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10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

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782 people want to do this. 1 person has this New Year's resolution.

stop picking my skin


 

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Steph_Brightonbound 3 months ago


hannahiphopHi all

It’s been almost a month and well, my picking hasn’t gone away yet. I’m realizing more and more how this will be a constant struggle but it will also get easier if I stick with my good habits and am persistent in attacking the disorder.

It’s hard because my list of priorities shifts every day and things (that should be important) always, always get pushed to the wayside.

I’m in that mid, stagnant point of summer and am self-avoidant. I don’t want to think about anything regarding my life/future because it causes anxiety, but the truth is the anxiety is there anyway, and not facing it doesn’t make it go away. It only allows it to manifest in things such as picking.

There are things I MUST start incorporating into my schedule again. Running has always been good for me. Writing, too. I love, love playing guitar but somehow push that away, too. I live in fear all the time that I’m not doing enough, I’m not doing enough, and in turn I end up doing nothing at all. It is this insistent and stupid paradox that dominates my life.

I’ve started working as a barista, well, been training like crazy because it’s a new place. I love it there, mainly because of how consistent it is and I know my expectations when I’m at the espresso machine. Everything else in my life seems up in the air.

But I can’t let it take over. The very fact that it is the most consistent thing in my life says something about how I’m ignoring my passions and basic human Hannah needs.

The picking…well, I’ve got to get back into the battle. I’ve got to admit I’ve been letting it control me lately. I’ve got a bad skin infection on my knee and in various other places. Don’t feel so great. I don’t want to be like this anymore. 3 months ago


brokenfrenchTweezers on my leg hair?

Not sure if this is a much better way of dealing with stress and boredom but I’ve started to pull out excess leg hairs with my tweezers. I still get a few after I shave my legs and I find it just as satisfying if not more satisfying than back when I was skin picking compulsively.
I don’t think it’s healthy for the skin on my legs; after I’m done sometimes I get reddish splotches and some minor scabs. I don’t think it’s a good substitute behaviour. I think so far this summer I’ve been so overwhelmed with disappointment; not that I’ve been doing badly in school…I’ve just been really disappointed with the kinds of men I’ve been meeting and how they’ve treated me.
Regardless of all that I’m absolutely determined to MOVE ON from this shitty year; ultimately my university degree is far more important to me than a series of non-committal dickheads. And dealing with the stress of exams must take priority. I’m going to try really hard to stop this recent tweezer frenzy and stick with my other coping mechanisms, like meditation, positive affirmations, exercise, going out with friends, etc.
It’s easy to slip into unhealthy habits when times are rough.
Also I’ve just decided to give up on dating for next year…it’s really not worth the amount of emotional energy I seem to invest in it. It’s been the main source of my anxiety these past few months so to hell with it, I don’t really need it anyway and I’m tired. 3 months ago


danni1988I picked a few today

My skin looks lots clearer though I don’t know if the cucumber is helping. I’ve also gone back to deep cleansing my face at just and just rinsing with water in the morning which always makes my skin seem clearer 3 months ago


danni1988Still not cured this

In fact since my last post apart from when I stayed with my boyfriend, since then I have picked everyday. It’s got really bad over the last few days because I’m actually going to see my boyfriend again in just 4 days and I think the stress gets to me! Anyway today I haven’t picked and so pleased and I have discovered cucumber! I rub a slice all over my face in the morning and before bed my face has calmed down so much since last night where I looked so wounded around my face! 3 months ago


lucianasantos 4 months ago


hannahiphopSeeing a psychologist

Last week, I saw a psychologist. Finally. I think this is important because they help take all the emotional crud and shape it into hard information. She wanted me to make an excel spreadsheet with notes: when/where/trigger/what stopped it, that sort of thing. I didn’t keep up with it very well, largely because my picking is so intermittent throughout the day that I’m not able to record every little pick, much less the exact reasons why it happens. HOWEVER the point of “recording” is so that I at least attempt to be more conscious of what I’m doing. Because that’s ultimately how to fight it. It is SO FREAKING HARD. Sometimes (oftentimes) I just give in to picking because it feels like both the worst and best thing, and once the compulsion is there, it doesn’t want to leave. The terrible thing about it is that a pick “fixes” the impulse…for about half a second before it returns. That half-a-second is quintessential, then, to distracting myself.

