I started picking at scabs at a very young age. I remember it being just a part of my life. It was normal to me, but most other people found it strange. I found it pleasing to squeeze the blood out of cuts. As I grew older, I realized that it was even weirder than just 'strange'. Nobody else I met did what I did. So I came up with excuses. The most common excuse was that I had a mosquito bite and that I accidentally opened my cut because it was so itchy. I was less than ten years old and already lying about my 'habits'.
For years all it was was scabs. Just a little pick here and there during long car rides or while watching TV. Then one day I saw my mother popping a pimple in a mirror. Naturally, I copied her. By this time I was old enough to know that my mother would not want me to be making myself bleed, so I hid my pimple popping from her. I would go home after school and have hours alone. That's when most of my picking happened. I would sit on the counter in front of the mirror and squeeze whiteheads between my nails.
Recently (in the past couple of years) I've been trying to hide it less. Whenever I would pass a mirror my instinct would be to lean in and pop. I began to know the difference between pimples: whiteheads that pop without fuss are good for 'quick' sessions, the deep ones I get on the side of my face are very good stress relievers and the blackheads on my nose are really fun to squeeze because the pus comes out all squiggly. I find it very satisfying to pick at a scab and watch myself bleed or to pop a pimple and feel the pus leave my body.
A few weeks ago I had final exams. I was stressed about my french exam, so I took a shower to calm down. After my shower I sat on the side of the tub and examined my freshly-shaven legs. I noticed a few pimple-like bumps near my knee, squeezed them between my nails. They popped and a sort of yellowy, thick pus came out. I then spent the next half hour scouring my body for things to pop. That's when I realized that this was getting ridiculous.
I looked up my symptoms on the internet and started doing research on dermatillomania. (Firefox doesn't even recognize that as a word.) I learned that it is connected to anorexia, which I think I might have. (Only a mild case, though. I still love junk food. I just don't eat /enough/ of anything.)
I really want to stop picking at my face and at my scabs because I'm already covered in ugly scars. My record for not picking at my face so far is only two days. I thought I was stronger than that, but apparently not since I caved earlier this evening. I also allowed myself to ravage my knees during that time. Please help. I need methods to help me cope with my picking.
I think sharing my story is already a big step. Thanks for reading.