“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time” – Mark Twain
www.skinpick.com/Stop-Skin-Picking It's more than just a bad habit - Learn WHY you do it and how to stop
www.trich.org/ Treatment, Self-Help and Support for Hair Pulling & Skin Picking
kirima has written 12 entries about this goal
I haven’t written in a while, things are crazy busy. That is also why my bad habit has found a way of sneakily increasing again. This is very annoying, but I always knew I was in it for the long haul. Two of my fingers have visible damage, although nowhere near as bad as it used to be. It feels disappointing, but at the same time, I am still convinced that I am further along the journey (and it’s true, my hands are really nowhere near as bad as they used to be), and also that I can win this.
I’ll be ruthless with the cuticle cream again!
I can’t believe it’s just over one month that I stopped picking the skin around my fingers. They look great! I can’t say that I didn’t pick at all, but I reduced it to about 5% of what it used to be and I am mighty proud. I have cut my fingernails supershort so thay can’t do much damage and painted them in a garish colour to show off my healthy hands. The skin around the nails is still slightly redder than the rest of the hand, and I don’t expect that will change anytime soon, it’s just scar tissue I guess.
But I know I can do it. My next goal is to get the picking down to zero, and not only that, but to actually get rid of the IMPULSE to do it. But it’s great to know you can break this habit. :)
I haven’t written an entry in over a week I think, and it has not been a very good week, pickingwise. To pre-empt, I am still MUCH better than I have been before I started this task. My fingers look presentable. BUT I had a very emotionally stressful week and that got reflected in my finger picking. It is annoying on one hand, because I did draw blood on 2 occasions and it made me feel like, uuurrgh – you really shouldn’t have done this!!
I have also been picking my back really badly and that annoys me too. I want to wear nice tops in the summer without always having to hide my ugly back. Grrr….
But like I said, I’m still on track and still motivated, and I think the key is to battle on. I am still getting better, and a step back is ok if you take 2 steps forward next.
Yesterday was by boyfriend’s birthday and after a really nice dinner we went out to meet some of our friends in the pub. Everything was going brilliantly but at the pub I started picking away. It’s always at the pub, in the evening, with friends. It’s bizzare!
What made it worse is that I forgot my magic cuticle cream so the only weapon I had was willpower minus two glasses of wine. :/
Fortunately the damage was not bad, you can barely see it (and no red bits or blood), so yes, I am counting it, but no, I’m not starting from zero. I have improved a lot and I’m acknowledging that. BUT: I need to come up with a strategy that will get rid of me picking in public. So: I will ALWAYS make sure I carry my cuticle cream, ESPECIALLY when going out. And I will use it preventatively, so even if I don’t feel like picking (just yet), I make sure my fingers are covered at all times.
This is important to me and I CAN CHANGE!
It’s been 17 days since I stopped picking my fingers and it feels just marvellous. I still have the odd little moment where I pick a little bit, but I immediately reign myself in.
I really should have taken a picture of my hands when I started. It’s only a little over 2 weeks but I already can’t really picture my hands with all the scabs and ragged bits of skin around the nails anymore. I so hope I can keep it up. I know the hard work is still to come – making this a PERMANENT state that is quite normal, rather than the amazingness it is right now :)
I think it’s really important to be kind to yourself. One little pick doesn’t mean you’re off the wagon. YOU dedice if you’re still on it! Over time, the evidence that you are getting better is undeniable.
I am really proud of myself for drastically reducing my finger picking in the last 2 weeks, despite having exams and the other odd difficulty here and there. My fingers look presentable and it’s the first time in years and years that I am not ashamed to show my hands!
So that’s really good news.
However, I do realise that there are still some traps and downfalls that I need to work on.
1.) Going out – I do pick a lot more when I am out and having a drink. Even one glass of wine is enough to increase the picking. Simple solution this saturday was to stick to lemonade, although I think the whole situation – out with friends – somehow triggers it. Especially when people are talking about a topic I don’t find very interesting I tend to keep myself entertained by searching for imperfections; not in an obvious way of course, people barely notice it, but still, I find it annoying. Having said that, the better my hands get, the less I can actually pick.
2.) Dry hands, hard cuticles – I haven’t seen any blood in 15 days which is fantastic (sorry it’s gross, but it used to be a daily occurrence). But now instead the skin around my nails is so hard, it feels really weird. I guess it’s the scarring from all the years. 15 days is nothing yet. I think at 15 weeks it will be interesting to see if the skin around my fingers has become a bit softer.
SO: Keep off the booze for a while (ties in with frugal Feb as well). And keep the cream close to soften up the skin. The goal for the next 15 days is to be able to say: went from very little picking to NO picking. I need to BREAK this habit, not only make it smaller (so it can flare up again when I get stressed).
In short: Fantastic progress, have to keep it going!
I realised that I – ever so slightly – started picking again. It is so so easy to slip back into bad habits. But in my defence, it really hasn’t been much, and whenever possible I slapped on more cream immediately, and it’s not like I actually damaged my skin (no bleeding etc, which was daily standard only a couple of weeks back).
I guess the challenge at the moment is that not much is changing. If you go from picking to absolutely no picking, you see a big difference in a week, but now my fingers are still dry and sometimes they just chap – I guess most people’s fingers do when it’s cold outside and hot and dry inside from the heaters.
Anyway, I just have to stick at it, even without seeing big changes. As long as the urge to pick is there, I haven’t reached my goal, but I’ll keep working at it!
Ok, so it’s been about 8 days since I said THIS IS IT, and I am really pleased. Apart from my hickup when I was on a night out, I really haven’t been touching my fingers, and everytime I wanted to, I put on lots of cuticle cream. I also didn’t care where I was (lectures, coffee house, buying shoes…) if I needed my cream then I needed my cream. I guess it’s my methadone :) But its a lot better to moisturise than to pick, that’s for sure.
I know that this will be a very very long task tho, and 8 days is nothing yet. I have been doing this for about 15 years, every single day of my life, you can’t just shut that down. My fingers are still healing and very very dry. It’ll take months until the scar tissue turns into skin again (I do hope it will… :S)
Things have been going really well and my tactic of slapping on lots of cuticle cream whenever I feel the urge to pick has definitely helped. my finger are looking SO much better in only 3 days of abstinence, it ridiculous!
However, yesterday I was finished with my exams and me and my coursemates went out for a meal and some drinks and then clubbing. It was a really good night but I realised that the alcohol lowered my self-control (there’s a surprise) and I started picking again. Luckily, because my hands were so well, there was not that much temptation (its only really bad when there are little bits of skin that are not smooth). On the whole I think it was ok and a LOT better than it would have been anytime before in the last 10 years!!
I am beating this!!! :)