I am happy to report that since my last post there have been no major picking incidents. Admittedly I have picked a small whitehead and 2 comedones but I'd class these as pretty insignificant. Which leads me to believe that snapping an elastic band on my wrist actually works! Hurrah! The first time I tried this it was with a hair band and I only pinged it when I wanted to pick and it wasn't very effective. This time around I am using an elastic band (which hurts A LOT more than a hair band!) and I'm pinging it every time I want to touch my face or look in the mirror - basically I'm eliminating the triggers through aversion techniques.
I think the reason it's working is because the momentary relief I get from checking my skin in the mirror/ using my hands is outweighed by the pain from snapping the elastic band. Also when I did pick the little spots, I pinged it several times before I picked and then another 5 times after I picked. Instead of associating picking with anxiety relief and trance-like peacefulness, it's making me see it as a physically painful thing.
Despite this success, I'm still slightly sceptical since I've been picking for so long now that I can't believe anything will ever actually cure me, but on the other hand it does appear to be working. Normally if I abstain from picking over the weekend, it's not so surprising since I have a lot of social stuff going on and I tend to be too busy to pick...however when it gets to Sunday night, I will usually end up allowing some reprieve and picking all the stuff that I've managed to avoid over the weekend - but it didn't happen last night.
Now I know it's way too early to say that this is my cure, but it's worked sufficiently enough to make me determined to keep it up! Also, I don't know if the vitamin d has also been a factor in terms of my mood. I've been taking it for 2 weeks now and I definitely feel like I have more energy and feel like my mood is more consistently positive I have also noticed that the texture of my skin is smoother - not completely bump-free, but my forehead has a couple of closed comedones as opposed to being covered in them, good times!
So I'll keep updating and just take one day at a time...my boyfriend isn't convinced since he sees it as replacing one bad habit with another, he also said that it's like a form of self-harming. My argument is that picking can be considered as a form of self-mutation too, so which is the lesser of two evils: the one that leaves my wrist temporarily red, or the one that makes me feel so ashamed that I go into my shell for the next 4 days waiting for the self-inflicted damage to heal?! Hmmmmm, I think I will go with the former!