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inner_turmoil , 27 Feb 2010

ditch 40 day plan!

Hey everyone, Writing from England, I am happy I have found this site and it is always a relief to find you are not alone. I am now 26 and have been struggling with this condition since I was 16/17 years old. I know exactly what caused this, my mother died when I was 11 from cancer, then I went on to live with a very twisted, angry woman also known as my grandma who was a control freak, had ocd with cleaning and with my cleanliness. I had to be perfect for her at all time otherwise I would be ridiculed. she didn't let me mourn my mother and so this was my way of dealing with things. It wasn't until I ran away started uni that I noticed me locking myself in the room all the time. Hiding from friends. always wearing hats to cover my head, and curtains always closed. Not to mention people would only ever see me on a night. But even back then I didnt know what the disorder was. It wasn't until 2007 when it all came together and it was hard to accept but at the same time its very important you accept it and look for a resolution. Without tooting my own flute I am an attractive girl and I did some modelling for a while until I realised I was scrubbing my skin even more so because I felt I wouldn't look perfect until I did, of course the aftermath is worse but why cant our brains twig that. Its because we enjoy that feeling, the control it is a high been in-front of the mirror and pulling away and picking. Does anyone else go into a trance like state? I go off into a filmy place where I am all of a sudden a character in a film and I am caught up in explosive story lines. Seriously some of the ideas that come up when picking are amazing and if only I put them down instead of doing what I do. So for a few years I have tried all sorts. All different creams to help the skin heal, wearing gloves on a night, avoiding mirrors etc etc. It is so hard. I bought the book brain lock and it is good and I think you cant just read once, you have to keep reading we must get the message through! that this isnt us, it is the OCD! I am on the waiting list for cognitive behavioural therapy but its like a years waiting list. Who has that time on their hands?! I want to live life now. No more staying in the house, missing out on seeing people, doing fun activities refusing my partner to get intimate incase some of the make up comes off. Is anyone else here in a serious relationship?? its so trying because in the end the OCD wants you to be alone. But I dont want that one bit. I am with the love of my life but its so hard because again you want to be perfect for them. Ok the 40 day rule is too much pressure, thats such a long time and we must take baby steps. Even after say two nights of not even washing your face or picking let the scabs heal. So all that are doing the 40 days, say after 3 uv failed, you will feel so bad about this and think you are failure. I really dont think its good unless you are a every now and then skin picker. I know hiding the scabs under make-up isnt nice and we feel conscious that people can see them but remember what scabs do, they are barriers while the skin fixes underneath!!!! If you keep saying that, yeah feel them on your face with the tips of your fingers but keep saying, thank you, you are fixing me, dont rip them off or it will just continue the crazy cycle! I find salt baths are good for skin healing, also sudacream, Vaseline but the best thing is drink plenty of water and eat veg and fresh air is good also. I really do benefit from not seeing anyone for a few days, remove all make up, moisturise, and just leave your face alone. dont wash again for two nights and I promise that when you come to pick again, then you will remove the scabs and they would be no redding underneath in fact they probably will fall off themselves. So try not washing or even keep on the make up for a few nights because that dries the area and forms a scab which makes it heal faster. I know you feel grubby and anxious but try it. I know its hard with work, and social life but don't just ditch picking all together say to yourself, a few nights without even washing my face. You will such difference. I experience this when travelling a few years back. I was on a mini bus in India for 14 hours and with no air conditioning, I was so hot and sweaty and I was dying to wash my face and scrub at it. But it was in such good condition. Does anyone else feel there skin picking is better when in hotter countries?? I certainly do, especially humid places like the Philippines, India Thailand etc thats because there is moisture in the air it really does help. My ways of dealing, well I have started doing a journal and saying everything on my mind. I have a cognitive behavioural therapy book I try and read as much as I can. Keeping yourself busy is essential. I think this site it great, whenever you have the urge, come vent here. Every night I place big clumps of moisturiser on my my wounds and that reminds me to care for them, as night time is my hardest I feel if I pick the scabs off then they will heal by morning, nope just means a whole lot of blood on the bedding and more embarrassment come morning. I know its curable but we must act now. Life is going right past our eyes while we waste so much time in the bathroom. Confront the fears and look at the causes. I believe every one of us can do this. much love xxxx
10 Answers
February 28, 2010
Hi, Inner_T. I relate so well to your post, and I agree with what you say. I think we need to lighten up toward ourselves. We need to make sure whatever tactics we take to get passed this destructive thing, they are KIND toward ourselves. Recognize our lapses, and comfort instead of cut down. It becomes less terrible to have a lapse, when it doesn't create the self-hatred that something in you is intending. Thank you for your insight. Hugs. Bekky
March 01, 2010

