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Diary of a face picker

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Still Standing

A lot has happened since I wrote here. I got my regimen supplies in the mail on Tuesday and started that evening. I took the cleanser in the shower and enjoyed it very much. I am still enjoying the cleanser and will most likely continue using it. I used a half a pump of the BP and knew that I wouldn't be using it again till the next evening so I concentrated on 'problem' areas first but got a little on my whole face. I didn't have any discomfort until I put the moisturizer on. Then it felt like my face was on fire! I used it for a few days but on Friday night I went back to my Purpose moisturizer because I just couldn't take it. So I'm using 1/2 a pump in the morning and 1/2 pump in the evening now. I used 1/2 a pump once a day for 3 days and think I will stay with 1/2 pump night and day for at least a week before increasing it.

My acne looks SO MUCH BETTER. I am sure of that fact and happy already but I still have work to do. I picked at my face on Friday night for a long time but none over the weekend. Tomorrow is Monday and my number one goal for the day is no picking. I have a TON to do in the house - we will be having agents over this week and hope to have the house on the market on Monday October 27th. I know I'm a bit stressed and overwhelmed - two reasons I pick. BUT - I am also going out of town on Friday to visit my husband's family. I do NOT want my face to look picked at so I have such great incentive to leave my face alone.

I picked at my back A LOT today while watching a movie. Poseidon. It was a stressful movie - I guess I handled it by picking at my back. My fingers went up to my face too, but I didn't allow them to stay there.

So - I suppose that stress relief is a big factor in my picking. I don't think I feel a high or feel good when picking - I feel defeated while picking, if anything. I know I'm not suppose to be doing it.

I think I am tolerating the BP pretty good - my face feels tight and burns a bit and itches like all the time, but I can tolerate it. I could tolerate it with Dan's moisturizer, but I had the feeling that it was just too much for my face. I also think my face produced more oil with that moisturizer. Maybe it was irritated and as a defense mechanism it sped up my oil production. I DO NOT have oily skin. I've always been on the dry side, so seeing my face oily is new to me.

I haven't been wearing make-up since using the BP in the morning but did today for church. That didn't go so well. My make-up looked cakey to me. I think my skin is still getting used to the BP.


I went a full 5 days without fully picking at my face in front of the mirror. The past two days had been rough though - I was barely hanging on, my fingers were all over my face throughout the day and I just felt weak and wasn't seeing what I wanted to see - and today I just did it. But I couldn't stop once I started. After the initial picking session, I kept leaving and coming back to the mirror for more. Five days of not picking at all gave me lots and lots and lots to do. I wouldn't say I did everything I could have - if I had I would still be there now. My face is a mess. I thought I was creating most of this - maybe I am still, I don't know. I guess 5 days isn't long enough to make that call. All I know is that those 5 days didn't even happen for me as of now. I'm going to start over again. I really want to not be here again though. In the start position.


Today has been frustrating for me. I haven't been picking at the mirror, but I've been very gently feeling/scratching with my fingernails like most the day. I also just gently scratched the top off a whitehead and wiped the puss away with a clean finger. I THOUGHT I could just allow whiteheads to go away on their own, but I'm not so sure now. I know church is coming up tomorrow and maybe that is why I did it. I just can't leave the house with whiteheads that may open up any second. I just can't go that. I do think that under the circumstances - if I cannot tolerate them - I will allow myself to gently prick them with a sterile needle and wipe gently with a tissue. I am angry at myself for doing it - I could have waited till morning - but not really. My face feels like sandpaper in some spots - there are so many, many tiny bumps that hopefully won't amount to anything - they better not! I am using restraint, for sure. I am pulling my hand away from my face a ton but it seems to go right back up there. I don't yet know how to handle that urge. It is strong. I'll have to pray about that because I don't know what else to do about it right now. It is sad too - this process is a form of dying to 'self'. I want to do it so bad, but I know I want to be free of it more - hopefully. So this dying thing is harder than I thought it would be. Lord, I pray that you remove all that draws me, holds me, urges me to pick and I ask you fill me to overflowing with your Grace and Mercy and Love. I need you to do this work in me - I'm willing but my flesh is weak. In your name I pray. Please, please do Your work in me and don't let me go.