Actions that can happen in half of a second:

1) Close eyes
2) Turn head
3) Clench fists
4) Stand up (or otherwise change positions)

I always start picking because I simply feel or see something on my skin. Keep in mind – and I don’t, in any way, mean to disparage you all who have chronic skin conditions – my actual skin is pretty clear. When I say “something” I mean the tiniest inflamed pore, the millimeter-long hair that happens to be stiffer than the others, the “blackhead” that I have to be standing an inch from my mirror to see.

Speaking of mirrors: a big downfall for me is walking into my room and going straight to my standing mirror, or getting up to it from my bed to inspect something on my face, etc. So I put a big stripe of duct tape right at face height. This way, I can still use it to check out outfits and whatnot, but in order to look at my face, I have to uncomfortably bend down or step up on my toes and by that time, I may have mustered up enough self control to not.

I’m feeling ashamed that I didn’t keep better track of my picking like the psychologist wanted me to, and now I have to go in this afternoon and tell her that. But I do think I’ve made progress since last week, really. One of the most profound things is I feel like I can finally talk about this without crying. And this may have come from being able to openly have a discussion about this last week, when the psychologist told me 1) this is not shameful, it is simply a behavior, 2) there is no cure, but it is treatable and 3) ultimately it is up to meet to stop it.

I don’t really want to go today, but I want to quit picking, so I will. For the sake of consistency. With enough knocks, something’s bound to break. Hopefully it’ll be this demon. 4 months ago


hannahiphopHi everyone.

So, I’ve been off and on this site for years and years. Mostly off. There was a time when a handful of us had formed a pretty solid support group, updating regularly and encouraging one another.

It seems that so many people have kind of peaced out completely since, which is too bad, but—I’m back, and I really, really want to get a grip on my picking. I’m going to start writing posts again and if anyone wants to be more involved, too, that would be wonderful. They have other formats for online support groups across the internet, but I like the way 43Things is set up.

I’m removing my other goals because I think in order to truly get better at something you have to focus. This disorder is devastating to me. It has stolen almost a decade of my life. See, on average I pick two hours per day. I don’t want to calculate how much time wasted over the course of a decade that is but, maybe I’ll just start to actively plan how instead to fill the approaching “potential pick hours.”

Because here’s the thing—I think picking comes from something deep, deep within. Something (to continue the metaphor) that cannot be solved by one tiny scratch at the surface, by one small act of excoriation (or even by two, ten, one hundred…)

I’m 22 years old and I don’t want to spend one more day living a life of destruction and self-hate. Good god, our time on earth is WAY too short for this. I hope you all feel the same way.

We were cursed with the brain chemistry that causes the impulse to pick and the scattered self control that keeps us from stopping. But we are so much more, have so much more, can be so much better. Because the fabulous thing is, brains are malleable. Undeniably. And not just until your early 20s or whatnot, as neuroscientists once thought, but apt to be altered for the entirety of your life. (Though it helps to tackle things as early on as possible).

This is my rallying call. I’ll admit it all—I’m perturbed, disgusted, annoyed, ashamed, sick and tired of fighting myself and hating myself and losing sleep and acting like I’m fine when I’m not. I’m not fine. I’m a little ill, but I will certainly be alright. I created this and I can destroy it.

If you don’t believe that, all hope is out. Sorry to be bleak. It may be an ongoing battle but you must know that you can have the upper-hand. And damn, doesn’t that sound good.

All best,
Hannah 4 months ago


allybooks 6 months ago


manuziilda 3 years ago


EXPfedupSkin Help

HI everyone. It’s been a long while since I’ve logged anything on here, but I’m glad to say that my struggle with picking has lessened dramatically.

