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. 2 hours 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. 1 day 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 3 days ago
I cleaned my room a few days ago, hardcore. I’ve lived in this apartment for a year and never really moved in until now. It looks and feels AMAZING and it makes me feel good and productive, too. I think that feeling could maybe help me not pick so much.
Also I just set a timer on my phone for five minutes, left it in my room with the door open, went brush my teeth, and then had to scoot back to my room super quick (avoiding picking!) so that the obnoxious timer wouldn’t go off and wake up my roommate. I’ve picked a crap ton today but hey, I didn’t pick just now, and that’s still something. 3 days ago
I’ve been avoiding 43things for a few days because I feel guilty when I have mostly bad things to report. Which is silly, I know, because the whole point of this website is to micro-blog and encourage each other and talk about the process… but still. Here I am. Still picking, but STILL TRYING, as always, to fight it. 3 days ago
Work was super stressful. Nothing was working, I couldn’t get anything done and I have all sorts of things that I have very little time to get finished.
I picked at my desk. Then I went to the bathroom and I picked in the mirror. I slathered on as much makeup as I thought reasonable, then sent an email saying I was working from home the rest of the day and started to head out. I ran into a friend/coworker on the stairs and tried my damnedest to hide my face behind my hair while he talked to me on the way down, but I’m pretty positive he saw that my face was fucked up. I think the worst thing about this is how much it bothers me that he might have seen the spots on my face. I know it’s ridiculous, but knowing that he saw me looking like that is just really upsetting to me.
I feel stuck. The past few weeks have been extra hard and I’m just tired. I know perseverance is key in anything, especially in things like this, but I still feel like I’m missing some key component. Everything I try brings me some small amount of success followed by a lot of failure and disappointment.
Almost every time I pick, I temporarily give up and decide that I will never succeed. I’m tired of giving up. The problem is I don’t know how not to. 4 days ago
I can’t seem to stop! Too much stress in my life, work and personal! Plus it’s that time of the month! I’ve joined a website for breaking a habit which I m going to check into everyday. You guys should check it out www.21habit.com 5 days ago
Yesterday especially. I was home alone and I had already been rubbing at and picking a few things at work and I ended up in front of the mirror and picked REALLY badly. My face is awful today.
The past few days I have not been adhering to my no mirror rules. I had a wedding and a graduation to go to, both of which I dressed up for and put on more than my usual makeup, and I kept checking my appearance because I was supposed to be fancy.
But then yesterday I was still looking in mirrors.
I decided today I’m going back to no mirrors. I’ve really been screwing this up and I’m tired of it. This morning I had to spend a long time putting on makeup because I had so many spots. The three minutes I have been giving myself wasn’t NEARLY enough time to cover up adequately to go into work.
My skin is unhappy and I’m unhappy. I want to get back on track. 1 week ago
I more determined today 1 week ago
It’s weird… mostly I do attribute picking to stress, but right now I’m going through a ‘heartbreak’ ordeal and picking is the last thing on my mind.
Furthermore, picking is just awful… I’m saying that because even though I feel really bummed out right now, at least I can go and distract myself, take a walk or read a book at a coffee shop, after work. When I pick, I can’t even do that because I feel so self-conscious. That’s how bad picking is, worse than heartbreak!
Since I am aware, I will make it a point to avoid mirrors right now, especially, just in case my emotions try to manifest themselves in that way. blah :( 1 week ago
I’m counting days again and starting day 1 today 1 week ago
I hate that. I never used to pick at my arms. But they’re right there, and everyone can see them (myself included) and I just hate that.
I was stressing because I just interviewed someone for a tech journalism piece I’m writing and he said some really awesome things and I was stupid and nervous and didn’t record it on my phone or anything and so now I can’t remember a lot of his quotes. Feeling like a dingbat. 1 week ago
my skin has been getting slowly better, i’ve been getting better at picking slowly aswell. i count how many times i pick a day. on good days the most i pick is 3, on bad days it’s 6-10. but most of the time it’s around 3-5. yesterday i messed up and it was about 10. it sucks, i have such a hard time when i break out. if im not out of the house, it’s really hard for me to not pick. i keep a squishy bracelet on my wrist so anytime i feel like picking i try to reach of that instead, squeeze it and take out my stress on that.
right now my face isnt looking so great. ive got 3 pimples on my chin that i couldnt leave alone so theyre all picked. one on my cheek that i also picked recently, plus all the scarring that is slowly going away. ugh. 1 week ago
But I’m really displeased with the state of my face. I’m breaking out something awful because of my last pick-fest.
