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hesteroonie , 24 Aug 2009

I want to stop!

Here I am and I just turned 64 last week. I started picking my cuticles in puberty and I've never stopped. At times, it's so bad I tear the skin off around the top of my thumbs. It comes and goes but never goes completely. I've tried so many things: manicures, hand cream, clipping every tiny little cuticle tear. I take medication for anxiety but I'm still a very anxious person. In June, I moved into a lovely apartment with my life partner. However, I'm never completely relaxed unless I'm completely alone, even sitting in my car, reading, at MacDonald's. I can't believe I finally found a forum for this type of compulsive behavior. I've used google in the past to no avail. I can't afford hypnosis right now. Well, I spend my money on a lot of other things that I both want and need. It seems impossible that I could stop after all these years. I'm especially bad in theatres in the dark or when I'm reading or watching TV. Twiddling with something is just another form of anxiety action which always leads back to picking. My cuticles are dry and ragged. My thumbs are sore. I feel like such an unattractive old lady. I just wish I could adjust to how I look at 64. I really look good for my age but I just can't accept it. How? how? how?
4 Answers
August 24, 2009
You are not alone. I chew/eat my fingers from tip to hand from times. Although I never chew/eat my cuticles I feel your pain. Through this forum and others I personally have found aversion therepy useful. I have bought those flat erasers and rub those when I feel the urge. I wear a thick rubber band on my wrist and wrap it around my fingers or POP it on my skin as negitive reinforcement. Keeping your hand busy when your not helps. I am trying to break the cycle one day at a time. I wish you luck and I am sure you will find what works for you. "You Can Do It!"
August 24, 2009

In reply to by ldill

Thanks so much for your support. I'll let you know how I do. I discussed this with my partner and she's very supportive in a good way. Tomorrow, I'm going to buy a little notebook with a pen or pencil & keep it with me all the time. When I pick or, better yet, want to pick, I'm going to write the date, the time and how I feel. I will also up my medication to feel calmer, if necessary. I've stayed sober with early help from AA for more than 35 years. I stopped smoking cigarettes over 25 years ago. I gave up compulsive overeating with a food plan. However, there's a slight difference in that I don't think I want to have my hands cut off. In other words, no matter where I go, there they are! Cigarettes, food and liquor are not attached to me at all times.... I am convinced, however, that if I can abstain for 90 days, I can do it one day at a time for the rest of my life. On Dec. 15.2000 a traumatic event at my work caused me to start chewing the inside of my mouth. It was painful and I did it for years but one day with the help of medication, I just stopped and have never done it again. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This I know....

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