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Live a Happier Life - Free from Picking

Stop picking with online therapy program, based on CBT.

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July 30, 2017

Day 1. Feeling good this morning even though I didn't sleep well last night. Sometimes being tired makes me anxious but thank God I am not. And even if I was I know I still have control over not touching my face. My plan in to do my morning routine and pop on some makeup and go about my day.
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July 31, 2017

Day 2. I didn't pick yesterday. There WERE times I had to stop myself and walk away from the mirror but no picking.
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July 31, 2017

What exactly were you picking? Seems you're doing well at this point. I agree about the peeling skin.....it's the scabs that get me and no change underneath. What do you mean the patches are a crutch? Good you can use the Simple products.
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August 01, 2017

I pick at anything on my face that I deem imperfect: a clogged pore or scabbed or dry skin or if it's an actual pimple forget it I can't hold back! The hydrocolloids are amazing because they heal things so quickly but I feel like when I know I have one waiting in the bathroom to pop on if I mess up I am more apt to let my guard down and pick without holding back. I think the simple products work for me because they are so gentle and basic and it's only when I pick my face that I feel like I need to use products geared towards acne etc but I think that in the end it just throws my skin out of balance and I end up breaking out more. Crazy how much I complicate things when I pick my poor face! Left alone it's pretty low maintenance. Anyways no picking today either! Yay! I have been forcing myself not to scan and zoom in when looking in the mirror. But the biggest comfort right now is simply telling myself "you don't have to fix it" if I feel or see a bump. For some reason I think I felt like I "had" to for so long and never truly gave myself permission to let it be!
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August 01, 2017

Day 3. So this is definitely my accountability log here. One slip up this morning but I did stop myself no damage done. I woke up and the tip of my nose was a little sore to the touch as if there may be a pimple starting. I saw a clogged pore in the general location where it hurt and extracted. I went to keep pushing and prodding seeing if I could get to anything more significant (since I figured a clogged pore doesn't cause soreness) but I all the sudden stopped myself and left the bathroom quickly. I'm going to count that as picking because there's no way around it. That's where it already begins. But I'm thankful I was able to stop!
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August 01, 2017

Hope that one goes away on its own. Good to hear you had a controlled reaction!
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August 02, 2017

Keep it up!! I hope u continue to do good and are able to stop. Don't be too hard on yourself that you slipped up a bit, look at the positive which is you were able to stop yourself! I KNOW it's it easy, I'm able to stop for short periods of time....then it kinda starts all over again....BUT it started as one day of no picking before I messed up, then it was a couple days and now I can make it about a week. It's slow progress, but it's progress none the less. So it's obvious we CAN stop....we just need to keep it up. You can do it!
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August 02, 2017

*I know it ISN'T easy
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August 03, 2017

Thank you Nikki179! So today will be the 5th day of this. Day 3 was good! Day 4 was yesterday which was also a good day but for some reason at night I found myself compulsively going to pick multiple times. All little things and each time I stopped myself so I let no marks but it was frustrating because it was like my brain wasn't reacting as quickly when I needed to stop! Today I want to be extra strict with myself considering I will be extra tired tonight after 12 hours of work again and it being the end of the week. I need to have my guard up and not even let myself study my face in the mirror today!
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August 03, 2017

Oh and that sore spot on my nose that I figured was a pimple beginning has already gone away completely and never even became visable when I left it alone! Hehe proof of what I already knew...my blemishes will heal themselves much better without me trying to "help"!
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August 04, 2017

End of day 5...exhausted 12 hour work day, fit in a run and out to dinner with my dad. Had to clean my house for company tomorrow just now before even getting into bed. Felt "picky" getting ready for bed washing my face...extracted some things which is against the rules I set because I know it's a slippery slop even if tonight it wasn't anything abnormal or damaging to the skin...I was playing with fire! Just going to keep going!
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August 05, 2017

Day 6 overall was good. Again another exhausting long and active day at work so when I got home my over stimulated mind wanted to pick. I think it's because it gives it something it focus on and anything other stressor seem to fade into the background. I did not pick last night. This morning waking up on day 7 I wanted to pick again found myself zoomed into the mirror touching things, kind of like my pre-pick mode. I walked away before I actually started into but my goal is to get to the point where I am not even touching and scanning my face for imperfections!
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August 07, 2017