I'm glad today is over

It was a rough day but I got through it without any major incidents and only a few minor incidents. Major incidents for me entail going after a blemish or any area of skin on my face that looks like it could have something in it that I want out and using my fingernails to achieve that goal. If I could or would stop at just gently opening 'major' whiteheads that look like they are about to pop on their own and dabbing the contents on a clean tissue and moving away from the mirror I think that would be a normal thing to do in some cases. But I've been known to stand at that mirror for 45 minutes and squeeze the life out of every pore I come across that looks the least bit suspect. I can't stop once I start. I get lost in it and it becomes the only reality I have. What usually pulls me out is the phone ringing or if I think I hear my child waking up, or maybe my husband is about to walk in the bathroom. I thank God that I haven't been in that place since about 4pm on Wednesday. Knowing that I was just there though- in that zone on Wednesday makes me sad. It makes me want to get weeks and weeks of not being there already behind me. I can already see progress in terms of my acne. I know it has only been 2 days, but I think most my acne is caused by the damage I do by squeezing. I'm quite sure. I am excited to find out HOW MUCH of it was caused by my picking alone.

I'm kind of scared to get the regimen supplies in the mail but excited too. I plan on this being my long-term skin care regimen. I wonder how my face will react to the BP. I wonder if the moisturizer will work well for me. I wonder if I'll be able to do it right. I have been practicing the technique with the stuff I'm using now and I find it hard to rub the gel in gently enough to keep from moving my skin. I'll have to watch the videos a few more times before starting for real.

So, I'm pleased with my progress overall but I want to be more aware of my weakness and nip anything in the bud that hints to a potential fall.


A Good Time to Report

I'm having a very hard time keeping my hands off my face right now. I have not gone to the mirror to pick, but I've come close a few times just a bit ago. So I thought I'd come here to re-group. I'm having trouble with itching right now. My face, my back, my arms. My face has had over 42 hours to start healing from my last picking session. I have loose skin that is itching and I am having a very hard time not picking it off. I have gently scratched a few pieces off, but I have not caused any harm to my face and it was more out of instinct and not even in front of the mirror. Normally - a person would itch whatever itches and move on, but with me - at this time - I don't want my fingers ANYWHERE near my face. So I am taking a few deep breaths and I plan on spending a few minutes in prayer. Thankfully I woke up early enough to spend the first part of my day reading some scripture and lifting this day up to the Lord in prayer. I just need to voice my need and get back to my housework.

I am glad the urge came - it is my first one to get through and I think I handled it well. My goal is to recognize the next one before I allow it to mess with my head so much and get me off track.


20 hours 'pick free'

I am very excited to report that I've been 'pick free' for 20 hours. I started with a 15 hour challenge which ended at 8am this morning and now I'm working on 24 hours total.

It hasn't been too hard. I've had to take my hands down away from my face a few times, but those were unconscious 'feels' that I recognized before I did anything that could be considered picking.

I woke this morning with like 5 bumps that had whiteheads. Most likely they wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't had that picking session around 3 yesterday afternoon before I started this challenge. So - I just left them alone. I've never just left them alone. I actually am walking around the house with whiteheads on my face. I haven't had to go anywhere today nor will I tomorrow or even on Saturday unless I choose to - so I'm excited about letting these bumps go through whatever cycle then need to go through to heal on their own. I'm pleased with my progress but know I have a mountain to climb. It is easier for me to see one step at a time in front of me than to try to look to the top of that mountain. So I'll just keep trying to put my feet in front of each other and keep on keeping on.

Once 5pm rolls around that will be my 24 hours - haven't had that in a long, long time (with my face full of things to try to get out.) My next goal will be to get through tomorrow - shouldn't be too hard because I think my husband will be working from home. So I'll do another 24 hour challenge starting at 5pm. I think once that expires, I'll go for the entire weekend. That is going to be SO HARD on Sunday morning because we'll go to church - but maybe by then the whiteheads will be gone and the rest of my face will have had over 72 hours to heal from my picking yesterday. I can't wait to be able to say - from my picking a week ago!!!!!!!!! WOW!!

