Posted 27 November 2011 - 04:10 AM
I'm Beck and this is my "stop picking" journal.
Needless to say, I am a picker. I've been picking at my skin pretty much every night before bed for the past 15 years. I'm 24 now and I want to do something about this. I just feel awful. This makes me stress out badly almost every day, the makeup I cover my face in is uncomfortable and over all I just feel embarassed. I avoid taking showers at the gym, I always carry concealer in my pocket. I don't think I've allowed people to take my picture for over 5 years becuse when I see my picture it's like someone's opened a big black hole in my chest. I also avoid mirrors. Well, except for the bathroom mirror. We have a complicated relationship me and that mirror...
But there is one thing that gives me hope. A few months ago I managed to quit biting my nails. I'd been doing that for as long as I could remember, which is about 20 years, and I cannot even begin to count the times I've tried to quit (same with picking, I've pretty much tried to quit every day for years). Then I just gathered the courage and did it. I never thought I'd do it, I just thought it'd be another few days of pretty nail polish and then back to sticking my finges in my mouth. No! Instead I managed to take it day by day, and now my nails look pretty healthy. That's what makes me feel inspired to try this again. Because if I could quit biting I know I can quit picking. I know I can do it!
What if this is the time that I start following a program and actually heal, actually do it? Even though I've failed so many times in the past, there is a tiny sparkling hope in me that I might actually keep up this time.
What I'll do:
- Follow the old Chill out program on this site, which I found through Google, which landed me here.
- Post here about my days and what's going on
- Try to let go a bit. I saw a really inspiring post on Pinterest that said "She started to live the life she'd always dreamed". And I guess that's appliable to this, too. I want to be able to look in a mirror and not pick. I cannot see any actual obstacle to why that wouldn't be possible, so in theory I can just start living that dream and not pick. I'm somehow convinced that there's some sort of huge obstacle that makes not picking impossible. But there is none, that I can see. Honestly, there's nothing that makes me pick apart from my own conviction that i have to pick. Letting go of that idea should help greatly.
So, that was my novel so far. Come back for more exciting stories from the adventureous life of an (ex) picker....
(Also i feel like mentioning that I know there's a typo in my username. Silly me.)
Posted 28 November 2011 - 11:05 AM
Day 1 was a success. I managed to stop myself from picking about 10 times by doing the super silly (and very Super Man-like) Competing Response that's suggested in the Chill out program. But at this point I'm ok with making silly gestures as long as they keep me from picking.
As far as skin goes it's quite bad for being me, i have a handful of scabs on each cheek (one under each eye, which definitly makes me look like a crazy person). A few of them still feels inflamed and "full" while the rest is somewhat healing. Trying to peacefully ignore the "full" ones and see what happens. It's all covered in makeup so it looks alright apart from the bumpyness.
Went and got a new cool haircut earlier and my hairdresser seems to be an ex acne sufferer, which made me quite happy as hair salons and the like always makes me feel extra vulnerable beacuse of the scrutinizing eyes of The Beauty People. Know what I mean? But she seemed totally cool sporting her fading scars without much makeup. Go her!
Edited by CocnutCaramel, 28 November 2011 - 11:05 AM.
Posted 29 November 2011 - 01:02 AM
It's still early in the morning.. Last night went very well, I stopped myself from picking and managed to go through my whole bathroom ritual without attacking the pimples that are now starting to form on my cheeks.
Right now I have two small whiteheads and two about-to-be whiteheads. I know they're forming in places where i picked a few days ago so I'm not surprised. I put on some spot cream and hope that will help. Will also wear makeup today so hopefully that'll keep me from picking at them.
My skin looks a mess mainly because of redmarks, but with a bit of faith (and the Competing Responses which I'm embracing wholeheartedly) it might look better in a few days.