Day 7 zero picking! Day 8 great all day until just now a little picking but no more for the night! Possible there will not even be marks left but it's the principle that I need to not even dabble in picking haha! Trying not to be discouraged by just now and get back on track! Sometimes I have less motivation when my face is good!
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August 07, 2017

I respect your persistent determination. You are doing so well! I hope that you find the strength to keep breaking away from this habit. :)
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August 08, 2017

Thank you Serene! Day 9 went okay...I feel like my skin wasn't as good today and I picked a little tonight! I sense the cycle restarting. I need to get myself back on track starting now! I think I need to "re-start" my commitment tonight for no picking or touching!! I have to be as diligent as I was a week ago! I have hydrocolloid bandaids on the spots I picked. They are small but I want to get back on track quickly and the bandaids are the quickest way I know how!
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August 08, 2017

I need your strength to stop my scalp picking you seem on the right track looking forward to reading your future posts!
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August 10, 2017

Okay so the past 3 days...day 8,9, and 10 were bumpy. All basically similar success rate. Nothing horrible but simply not following the rules I set and therefor a now have a scab on my forehead and about 3 small red spots on the rest of my face. Nothing that noticeable but also not nothing. I know I have been working a lot so I am tired which contributes. My guard was done at first because my skin was good so I wasn't anxious about anything. Either way back on the horse so to speak....I have a vacaction I am going on 3 days from now so guard back up and high alert....no picking no touching no "looking for imprefections"!!!!! I do need to give myself credit that I left 3 spots around my nose center of my face cheek area completely alone because I know that never goes well and always swells there and also it the most stressful for me to cover up! I didn't touch them they were small bumps that normally get me thinking that I am about to have a breakout and I need To somehow stop it but not this time! And now, as I always knew they would, when left alone they have completely disappeared!
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August 11, 2017

Better day! No picking! Back on track!
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August 12, 2017

I made it to vacation week and my skin is good! Not flawless but also not "picked at" and injured!!!! Thank you God! My best advice is simple and so hard but works....when you put your hands to you face to pick whether you have actually started in on the spot or are just thinking about it....say NO and run from the mirror. You have the power to stop yourself. If your house was on fire and you had to get would you stand there and pick while the bathroom was on fire or stop? If you can stop then than you do have the power don't tell yourself otherwise!!!!
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August 12, 2017

Congratulations....enjoy your holiday!
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August 18, 2017

Hi everyone! So I will have been away for a week as of tomorrow and I felt the need to check in/ make myself accountable/ journal a bit to clear my head. I have been breaking out a lot this week with little clogged pores...fortunately they are tiny but still annoying because normally I feel like I break out when I pick and so therefor I can control my skin being clear to some extent. This week, when I would have loved for it to be good, it seems to have a mind of its own despite me leaving it alone. I have popped some whiteheads and other obvious bumps and everything "was ready" I didn't really pick as we would define picking! But because of the breakouts and because of the red marks they are leaving it is making me more anxious and focused on my skin which I recognize puts me at risk of actually picking my skin! Right now I have some healed over pink marks on my forehead, and 6 small pink scabby dots on my cheeks and 2 red bumps of an active breakout on my jawline which I have to promise to myself I won't touch! It's not even so bad that I need a full face of makeup in fact I can do no makeup and it's not even noticeable but right now to keep myself from obsessing I have concealer on all the spots I just mentioned! I need to simply wash my face tonight and moisturize with a splash of tea tree and use my trentinion and tomorrow I should be in good shape. I have to set my mind to not letting this breakout be an excuse as to why I attack my face again and then desperately wish I could go back in time to the little minor spots I have now!
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August 19, 2017

