Hello everyone. I'm a 22 year old incoming college senior. I've been picking for over ten years and for so long, I thought I was alone. When I read what all of you say, I feel as though I know you because you could so easily be talking about me.
I have always suffered from a lot of anxiety. I live my life in an almost constant state of worry. Part of why I pick is to release the tension and there is nothing else like it--no other stress-reliever can compare. Once I feel the urge to pick at a spot, I can't fight it. It's like there is a force pulling at me, a force so strong it is truly exhausting. Every sore, every bump--they all get picked at until they are nasty and infected. I know how gross the open wounds look, all oozing and bloody, but the picking feels so good. This is the first time I can say this and feel like someone might understand.
It's a lonely compulsion, isn't it? I call it my deep, dark secret. I've told a few friends I have a problem with hurting myself and there's one that knows more details. It's my secret. People say "oh, she's such a nice girl, what a sweet young woman." They don't know that I go home and hurt myself. Every single day. And who wants to just be a "nice girl" anyway? There's so much more I want to be and feel like I'm not. I think that's part of why I pick.
I want to stop and I also don't. Does that make sense to anyone? It's like I'll be giving up an old friend, the one thing I can fall back on that I KNOW will make me feel better, even if it's just for a second. I've TRIED to stop--and I can't. I feel like this time--this effort I'm making now--is my last shot. My last chance to stop letting this control my life.