This is my skincare routine:
Avène clenser for dry/sensitive skin
Nuxe floral toner and/or Oregano oil+water as a toner (anti-bacterial)
Jojoba oil, 2 drops
Avène soothing cream
Lumene make-up remover
Honey-nutmeg mask for 20 mins
Toner, either Nuxe or Oregano oil
Avène soothing cream
Mario Badescu healing cream
As you can see it's all for sensitive skin, no parabens or mineral oils. Once in a while I dab on a bit of Neutrogena anti-spot cream, but I'm not very fond of it and I'm not even sure it helpes. So the only proper anti-acne thing I put on my skin is the oregano oil toner. Home made, about 1/2 cup of water and 3 drops of the oil in a glass bottle. Smells wierd but I think it works, even though I don't use it every day.
Vegetarian, mostly vegan and trying to cut down on gluten (esp wheat). Avoid refined sugars (but have a soft spot for dried fruits...)
I eat a lot of fruit and veg, try to get as many greens as possible into my meals.
I supplement: B complex, vitamin D, a probiotic pill and a iron/mineral pill. 1 tsp spirulina and 1 tsp acai in my juice in the AM.
Posted 30 November 2011 - 02:21 AM
Well, I had my first tiny tiny relapse yesterday. On my lunch break I went to the bathroom and saw the whiteheads in the mirror and could not stand seeing them there any longer, so I quickly (and quite gently) emptied them, cleand them and left them alone. Did no ttouch tehm any more for the rest of the day, which was good.
Today (day 3) they look quite ok. Overall my skin is healing, which means my cheeks are entirely covered in redmarks and I thank science and the gods and Lancôme for inventing foundation. The crazy-person scabs under my eyes are healing, they no longer feel inflamed and I think they'll be fading soon.
What's really bothering me is that I'm getting a lot of really really tiny whiteheads/bumps in places where I picked a few days ago. Useually I would have popped them, but letting them heal on their own is a whole new (and very frustrating) experience. I've never had much patience, but I guess I need to find me some so I won't go mad and pick at them.
Yesterday evening I managed to intervene and break what would probably have become a picking session, which makes me feel really proud. I was pulling at some dead skin and noticed a few very dark blackheads that i started to poke at, but I got to my senses and stopped (with a Competing Response, ofcourse) before much harm was done. Otherwise my evening and morning routines have been fine. Might get a new spot-cream though, to get rid of all of the tiny bumps...
Posted 30 November 2011 - 02:44 PM
I managed to stop myself from picking about 5 times today, at one time I got to the point of scratcing away a teeeny tiny whitehead and emptying one blackhead. Which is good, because I was afraid I'd do worse than yesterday, when things actually went better.
Have a hard time remembering to write down all my picking urges in my notebook, but I'll try to sum them up now.
Got a new spot treatment cream from Clinique. The sales rep said she used to be on Accutane and had had great success with the Clinique line, so I trusted her (I know - never trust a sales rep. But when she stood there in her beautiful, radiant, clear skin and told me about how this had helped her, it's hard to resist). Got my face covered in the stuff now, so hopefully we'll see some results tomorrow morning. G'night!
Posted 01 December 2011 - 02:31 AM
Hello all 71 of you who's viewed this journal so far
I think the Clinique stuff actually did its job pretty well. The bumpyness is definitly a lot less visible and a few spots that felt inflamed yesterday feels calmer now. Did pick/scratch another tiny tiny whitehead this morning, but I stopped myself and let it be.
I'm starting to feel as if checking my skin in the mirror as soon as I go to the bathroom is more of a habit than something purposeful, if you know what I mean. It's like I stand there and look, but I don't feel AS connected to why I'm looking as I used to. Before I started this challenge it felt like a very important thing that i definitly "needed" to do. It's not gone, but I can distance myself from the need to do it, and I think that's pretty cool.
Yeah, so that's today so far, I'll check in later and tell you all what's up. OH! another cool thing: yesterday I had a shower at the gym (!) and then i decided NOT TO PUT ON MAKEUP AFTERWARDS
Posted 02 December 2011 - 06:41 AM
I like reading your posts so keep them up and thanks for the inspiration!
