Like I said, I'm posting everyday until I'm DONE with picking ... with the focus on what works.
It's been a long process, but I have made so much progress.
This weekend will be tough because my bf is out of town, so I'm alone, and because I need to get started on a project that causes me a lot of anxiety and therefore picking.
A little over a month ago, I had managed to control my picking because we were seeing some family. My face looked pretty normal, and I was happy with how I was doing. But as soon as family left, I realized I was falling back into picking, that I couldn't keep my skin looking that good. For some reason I googled "skin picking" which it had never occurred to me to do before. I think if you had asked me logically if I thought other people did this, I would have had to realize, that surely I'm not the only person on the planet. But truly, I felt like there was something so wrong with me and so abnormal that I never even considered this was actually kind of a common thing. Finding this site, and suddenly not feeling completely isolated and ashamed helped me commit more to healing. Something about other people's stories also made me feel more accountable -- Like there really is no magic way for this to go away, it really could just keep going, If I don't do something about it, no one else will. I did really good for 2 weeks--longer than I'd ever done before. I counted the days. and I set little goals, like when I had a meeting, when I was going somewhere, etc. I did not completely stop picking. But specifically, i got better at stopping myself from scanning my skin with my hands when I get anxious. I cut out a lot of mirror time. I still had little lapses, but overall I was doing really good. My skin looks better than it has in years, and I actually feel "normal." I lost track a bit and realized I was slipping back into it. I got kind of overconfident, I felt like I couldn't really mess up or something. "Oh, I can just pop black heads." But I realized, no, Im going back, I'm hurting myself. I came back to this site and got strict again, realizing it is going to take some more time and effort, and things are going really well.
The Weekend challenge!!!
This weekend I'm going to really focus on not leaning into the mirror. Every time I walk into a bathroom I automatically lean in. I need to be done with close ups!! No good can come of it. Walk in, pee, there's the mirror, no need to look close, done. No one else ever looks that close at my face anyway!
Also, I need to keep up my awareness about touching my face. I've been doing good in this area. This is hard when Im at my desk trying to write and get anxious and stressed. I've got stress toys now. I still have the impulse to touch my face constantly, but now, about the time I touch my face, I realize I'm doing it and I can stop. I remember soon enough, before my fingers find a bump, so I can stop. If I let myself go a moment longer, It can be impossible not to pick. This weekend, I'm goign to take breaks from working to post here (where writng comes easier!).
Other tactic: keep busy. I'm goign to walk the dog on some trails near our house. I have two recipes I'm going to make. Maybe I'll see a movie. But there can't be any idle time where I get anxious. And if I'm sitting, working at my desk, I'm going to have to cope with the stress that comes with out picking. Just going to have to breathe through it. I'm going to have to get through it some time some how.
Thanks for posting your progress everyone. Good luck getting ready for the wedding, mamma. Also, I'm pregnant, which adds a whole other motivation, but that's another post. Thanks for listening.