And it was easy! But the reason it was easy is that I got out of work early for memorial day weekend, played video games with my husband for a few hours, went out to dinner and to a craft store, then got home at around 8:30 and fell asleep on the couch. Around 2am, I moved to the bed.
So, I feel lame for sleeping away most of my Friday night, but I didn’t pick! And that is GOOD. 12 hours ago
Yesterday while I was waiting for my husband to finish his Taekwondo class (my toe is messed up and I can’t fight) I pulled out my laptop and started writing lists of ways to help myself fight picking.
I have a list of things to help in general (like working out regularly and keeping my nails short), things to help at home (keeping the bathroom door closed and the light off, giving myself activities that take both hands), things to help at work (wearing jewelry and long sleeves) and things to help at friend’s houses (bring booklets for doodling, time bathroom trips).
Those are just examples. The lists are longer than that. I’m trying to use my understanding of what gives me difficulty and what helps me succeed to my advantage. Knowing what helps/hurts is no good unless I put that knowledge to work. Having them recorded somewhere outside my mind means it’s easy for me to consult and choose helpful things that suit a situation rather than trying to come up with ways to fight my urges in my stressed-out state of mind.
I’m happy with my lists. I think today I’m going to write out a skin-care routine with time-limits and a schedule. 1 day ago
But today I’m feeling determined. I just read hannahiphop’s post and when she said “I just have to remember that that instant gratification is NOTHING compared to the satisfaction of my skin healing and my feeling happy and confident and energized” it reminded me of how light and full and bubbly I felt last year when I went a month without picking. It was amazing. I want that back, and I want it for all of you too.
I want to turn this around. I think I’m ready to pump a lot of effort into making this work. I really want to try systematically using a lot of different approaches all at the same time to give myself the best opportunity at not picking. Like writing messages to myself on the bathroom mirror, washing my face with the lights off, timing myself when I put on makeup, wearing gloves or finding other things to do with my hands as a default behavior.
I’m thinking I want to approach it like exercising this time around. It’s a bitch if you just expect yourself to do it out of sheer force of will, but if you draw up a specific plan and schedule, it’s a lot easier to adhere to it. I’m prepping to go all out. I want to set alarms on my phone to tell me when to wash my face and stop washing my face and I’m going to leave the bathroom light off at all times unless I absolutely have to see something and shut the door and find things for me to do with my hands and my mind in my down time.
I need a plan. I’m going to work on that. The goal is to give myself as little opportunity for failure as possible. The biggest problem I foresee is when I’m stressed out at work. Sitting in my cube is private enough that I’ll start picking when no one’s walking by, but it’s public enough that I feel stupid wearing gloves when it’s not cold. I’ll need to brainstorm this one out. 2 days ago
I’ve been doing so well the past few days. My legs were looking smooth and my face was clearing up! It felt so freaking good. But I just picked for basically the past two hours…ughhh. The worst part is it felt so good in the worst sort of way. I just have to remember that that instant gratification is NOTHING compared to the satisfaction of my skin healing and my feeling happy and confident and energized. If only I was able to rationalize that more right before I fall into a pick sesh. One day, guys. One day. 3 days ago
Been feeling at my face a lot. Moment of truth: Trying to stop before I go full-out. Looking at pictures of my face when I’ve gone without picking and pictures of it immediately after picking as reminders. They’re helping a little bit but the urge isn’t going away.
Thinking of specific things to do tonight to keep me from hanging out at home picking. Cleaning is a good start, I guess. I’d like to read, but reading doesn’t really keep me from picking. Maybe I’ll play a video game or do some art or something. 3 days ago
Up and down but improving 3 days ago
I’ve been doing pretty well as far as not picking, but I got a zit in my ear (wtf?)... that hurt so I wanted to see how bad it was and had to maneuver a little mirror to do so.
Next thing I know, I’m picking my face. I think this was on the 17th, since then I’ve been okay, but damn that trigger. I don’t feel too guilty because it’s not like I went and stood in front of the mirror to start picking, it was just that uncomfortable zit. Still, I could have just looked at the problem and let it go once I couldn’t see anything. Instead, I went looking for more.
I really feel anxious when I can’t solve some things right away though, and turn to picking. Even things not related to my skin.. .as if picking is a way to calm the anxiety. I know talking myself away from picking can be helpful, saying “If you can’t solve this, find something else to do, don’t pick!”, but then I feel crazy or the idea just sits in my mind (anxiety). It’s an idea that if I can’t fix one thing, at least I can “fix” my skin…but that’s not what I end up doing at all! I need to find a way to deal with the anxiety in those moments. 4 days ago
Most days that go bad start poorly. I’ll find myself doing something in the morning, like scratching at a hard spot on my arm, or feeling around my scalp. Generally speaking, I stop at one spot and tell myself it’s fine because it’s just one spot and the rest of the day will be okay.
But then there’s another “one spot” later. And another one. And so it goes until I have to accept that I haven’t just picked “one or two” spots anymore, and then the floodgates open. No matter how many times I tell myself that it doesn’t make sense to keep going just because I’ve done it once, I can’t actually internalize the idea.
Yesterday was like that. In the morning I messed with some spots on my arm, then later I was scratching around my jawline, by the evening I was scratching all over my face and around 10pm I was picking in the mirror.
I’m trying to think of ways to fix this particular problem. The problem of giving in completely because I’ve made a small mistake. 4 days ago
I haven’t really been counting or anything. Last night I scratched at my face a bit, but nothing serious. It feels nice to be relaxed about it. 5 days ago
I got my first thumbs up yesterday on 21habit. I like the chart, it’s making me more determined to get thumbs up. I took my make up off with wipes last night without looking in any mirrors and looked quite refreshed this morning :) I plan to steam my face and use a clay mask soon as a treat 1 week ago