Posted 02 December 2011 - 08:43 AM
as for the rest of DAY 4
Well, I picked at two tiny whiteheads yesterday evening, But, even though I regret doing so I'm really happy that I managed to pull myself together and do my CR, and then do nothing more.
waking up on DAY 5 my skin looked ok, still very red in patches from healing skin and a handful of tiny bumps/whiteheads-in-the-making. Seems like the most of my acne is the kind that just becomes tiny bumps under the skin, the just stay there, don't hurt, have no opening or head - just lots of tiny bumps. The ones that have become inflamed now are bumps like that, that I've picked at maybe a week ago.
Also, I stressed out completley over a school assignment, and started picking at one. Damn. So that's 3 yesterday, and 1 today so far. BUT agin, compared to what I used to do this is still very good for my skin. The ones I've picked so far during my "challange" have not become more inflamed, just flat red dots.
Been at home all day today, studying, which is hard because sometimes i feel my hands drifitng to feel my skin. It's a lot easier when I'm in the library and there's people around - I just don't even think about touching my face in public. Weeeellll anyway, I'm super super proud of how far I've come, how great it feels to be able to do something good to myself.
Posted 02 December 2011 - 06:09 PM
During the afternoon I had a mask on (a sample from Clinique I got when I bought the anti-blemish treatment gel), which might have helped a bit actually. I did put on a bit of makeup (concealer, only on spots) when I went to the gym, and some more makeup when I went out with friends. But that's 2-3 hours compared to the usual 12 hours of makeup that I have on my face.
Inspired by those who use nothing but the occasional splash of water on their face and have healed from acne that way I am not wearing any facial creams or lotions or potions or oils on my face tonight. It feels a bit dry, but not tight or flaky. We'll see what happens tomorrow.
Picked at one blackhead (not on my face though, sort of underneath my ear), so it's 2 picked today. I had to gather all my inner peace and breathe very deeply to stop myself from picking an inflamed whitehead on my cheek. I poked it a bit, but then - no, I didn't want to. And I'm secretly excited to see what happens if you leave a whitehead alone. Not really sure I've ever done that....(I knoooooooow)
Posted 03 December 2011 - 03:03 AM
AH-mazing!! Like I said in my last post, I didn't put any creams or things on my face before I went to bed, and now in the AM - all I can say is wow. The big whitehead doesn't feel inflamed AT ALL anymore, and has turned into this tiny, dry, white spot that I guess will fall off sooner or later. All the other tiny bumps that were quite visible and felt a bit inflamed yesterday are about half as big and the too are feeling dry rather than inflamed. Redmarks still visible, nothing much happened to them, but that seems insignificant compared to how great everything else feels.
Also noticing I don't feel like picking at all when my skin is like it is now - a bit dryer and sliiiightly "rougher". Picking for me is very connected to soft, moist, "creamy" skin. So this is definitly something I'll stick with for a few days to see what happens! I think I will wear make-up today when I go out, but after removinig it in the evening I wont put anything on my skin. Oh, and this morning I just washed with water and no cleanser/creams/whatever.
Let's hope this lasts!
Posted 04 December 2011 - 07:18 AM
Did wear make-up yesterday, but not much. Then I had a big party to attend = back to "normal" amount of moisturizer and make-up. I do not feel comfortable without make-up in social situations. Maybe in a few weeks, but until then I'll just wear a little when I go out.
Did pick at 3 spots when I got back home at 4 in the am. I Blame my lack of self-control on the amount of rum I had during the night. But this brings me to making new rules fo myself to kill this sorta-kinda-picking that I've been doing in the evenings, just picking at one or two and leaving at that. That worked fine for a week, but I really feel like it's time to step it up and go all the way. So from now on:
- Max 5 mins at the mirror at any time. Brushing my teeth in the kitchen, apply makeup quickly or in "rounds"
- If I want to look closely at my skin I have to hold both my hands behind my back
- As little product as I feel possible, especially over night. Try to use natural remedies over store-bought things.
Decided to attach images of my cheeks, just so I'll be able to keep track of progress. I'm really nervous about posting them, I don't think I've had my picture taken without makeup for at least 7 years. They're poor quality (webcam photos...), I know, but I just want to make a statement, something to make me think positive - this is hopefully as bad as it will get. From here it's gonna get better. It is. I promise.