I want to write about my improvement soon, but for now I wanted to share something that really helps me when the occasional pimple does creep up on my skin, because to me it’s been a big step in not freaking out about my skin in general. I discovered that Zinc Oxide is typically good for skin, though please keep in mind that not all our skin reacts the same. Therefore, I started using sunscreen with a high percentage of it, as opposed to Titanium Dioxide -another common ingredient in sun screen, as well as a BB cream that contains that too. When I have a really bad, under-the-skin-pimple I warm up some water, as hot as my skin can handle, and dab a cotton ball in it then place it on the pimple. That reduces the size of the pimple right away. I read that it’s because the heat kills the type of bacteria that causes those pimples, bacteria candida. Then right after, I put a big amount of sunscreen on the pimple. I do this as many times as I have time for and that usually gets rid of the pimple more quickly than anything else I’ve tried or than just washing my face.

The sunscreen I use is Coppertone “Faces” with SPF 50 (for some reason the one with SPF 30 does not contain Zinc Oxide). I think many people steer away from sunscreens with Zinc Oxide because the consistency tends to be very thick, you have to rub it in your skin for a couple minutes for it to dissolve or you look ghostly…but like I said, personally it’s helped a lot. That way I only focus on the one pimple instead of going crazy on my entire face because I can’t get rid of a pimple. 5 months ago


jov_ana 5 months ago


brokenfrenchmeditation

So sometimes picking can still be one of the ways I deal with stress, but I’ve found that about 10 mins of meditation at the beginning or end of the day is a really great way of preemptively dealing with stress…
I think it’s also great for increasing mindfulness.
anyhow, there are plenty of videos on youtube, perhaps there is even a meditation that focuses on putting an end to skin picking. 5 months ago


brokenfrenchbeen feeling the urge

I’ve been feeling the urge lately but I’ve only had sessions lasting about 10mins at most…going to try to be mindful and find other ways of preemptively dealing with stress like exercising, or meditation.. 5 months ago


danni1988I'm such a mess

I’m seeing my boyfriend in 4 days time haven’t seen him for 3 months. I’ve been picking today. I’ve just scrubbed my face clean and put witch stick on my spots and picked parts. I’ve just taken various tablets to try and reduce the redness 5 months ago


danni1988Just picked alot

!!!!! 5 months ago


danni1988Not doing too bad

A lot of touching and light scratching yesterday and I squeezed a white head before bed but I made sure I washed my face properly and applied toner before bed. I have gone back to only running my face under the hot shower in the morning instead of washing away too many oils twice a day and I have to say my face looks more glowy again already 5 months ago


danni1988So far so good

Not picked yet today little bit of touching though… 5 months ago


danni1988Bad few days

Called in sick to work today it was that bad. I’ve just had a hot bath and a good scrub of my face, used some toner and put on some witchstick on my picked areas and spots. Going to take ibuprofen and have an early night 5 months ago


danni1988I'm back still a picker

It’s just got worse and worse the last few weeks. I’m so depressed on my days off from work that I don’t even shower. I haven’t washed my face properly since Friday morning. But on a positive note I haven’t picked so far today. I’ve been applying spot treatment religiously since last night to try and reduce redness. I’m going to take some ibuprofen today and tonight also and treat myself to a relaxing bath later on followed by a face mask. 6 months ago


brokenfrenchSome boredom and loneliness

I picked at a few things yesterday but am trying not to feel guilty or self-conscious about them..
I’ve put some aloe vera and cocoa butter, and am going to try to be good to myself, avoid mirrors, go exercise, remind myself not to self-scrutinze.
The last think I need after a hectic week of romantic failure is to feel self-conscious.
fuck romance, friendship all the way. 6 months ago


mamidragonUntitled

Crushing up an ibuprofen and using it’s dust with one of your usual cleansers 1) exfoliates your face and 2) takes down post-picking redness and inflammation so quickly you can watch the color change. You’re welcome! 6 months ago