In reply to by Becky77

Hey Bekky, Thanks for your reply and I totally agree with you! It is so hard but we can really rid this but it is one step at a time. How long have you suffered this now? and what steps have you taken? In England we do have OCD support groups, I went to one and found it really helpful and it was free. Hopefully they will have this all over the world its good to monitor each others progress from people who truly understand. Hope you are having a good day with it at bay at least enough for you to feel comfortable :-)
March 02, 2010
i can relate to you so much and i admire your possitivity :)
March 09, 2010
That was really helpful to read... I do go into that trance like state too. Sometimes I don't snap out of it until some outside noise or disturbance wakes me up! I think being gentle and kind towards yourself and your skin is a good idea... I like that, remembering not to mess with them because they're healing. I have a hard time with that, thinking I can somehow "fix" whatever imperfection by picking at it.... I know that thinking is incorrect, it's just like instinctual or something, and I need to tell myself otherwise.
March 10, 2010
your post was so relatable and inspiring. People tell me i am a pretty girl all the time too, but i dont feel like it when i always have to wear makeup and hide my back. when i am with my boyfriend i am always so concious of if he can see my back. even if were sleeping or if he gives me a massage i worry that he can see or feel my scars and scabs. i like your idea that scabs are there to heal you. they are like a natural bandaid! we shouldnt pick them off. as far as not washing your face though, i couldnt do that because i squeeze out the gunk that clogs the pores on my face and it would build up and cause more acne without washing. however, washing with a gentle face soap, mosturizing, using neosporin on spots and not wearing makeup really do help. and although i have never been to a warmer country i do notice that my skin is better in the summer when i can get more sun and wear less makeup. thank you for your story! good luck and best wishes!!
March 10, 2010
I definitely find that in hotter countries my skin heals SO much faster! the humidity REALLY moisturizes it. Here i try to use lotion a lot to heal my skin and keep it from being dry enough to need picking but i went to asia awhile back and the moisture in the air did WONDERS. literally after about 3 to 4 weeks my skin went from being scarred up to NORMAL looking, just like everyone elses!! it was great! actually, that is why i stress lotion all the time on this site - its because i have seen what moisture can do and if you don't have humidity giving you 24/7 around the clock moisture, you must get it on your own. and don't pick. that always helps lol.
March 10, 2010
Oh yeah, hot or humid climates are so much better for me as well. I lived in a place for several years with intense humidity (though not very hot) all year round and it definitely was better for my skin. I moved to a desert climate 7 months ago... "home", which is ALSO extremely stressful for me and my skin has never looked worse. I feel like a crocodile. I'm moving in 3 weeks though, and to a really hot and humid place. I really, really want to leave my skin alone in the next 3 weeks so my skin is healed when I get there... trying to make a good impression. I just have to stop now. And I know I'm "good looking" when I don't mess with my skin too. I've picked almost as self-sabotage..."well I can't go out now" or meet so and so or whatever, and "nobody is going to find me attractive like this".
April 13, 2010

In reply to by Green

self-sabotage-- how true! i only just realized it this week after watching a show about celebrity self-harmers, but picking definitely qualifies as both self-harm and self-sabotage. and an easy way to avoid intimacy, right? if you have those issues (i know i do!). i was thinking during the show that i wish i could be a cutter rather than a picker, because at least if someone is a cutter other people can tell immediately that that's the problem, but with picking it can often look like disease, burn marks, drug use, etc. pretty silly to wish to be a cutter, huh? :S
March 13, 2010
Hey guys thank you for your replies! So we can conclude hot humid places do definitely help but of course not eradicate it completely but every lil helps just a shame finances cant push us to live a happier life in these countries hey! So everyone says cognitive behavioural therapy is the way forward but its soo expensive but there is a site I want to share with you all which they say is very useful, I will admit it does frustrate me a bit but it does help identify your feelings and emotions. I am just too impatient but I will try it again soon. Love and peace to you all! We can do this I know we can!! this website is free and safe! The weblink...
March 14, 2010
yes, definitely, hot humid climates are good for the skin! as is the sea and the ocean! oh, to live in that climate for sure! i can't advocate not washing and keeping makeup on for days, though. everything under proper skin care says just the opposite. sores need to be clean to heal properly. the body heals itself primarily during sleep so the skin then should be the cleanest. i've found that wounds heal best under bandages rather than under moisturizers. the bandage keeps the skin moist enough and free from irritation and contamination from bedding and roaming fingers. yes, salt baths are good and adding baking soda and milk powder can make it soothing. yes, drinking lots of water is good for your skin. journalizing is great. yes, we must cognitively examine our behaviours and change our ways. understanding what underlies our anxieties is a good thing but i think it is possible to make significant ground by being determined to address the issue by understanding that skin picking is a disorder, researching what works to address it, learning how to address wounds, practicing proper and GENTLE skin cleaning practices, and refraining from injurious behaviours. it can take so much time to get professional therapy that some behaviour changes need to be employed sooner rather than later with the ammunition we have. i hope you are able to get your skin picking issues under control soon and permanently. all the best to you!

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