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  1. JayRoseCar

    Help Me - Skin Picking Problem

    So for reasons I have a bad habit of picking at my face, I have eczema so I have dry skin as it is. I’ll be upfront now, this is going to be a long read so I’m sorry. I’m a 21 year old girl still living with my parents, so don’t hate on me too much please... So, my skin is actually not bad, but I’ve recently made it horrible. I try hard to not damage my skin, I only get anxious and want the acne gone. But I end up creating much more visible acne and scabs. I have fair skin so anything red or swelling will show clear as day... I use tweezers to get the acne out, the lest sharp tip-side I angle it just above a pimple and push in and down, which works but that easily tears into my skin. That leaves me with scabs... and no amount of ice or whatever gets the redness or swelling to go away. And I know that his is awful and can cause infection, and it already has, I’m just wanting so badly to stop this habit and let my scabs heal. I know I need to leave my face alone and let everything dry out and heal, but then I peel like crazy and if I use makeup to cover up the redness that makes it worse. My dry skin gets drier and then peels which is VERY apparent beneath makeup... and if I use lotion then that will prevent my scabs and acne from drying up and healing. Am I supposed to just suffer it out with the dry mess? So frustrated with myself!! I know better but in the moment I’m not thinking about the consequences. I don’t have bad acne normally, but because of my lack of willpower I now have many visible red dots all over my forehead, between my eyebrows, my nose, above my lip and on my chin! It’s depressing and aggravating, now I have a light therapy mask from Neutrogena which works very well for my skin, but it’s all in vain if I don’t quit this habit. I’m so tempted at this point to just use 10 sessions in one night, I don’t know what that’ll do but it may just make me feel better... I’m so destructive. And it’s so much more stressful because my mom will point out that I’ve been picking... and I’m ashamed as it is but then her judgment makes it so much worse. Like after I pick I know if she sees me I’ll be in trouble, so I rush to wash my face then do my light therapy, then face lotion(only on bad parts that I didn’t pick at). And it’s gotten to the point that if I want to eat and I know she’ll see me, I put on makeup just to conceal my regretful deeds. And I’ll even put makeup on for midnight snacks, even though I’ll take it off as soon as I get back in my room. Seriously I can’t even function. Okay! Sorry for venting! But I just really need help(I’m already seeing a counselor about this..). Is there anything that I can do to reduce the visible redness and swelling and broken skin in a short amount of time? Honestly, I know once my face is healed, I’ll stop picking.
  2. Hi everyone, So I recently went back on birth control because my acne got so bad that I couldn't stand it anymore, and now I am having trouble with it getting back to normal. What is making it even worse is that I can't seem to have self control with not picking it. Does anyone have any tricks to stop picking their skin? Has anyone had it get bad enough to where they actually have looked for help from a medical provider for this? My issue is that it doesn't even need to be a big pimple (sometimes a tiny whitehead, and I will pick it and turn it into a huge mess. I try to be mindful of it, but it happens so quickly sometimes I don't realize what I am doing until it is too late.
  3. Holy heck it is closed comedone time, my dudes. They are everywhere. I didn’t used to break out on my cheeks but now I am. I still believe that it’s the comedones being expelled because I shamefully picked one of the more painful spots and a small, teardrop-shaped hard piece came out of my pore, almost like a small piece of uncooked rice. From previous experience, that’s similar to what is in closed comedones - really hard semi-spherical bits (don’t judge me, this is science). Good news: nearly all of the blackheads on my nose are gone, my body acne is almost gone as well, and my neck no longer breaks out. Bad news, aside from above: I got a cystic spot INSIDE my earlobe somehow (it feels like an airsoft bullet is in the exact center of my earlobe, just above my earring hole) and my period is wildly late. My research around sites like these said that having a really late period in your second month is quite normal, so I’m just hoping that it doesn’t decide to show up in the next few days, as I am moving into my apartment on Saturday. Products used: -Aveeno Sheer Daily Moisturizer: morning and night -Neutrogeena Oil-Free Moisture with Sunscreen (SPF 15): mornings when I plan to go outside. I hate the smell and oily texture of sunscreen immensely, but this product is actually pretty good. -Burt’s Bees chapstick: use in morning and throughout the day -Aquaphor tube: apply at night before bed -Dove cucumber moisture body wash: I use shower gloves for my body (GENTLY) -Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap: Distilled 1:2 of soap to water in a separate glass bottle. Used only in the evenings after showering, or if I pick my face. -Heliocare oral supplement: on days where I plan to go outside a lot (still wear sunscreen, though!) -NAC supplement: for OCD, anxiety, depression (many sites suggest also taking a vitamin C supplement with NAC; I take the daily multivitamin below and a little bit of an “Immune+” Emergen-C packet [the type w/vitamin D, since my multivitamin doesn’t include it] every other day) -Kirkman’s Multivitamin without vitamin A or D Symptoms: -Dry face: Not considerably; worse in breakout areas and chin -Dry lips: Yes, a little worse than past weeks but not tragic -Dry nose/eyes: Not really, maybe a little with my eyes. -Depression: Decreased actually, potentially from NAC -Thirsty: I definitely have to drink more water, especially when I wake up in the morning, but it’s a good habit to get into -Hair loss: Yes, but I’m not going bald and I still have eyebrows. Less in the past two or so weeks. -SUPER late period, and a few scattered false alarm days where I got that feeling and just knew that it was gonna stab me in the uterus within the next 24 hours. Ladies, you know what I mean.