Why not put hydrocolloid band-aids on the picked spots? They will heal over quicker and it will prevent you from looking at them. You are doing well, be strong and distract yourself as much as you can when you get those urges. Understand that if you pick, you will be driven to keep picking more. Acne is normal and its better to have a bump (even if its a whitehead) than to be stuck with open oozing sores that can't be easily covered with makeup. And after the wound scabs over, its basically the same thing as having a pimple because you still have that raised bump on the skin, except now its dry and pigmented. We have all been there before many, many times. Lets just embrace the whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, and everything in between. Ive been managing my picking well recently and im sitting here with a whitehead. It actually feels surreal that I have allowed the pimple to get to that point. I dont remember the last time I've seen myself with an obvious whitehead. Im just afraid to pick it because the act of picking will trigger me to want to keep picking more. Rather just leave it alone and let it be. Its murky territory to know when exactly a spot is ready to be picked. Sometimes I pick and it swells up all over again. So I have to pick 2 or 3 times to eventually get rid of it. Also, when you tempt yourself with popping "ready" pimples, you keep on instilling in yourself that desire to keep picking. I think the best thing to do is to simply hold off on all picking. It trains the brain to simply forget the urge. Otherwise you will keep on scanning the skin to try and determine if the pimple is ready to be popped. Train the mind to understand that a picked pimple is the same as a non picked pimple. There is similar inflammation and swelling, similar hyper-pigmentation, and similar healing time. Picking is even worse because the healing time can be delayed.
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August 19, 2017

Hi You are doing well and some excellent advice from Serene that I need to take on board
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August 21, 2017

So I had a big slip up! Right when I anticipated! Which may have been part of the problem (expecting to mess up) I haven't picked this bad in a LONG time. Currently 3 pretty legit marks on my face and 4 fading pink picked areas! I am trying so hard to pull myself back together. Life has been stressful recently which is an obvious part of the cycle. I am trying to wear makeup during the day so I just move forward when I am out and about and try to not obsess even though my self esteem is low. I wear bandaids as much as I can get away with...the hydrocolloid ones! They are life savers but this was a big pick and I also have been insanely busy so I haven't had the option to give a 24 hour period to bandaids and laying low which often does the trick. I also repicked an almost healed spot (one of the the 3 I mentioned above) and that is the worse off right now as it is big and open. I have a hydrocolloid on that for the rest of the evening and through the night so I should get a solid 12 hours to wear it and hopefully it will heal it over enough to cover tomorrow for my 12 hour day! :/
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August 21, 2017

Okay so update already! I already feel better. I seem to be able to focus on all the good areas of my face like the entire center of my face. I need to be so thankful that I don't have any picked spots there. I also am feeling settled in the fact that my face is washed and bandaged and now there is literally nothing I can do more... well in fact the only thing I can do to help it heal more is to do absolutely nothing and leave it all alone. And I am watching a movie and feeling settled for the night and thankful for all this time to heal and let my body's natural ability to repair itself do the work!
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August 22, 2017

Are you abstaining from drinking coffee and other stimulants such as energy drinks? Make sure you don't drink those beverages because they excite the nervous system and cause skin pickers to obsess more over their imperfections. I myself have slipped up a little bit yesterday because I drank coffee (it was a desperate attempt to keep awake after a full night of insomnia). I was worried about drinking it because I knew the effects. And when the urge hit, it was complete dissociation and all strategy went out the window.
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August 22, 2017

Hi serene great advice! I don't do any energy drinks or soda BUT I do depend on coffee because I get up at 5 every morning for work and work 12 hours or more a day. However there are days when I can tell I have had too much and I agree being over tired and over stimulated is an awful combo!!! That's exactly how I was when I slipped up. I was over tired and over stimulated not as much from coffee but from a very non stop week of being with people 24/7. I can handle 1 -2 cups of coffee a day (and need it lol) but more can have that effect in me for sure!
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August 22, 2017

You must have developed some sort of tolerance to the amount of caffeine which is in your system. One cup tends to spin me out of control quite easily. It would be interesting to see if your skin picking impulses lessen if you completely abstain from coffee. Maybe you can test that out in the future. Also, are you getting enough sleep each day or do you often wake up tired?
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August 22, 2017

I wake up tired in the mornings I have to go to work and be up at 5 but most days I wake up well rested because I generally am so exhausted each night I sleep soundly! I go to bed early on nights before work but still 5 isn't a natural time for my rhythm. I sleep naturally until 8 if let be no matter what time I fall asleep. It would be interesting to see about the coffee. Haha, I'm drinking one now!! I really don't know how I could keep the pace I have with work if I didn't have coffee but I know eventually my body would adjust. I don't think 1 cup is a problem in the morning but it would be interesting to start by trying to eliminate my afternoon cup that I have proabably 50% of the time. Fortunately in a few weeks work slows down for me and I will be working less hours. Sleep is always better than caffeine!
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August 22, 2017

