So yesterday and today have been very interesting. I flew to Germany yesterday with a monstrosity on my cheek and almost as predicted it had swollen by the time I got to my hotel, which led to me picking it of course. Nothing particularly came out except puss so I cut my losses and decided to 'work' on the rest of my poor old face. Picked so many that I lost count, thankfully though "touch wood" I didn't do too much damage anywhere else.
Awoke in the middle of the night to go to the toilet and looked in the mirror to see a massive pussed filled disaster on my cheek - lucky I'd caught it in the night because it weeped for AGES after and this morning was scabbed over enough to cover a bit. I can't complain too much about the rest of my face, I know I definitely shouldn't have messed with it but I can only justify it to myself by thinking that if my skin isn't great anyway then what's one more spot? Which has no logic to that philosophy whatsoever!
I had what I can only liken to a panic attack on the train to the airport as well. I felt a twinge on my forehead and instantly started running my fingers across it trying to find the culprit. I'd seen and left alone a small one earlier in the day and lo and behold it was bigger and redder despite me not even touching it. Now I had a massive internal argument - can I put a pin in this on a very public but also fairly deserted train carriage or do I wait to do it 'right' (ie less rushed and with better lighting, clean hands and not being on a moving train!!!!) when getting to the airport. So I was struggling to breathe and had a really tight chest, plus I couldn't stop trying to see it from different angles with my mirror and couldn't stop touching it to see how easy the extraction was going to be.
And then a miracle happened, rational thinking took over. I listened to la vie en rose, calmed my breathing, stopped touching it, closed my eyes and (whilst resigned to the fact it would instantly be picked at the airport) I actually overcame the anxiety which is quite a big deal for me. The best part was this rationality continued, I got to the airport and had to go straight to the gate so didn't have time to go to the bathroom. Then when I did get a chance at the gate I looked at it in the mirror and not only did I notice that it had gone down quite significantly (probably because I hadn't been touching it non-stop) and simply didn't feel the urge to rid my skin of whatever was lying beneath it! Accomplishment number 1!
However after last night's shameful events I've decided that the guilt that I thought I'd feel having to report on here that I'd had a picking session was obviously not enough to stop me from actually doing it, and whilst I'm proud of my one minor success, I know it was predominantly down to the circumstances and less to do with my own will power. So the plan of action I've come up with is to set myself little goals, I am quite familiar with the triggers, times and places that I usually pick and because there are so many I'm thinking maybe that's why I've been failing thusfar.
Here we go, just for one day at a time I'm going to try:
- Not touching my face (that's going to be the hardest by far!)
- Using the communal toilets (tend to pick face at work when I use the toilets that have their own basins and mirrors)
- Don't take a handheld mirror into work (will usually 'check' face throughout the day, leading to a session in the private toilets)
- Not looking in the mirror before going to bed (picking normally starts due to a mixture of boredom and being left alone waiting for the boyfriend to come to bed)
- Leaving my concealer at home (if I can't hide the damage then I might not feel such a compulsion)
- When I see a spot that I 'need' to get, wait an hour and see if the urge is still there
I might come up with some more along the way but I'll try these out and see which ones are the most difficult to stick to and which are the most effective (eg less picking). I hope that eventually I will be able to combine them all but for now I'll do one at a time. I'm going to do the no face touching today because it's really the only one I can do whilst in Germany. I'm going to seriously struggle but I have an event tonight so hopefully that will get me through it. Actually I'm going to try not looking in the bathroom before bed too because I will be tired when I get back to the hotel anyway and since I'm alone I don't trust myself, if I manage to not touch my face all day then I will unconsciously want to reward myself.
And another thing...I need to stop picking my upper arms too. I think because I worry so much about my face I don't care so much if I pick an area that is rarely seen (especially in winter!) as I justify it by releasing the picking anxiety on somewhere other than my face. But since it's not a priority that doesn't mean it's normal behaviour. There's a lot less psycological reasons for picking my arms - mainly boredom (i do it if on the toilet for a while, that made me die a bit inside admitting that!) so the compulsion isn't there and is pretty much just a bad habit. Maybe if I can stop doing that then it will encourage me to stop picking my face so much as well.
On a side note, I can't understand why I even picked the cheek spot in the first place knowing that I had an important social event tonight because normally it's enough to stop me. I read on a site that some young women have issues with their sexuality think it's called 'little girl disease' because it's when women pick their skin to drive men away. Which sounds absolutely crazy, but in actuality there may be something there. In my job I am the youngest (by a fair bit) and one of very few women. The ratio of men to women at the event tonight will probably be about 1:10. I am neither skinny or fat and I suppose my figure is quite 'womanly' (haha that sounds ridiculous!) and I do feel VERY uncomfortable talking to men who are a 'threat' (single, confident, moderately good looking). Can't help but think on some level I'm hoping they will see this giant thing on my cheek and despite any other assets I am actually young enough to be their daughter and acne somehow proves it. I know that's weird and not something I actively thought about when I was picking but perhaps there's something to it?
So overall a mixed first day, did some bad things but also did some good things. I feel like writing this blog is helping with the control element of my picking - somehow writing it down makes me feel like I am capable. Yesterday I felt quite pathetic writing to myself but today it's a better feeling, almost like I've acknowledged what I'm doing, I'm working on some kind of solution and now Í'm telling myself off and telling myself to do better instead of feeling like a total failure every time I pick my skin.
p.s. Already finding it hard not to touch my skin! lord help me!
Just went to the bathroom and when I moved my face the cheek monster started pussing...ewwww, so I gently tried to drain it and the root kind of just slid out (almost just gagged writing that!) so then there was a bit of blood that oozed out then went solid and flaked off which has dramatically reduced the size of it...the scab will probably be there for a few days but the inflammation is down. PLEASE MAKE THIS THE LAST TIME I INFLICT THIS WHOLE PROCESS UPON MYSELF!!!