Edit: as you can see I'm very red, I guess even inflamed, all over my cheeks. A few of the spots are bumpy/have a head, but 80% of it is redmarks without any bumpy feel to them. If you ever wanted to write me somehting, now is the time, I need some encouragement - do you think I'll be able to get back to a calm skin color? I'm aiming for 3 months. 3 months from now it'll hopefully look better.
Edited by CocnutCaramel, 04 December 2011 - 07:21 AM.
Posted 04 December 2011 - 01:26 PM
I just feel like this non-picking thing is actually making me break out more than when I did pick. It's been a week of minimal picking and I feel like my skin is actually breaking out - like there's a ton of "hidden" gunk that's slowly rising to the surface, turning my face into a pimple farm. Has anyone experienced an initial stage of break-outs when doing a no-picking challenge?
There's a cystic bump forming just under my nose, and I swear I haven't had anything cystic for months. I feel like I'm loosing my courage, but I don't feel like picking either......I really need to learn to be more patient with this. 3 months. 3 months. 3 months.
Posted 05 December 2011 - 01:44 AM
Confidence regained! Everything feels a lot better today, skinwise. Wearing no creams or treatments on my skin over night seems to really help. All the bumps that felt pretty inflamed yesterday have dried up a bit and are much less sore. Still have that cystic thing under my nose, but it might have become a bit smaller, and a whitehead I didnt touch has turned bright red and seems more inflamed post-whitehead than when there was a white head visible. Wierd. We'll just have to wait and se, huh.
Yesterday I changed my whole skincare routine towards using more natural (read: eatible) things on my face, I'm trying what's known as "Delnas regimen", a bid modified:
Pat face with water,
Extremly gently rub, almost pat, a mix of 1 tsp baking soda and a few drops of water onto skin (mostly cheeks), rinse w water immediatly.
Tone w a 1:8 blend of ACV and water, wait 10 mins, rinse with water.
1 drop of jojoba oil spread between palms and gently patted onto cheeks, if they feel too tight.
(make-up goes on)
Use a make-up remover all over my face
Mask made from eggwhite and a squirt of lime juice, leave on 10 mins, rinse w water
No creams, just off to bed
So what I'm trying to do is basically go lo-fi and cut out creams and stuff that makes my skin too soft. When I don't put any creams on I don't get oily and pimples seem to dry/heal a bit quicker. Make-up will be the next thing I cut, I think. Maybe in a week?
Posted 05 December 2011 - 03:17 PM
Nine? Already? Woho! Yesterday I picked at 1 pimple. 1. Today, so far, 0. I'm gonna keep that freakin 0!!!
Used jojoba oil to remove my make up when i got back from school, instead of my regular cleanser. Feels good. Now I'm gonna do the egg-mask again and hope for the best. The cystic thing under my nose is slightly smaller. I have been touching/poking it a bit to "see how it's doing", but I'm really trying not to do that.
Generally what seems to be my real issue at the moment is that I keep touching my face A LOT. Need to try and stop doing that. I think I used to do that to sort of prepare for a picking session, you know, find the spots I wanted to pick at later and obsess about them all day in the mirror. Now that I don't pick anymore touching my face is kind of pointless. So that'll be my motivation. Why bother when it's pointless, right?
Inspired by Moonbase here on the forums I'm gonna be experimenting a bit with what I eat, doing som green juices and have more fruits, as well as fish. Looking forwart do seeing if that will do me good. I mean, of course green juice will do me good but redmark-wise we'll have to see. Off to make egg-mask, g'nite!
Posted 06 December 2011 - 03:53 AM
Just took these pics. Looking a tiny bit better, right? Nothing on except for three tiny dots of Anti-Blemish Solution on my right cheek, on the two really red ones (under nose and temple) and the whithead in the middle. Surrender to chemicals when they just hurt and feel super inflamed...
Oh, and I TOTALLY kept it to 0 yesterday
Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:30 PM
It's all about breaking the cycle. The less we pick, the less acne there is. The less acne there is, there less there will be to pick at anyway. So it turns a negative cycle into a positive one. Keep it up!