You struggle with this disorder yet you are so high functioning. How does it affect you on a daily basis? Do you struggle with depression or anxiety on the times when you pick and have to go to work? My anxiety and depression sky rocket if I have to be out anywhere after I skin pick. There is so much shame tied to this disorder. It has taken a drastic toll on my overall self esteem.
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August 24, 2017

Thank you Serene! I never thought of my self as high functioning. Only as having a very full and busy life but that I sometimes do not feel like I can keep up with but because I also am needed at work and needed by family and have expectations of myself (like training to be a good runner etc.) I just force myself to not crash and burn for too long after a bad pick. I think in a way this helps because if you have no choice but to work a long day then you cover up with makeup in the morning and have at least 13 hours or more that you are leaving it alone not touching the wounds because you are too busy and don't want to mess up the makeup! All the time each spot is healing. I did suffer with really bad anxiety for awhile and it seems to have gotten a lot better. I credit that to God, being totally honest, because I used to be on medication for anxiety but went off and I am still doing better. I depend on Him and not my own strength because that wasn't working lol. I do still have those horribly anxious moments in the mornings when I have to be at work and I can't seem to cover the scabs etc and I feel panicked that I have to face the world that day! But the reality is as skin pickers our insecurities are just part of our cyclical problem and if I try not to give them the time of day then they don't hold as much power and I inturn don't obsess and pick which in turn allows my skin to heal! On the other hand I realize that I pick when I am over stimulated and for me that isn't always by caffeine but rather by a busy stressful day with lots of interactions or incidents or things that I tend to analyze and go through in my mind at night! That's when I am most vulnerable. In which case I have been taking steps to take things off my plate!
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August 25, 2017

Sounds like you have a clear plan and give yourself credit because you are trying to do all the right things
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August 29, 2017

Ok but what about the damage that you leave behind? The scars....how do you feel about those? I understand the whole active picking dilemma...yet what about the permanent damage? Doesn't it affect your self esteem in the long run? Do you undertake any procedures to minimize the damage? Dont people comment or mention anything about your scars, family, etc? People do talk about things like that behind your back too you know. I for example found out that my mother in law mentioned my scars to my husband. So its something that they will probably not mention to your face, but people do judge a lot. I can be as distracted as I want to be, but at the end of the day I have to face my image in the mirror. And lately its just back to the chemical peel route in order to minimize the damage.
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August 30, 2017

Hi Serene, I have been fortunate not to have any permanent scarring yet. I would guess it's because I am still in my 20s so thats why skin has been able to rebound (but slowing down) and because I use tretinoin religiously for over 3 years now. Also it's possible I don't go as deep as some pickers do. And I do have weeks of "remission" at times. What I do get is pretty bad skin with scabs and cuts after a bad relapse for about 2-5 days and then I feel like everything is almost recovered and I can start going makeup free again until the next slip up. HERES THE THING I am going to be 27 next month and I have noticed that my skin heals more slowly than it used to. So if I can't get this habit under control I will be in trouble with permanent damage. As for people talking behind my back about me on the bad days when it's obvious I have makeup concealing scabs etc...obviously that is a huge mental struggle for me because I think as pickers if we didn't care so much our brains would let us leave it alone and it wouldn't be an issue. But I guess I have peace at the end of many days once I finally take my makeup off that if I do what I always do it will heal well. Like I said....it does need to stop asap because my skin is aging and I know it won't always heal this fast!!
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August 30, 2017

I'm 28 and I know what you mean about skin slowing down in its ability to heal. Also, aging skin accentuates any imperfections. So the older we get, the more noticable the scars - they pull down on the surrounding skin. Also, the way to see if u did any damage to your skin is to shine a flashlight at an angle onto your skin while in a dark room. All of the scars, no matter how shallow will be visible.
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August 31, 2017

I just would be careful to go out of my way to look at my skin in a way that would make me feel worse about it Serene. I guess it's different depending on why you pick but I pick because I feel like I am not perfect and I am totally aware of the damage...that damage makes me just want to pick more. I guess if someone picked because it was a mindless bad habit it would a good reality check to analyze the damage. But not for me. I need to stop cari g about anything but being healthy and not harming myself!