Also I’m having a hard time sticking to my no-mirrors thing. I’m trying to reset. 1 week ago
I’ve been picking everyday since my last post. But I didn’t yesterday and I took my make up off without looking in the mirror which I angling to try every night 1 week ago
So the past few days overall haven’t been so bad, but I picked a ton today. My self control has gone out the window. Anyone have any good tips for stopping once you start? I can sometimes avoid starting at all, but once I pick once, I’m screwed. For a while at least.
This sounds strange, but I was curious what went into the skin healing process and got this: https://www.google.com/search?q=skin+healing+process&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari#itp=open0
Check it out. It’s such a crazy complex process, for even a single wound. Our bodies are AMAZING and we destroy them so carelessly. Even if you just glance at this article you’ll see how much our skin must do to repair itself. The thought may not make me quit picking altogether, but it certainly can’t hurt to remind myself as I’m going to pick that my body’s about to be rocked at the surface. Maybe it’ll be enough to defer a pick or two. Who knows. 1 week ago
So, I stumbled upon this little article about a month and a half ago: http://www.thelovevitamin.com/3586/rolling-acne-scars-msm-cream/
Basically the lady says she started putting on this really cheap MSM cream every night and her rolling scars almost completely disappeared.
Well I’ve read lots of good stuff about MSM before (mostly about taking it by mouth, actually) and had actually wanted to try it for a while. I figured I may as well try something that seems to have pleased some people with its results.
Anyway, I bought some of the specific cream mentioned in that article (~$12) and I made an effort to put it on every night for a month. I missed probably two or three nights. It stings a bit going on, but then the skin is super soft and buttery-feeling. After about a month, I can definitely say it smoothed out my cheeks. It didn’t have as much effect on the deep little icepick scars (though I think they’ve improved a teeny bit), but I think it mostly helped with the most shallow and recent scars.
Anyway, it’s a relatively cheap thing that’s helping with some of my scarring, and I wanted to let everybody know about it. 1 week ago
Picked again last night. And ended up in the mirror. Not happy. Trying to recall feelings of competence and promise, but it’s hard. Today is/will be a struggle. 1 week ago
I think that when I’m even the slightest bit stressed I unconsciously do this. Whenever I have a pimple I try my hardest to pop it and end up with fugly sores on my face that scab and then I pick at them. Wtf Julia just stop. But I usually don’t even realize I’m doing it. I pick at my cuticles too when I’m spacing 1 week ago
Couldn’t keep my hands off my face. Again, I didn’t do it in front of the mirror, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as it is when I pick in front of the mirror, but still I was not pleased with the fact that I was picking.
My face looks fine today. Not much to put makeup on, really. I know there are some bumps between my eyebrows and on my forehead that I was really bothered by last night, but my bangs are covering them up, and in my 3 minutes for makeup I didn’t look for them since I was trying to cover the most obvious blemishes.
I also ended up picking on Saturday. I was at a friends house and I was just stressed out by the number of people there and I ended up picking in the bathroom mirror. I think I was kind of taken by surprise by that mirror, since I’ve made plans to avoid mirrors in the places I normally am, but not for that house specifically.
So the good news is this: Since I’ve been avoiding mirrors, I still pick sometimes (although less often). But when I do pick, even when it’s really impossible for me to stop, It’s not nearly as bad as it is when I pick in the mirror, since I’m only picking at actual bumps that I can feel, and not at every tiny little blackhead or discoloration I can see.
I’m excited to get back on track. 2 weeks ago
Despite having picked again since my last entry, and significantly so, I’ve been feeling good. I think the whole idea of at least trying to commit to quitting is invigorating for me. I had a shift in perspective yesterday. I’m looking forward to the summer. I have less than a month of school left. New things are on the horizon. I’m feeling good.