Posted 07 December 2011 - 07:58 AM
Yesterday (11) was pretty bad, sitting at home alone by the computer writing an essay isn't the best thing. I kept touching my face constantly and in the evening I'd had it - that damn cyst'd have to go. It hurt, it was feeling hot and wierd and i could feel it being really hard and tense. So I did what I felt I had to do. Clean and lots of anti-bacterial cream afterwards. But (TMI-warning) I really have not had a zit like that in ages! I just barely pushed it and it really exploded, several times i a row. Ew. I even felt nauseous when I did it, it was just really bad. But I can honestly say I'm happier tending to that tiny red scab than I am with that painful cystic monster on my face. So, 0 long gone yesterday, but for a good, clean, reason.
Today (12) feels better. My skin felt really calm when I woke up, nothing major happening aside from a few old bumps getting more inflamed. But it seems like once they've gone through that inflamed phase they disppear, so there'll probably be a few more weeks of tiny whiteheads/bumps. Whatevs, I'm happy either way.
Posted 07 December 2011 - 09:01 AM
Glad to heard that you are managing to stick with the not-picking - I can imagine it must be incredibly hard to resist when you have been doing it for such a long time. But every day you can manage is a success!
How are you doing with your diet? What kind of foods do you eat?
Hope that you are having a good day and that your essay wasn't too painful to complete!
Posted 08 December 2011 - 06:18 AM
Hi! Thought I would check out your log as you were so kind to stick up for me and also post in my log.
Hi sailor, thanks for stopping by The essay went ok, finished on time. My diet is a bit all over the place. Like I wrote to you before I have had a rather neurotic relationship to food and eating, and I feel like if I restrict my diet to much I tend to fall back into that pattern. So I have a few guidelines for myself, but if i genuinly feel like breaking them I do, and useually i don't get major break-outs from doing so. I avoid dairy, sugar and gluten as much as possible and eat organic as much as I can afford. The base of my diet is health-food-style vegan with fish and eggs added in. So I'm an omnivore, but i eat tons of fruit and veg every day. I eat fish and eggs becuse I went about a year as a proper vegan with enormous cravings for those foods, and no matter how much protein or greens etc i had they wouldn't subside. So i started adding them and noticed instantly that my body felt stronger and my running improved. So I'm a bit confused, because I do belive in veganism, but still I feel how non-vegan foods make me stronger and, in a way, healthier. We'll see how things evolve, I'm open for all sorts of changes and ideas about diet.
yesterday went pretty ok, one tiny whitehead popped when i scratched my face, so it's a non-intentional 1.
Had an appointment with my gynocologist today, and I was really jittery because I'm a bit of a hypocondriac and doctors make me nervous. So before I kew it I had picked at two pimples. Darn. But i stopped myself, put on som makeup and It looks ok.
My dr said that my PCOS seemd to have temporarily gona away, which is cool, but she still wanted me to go on the pill (Yasmine) for my bad menstrual cramps. I take really strong painkillers a few days a month, but she thought this might eliminate the pain rather than giving me even stronger painkillers (which is what i asked for). We talked a bit about acne and the pill, and she said that Yasmin might help with my skin. So in about two weeks I'll start on the pill and i HOPE it helps. I've never thought about going on the pill, bc I'm gay so I really don't need it. But she said it was pretty harmless and would probably just help me with the cramps and acne. Fingers crossed, people.
Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:01 AM
It seems like a brave new world to me. With regards to pesky teenage pimples and then into adult acne, picking is all I've ever known. I didn't have a clue how to treat stuff when I was younger so I went to my parents for advice. My Mum always said I should pop pimples because that's how you get rid of them. That's what I did and, in the first instance, that might have been fine, but when I started to get caught up in it and finding myself staring in the mirror and worrying about my appearance, I was picking and popping everything in sight whether it was ready or whether it needed it. It's just become what I know and it's normal to me, to the point where I'm not totally sure how to function without it. So I can totally see where you're coming from.
