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My picking story
I started picking when I was in the 9th grade back in 2008. I remember exactly where I was and why I started. I was in my mom's room, listening to her talk about something and I look down to see a bump on my arm. Now, my family always picked at pimples so I was never taught to leave them alone. So of course I picked to get rid of it, I never thought that one spot would lead me here today. I have deep scars from the top of my shoulder to almost mid length on my arm (I dont pick lower because I can at least wear certain short sleeve shirts and people won't know) I also have major deep scars on my chest. I have had numerous infected spots that caused the deep scars. I pick due to stress, boredom, anxiety, confrontation. To deeper explain my picking, I come from a family that doesn't sit down to talk about our problems, everyone wants to get mad and yell so I always felt scared of expressing my feelings because of what could be a horrible outcome. Picking became that one way to keep control, to get rid of the pain, picking is that release for me when I can't get it out any other way. I have tried to get help, dermatologist are a waste of time because I get to hear the magic saying "oh, you just need to stop picking and leave it alone" that's great doctor, all these years I never knew it was that simple! I have tried everything in the book besides counseling but that's something I can't even afford. It is such a battle, I become obsessed with my skin clearing up and being smooth but I am obsessed with picking. So when I pick I feel bad about myself so when I start the healing process I pick the scab because I want it smooth but that causes it to stay infected and it just goes in a circle of never healing. I thought when I fell in love with my soulmate that I would be happy so I would stop. That was definitely not the case, because he loved me for me i didn't have to feel ashamed by it so I didnt feel the need to hide it so I guess unconsciously I thought I didnt have to quit. Now were going to get married in 2 years and all i can think about is how badly I want my skin to be clear and feel happy in a dress without red marks all over me. How when I have children that one day I dont have to explain to them why mommy has scars, scabs, and infections everywhere. I've sat here and cried today because all I do is stress out and I cant find a better way to cope than to pick. I've aleast sat here for 2 hours at my apartment picking and the days isn't even half way over. I know I need help, I just wish I could afford it.
Reading your post makes me so sad, it's like looking in a mirror. I'm at the same point as you - it's crazy that the love and acceptance of another person doesn't seem to fill whatever void the picking fills. The only difference is that I'm probably a little further along the road of self acceptance and self-love (as cringy as that sounds!) than you which is why it's probably been 6 months since my picking has induced uncontrollable crying at my absolute despair of the situation which I can fully empathize with you in. It is the most crushing aspect of the whole situation. So I hear you loud and strong with the not being able to afford 'help'. But don't despair; realistically counselors and CBT etc is just about giving the tools to help yourself. I know this isn't what you want to hear and it may sound cruel but the only person who can help you is yourself you just have to educate yourself in the right way. Here are some links and books (surely they can be ordered by your local library?) that you may find useful - take one link a week, one chapter of a book a week and imagine you're back at school and this is a course you're taking out of personal interest. Do not make the mistake of this being an all or nothing life changing redemptive exercise. Take each day as it comes and communicate your progress (ups and downs, crazy and rational) with your partner. Books I found useful were: 'Codependant No More' by Melody Beattie, and (if you can get over her peppy writing style) 'You can heal your life' by Louise L.Hay. Ted Talk Brene. Brown: The Power of Vulnerability https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o . There's another book I read by a recovering alcoholic which I also found very useful but I can't remember what it was called. Will post if I remember. You are so strong to have got where you are already and you are despite what you are battling with. Everyone else around you already knows what an amazing person you are you have to let yourself see that too
Thank you so much for the kind words, its been so hard lately and I think it's because I am actually starting to come to acceptance. I hope to one day come to love myself. What are some ways that helped you to reduce your picking? I've done everything from staying away from mirrors, using tape around my fingers, getting fake nails, etc.