Yep, I slipped up... but on the other hand it wasn't too bad. My biggest problem with picking is the shame I get afterwards and it usually doesn't go away until the picked areas have healed, but this time it was quite mild. It started with a random attack at a blackhead under my chin, which was utterly pointless...making me go searching for something else, so I sqeezed a closed comedone in my hairline. It popped really well so I went for another one and wasn't so lucky. Fortunately it was in my hairline so it's not too noticeable, but the main positive is that I saw the bloody mess I was creating and actually stopped.
Today the chin blackhead and first comedone don't even need covering and the other one has turned into a small scab. It made me realise though, that I can't become complacent. Honestly I think without the elastic band I wouldn't have even paused to step away from the mirror and would have probably carried on. Also this morning I woke up with an inflamed comedone (easy to squeeze out because they have a pore and are 'ready' to be picked) which has gone down fairly quickly.
Overall, it's been a mixed few days...I've picked when I shouldn't have and picked when a normal person would, but I've also managed to stop myself from reaching the point of no return where the depression would normally kick in. I know that picking anything is a slippery slope, so I've managed today to only pick what was warranted, which means I am capable and just need to keep it up!
I have come to the realisation that I can actually stop picking...it sounds obvious I know. Any previous futile attempts were merely wishful thinking, as a way to just convince myself that I was trying not to pick, and I think the reason I failed every time was because although I hoped I could stop picking, I didn't actually believe it. Now I know that I'm not cured...but I feel like there should be a 'yet' at the end of that statement.
The thing is I know that picking is quite a deep psychological compulsion, and that I've got a lot of emotional issues that make me pick i.e. I'm an impatient, perfectionist, control freak who is probably genetically predisposed to picking. However, picking for me is also a cycle...it's a bit like wash, rinse, repeat where I rip my face to shreds, become really ashamed/ depressed whilst it's healing, then promise myself I won't do it again until something crops up on my skin that I eventually end up picking.
There's also the routine of it - I usually do it during the week so it's cleared by the weekend, either at work/ home in certain mirrors. I feel like the mirror is my downfall and skimming my hands over my skin is the nail in the coffin, although I may not be able to easily overcome the emotions associated with picking that drive the compulsion, there is also the habitual nature of picking that I feel like I'm starting to break.
I know that something as simple as an elastic band doesn't seem enough to break the habit, but to my surprise it's actually working. Every time I feel the urge to look in the mirror or touch my skin, I snap the band - the bigger the urge the harder I snap it. It's working 80% of the time but for the other 20% when I can't help myself I snap it a lot after I've done it to attach the negative connotation to the behaviour.
It will be a lot harder if my skin starts breaking out more, but the fact I have a few closed comedones that I'd usually have picked by now makes me feel like I can handle it. My anxiety has also decreased quite significantly and I think it's because I have a coping mechanism - before I had all this anxiety that had nowhere to go but now I have somewhere to put it without picking.
It's also been interesting to see what my body does with my spots...even though I'm convinced I know my skin, the 2in1 comedone hasn't behaved how I expected so far, in fact one of the pores became a bit harder and pointed last night and this morning it was close enough to the surface of the skin that I tweezed it out without any inflammation or even using my hands so the other clogged pore hasn't been affected. Technically this is picking, but the fact I didn't use my hands is a big thing for me.
So I'm feeling determined even if my wrist is red raw!
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!
I'm still trying to resist the temptation to pick and somehow managing to stop myself...although if I keep looking in the mirror to check on the progress of the 2-in-1 comedone I'm going to end up messing with it. I don't understand why I feel the need to keep looking in the mirror though, it's like putting cake in front of someone on a diet! and yet I just stopped typing to look in my compact - what's wrong with me!!!
One thing that worked last night though was firmly clamping my hands together behind my back whilst I was examining my face in the mirror...it may be a temporary measure so I'll use it if I randomly start wanting to pick, but when I've got some comedones that have been there a while and show no signs of leaving I need a better method. I definitely need to re-wire my brain, I keep coming up with logical excuses for picking i.e. if I pick it now it will be gone before a certain social event, if I do it now it won't get big/ painful at a later date. Whilst they are quite reasonable, it's like my brain has selective memory loss because I basically block out the counter-arguments such as picking it will almost guarentee making it worse (1% success rate is not very promising) and if it does get big/ painful at a later date it's always easy/ ready to be picked and leaves a tiny unnoticeable scab. I feel like I need a magical mirror that will start talking and remind me of all the reasons why picking is bad!
On the plus side, I have abstained so far and it felt really good last night when I was in the bathroom and my boyfriend knocked on the door to check I wasn't picking and I could actually tell him that I wasn't! Even though I'm worried when I wake up in the morning that the comedone has become inflamed overnight, isn't it better to worry about that instead of having to get up early (to apply concealer), assess the previous night's damage and then spending the next 3/4 days waiting for it to heal?! I know the answer is yes, so why can't I remember that every time I go to pick?
So I'm going to use a no-picking method that I haven't tried before, I've put an elastic band on my wrist and I'm going to ping myself every time I feel the need to look in the mirror and I'm going to ping it even harder when I feel the urge to pick...I already have a few little red lines on my wrist but strangely it is working - it's effectively punishing me for having picking-related thoughts as well as replacing the habit of constantly checking my skin...so far so good but I'll stick to it over the weekend and see how effective it is.
If it doesn't work I may have to seriously consider investing in a talking mirror!