I just need to figure out concrete ways to stop giving in to my impulses. Regaining control in other areas of my life seems to bleed over to my skin picking, too. I need to exercise more. Sleep better. Relax whenever I can. 2 weeks ago
I haven’t picked so far today :) 2 weeks ago
Nothing special to report. Nothing worse than usual, nothing better than usual. I think the “apply lotion, not fingernails” technique is helping a bit.
No, it’s just that I just had a thought, I don’t pick my skin while I’m walking, stretching, doing sit-ups, talking with a friend (usually), cooking, watching an engaging film, reading a compelling book. Being meaningfully occupied counts for a lot.
I’ve noticed a few folks on 43Things who have “stop picking my skin” as their only goal, or else have written dozens of entries about “stop picking my skin” and less than one dozen entries for all of their other goals combined. It seems like the difference between saying “I’m clinically depressed” and “I struggle sometimes with depression”. Because no one, not even the worst affected of us, picks our skin 24/7.
So … I’m just putting out an encouragement, if one of your goals is “stop picking my skin”, one of the best ways to accomplish that might be working more on all of the other goals! Don’t think about it too much! 2 weeks ago
I hope you’re all having an okay day! I was pretty active on this website two years ago, trying desperately to combat my skin picking. After a while I gave up. But I’m back, because IT’s back…or rather, it never went away. It’s actually as worse as it’s ever been, I think.
Here’s me: I’m 21 now, been picking since I was 13 or 14 years old. And boy am I goddamn sick of it. I just can’t let it go on forever. I’ve tried a billion and one things, as I’m sure all of you have, too. But I always, always end up slipping and giving up.
I pick primarily at my legs. All of those stupid hair follicles; they kill me. I pick with my fingernails, I pick with tweezers, I pick until my neck hurts from my being bent over like some sort of sick creature—and then I pick some more. I also pick at my chest, my arms, and occasionally my face. I used to only pick at night, in the quiet prison of my bathroom, and never, ever where anyone might see me. Now I pick multiple times throughout the day, whenever I see or feel the tiniest “imperfection” on my skin. I try hard not to pick in public, but I do pick in my car, and in public bathrooms, sometimes even scratching without realizing it and man it is SUCH an unpleasant habit. (Well, calling it a habit is rather being kind. Let’s be honest, it’s a freaking demon).
I am going to quit this. And I want all of you to, too. We so deserve to feel better, be happier, live free from the compulsions and the shame and the guilt that we drag around incessantly because of this crap.
Who’s with me? 2 weeks ago
Did sort of okay yesterday. I set out the baseline rule that I was allowed to touch blemishes, but not dig in with my fingernails, or in any way cause bleeding. Slipped up a bit in the late afternoon/evening. I think it helped that I didn’t then immediately go OH WELL I GUESS THERE IS NO POINT IN EVER TRYING TO IMPROVE MYSELF WHATSOEVER, which is kind of a tendency with me. 2 weeks ago
More than a little. I had a great day went out with a friend for the evening, came home and my bedroom was a mess I just sat there then wen to the mirror and picked :( didn’t take off my make up before sleep and repicked 2 this morning :( 2 weeks ago
I’m on day 5 of no picking I feel so proud! There have been mirror times and feelings and gentle scratching times and I have had some dreadful spots come up but I haven’t picked! Still not used my clay mask but have been making sure I take off make up before bed. 2 weeks ago
I think this is slightly an Occupational Hazard with me. At least for one of my occupations. If I’m having a good writing day, my hands are too busy to pick, but let’s face it, they can’t all be good writing days. Sometimes I spend more time picking than writing, as surely as I’m currently spending more time on the internet than writing.
In my other job, at a day camp, I’m usually way too busy to pick, or at least it gets relegated to private moments away from my campers and co-workers, so as to avoid, you know, bleeding all over the place. I’m sure my skin appreciates the summer holiday, but my ideal life does involve hours of sitting at a desk staring at infuriating word documents, so I think I need some strategies for replacing skin-picking with better habits. And some of those habits should not be eating. 2 weeks ago