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Curious if anyone can relate to this. The befores or the afters? BEFORE my skin was almost always on my mind. I picked almost all the time so I was always thinking about it and what I was going to do to heal it. When I was out, I was thinking about what I could buy to fix it, and the skincare section of almost every store was my weakness. On the rare occasions it was all healed I still wanted to buy skincare to capitalize on it because to be honest I was obsessed with my skin. I was constantly trying new things and spending money. Also I had an obesssion with the sun. If it was sunny I needed to sit in the sun to make it look better. I was literally a “to-do” on my list on a sunny day because I felt I needed to do whatever I could to combat my picking and I felt strongly that helped. I would also look back and realized that most of my memories were marked firstly by how my skin was and which spots where damaged during the said event. Once I started to pick there was a very strong sense of being doomed. I would totally give in and also cancel plans I had giving my picking more power and time to take over long periods of my days or weeks. AFTER I can now go into stores and not even think about the skincare section. I either am content with my skin or if I did pick or have a break out at the time I am less obsessed and have no compulsion to fix fix fix. I know that I have a solid simple skin care routine at home and that’s all I need...no more searching for magic products and throwing money away. Not sure anyone can understand how freeing that is? I think I am more and more content with my skin because I am overall picking less and finding peace in letting things heal. My relationship with the sun is healthier. I will always always love the sun. I was raised in the sun on the beach by sun loving people. We are outdoorsy and not afraid of the sunshine like many people these days. However, that’s where it now stops for me. I love being outside and I will sit in the sun or even more often do an activity in the sun but I use a hat or touch of sunscreen when I need it. Sit in the shade when I need it. I feel no compulsion to “use” the sun to fix my skin and am totally fine being out of the sun on a sunny day...hard to communicate...but the addiction is gone. Also I can look back and barely remember the state of my skin in recent events...or better yet...I can remember the slightest dissatisfaction of a blemish but then how I realized it wasn’t so bad and didn’t affect my time looking back at all. So in other words the sense of doom when I do mess up is lessening as I am learning not to give in and also that it doesn’t have to change my plans. Picking made me feel unsafe because I was damaging myself and feeling like I had no control. The obsessions with skin care and the sun and fixing was an attempt to make me feel more safe but in turn made me feel the same panicky out of control feeling that continued the cycle of my unhealthy relationship with my skin. I could give you a great list of the small amount of products I use of my skin now BUT what I feel is more important than that is that we encourage one another to look away from our skin and reccomendations for products etc. and focus on how to let go of the obsession. I still pick when I am over tired or overstimulated. But it’s night and day from when I used to pick. I believe some of the differences are visible but most are internal. As the picking is losing its power over my mind and how I spend my time due to it...it’s losing its power in general. Without even “trying” it’s phasing out of my life altogether.