So I picked the near-corner-of-mouth spot...it was hurting quite a lot and needed to relieve some of the pressure, I then looked at the rest of my skin and avoided picking the ominous bump above my eyebrow but apparently couldn't resist a little comedone that was jutting out of my forehead. 2 spots...I can deal with that - not great but not a disaster. Also luckily I think the comedone was ready because the dot left behind is so tiny that I haven't even bothered with concealer.
However after picking the one near my mouth it still hurts a bit but nothing a bit of neosporin can't fix, it's not particularly big so it's not bothering me too much. Another small whitehead had formed quite close to it this morning which I've just picked, I thought it would just be a whitehead but a little root came out too so hopefully it will be as unnoticeable as the forehead dot.
The remaining bump from the unicorn-like horn I had last week is still fading, the dead skin flaked off this morning and the pain is slowly going away so that area of skin is starting to look normal again, yay! I'm so pleased because I'm busy all through until Monday so I'm glad I don't have much that's waiting to heal. If I do breakout a bit I'll be able to stop myself from picking mainly because I won't have much time!
I am a tad anxious about a closed comedone on my forehead though...it is kind of two in one which is making it more raised than a normal one. The fact there's two pores is making me refrain so far but I'm nervous that it will get inflamed over the weekend and with an obvious pore I'm going to have to pick it, but will the uninflamed pore 0.5mm away shoot out whilst picking the real culprit or is it just going to become inflamed too? Either way I have to stop thinking so far ahead and just deal with it when it comes to it and only pick when the pimple is good and ready!
It's definitely easier said than done though...it's like it's staring at me just have to resist temptation and keep reminding myself that a pimple that is picked when it's not inflamed is never ever worth it!... I may have to avoid all mirrors for the rest of the week!
Perhaps the bump is finally going...wooohooo! It's stil quite tender if I prod it but facial expressions are now pain-free so I'm not complaining too much. The skin is getting a bit flakey so soon the remaining redness should be gone too, just got to leave it alone to flake off by itself.
I did wake up in a bit of a panic this morning though, I saw a red circle in the same place as the bump but above the other eyebrow was highly unamused but only examined the area when I washed my face with clean hands, but oddly it didn't hurt so I covered it with concealer and I'm trying to forget about it. I think something will happen since it's slightly raised too, but with this bump reminding me of the damage I'll do, I'm keeping my mitts off!
So I'm classing this as a personal victory...admittedly it's not painful like the other bump so therefore not as tempting, but I've still got the anxiety that comes with a new pimple discovery and I'm trying to overcome it hurrah! Although I did pick a tinnie tiny comedone in my hairline to somewhat appease the anxiety so it's hardly a great success but I'll take it nonetheless.
I also have a fairly painful spot about half a centimetre away from the corner of my mouth that I'm also avoiding, it's only a raised whitehead (I don't think there's a 'root') so I'll let my body take care of that one, I've got a feeling it's only hurting because of where it is, as opposed to actually being a cyst - fingers crossed!
Even though there's a few things to tempt me at the moment, I'm managing to avoid picking thus far, frankly I don't have a choice but to keep trying and stay positive!
So I haven't posted since Thursday and the main reason is because I've been feeling awful about my skin I was doing so well and then Friday morning I woke up with a painful cyst right above my eyebrow...which is making me realise that I'm getting better at not picking but as soon as I get a bigger spot it's like I go into overdrive and start panicking.
I tried to wait until I got into work before messing with it but instead I poked it with a pin A LOT before I even left the house. I'm so disappointed because I think I'd have been able to stop myself had I waited. The ones I sometimes get above my eyebrow are more infected hair follicles or something and usually a pore (or hair) is visible but this time it wasn't. I knew I shouldn't have messed with it because for me when they don't have a pore it's ALWAYS best to leave well alone!
Which left me with a giant bump on my forehead and it was sooo painful everytime I made a facial expression with my eyebrows! It's still painful now but has gone down a lot, mainly because I've been icing it and using neosporin - which so far has made the scab come off but I'm still left with a bump.
Basically, lesson learned. On the other hand I have managed to abstain from picking much else and now the scab has come off I'm back on the wagon. So far it hasn't been too difficult because I've got a big ol reminder on my face about that damage that can be done from picking.
Luckily I didn't have a very busy weekend, but still forced myself to go out in spite of the giant golf ball on my head and yesterday I went netball which was a massive push for me - getting sweaty inevitably removes any concealer and natural sunlight shows my skin at its worst. I've got a busy week coming up though so I'm hoping nothing big comes up on my skin!
On a more positive note the rest of the skin on my forehead seems a bit smoother than usual. It's not exactly clear but the texture is seemingly better and I've only got a few closed comedones. It's only been a week of taking vitamin d but it's the only thing I've changed so I'm hoping it's having some good side effects but it's still too early to know for definite. On the whole it's been a tough few days for me but starting to feel like it's getting better and was just a little speed bump along the road to recovery
Things are going pretty well so far after yesterday's slip up picking the nostril pore, it got a bit swollen later in the day so I squeezed it and lots of gunk came out (very gross I know!) then last night it still felt like there was something lurking inside so I squeezed again and the last of it shot out (haha so disgusting yet so satisfying - I have issues)...when I woke up this morning it had gone down so now there is a small coverable scab, woop!
So in spite of slipping up yesterday, I've recovered quite quickly. I've got some closed comedones on my forehead (shock ) but I'm resisting temptation, just got to keep it up now. Since I've been pretty busy this week, I'm wondering if that is helping me not pick - knowing I have things to do and people to see is maybe acting as a sufficient deterrent. This means that tomorrow when I'm more thank likely going to be home alone, which admittedly sounds quite sad for a 22 year old to be at home on a Friday night, but equally I don't get much R&R nowadays so will be nice...
