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444merle , 01 Aug 2009

My story - hope to get better

Hi, This has always been a part of my life. I started gymnastics around 4 years of age and got some blisters from it. Those "imperfections" I suppose - well I felt I needed to remove them. Sure enough, the majority of my right palm is constantly in a callous state from so much picking and my right finger was as well. It was tough. I didn't get it - and I just couldn't stop. I couldn't leave one little bit of skin hanging off - it had to be - or at least resemble - a somewhat smooth surface. Here I am now - 23. Graduated from an ivy league school - have a job in new york - yet the problem still plagues me. I don't like to hold hands if people move their fingers so as to be able to see that my hands feel like someone who's been playing guitar their entire life. I also am very conscious about how I hold my hands - to ensure that no one can see. Recently - things have gotten worse - as the callous and blister part of my feet (due to having to wear fancy work shoes for my office) have come to be a source of relapse - or even a new frontier for me. Sometimes I will have to pick my feet at work. It's so disgusting. I hate it, but I can't not do it. Then I say, as I walk to work - this pain can't keep going (cause my feet are raw). Yet, when I get home - and I get a good pick or two - it couldn't be more satisfying. I would love more than anything a way to stop. I've tried to take an interest in my nails so that I wouldn't want to use them. Then there's always the tweezer. Then it gets worse. I feel for all of you - and have always felt like somewhat of a pariah in this respect - although I've always been very socially active with a lot of friends (who apparently don't have the observatory capabilities for the most part to identify it - thought I think some might - but they ignore it as it is a hard thing to confront). I would love to stop - and hope to give any tips to all of you if so. All I can say now is that it is actually never worth it. It's not worth the pain, it's not worth the appearance, and most of all - it's not worth the constant fixation. Like, think of all the other things you can happily think about or engage yourself in with this whole deal out of the way. Alright - I am going to do not pick tomorrow. And it will not stop there. I have stopped for a day or so - but then 3 days later a bit of dried dead skin pops up and the urge is so great. But we have to say no. We have to either - put our hands in water, put moisturizer on, put gloves on, take a deep interest in the look of our nails! (get a manicure), think about how you've gone 3 days without it - why would you put those to utter complete waste. Seriously, put gloves on, or engage in an activity that will deter you from picking (i haven't found that yet - other than my perfectionism displayed in my fingernails once they are painted). I think it's more than we can know, but I think it's something we can stop - even though the urges and relapses may be tempting. When you really think about it - you know you don't want to be doing it. You know. There are other things that are bad about it (aside from pain, discomfort, embarrassment, infection) - the constant need to check to feel if the skin is smooth or needs to be made smooth - that feeling that emerges when you see that it's just not right and has to be so powerful, but so intensely disheartening. It can seem hopeful in the relief you will feel in the act - but it will be shame after. I will try. I hope everyone tries. It's something I think we can stop. I've had it for 20 or so years. But never have I ever felt so strongly and hoped so strongly that this can be fixed. I had one picking area on my right forefinger that I ended up stopping (I focused on my palm). But once that area is stopped, it is not a place of interest anymore. The new skin will not be white, uneven or slashed/angled/picked in weird ways. we can get better!
2 Answers
August 02, 2009
hello. my name is ila. i suffer from the same thing you do. and typing this right now is stopping me from going in the bathroom and gouging at myself. and i'm scared because i'm afraid that if i go back at the same spot that i've been picking at for oh about 8 months now, it will land me in the hospital again. i pick so deep that i go through every layer of skin and down to the fat. i'm becomming a bit of an alcaholic because of the pain. i've seen every therapist under the sun and have tried all the ocd medicine and nothing works. the only therapist i havn't seen yet is a reverse habit therapist. i have an appointment in a couple weeks. and it's all i can do to try to not kill myself by infection by then! i'm sorry to hear how bad you suffer. but it helps to know that i'm not alone. it's so messed up and i don't understand why i do this to myself. but i used to model and have scarred my face up so bad that i don't get jobs anymore because of it....but i'll let you know how the reverse habit therapy works out,. maybe you should try it too.

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