lack of productivity = worse humour = picking ... spiral ... spiral .... spiral ... and here we are.... So lets stop the spiral ...the plan is 1) give up on college work/ preping my weekend teaching for the evening = pointless you will end up picking more and end up with still v. little done with face in so bad a state going in to the library tomorrow will be harrowing. 2)having dinner = more energy ... even if you don't feel hungry you should eat ... you'll apreciate it tomorrow 3)running a bath for myself and basically being nice and understanding to myself because nobody else will so you have to learn how to unwind and cut yourself some slack ... Tomorrow morning I will be able to say I didn't pick this evening
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October 29, 2015

I didn't pick after my post last night! I'm actually so relieved ... I didn't think I could do it. So I'm gonna dig deep and not pick today either. Wish me luck!
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October 29, 2015

FFS!! This is getting on my last nerve! I'm being so weak at the moment! Went to the bathroom to pee just there and ended up picking ... ugh. I'm really tired which Im gonna blame it on - same deal as yesterday not getting my work done fast enough. But I'm gonna stop the vicious cycle that little bit sooner. This is just a rough patch, frustration is a normal emotional reaction to tiredness. I will not pick for the rest of the day. Cross everything coz I'm in such a bad space atm
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October 29, 2015

Jesus! If my period doesn't start soon I'm gonna have no skin left on my face! Didn't even last two fucking hours. This time I'm gonna manage not to pick my face for the rest of the evening, I'm gonna clean my face as if I'm a burn victim and hopefully if won't get too infected and raw over night. For Fuck Sake!!!!!!
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October 30, 2015

So I managed not to pick after that. Phew! Sometimes I feel as insane as picking looks to someone who doesn't understand it ... yesterday was an insanity day...So manic and horrible... BUT! At least I was able to recognize what I was feeling and why and that I knew picking wasn't helping. So I feel like a different person this morning - much calmer, more energy so it should be easier not to pick. So today IS gonna be day 1 and I WILL get to day 10 this time!
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October 31, 2015

Hi, Rosa, Thank you for sharing your journey. As i read your posts, I realize that we have a lot in common. I go crazy when I have PMS. It's like all the little imperfections on my face become ten times more visible. There are 20,000 pores on our face. Can we really pick at them all? Think about it. Even if we pick at 20 spots, that's still 0.1% of all the dirty, clogged, pimply pores. We have to realize that no matter how much we pick, we are not doing our body good. Sometimes it is a good idea to pick at a couple pimples because it makes them heal faster. However, problem with us pickers, is we don't know when to stop. Most people can have a few alcoholic drinks, have fun and be fine. But for alcoholics, that is not realistic. They can't stop at just one. I don't know if the best thing to do is to quit cold turkey or to allow ourselves 1-2 squeezes a day so we don't get frustrated and relapse. More questions than answers for us...
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November 11, 2015

Yeah I think picking is a minefield of questions with out answers and I hear where you're coming from I literally just had 3 weeks of PMS - my period was sooo late - it was hell. My skin felt disgusting and there seemed to be soo much stuff in my pores - more than usual. I didn't go any day without picking but on the up side they were short pick sessions - like 5 very 'ready' pores if you get what I mean. So you might be right, I've made a sort of progress coz I'm doing less picking overall even though the frequency of it may not be less. But for some reason everything in me is telling me I need to stop, full stop or I haven't got anywhere. Maybe that's the craziest part of the whole thing - I can see the sense in picking less but I also know that on bad days I'll see things that aren't there or just not be able to stop at just a few. Also (and I think this is the perfectionist in me) I know deep down I don't believe anything except stopping cold turkey and never looking back is good enough. So as much as I hate the failed attempt above and I think it's stupid for me to continue to count down days to help me stop coz I'll end up failing and feeling worse ....I don't know any other way. So despite my hiatus and however much I'd love to start a new thread unmarred by failure - I believe this is part of the process and I want to document my recover on here so that I can help at least one other person out of this hellish existence that picking confines us to. Good luck with you're battle against picking - something I hope one day is that I can look at the scars on my face and see the battle wounds from a war I won. Life gives everyone scars and these are ours - someday we well ware them with pride because they'll remind us what we fought so hard for. So today is day 1 in my journey towards that end
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November 12, 2015

Managed not to pick yesterday :) here's to today being day 2
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November 12, 2015

Hi, Rosa, I don't think you should be so hard on yourself. I think it's not the picking per se that is bad, it's what it does to our skin. Most people pick at a pimple here and there, and sometimes it makes it go away faster but other times it tuns into a big infected mess. However, with us, we totally overdo it. While a normal person might pick one pimple and be done, we pick at 20 pimples, some of them not even noticeable. My goal for myself is to make sure I don't destroy my skin. I'm not mad at myself for picking at a couple pimples if my skin still looks good. It's the shame and embarrassment of the face full of bloody spots that kills me.