On the other hand, I mostly go on picking rampages when I'm on my own. Not good. So I think instead of getting home, lazing around and aimlessly eating and watching TV I might set a schedule for myself. Normally I'm quite organised so if I have a to-do list I will stick to it, the only problem is that I'm getting some exam results tomorrow and if I've failed then the night might not go so well...just got to stay in control and remember that even if I fail the exams I don't have to fail with picking my skin - maybe I'll have to settle for a moral victory instead!
Ok so it all feels a bit too good to be true at the minute and it's rather unsettling! I'm not used to feeling so carefree about my skin and not wearing a scrap of make up, it's such a good feeling and makes me realise it's so worth the effort of not picking. Even though I have a couple of comedones on my forehead I'm managing to ignore them. I know that I can't get complacent because it's often the case that I revert back to my old habits when I'm least self-aware. I am really trying not to pick at all but with the massive failure I had going cold-turkey, I allowed myself to pick one tiny hairline hard whitehead which appears to have vanished now. But still, I need to keep it in check.
I'm also a bit worried that the damage I did a few weeks back may become scarring, I picked, then continuously messed with for about 4 days 2 tiny clogged pores next to each other in between my hairline and eyebrows which turned them into massive, painful, puss-filled bumps for a while and then even stupidly kept picking off the dry skin that formed over them when the scabs fell off. They were indented at first which seems to have gone now, but the skin is really white - before my holiday they were slightly visible but now I have a tan they are quite obvious, plus I was expecting them to fade in the sun but apparently not So if scarring isn't enough of a deterrent then I don't know what is!
I started the vitamin d experiment last night too, in fairness I'm not expecting miracles - the container said it was for healthy teeth, bones and immunity so even if it does nothing for my skin I'll be happy about the other benefits. It's too early to update yet but I'll keep an eye on it and see if there's any changes.
Overall I'm feeling really positive that this time around I'll be able to avoid any major picking binges for quite a while - my goal is to last as long as possible but realistically I'm aiming for a month to start with, but it's always a process so I'll do my best and take it each day at a time
Update: I just picked at a tiny blackhead on my nostril and now it's all red and sore why why why did i do it!...I guess on the plus side I was standing pin-in-hand examining all the stuff I could pick and restrained myself. Maybe this fairly unnoticeable one on my nostril will serve as a warning!
So I'm back from holiday BOOOOOO! but on the plus side I'm experiencing post-holiday skin which means I'm feeling pretty good...when I was on holiday I got 2 painful ones with a pore which is usually how my skin purges in the sun, but luckily when I picked them (in the least damaging way) they went down without a scab woo! I also picked 2 minor blackheads on my chin that kind of dried up and didn't scab then 2 small whiteheads on my forehead that left a tiny dot of blood...It may sound like I failed at not picking but to me this is success - I didn't pick-binge and even when I picked the 2 blackheads unnecessarily I didn't mess with them anymore afterwards.
Now I'm going to try the vitamin d experiment to see if my skin stays clear - usually after a day or two the texture of my skin goes back to normal (lots of closed comedones and a bumpy texture) so I'm going to take my first vitamin d3 tablet tonight and see how it goes. Maybe tricking my skin into thinking I'm still on holiday will work! Although we are expecting some sunny weather at the weekend so I won't dose up if I'm in the sun all day anyway.
On a completely non-acne related topic I have a bad rash all along the underside of my forearms (not sure what the right name for that area is!) I have soooooooo many pinkish bumps that are quite itchy, in my mum's words 'it looks like you have the lurgies', plus I have it to a lesser extent on my tummy and knees, bad times. I'm 99% sure it's heat rash because I've had it in the same place before when I've been on holiday and it should go down after a few days. It made me realise though, how I tend to get a lot less worried/ bothered about skin problems other than acne - my mum was quite worried about it but I was like this is nothing, I'll take it!
It's amazing how much emphasis I put on my skin when it comes to acne yet I barely even notice any other skin problems!
So cold turkey didn't work out well for me...long story short I felt a massive cyst coming up right in the middle of my forehead yesterday and got so frustrated (but also knew picking it would end up in a huge mess) that I ended up picking the rest of my forehead to shreds. BAD TIMES
It felt like the universe was trying to screw me over the minute I decided I wasn't going to pick, I think the universe is a fan of irony. Ok so I know it was terrible to pick 5 other small unnoticeable spots, but then again, amazingly the cyst (touch wood) has gone down :S this rarely ever happens - all I can think is the icing technique actually worked!()
Also, because I was already icing the cyst, I was holding it over the just-picked areas too so now only 1 is really noticeable - although it's nothing in comparison to the unicorn-like bump I was expecting from the cyst so I'm feeling quite positive about it. The thing is I know I shouldn't have done it, but I'm also glad that I left the cyst alone - I just wish I hadn't felt the need to pick the other stuff!
I woke up today feeling so worried about looking in the mirror and luckily only 2 of the 5 had small whiteheads which washed off anyway. I THINK I may be ok - normally if I pick closed comedones and get the root out they only need 1 day of concealer which I'm praying for at this point! I'm not out of the woods yet because those whiteheads might fill back up again but frankly I'll take it considering the cyst looks like it's gone.
I feel so ashamed though - I'm not going to lie, I still get the same satisfaction and stress relief from picking and it makes me feel like a total freak why can't I find some other form of escape?! I know that it was frustration from the cyst that made me pick the other stuff but why can't I get rid of the frustration some other way?! I guess if I manage to answer that question it will near-cure me!