brokenfrenchMale-related troubles explode in my face

Wow. I feel almost embarrassed to admit that I’m still having the same problem as the previous entry.
Still struggling not to pick my skin, remain mindful.
This one foolish crush has sent me into a complete tail-spin.
I can’t seem to focus or think properly, and I feel pathetic for it!
I don’t want to be stressed about a boy, I want to be stressed about doing well in school.
I’m sorry guys, I honestly feel like I can’t get my act together and I’ve picking at my chest, arms and face more than usual lately. At the moment I’m sat at my desk in a long sleeve sweater with a button up shirt underneath so I can’t look or touch.
I hope I can get over this soon, it is so not worth the time/energy/stress… 6 months ago


brokenfrenchmen-related stress and skin picking

getting stressed again. but not about anything important like school or finances or work. No. I’ve met someone I felt a strong and immediate attraction toward. And it’s painfully obvious this is not and will not be reciprocated.
When I think these kinds of thoughts, of how he doesn’t notice me and is indifferent to me it makes me want to pick more.
But why? What a silly thing to get stressed about!
Determined not to let this, of ALL things, bring me down.
Just need to be mindful and treat myself nicely. 7 months ago


xturnitupUntitled

I haven’t posted in awhile but I wanted to let you guys know something that’s really been working for me incase anyone really doesn’t know what to do anymore, this may help you.

I’ve been using honey to stop picking. Now, I’m not completely pick-free, but it does really help me control the urge to pick quite a bit.

Now honey is an anti-bacterial. It helps fight acne, and can also help heal picked acne. But also, honey is very sticky. Put honey on the places you pick, and it will be hard for you to pick unless you get up, go to the sink and wash the honey off your face. You’ll probably decide to just not pick instead of going through the trouble of washing the honey off your face. (Or if not, give it some time and maybe you’ll see that going through the trouble of picking with honey on your face is not worth the trouble at all). It becomes displeasing to pick when you get honey all over your fingers anytime you try.

When I first tried this honey trick, I’d put it all over my face, and I wasn’t very constant with putting honey on my face, also, the honey would sometimes get everywhere. These would make it a bit frustrating to use this trick, and because I wasn’t constant with this treatment, it wasn’t working too well. But since I’ve been doing this for awhile, I’ve come to a good way to do this:

First, hair away from face. Put it up and use a hairband so you won’t get honey on your hair. Second, it’s easier to put the honey on the spots you pick instead of your whole face. For example, I pick only on bumps and active acne that I can feel, therefore, I only put it on those areas. Third, be constant with this! I cannot tell you how important that is. This means, anytime your home, as soon as you get home or wake up in the morning, use the honey treatment. Picking can happen in a matter of seconds, and even when you feel confident that you won’t pick today, do it anyways. Because let’s be honest, how many times have you told yourself you won’t pick today and ended up doing it anyways? Be constant no matter how your feeling. It will pay off when you start losing the need to pick and see your skin clearing up on its own.

For me, I feel like this has helped me not only stop picking as much, but I stop touching my face just because I hate the feeling of getting honey on my hands and then having to wash it off. Sometimes this treatment can be a pain in the ass to maintain and keep up, but it’s worth it. 7 months ago


Krissy Tuffield-KingDang...

I was doing really well.
I hadn’t picked in more than a month and this past week, I totally killed that. My poor face. <_< 7 months ago


danni1988Pick pick picking

Last night and the previous night and yesterday morning. My face was so sore I decided to overdose on ibuprofen and I took 800g to try and reduce inflammation. It knocked me out for a few hours and I woke up and put face tan on and went back to sleep. My face has calmed down ALOT so I’m pleased. Will do the same tonight 7 months ago


brokenfrenchAt risk.

Recently I’ve noticed that I’ve getting a bit worse about controlling it. Nothing very serious yet but just need to hold off on doing it generally.
anyway, will wear a button up shirt and spend less time on the computer…
I think I’m also just having a not so great skin day.
Also need to exercise more; that helps de-stress me a lot. 7 months ago


sloppykiss 7 months ago


danni1988786 members

Why am I the only one blogging. 8 months ago


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