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!