I'm considering meditation techniques because it might calm me down long enough to avoid the compulsion...who knows, but I do know that cold turkey is for people with a lot more willpower than me!
Ok so I've been faced with a dilemna since the benzoyl peroxide I ordered arrived early...on the one hand I know that it works well, but on the other hand I know that it never makes me 100% clear and I don't think my skin warrants using it again. I'm going to persevere and try and go on holiday and forget about it...although taking apple cider vinegar in a 100ml bottle in my hand luggage is sure to raise a few eyebrows - taking a bottle of urine onto the plane eh! lol
On a positive note I had a brilliant long weekend and it was actually sunny! Managed to get a bit rosy-cheeked on sunday which I think has made my skin look a lot healthier Not to mention the fact that sunny days make it almost impossible to hide any imperfections, which acted as a deterrent for picking which lasted the whole weekend, woo! I even stopped myself from stressing too much about the bumpy scab on my head - go me!
However, on a come-down from the bank holiday I looked at my skin last night and was sooooo tempted to pick. I almost justified it to myself thinking 'if I do it tonight then it will be all healed up by the time I go on holiday', but actually stopped myself. Again this morning I looked in my compact at the current breakout and thought 'do it, do it! if you leave it any longer you'll be spotty on holiday'...what's wrong with me?! So far I'm stopping myself, I walked to the train station in the rain this morning and loved the feeling of not worrying about messing up my make-up - plus I got an extra 10 minutes in bed because I didn't have to hide any damage.
I think focusing on the benefits of not picking is going to help, so every time I go to pick if I think about a 10 minute lay in or not having to reapply concealer throughout the day it might help. I'm going to keep doing this all day and see if it actually works. I normally end up justifying any picking session by focusing on the negative stuff: it'll only get worse if I don't stop it in its tracks, I will be able to conceal a scab easier than a bump, the awful thought of it sitting in my skin and thinking that it will come up eventually anyway and probably at a very inconvenient time.
I need to stop justifying it to myself and change my attitude towards my skin, picking is not helping and it only makes me feel ashamed so the temporary feeling of relief whilst the anxiety subdues is just not worth it. So far I've just been trying to minimise the picking but I think it's the feeling I get from maintenance picking that makes me want to carry on or start picking at unnecessary stuff. I've made a decision that I can't do it anymore, not small ones, not easy ones, it's just got to end. So today is the first day of no more picking FULL STOP.
...wish me luck!
Ok so since my last post it's been a bit of a struggle... the boyfriend's been away and my skin hasn't been great, bad combination for not picking! Luckily I have managed to only keep it to a few individuals as opposed to a face full of scabs. That's optimism I suppose - even though I've picked, I can still appreciate that it could always be worse!
Although I am slightly worried that I've scarred myself...the 2 spots on my forehead that I messed with are looking much better (not raised or painful) but I've picked them and the scab so much that now I have 2 red holes in my head. This is not good I do generally heal well so I'm hoping that if I stop touching them they will go away/ fade, guess I'll have to keep applying aloe vera and see how it goes.
Also, I'm reconsidering the current regimen of head and shoulders with apple cider vinegar...I was thinking the H&S might be useful if my acne was fungal and I probably should be seeing some results by now but haven't seen much improvement. So I'm taking the H&S out of the equation and going to give the ACV a try on its own.
On a separate note I'm off on holiday on Thursday and I'm going to do an experiment with some vitamin d3. Last time I was in the sun my skin 99.9% cleared up but within 2 days of being home it was back to normal... so this time when I get home I'm going to start a 1000IU supplement and I should be able to see pretty quickly whether or not it works depending on how quickly/ severely my skin goes back to its current state. Plus if it doesn't work I could always use some extra vitamin d to trick myself into thinking I'm still on holiday!
I'm also going to try a new method when I'm on holiday by only letting myself pick something if I can feel it...generally there's a 3 day purge when I go in the sun and they always come up as painful ones (but usually have a pore and go down quite quickly) because I'm staying with my grandad and I've even got a picking routine at his house which I need to break desperately if I'm going to properly enjoy it without stressing about my skin!
Well I had a lovely weekend and stayed relatively clear...however I got really angry on saturday night with my boyfriend and because he was drunk and feel asleep I had so much anger that didn't have an outlet which led to me taking it out on my skin. I was lucky that I was tired because I only have one disaster zone but jheez is it sore! There was a cluster of about 4 small clogged pores just above my eyebrow near my hairline and I really went to town on them, 2 came out no problem but the other 2 were persistent and unfortunately so was I. Yesterday wasn't too bad - they were oozing a bit but with my hair down they were sort of hidden but today my hair is up and it looks like I have a horn on my head!
I kept messing with them yesterday and so they are a big pussy mess and because they are so close together it just looks like one giant one! Also due to the messing they haven't scabbed properly so are really hard to conceal. I know that I have to leave them alone and they will be much better in a few days so I'm using aloe vera on them to relieve a bit of the pain and to make the skin tighter...tried neosporin overnight and that was a bad idea, it was like the whiteness of the cream was just absorbed under the skin and made it look like a huge whitehead!
I feel so bad about it...I don't feel as awful as normal because it's confined to one area but still feel really ashamed about doing it...moral of the story is buy a punching bag I think, although maybe a stress ball is a more realistic option! Hopefully tomorrow I'll just be left with the scab and the painful bump will have subsided slightly! Always a good reminder of why I need to leave my skin alone...if only it was that easy! This week the boyfriend is away on business so I'm a bit nervous because it's the first time I'll be on my own in the house for more than one night. Loneliness usually leads to picking, plus it's almost like when the cat's away the mice will play because he won't be there to tell me off!
