I was looking at some old yearbooks of mine from when I was in my early-mid teens, and it hit me: I had perfect skin! How things change. Thanks to almost 5 years of picking, I have single-handedly trashed my flawless face.
I didn't really know what I was doing was bad when I first started. The redness would go away by the next morning. Why did I pick when I had perfect skin? I really don't know, it must have been just tiny blackheads. I made them out to be worse than they were and was determined to remove them. I think that part of it, if not all of it, was my unhappiness with my appearance. I have always struggled with not looking how I wanted to, and I guess picking just kind of took my frustration and turned it into a way I thought I was making things better. I had no idea it would become a literal addiction... something I was vulnerable to when stressed/angry/unhappy with my face during a breakout.
It wasn't until recently that I realized that there was more to this than just a quirky habit. And honestly I didn't think there was anybody else who picked obsessively like I did, and was embarrassed to get help! I began searching the web and realizing that there were others facing the same thing. So now I'm not quite so embarrassed to talk about this with y'all.
I've tried a lot of things to stop. New year's resolutions (I've already broken this one just last month) and calendar logs, not looking in magnifying mirrors, clipping my nails. I always find a way to get around the obstacles I set up for myself. I don't know why I can't make myself! I know that I only feel terrible after I have a "picking attack" about the way I look and hate mirrors for about a week, yet every time I walk by one I can't help but look in them.
I've wanted to post on this for a while but I thought I was getting better and didn't need to, until last night. I wasn't even really stressed, just mad because I was in the middle of a breakout and unhappy with my complexion. This morning I can see the evidence and feel very self-concious. I should have just put my neutrogena all-in-one acne cream on it instead of go nuts, but I feel frustrated because it doesn't seem to be helping me much.
I never had acne until I started picking, and now I pick because of acne and stress because of acne. Stupid cycle, stupid mirrors. And especially stupid acne scars, those irritating little icepicks and shallow discolored rolling scars. I know it could be worse, but all of this could have been avoided if I hadn't picked to begin with!!
Lately I've tried putting that nervous "finger energy" into caring for my body instead of damaging it: clipping and filing my neglected fingernails worked for a while, but I get carried away and ended up making the skin around my nails bleed in an effort to remove dead, dry skin cells. I guess it's picker mentality again.
So, now I'm back where I started, trying to get rid of this obsession and get my life back. The worrying is really what makes it hard. "Is it going to clear up in time for class? Is it going to look better tomorrow? Is it going to scar this time?" Then I get jealous of my family members with perfect skin; especially when my sister, who has creamy smooth skin, gripes about the dark circles under her eyes I can't even detect! I'm glad she doesn't have to deal with what I deal with, but at the same time...I wish my skin looked that good. I mean, how many of you on here would take dark circles over acne any day, right?
On a side note, when I see some girl/guy with moderate acne uncovered with makeup, I don't really notice it, just think she/he is pretty or looks good anyways. But then when I look in the mirror, all I see is the acne and flaws and not the face behind it. Funny how that works.
I know this was a little long but I just haven't shared my struggle with anyone - not even my family - because I find it too embarrassing and silly; I'm frustrated with the irrationality behind chronic picking. It never makes my skin look better, but I keep doing it thinking in some part of my brain that it will. The definition of insanity, right? I guess we're all a little insane sometimes.
Well, anyways, let me know what you guys think with your experiences or suggestions or whatnot.
Edited by Livvie, 19 March 2013 - 12:07 PM.