Sometimes I've found myself almost sad and confused thinking "what, so I'm never ever gonna pick again?". Picking has been my thing, my way to cope, my enemy, my excuse, my brother, my nemesis. And realising that I had the power to leave it and never do it agian...I just never thought I had that. I honestly thought I'd be picking all my life. Not picking feels like living on the edge Like I have to deal with whatever comes my way in an adult, calm and creative fashion - not by self harm.
This year has been a bad one for me, for various reasons. Even if a lot of the problems were of my own making, I've pretty much lost control of everything. I had a breakdown and hit rock bottom. At that point, my attitude towards picking and popping pimples changed. Before, even though it was still wrong to do it, my intensions were good in the sense that I was only doing what I thought was right to get rid of the pimples. Being on the message board then taught me otherwise and my attitude towards it started to change, but then I found I was picking for other reasons. I was pretty low, everything was messed up - still is I guess - and I was just full of self loathing. If I was down or angry, if someone upset me, if I felt lost or alone, whatever, I'd end up stood in front of the mirror. I'd take that anger or that sadness out on my face and just rip it to shreds. Only over the last month or so have I really started to think about that self loathing and how I simply don't like being me, and how the response to it with picking and the degree to which I do it - I believe - equates to self harm. I'm currently taking part in group therapy sessions for depression and that has helped me towards realising a lot of these things. When I finish these sessions at the end of the month, I'm going to look into some support for self harm at the start of the new year.
This is interesting. I was fired from my job in the summer, still unemployed and I've had to attend a couple of extra appointments at the unemployment office over the last week. Last Monday, I had to attend a review which was an hour long, where they basically give you loads of hassle about not having a job yet. Now, my main priority since July has pretty much been not wanting to kill myself, hence the therapy and all, so finding a new job mid-breakdown has obviously been bottom of my list of things to do. The mean old witch I have to see at the employment place doesn't have an ounce of empathy in her so she's not the slightest bit interested in my genuine problems and anxieties as she thinks she's seen and heard it all before. so she wants to send me on a two day course in a couple of weeks but it clashes with my final group therapy session. I said that I might not be able to attend one of the days, or at least have to leave early to go to group. She said that wouldn't be possible and that I have to attend the course otherwise they might stop my unemployment allowance.
Had an appointment with my gynocologist today, and I was really jittery because I'm a bit of a hypocondriac and doctors make me nervous. So before I kew it I had picked at two pimples. Darn. But i stopped myself, put on som makeup and It looks ok.
The group's been a big deal for me and I've really had to push myself to attend the session and try to get as much out of them as possible so it would be stupid to miss the final session. With that in mind, I will not be missing it. The fact that this woman was so ignorant and basically insinuated that my mental well-being isn't an issue upset me and I felt pretty down afterwards. By that evening, I'd taken all that out on my skin and it pretty much lasted a week. I'd posted a picture of my skin in my blog from the week before and the difference by the next week was a disaster, all self inflicted.
I had to go to the unemployment place again yesterday and I was a bit anxious about it on Tuesday night after what happened the week before. So there was a bit of a backwards step on Tuesday when I ended up in front of the mirror and wasn't feeling so confident. I've come to realise that the stresses of certain situations make me feel worse and those feelings make me pick. So I figure that if I can get control of those situations and cope with them better, I might not feel so bad and then perhaps I won't be so likely to end up in front of the mirror.
So there you go, I can see how your nervousness about the appointment with the gynocologistmight have led you to respond by picking. In the context of that self harm analogy, perhaps you'd be able to think about what situations trigger the kind of feelings which make you pick, and then you might be able to learn to cope better in those situations. That in turn could help you get over the hurdles of trying to learn to function without picking.
Sounds like the appointment was productive in the end then. If the pill helps with the pains and all, that's great. If it happens to help your skin clear up as well, that's a win-win situation! Here's hoping!
We talked a bit about acne and the pill, and she said that Yasmin might help with my skin. So in about two weeks I'll start on the pill and i HOPE it helps. I've never thought about going on the pill, bc I'm gay so I really don't need it. But she said it was pretty harmless and would probably just help me with the cramps and acne. Fingers crossed, people.
Edited by PaulH85, 08 December 2011 - 09:24 AM.
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