So even though I'm stressing about this giant horn on my head, maybe it will serve as a reminder for the rest of the week so that I don't do any more damage whilst he is away...that's what I'll keep telling myself!
Ok so lately I've been quite active on the site and reading a lot of blogs and forums (social life has been a bit slow!) and it seems to me that there's a massive psychological difference between teens and adults attitudes to acne. I don't mean to sound patronising AT ALL here because frankly I remember what it was like when I was younger suffering with spots. I've noticed that in posts and blogs by younger people I can see the desperation jumping out of the screen...don't get me wrong, the oldies (I class myself in this category) are just as eager to cure their acne but we seem a lot more at peace with ourselves.
I know this sounds a bit obvious - everyone is extremely self conscious in their teens and learn to live with their flaws a lot more when they are older and wiser...but I've also noticed that the desperation it is closely linked to depression, which is worrying. I completely remember feeling sooooooo nervous and anxious going out just because I had a few spots, I used to always think why me?!
I think I've grown out of this a little now...not that I'm happy about still getting spots when I'm officially out of puberty but I feel a lot calmer about it, it doesn't seem like a massive breakout is the end of the world anymore unless I let it be the end of the world. I don't really think why me, I think well there's got to be a reason for it, maybe I would have become a shallow narcissist if I hadn't gone through those years of suffering.
I guess I'm just writing this slightly philisophical stuff because I just think that younger people need a bit of hope. A lot of people come on this site just for a bit of reassurance and finding people they can relate to...and I just want to say that it does get better - your skin will clear but it might not...either way the horrible times you're going through now will prepare you for it and you'll learn to accept your flaws and you'll be surrounded by people that love you and don't care about your skin.
Some people will be lucky enough to find their cure or miracle product but most people won't...I hate the thought of acne holding people back from the things they want to do because I was exactly the same when I was younger and I just want to tell anyone in their teens that are struggling with acne the same thing I would tell my 14 year old self: stop being depressed the world is your oyster, stop caring what other people think because most people won't notice/ care and just live your life to the full, because although you can't really control your skin, you can control how you let it affect you.
So I can't tell if the new regimen is actually working or if I'm just imagining things! It's way too early to decide either way yet but I'm feeling a little more optimistic than usual so I'm quite happy to go along with it even if it is just the placebo effect. In terms of breakouts (touch wood) I've had one very insignificant-not worth picking spot and had an already-formed clogged pore dry up which I scratched off and then upon inspection saw the little plug which I managed to GENTLY squeeze out.
Another thing, I know that my skin is VERY oily which means I can almost put anything on it (BP included) without any dryness, so it seems that whilst Head and Shoulders is really drying for others it is just making my skin less oily...wehhey the only problem with this new routine is I started using 2 new products at the same time so I can't actually attribute any results to either product, silly girl! But if the combination works then I don't mind that at all!
I'm in a pretty good mood on the whole...admittedly all the time my skin is ok I'm never in a bad mood and the depression is just one picking session away but overall I'm feeling quite chirpy, which is always good for me to avoid picking on the first place! Maybe it's because I played netball outside last night - fresh air and exercise is never a bad thing right...even though it rained the whole time and I was drenched through it felt quite liberating running around in the pouring rain!
Also, at the minute I'm waiting for a few smallish scabs to flake off so I've been thinking about when they do come off and the instant difference in mood. I was also reading on the forum a thread about what everyone is going to do when they're finally clear and it got me to thinking about the fact that those scabs are subconsciously holding me back, when they fall off I feel instantly ready to take on the world. So it really frustrated me because I shouldn't let my skin control my life, I can't (to an extent) control how my skin behaves and yet I let it sit in the driver's seat.
Now I feel like (fingers crossed) even if my skin does get better, I feel so disappointed in myself for letting so many opportunities pass me by just because of my skin. Anyone or anything else doesn't rely upon me having good skin so why did I let it hinder me all those times?! Sometimes I feel like it's a never-ending battle, even when EVENTUALLY my skin clears I know that like most I'll just move on to worrying about other insecurities. I feel guilty that I've stopped myself from doing things I could do and wanted to do when there are others that are physically unable to.
Therefore I am going to try to hold my head up high even when I'm breaking out, go out and enjoy myself even if I'm worried about others judging me and try and remember that whilst acne is a horrible thing to deal with, it could be MUCH worse and be grateful for the good things and amazing people that I have in my life!
I am happy to report that since my last post I have had no MAJOR picking sessions...I am still breaking out all on my forehead and have been compelled to do some damage control but overall I've not felt the need to lock myself in the house for the next week whilst it settles down...huh in fairness I did go to town on a spot on the side of my head and it's very red, very scabby and hard to cover, which makes me realise that I'm more affected by my acne depending on where it is on my face...if the current disaster zone had been in the middle of my forehead I'd be massively depressed about it, how weird!
I've also finally given in and ordered some BP online...this is really NOT what I wanted to do but since this problem persists I have to do something about it. So it's not coming until June which means I have basically a month to try some other methods before I go back to BP. I've done A LOT of research on my acne (basically lots of flesh coloured bumps with regularly occuring bigger ones (sometimes just pussy, sometimes painful with a pore) and the texture of my skin seems to be similar to a kind of dermatitis.