OK, I'm off to make some banana bread with my son.


Problems to overcome

I don't have long to type - my kids are due to get up any minute from their naps.

I've discovered that rebellion plays a big role in my face picking. I know that I shouldn't but do it anyway sometimes. I realize what the consequences are going to be and it doesn't stop me. So self-discipline and self-control are both required. They are somewhat the same but I see them as very different. I thought that I didn't have control of my behavior and pick my face compulsively - this is true sometimes when I am watching TV or in the car or talking on the phone. I also lack the willpower to do the right thing by keeping away from the mirror when I am feeling weak.

I've always had issues with self-control in other areas so this may not be easy.

I read about someone doing a '30 day challenge’ - no face picking for 30 days. Well I can tell you right now that I cannot do that. No way - not right now. But I will commit to a 15 hour challenge starting now (at 5pm central.) I will come right back here at 8am and report my completion. I am going to say now that I can do it. Most of that time I will be sleeping, so I really only have 6 or 7 hours that I am accountable for (I do not pick in my sleep to my knowledge.)

I can do that. Then we'll go from there. One hour at a time, if need be. I have already met a wonderful friend here. She has her own struggles but has been willing to reach out to me in a tender way. I believe the Lord assigned her to me! My prayer is that all her hopes and dreams will come true in a way she didn't even dare to hope or dream they could. I love reading about her progress. This is such a great site! I just love being here - I just wish we were all here under different circumstances.

So basically the past few days were OK but not great. I think leaving my face alone is the best thing for it, but there is the problem of whiteheads, scabs that look ready to be taken off, scaly skin. So I don't know how to deal with all that. Usually I pick all that junk off. So if I don't even touch my skin other than to wash and apply medication/moisturizer I guess I will just have to live with everything else until it resolves on its own. I'm shaking my head. But that is the way it has to be.

This is a two fold win once I conquer this. I'll be free of picking at my face AND I'll have a portion of self control I've never had. That will be the real prize. Self-control. I know that is good. I know I want that.

I have so many blessings in my life - my children are so beautiful inside and out. My husband adores me and I have family who truly loves me. I have issues with my self and I'm working on dealing with them. It is OK that I am going through this. The Lord knew way before now that I would be struggling with this. I trust Him to take me through it, one 15 hour increment at a time. God bless anyone reading this and I hope to get to know many more members here soon!! Julie

ps - I'm 17 minutes into my 15 hours already!


I'm not in control

Oct 3rd. 2008

I hate being here and having to do this, but I have no choice.

I guess some background information is needed. I'm almost 34 years old and I've struggled with picking/squeezing my acne since I was in my teens. The problem has come and gone in terms of intensity over the last 20 years (20 years! Oh my. That is just depressing.)

The past 2 months have been horrible. Horrible. I am at a point now that I can't go a day without messing with my face at least once and not just a place or two but all over my face - whether there is something there or not. When I'm finally done my face is flame red and I look like I've hives all over my face. "Just stop" I've been told by my husband and only close friend I've shard this with - I've tried but it seems I have no self control. I know I lack self control.

I am a Christian. I believe the Lord is finally dealing with me on this matter - so many years have gone by and it has never REALLY been dealt with.

I'm thinking I really should go see a councelor - I have no idea who though. I am so ashamed too - So very ashamed.

My desire with this blog is to daily document my progress or lack thereof.

I've had one major picking session today which lasted about 40 minutes or so - time flies when I am doing it.

About an hour later I went to put moisturizer on my face because it was so dry and ended up picking for just a few moments before I 'caught' myself.

I am going to go wash my face (again) with my mild purpose cleanser and then put my mild purpose moisturizer on my face and then put some make up on. I think that will last me for a few hours. My goal is to make it till tonight before washing and puting my Salicylic acid on before bed.

The best case senerio is to come back tomorrow, the 4th and report that I haven't messed with my face at all since writing here today.

Once again, I will focus on looking ahead and trying to forgive my self for what is behind. Lord knows I am so weak and needy. Help me Lord. I need You.

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