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want-to-heal , 21 Sep 2009

Collecting replacement behaviors...

I use a stress ball in the car because it is one of my favorite places to pick. Nothing to do at the red light in traffic. Now when I start "scanning", I get my stress ball out of my purse. At first I felt ridiculous that people would see me using the ball, but I decided that since I am the one who has to live with the scars, I should be less concerned with what others think. Anyhow, the other day, I was in the car and started picking and my little girl says from the backseat, "Mommm, stop picking! You need to use your ball right now!!". Just goes to show you that we can all encourage each other...Replacement behaviors have been helpful for me. A million little urges a day can be fought successfully IF I can develop a repetoire of strategies I can rely on. That's where you guys come in, please reply with all the replacement behaviors you are using, so I can add them to my arsenal. Thanks for the support!!
8 Answers
October 10, 2009
I wouldn't exactly call this a replacement but have you ever tried the rubberband around the wrist thing? Every time you even so much as scan, snap the rubberband HARD. This helped me quit picking and chewing my cuticles...even though I always go back to it sooner or later :(
October 23, 2009

In reply to by Moonkitty

The rubberbands are effective. I gave my boyfriend free range to pop me with it if I were chewing/picking. I find that the flat erasers work very well. Keeping your hands busy works. Notice the urge, stop and replace or avert to something else. Great work to everyone!
November 03, 2009

In reply to by ldill

I've been a pickier for 18 years. What works for me now is just relaxing on the floor for at least 5 mins 2 times per day. I just find myself so uptight and anxious. This helps me to start the day. Then I try to avoid the mirrors. If I have to look I look from 1 meter distance. Also when I want to pick I start producing a sound as a horse or a rooster. It works to break the urge. I also dance when I feel too anxious and I do not want to relax on the floor. I put on my favorite positive music and just dance the way I want. I just let myself be and do every movement I want. Also positive thinking: I imagine myself that I am free of picking, I imagine my clean skin. I imagine that I am confident. In the morning I wash my face and tell myself how beautiful my skin is and how happy is just to be myself. In the evening I put my evening cream on and I have a whole story written down, so I read it while putting my cream on. I also ask God for help to stay free of picking. And keep coming to this website for support. I also tell myself that I am ready to face the reality and the fears I have. I am in control of my life. If I start picking again I tell myself I am learning and doing my best at the moment and I start again. I read a lot of self-help books which help me to stay motivated and not to give up. It takes time to develop new habits. Patience and determination should be the key I think. And never stop believing in yourself. Also what helped me a lot is I stopped covering my scars and scabs. I feel so free. It is not scary to be yourself. I imagine that I feel comfortable in my body. I accept myself the way I am. And I tell myself it does not matter what other people think of me, it matters what I think and I choose to be happy and live my life with my skin. Hopefully it helps.
October 14, 2009
Oh, I've been beeped at more than once to go at a green light because i was distracted with picking... And people telling me to stop doesn't help because i instinctively want to do the opposite of what they tell me. It's the worst when I'm trying to do my homework. None of the distracting behaviors work because none of them replace the satisfaction of squeezing gunk out of my skin... Someone needs to invent a pimple paper- something small you can carry with you, similar to bubble wrap, but it doesn't make noise, and when you pop it a little bit of some sort of gel comes out, that would be ideal! I'd do it, but i have not idea where or how to even begin making something like that...
Concerned Mom
October 26, 2009
My daughter picks. I had her wear socks on her first all day. Later, she wore them only when she attempted to pick. If in the car or watching TV, she always wore them because these were bad times where she picked alot. It worked. My daughter has not picked for a little over a week as of right now...her legs and arms are healed for the first time in months! It kept her fingers/fingernails away from her skin and she hated wearing them so she made the effort and decision to stop. I realize socks on the hands would not work so well for an adult...but, there are driving gloves while in a car which would at least cover the fingernails. While at home, cotton gloves might work while no one else was around I guess....but, in my daughter's case I felt looking silly was better than hurting herself.
hate the need...
October 30, 2009
Hey I'm a picker too..I have been for like 13 years and I'm only 25 :( It all started when I was young and I felt I didn't fit in, at that age who isn't picked on...I didn't develope like the other girls. I have NO boobs. I was very self conscious! So I developed a bad nervous habbit. I guess it was either an attempt to controll the world I didn't like or just because I was feeling bad all the time.... Now its a really bad habbit, I pick like every day. When I stop its usually only for 2-3 days but sometimes I stop for 6-8 days...Thats good for me, but it doesn't last. It is so depressing! I pick at everything except my hands and feet.. I have a daughter too, I am afraid she is going to be a picker too... but that hasn't made me stop. to distract myself I like to knitt... if you don't know how, look it up on line, they have live video footage that directs you. Cleaning house works well just be really anal about everything being clean......But still with all the hopeful distractions I ended up picking. All I can do is try to be positive and not beet myself up to much. I hope little setps and behavior replacements will help me....
November 08, 2009
I've decided either tonight or Monday I will be learning to crochet. I might as well turn my compulsive need to pick into something productive with my hands. I tried to elarn once before with no prevail, but that was out of duty, this time I need to learn. I have got to stop. My lip hurts right now because I had acne on the corner i picked down to a scab, which of course I pick even more at. My forehead is itching. As is my knee. My feet are longing to get the callous off. I just need something to do with my hands. I'm working hard at this.

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