So, I've done my homework and realised that BP works for this kind of condition (maybe that's why it's only become a problem since I've stopped), however apparently head and shoulders works too, and for run of the mill clogged pores apple cider vinegar as a topical has had some success. Last night I used both, H&S as a cleanser and ACV as a toner...I then had a nightmare that my whole forehead came up in massive cysts, which was scary! I'm not sure how effective it will be, I'll give it 2 weeks (supposedly fungal problems respond within a week) and then I'm going to try Vitamin D3 tablets...
The decision to start using supplements was brought on by the fact I'm so frustrated that when I was on holiday my skin cleared 95%. The day after I came home it went back to normal so this, and the fact I work in an office and see natural daylight for about 10 minutes a day means I can't see how I'm getting enough vitamin D. I haven't had a test at the doctors so I'll just follow the seemingly low dosage of 1000IU a day and see what happens. I bought them this morning in the Holland and Barrett penny sale so I've not lost anything for trying but I'll wait to see if the H&S and ACV combo works first.
I'll update if/ when I start seeing any results...I'm hoping that changing my routine will help with my picking (fingers crossed) because the control freak element is somewhat subdued because instead of taking control by picking, I'm taking control by using (hopefully) effective products and need to leave my skin alone to see if they actually produce any results. Well even if none of these things work at least I'm trying...and if by June I've not noticed any differences then I can always go back to BP, albeit relunctantly...if only I didn't care about the chemicals, bleaching and ageing effects of BP!
I haven't posted in so long, feels like forever! I have had exams, an interview for a promotion and a holiday as pretty good excuses! I've been so focused on other things but now everything has settled down it's time for a bit of self indulgent venting!
So I've had a mixture of really stressful and really relaxing since the last post which means my skin has been a bit up and down too...I've come to realise that when I'm stressed I don't really pick much even though I break out more which is weird. I also noticed whilst I was on holiday that the sun did wonders for my skin after the first week (where everything came to the surface, luckily one at a time) but I've also started to wonder whether it was the moisturising effect of the suncream I was using, so I've carried on using it and noticed that my skin is a lot softer, benefits of moisturiser who know?! Even though there was a bit of purging and subsequent picking, I didn't have any actual picking sessions, and I think this had a lot to do with the fact it's near impossible to wear make up when you're sweating and getting in the pool!
Which leads me to think that the main reason I'm picking is just when I'm bored...like nothing good or bad in particular is happening in my life and it's kind of a way to create a bit of drama when things are dull...also I justify to myself that I may as well get rid of everything when the social calendar is a little sparse so that there's less chance things will come to a head when I am busy.
Another thing is that I definitely have idle hands, and you know what they say about idle hands...I think this may be linked to a bit of ADHD where I feel the need to constantly keep my hands busy and if I can't then they stray to skimming my face. Now this is going to sound very weird and I feel a tad embarrassed by it but I think I've been picking less recently because...wait for it...I've been playing candy crush. Officially the saddest admission ever. Here's the thing though, whilst it's annoying the hell out of my boyfriend because I'm playing it whilst watching tv and not really watching the programme I'm forcing him to watch, I think I have taken away the absent-minded checking of my skin that I used to do.
Put it another way, it's like a combination of the time I spend on the train coming home from work looking at other people's perfect skin and comparing my skin in my compact, the time I'm skimming the surface of my skin whilst watching tv and the time spent looking in the bathroom mirror waiting for the boyfriend to come to bed are leading to me picking almost every night. Candy crush has broken this routine! hurrah! I'm so addicted to the game that any time I'm bored or have a spare minute I'm playing it and not picking my skin!
Now whilst it's just swapping one addiction for another which is never particularly healthy...I've realised that the game actually helps me in so many ways: it sounds crazy I know but the distraction I get on the train means I'm not worried about people looking at my skin or judging/ comparing myself to others, when I'm watching tv it's helping the ADHD-like urge to busy my hands and the time in between washing my face and going to bed before the boyfriend comes up is useless time wasting that is filled with candy crush instead of picking...also when I pick it completely calms my anxiety and feels like a massive relief when I 'get' a spot and playing the game does the same - I go into the same trance-like state when playing it and feel the same relief when I pass a particularly difficult level.
Ok so although I'm probably crazy...it's actually working...for the time-being anyway. I know people say there's an app for everything nowadays but jheez they might actually be right!haha
OK so it's been a while since my last post, mainly because I've been struggling with my skin (STILL!) since I stopped using BP and am trying to stop picking despite lots of temptation! I'm still determined I won't go back to BP, not because it didn't work but because my skin is different now - more breaking out on my forehead but the acne is different, not so angry! It seems like when I was on BP I didn't like the thought of using it, considering it bleached every towel and bed sheet I own I dreaded the thought of what it was doing to my skin. It's been 5 months now and I'm still facing the backlash all on my forehead...it does seem to be getting less frequent and the texture of my skin doesn't seem as 'bumpy' either. I don't know if this is just a picker-thing but when I used to get big angry spots when I was on BP I got real satisfaction from bursting the suckers and told myself my skin had created the mess so I was fully justified in resolving the situation. Now though, I just think of all my spots as annoying, when I pick them they do kind of slide out which is weird...before when I had small comedones they would sit there taunting me for weeks until they turned into a cyst or until I took matters into my own hands.
Before I had huge spots every now and then and now I have lots of small spots most days...I'm not sure which is better, from a concealing point of view the small ones are a lot easier to hide, but from a picking perspective there's a LOT more temptation to do damage. One thing I've tried doing it getting my boyfriend to approve me picking a spot, and if he agrees it's got to go then he stands with me (must be love!) whilst I'm doing it to check I only pick the one. It's been quite effective because I constantly justify my picking and it's good having someone that is on your side telling you that it's not justifiable most of the time.
I've also stopped using St Ives Apricot Scrub, which doesn't seem logical because scrubs tend to help small bumps (clogged pores) but I got it in my head it was making them worse and instead started using a paraben-free peppermint and tea tree foam wash. I've been doing this for a while now, and it seems like the breakouts are becoming less frequent. In saying this, since my last post I have definitely had some picking disasters, and I feel sorry for my boyfriend more than anything because for the 4 days of healing that follows I am generally a total bore, I won't even do exercise with him because my concealer will sweat off! I think this has finally sunk in a bit and made me realise that my picking doesn't just affect my mood and I've started to feel really selfish when I've picked. I think it's helping a bit because even though I look in the mirror and see a mess (before picking) I know that he doesn't see me that way and that by picking and creating a mess on my face I am making him see me that way. I don't know, I will carry on thinking that because for me it's a lot harder to do something knowing I'm upsetting someone else rather than knowing it's just me that's going to suffer.
Hopefully, this will be the start of me getting back on the wagon and although it won't be every day posting, if I can try and monitor my progress it might help me see what works and what doesn't
So yesterday I was having too much fun in the snow to post plus had the in-laws round for dinner so didn't have much time to post. Alas I still found time to pick though...in fairness it started with an inflamed whitehead and those suckers just need to go! But then it went onto a raised blackhead just under my chin. I think the only reason I carried on picking was because I never get the satisfaction of seeing a root or hearing a pop with whiteheads which sounds disgusting.
I may have had a small epiphany though. I already know that when I pick I justify it to myself by saying that if I pick it now then it won't get inflamed at an inconvenient time (before a night out etc) and sometimes I can extract the root with minimal damage which makes me think I'm just speeding up the process. This is definitely due to being a control freak. It's like I don't trust my body to heal properly or quick enough so literally take matters into my own hands. With every type of spot there's my own warped remedy: whiteheads are noticeable, not easily covered and usually look better once picked, cysts take AGES to go away by themselves and so relieving the pressure myself will speed things up and give me a great sense of achievement (admittedly this is beyond sad!), clogged pores/ comedones will sit under my skin sometimes with a pore asking to go away quickly and quietly with a pin extraction and if I do manage to resist the temptation it only leads to me picking them when they do become inflamed on their own.
So with these methods it feels like I have the power...and picking them is my way of showing my body how it's done, because obviously it's not doing something right if spots are there in the first place. I know as well as the feeling like I'm in control, it's also heavily attributed to severe impatience. I know that my skin will do the job eventually, but not knowing how long and having to wait without interfering just lead me straight to the mirror seeing how I can help speed things up.
There is no logic though because either way there will be spots. The only difference is by picking I am weakening the skin and probably spreading the infection. When I do have periods of not picking my skin is usually much better...although I still get spots, they are not noticeable to anyone but me, or don't look so 'angry' because they haven't been messed with, or just go away on their own without leaving scabs. A good example would be the inflamed whitehead almost dead centre of my forehead that sprung up on saturday. When I woke up yesterday and it hadn't by miracle disappeared I could feel the frustration mounting. I think not picking it (mainly because of where it is) made me focus more on the one I did pick closer to my hair line. The difference is that this morning I had to use concealer on the picked one and none on the other one. The other difference is today *touch wood* the unpicked one isn't so white and looks like it's going down. One more difference, the picked one will be a scab for about a week so I'm going to have to cover it every day it's there.
It's so bizarre, even though this kind of thing has happened a few times before, it doesn't stop me. I consider myself quite logical which is why I try and justify everything to myself...but how can I justify this to myself when there isn't any logic! So I have resided myself to the fact that I'm a nut! And I have got to try and control the control freak that I am. I need to obsessively and compulsively NOT pick. Just a few examples, only looking in the mirror before bed whilst cleaning my teeth so I don't have both hands to pick, if I do feeling a spot coming up then only looking at it in a mirror at least 1 metre away, if I do want to feel a spot to see what's going on then I can only touch it once and I can't be looking in a mirror whilst doing it.
I'm also still doing a task for the day too...yesterday I failed by not going straight to bed whilst waiting for the boyfriend to come upstairs and today I'm only using the communal toilets, which has so far stopped me from picking a comedone with a pore on my forehead. Let's see how long that lasts! But I'm encouraged by the fact a spot has come and gone without interference and there hasn't been many of those recently!
Well I'm feeling a tad guilty for not posting yesterday hence this very late night post now! So starting where I left off... I actually managed pretty well not touching my face, not perfect but definitely an improvement. After the event though I 'had' to pick two tiny spots on my forehead (the one I freaked out about on he train and another mini whitehead) but went to bed a little drunk and not so defeated. When I woke up they were coverable so I wasn't too disappointed in myself but then for some unbeknown reason I started fiddling with the cheek scab and ripped it off. A scab that had been healing for less than a day!
It's very unlike me to sabotage the healing process, once I've caused the damage I usually get so worried I've scarred myself that I can leave the scab alone until it's ready and flakes off. So then I panicked a bit because I had to go to the airport and didn't have the time so just covered the shiny pink area that remained and got my flight back home. I know it was bad to pick the scab but by some miracle by the time I got home it looked a lot better, and since I didn't pick last night (mainly due to spending time with my boyfriend like a normal person!) I kind of forgot to post. Which seems like a lack of commitment on my behalf but I see it as more of a success that I wasn't spending so much time thinking about my skin.
Today was (in skin picking terms) very uneventful but spent the day with my friends, boyfriend and then with my family to tonight which lead to such a late entry. I have also achieved another mini task for myself by going straight to bed and not passing some time picking my skin. And although I'm never very optimistic about my progress, I can perhaps say that whilst I'm not actually on the road to success just yet, I am at least heading in that direction
All I have to do now is ignore the annoying red thing that's started to grow on my forehead!!! Easy peasy! Ha
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!!!
I'm a first timer on this site but I've been visiting for a looooooong time now. Just a bit of history: I've probably had spots since I was about 13 so going on 8 years now. I used to use benzoyl peroxide which seemed to keep everything under control but I was still getting spots and was fed up of bleaching my sheets/ towels and even eyebrows!
My skin isn't that bad it but it's mainly down to being a complete control freak and perfectionist. I'm not feeling sorry for myself here - there's a lot worse things in life and picking is pretty much self inflicted. I can blame it on the compulsion or anxiety that 'makes' me do it but at the end of the day I'm responsible for the oh too familiar mess on my face.
I've told my family and boyfriend, it's almost impossible to hide anyway coming out of the bathroom with blood and scabs all on your face that no amount of concealer could possibly hide. Everyone is supportive and sometimes they try and drag me away from the mirror but I have realised that it doesn't really matter what anyone says, if I want to pick I will find a way!
I have tried all the usual tactics, distraction: stress balls/ elastic bands, prevention: short nails, sitting on hands, and ignorance: removing bulbs from lights, covering mirrors etc but nothing works because for me they are just temporary measures. The problem I have is that I know I'm capable - when I've got a big event coming up or I'm meeting new people I can usually manage to stop myself, however after the event I'm usually at home picking even more to 'reward' myself for not having picked for a week.
I run my fingers over my skin when I'm driving, eating and quite worryingly whilst driving and normally 'find' something that can be scratched off. The worst is normally in front of the bathroom mirror though...agreeing in advance with my boyfriend that there is a spot desperate to be picked can lead to 10/ 20 red picked areas. It makes no difference whether I 'get' the first spot or not: if I do I get such a feeling of adrenaline that I want to feel it again or if I can't I go on a spree until I find one that I can get.
Ok so enough whining...I realise no one will probably ever read/ reply to this so the self-indulgence is quite intended - I'm trying to be really honest to try and figure out how to stop and maybe by reading this over to myself I'll understand a bit better what are the triggers and what helps me on the rare occasions that I do let a spot come and go without any meddling. Also I'm hoping my self-pitying attitude and disgusting details will incur some kind of defiant response against what I'm doing to myself!
So today I picked at a spot on my cheek that I shouldn't have. It was slightly raised, slightly red with no discernable pore, so I picked it anyway. I have learned that when you pick and nothing happens, a sewing needle will usually do the trick, but since this one didn't have a pore the pin just made it bleed. Now sometimes (especially on the cheeks) the picking will normally bring out the root after about 8 hours, plus since it's in an awkward position near my nose I know that I can't just 'push' it out with my knuckles...how gross. Which means in about 8 hours I know (no matter how hard I try) the spot will either be shooting out followed by puss wheeping out and a giant sigh of relief...or it will be an even bigger, even more painful open wound.
Knowing this you would think I'd be able to stop myself...sure...for about 7 hours and 59 minutes I will be. But possibly my biggest problem is thinking that I 'know' my skin...I have convinced myself I am accustomed to every 'type' of spot and know how to approach it. So even though I'm completely ashamed of the damage I've already done to my cheek, I still want the sucker out and I'm certain that I'll be able to in 8 hours...how sad.
When I see people with spots I notice, which makes me think that everyone else in the world will notice mine. Not true. Very few people in the world would never even know there was a spot there but because I can see it 5cm from the mirror that means it's visible and has to go. People sometimes even tell me how good my skin is, but this is mainly down to my near-expert skills at concealer application. I've developed these bitter sweet skills (sweet for hiding but bitter because if I didn't think I'd be able to hide the damage it might act as some kind of deterrent!) and can pretty much cover anything. Open wounds and cystic 'bumps' are the trickiest and in good light can never be hidden but I'll be damned if I don't try. It's worse when I know that despite the hours of my life wasted covering spots, if I can still see them in the mirror I have a massive internal argument whether or not it's even worth leaving the house.
That's another thing...if I had a penny for the amount of times I have cancelled or pulled out of going somewhere because of my skin I'd be a millionaire...how pathetic. I actually choose not to see friends and family purely because of how self-conscious I am. It's slightly better now I live with my boyfriend because he a) makes me feel good about myself even when I'm at my lowest self-loathing state and b) pretty much kicks me out the door if I admit not wanting to go because of spots. It works because he makes me realise it really isn't so bad and even though it might seem like the worst possible thing at that moment, I will regret it afterwards after I don't go.
It's true I really do regret all of the missed experiences and social life and that seems like a good way to conclude this very long first entry. I'm not doing a 30 day challenge, to be honest I don't think I could last 2 days, but I am doing SOMETHING...and that's enough for me for now. I'm just going to try and do my best. If I don't post every day then let's hope that means I'm not thinking so much about my skin and have just forgotten and am enjoying my life like a normal person! and when I do post I'm probably going to do it when I'm about to or have just picked...I need to replace the routine of just going to the bathroom and picking and maybe putting the energy into typing will relieve just enough anxiety that I'll be able to actually take a bit of control back from my evil, wandering hands!