  4. My spots are healing really quickly now, or more specifically the scabs I get from picking at spots. The closed comedones on my chin are beginning to come to (somewhat painful) heads, and after starting 80 mg I had a second mini break-out that’s still healing. My body acne is almost entirely gone now though, which is wonderful. I had a deep, almost cystic spot on my cheek that concerned me for a bit because I had hoped those were gone for good, but it’s going away on its own. I am really trying to not pick, and I started taking NAC supplement (it's safe with Accutane, according to my derm) to help take the edge off of my impulses and anxiety. It’s actually working pretty well I think, it seems to be easier to stop myself from picking and I have been a lot more productive overall Products used: -Aveeno Sheer Daily Moisturizer: morning and night after toner dries -Neutrogeena Oil-Free Moisture with Sunscreen (SPF 15): mornings when I plan to go outside. I hate the smell and oily texture of sunscreen immensely, but this product is actually pretty good. -Burt’s Bees chapstick: use in morning and throughout the day -Aquaphor tube: apply at night before bed -Dove cucumber moisture body wash: I use shower gloves for my body (GENTLY) -Heliocare oral supplement: on days where I plan to go outside a lot (still wear sunscreen, though!) -NAC supplement: for OCD, anxiety, depression Symptoms: -Dry face: Not considerably, but my whole body is noticeably drier than when I was on 40 mg/day -Dry lips: Yes, but manageable -Dry nose/eyes: Not really, maybe a little with my eyes. -Depression: Less than last week, I’m a bit of a mess lol (NAC also seems to help) -Thirsty: I definitely have to drink more water, especially when I wake up in the morning, but it’s a good habit to get into -Hair loss: Less than last week actually, or at least I seem to notice it less
  5. STILL breaking out, but skin picking/touching may have contributed to that. No cystic breakouts, but a lot of pustules, closed comedones, blackheads, and whiteheads (yuck). The closed comedones have worsened on my chin (they were there before Accutane) and have also started to appear on my cheeks and forehead. Fun times. I’m working really hard to stop picking my acne but it is so, so difficult when they hurt or are really distinct bumps. Stupid brain making me do stuff that’s bad for me. Products used: - Up and Up Charcoal Facial Cleanser: for morning face wash, occasionally (I mostly use just water though, bc I’m lazy and idk if the charcoal is too intense for my skin) - Thayer's Cucumber-Witch Hazel Toner Spray: spray on face morning and night immediately after cleanse - Aveeno Sheer Daily Moisturizer: morning and night after toner dries - Burt’s Bees Chapstick: use in morning and throughout the day - Aquaphor tube: apply at night before bed - Dove cucumber moisture body wash: I use shower gloves for my body (GENTLY) and bare hands for washing my face - I have some DERMA collagen sheet masks from Amazon that I use two or so times a week, mostly just for fun but they are also really moisturizing and I feel like I am doing more (I’m used to using like a billion different products and I’m really impatient so this helps me feel more proactive haha, also keeps me from touching my face) Symptoms: - Dry face: Not considerably - Dry lips: Yes, but manageable - Dry nose/eyes: Not really, maybe a little with my eyes. - Depression: No significant increase -Thirsty: I definitely have to drink more water, especially when I wake up in the morning, but it’s a good habit to get into - Hair loss: Yes, but I’m not going bald and I still have eyebrows
  6. Still breaking out Had a few bad days of picking that may have aggravated the situation. Mirrors and touch are big triggers for me, so I’ve already had the mirrors in my room and bathroom covered for a while. I’m using my brother’s vanity bathroom extension for putting on makeup (which I’m trying to do less but self-esteem has always been low and is even lower now that my face is extra bad) and I used paper to cover part of the mirror so I can’t lean in close and over-analyze my pores. My face still isn’t getting hyper-dry as so many Accutane users’ do, but my lips are definitely more chapped and my scalp is drier. Products used: - Up and Up Charcoal Facial Cleanser: for morning face wash (I’m starting to just use water though) - Thayers Cucumber-Witch Hazel Toner Spray: spray on face morning and night immediately after cleanse - Aveeno Sheer Daily Moisturizer: morning and night after toner dries - Burt’s Bees chapstick: use in morning and throughout the day. I hate the texture of heavy stuff on my lips so I like to use the thinner chapstick throughout the day. I’m using the classic peppermint ones now because I have so many of them, but I recommend the moisturizing ones because they’re a lot smoother. I keep one in my pocket throughout the day for reapplying. I really suggest Burt’s Bees brand though! Save the bees AND your skin - Aquaphor tube: apply at night before bed - Dove cucumber moisture body wash: I use this with shower gloves (gently) to keep myself from picking at my skin in the shower. I just apply it to my face with bare hands though so minimize abrasion. I dropped Suave b/c it started to irritate my skin and dried it out more than it moisturized. I stopped using the oil cleanser because I finally found out that a lot of the passive spots appearing on my skin weren’t sebaceous filaments, but closed comedones, so the oil may have made that worse also it tends to be a drying process, as it is often used for oil pulling, so probably not the best product while on Accutane. Symptoms: - Dry face: not considerably - Dry lips: yes, but manageable - Dry nose/eyes: Not really, maybe a little with my eyes. - Aches: Most likely due to gym workouts - Depression: I have anxiety and Dermatillomania (OCD behavior), and potentially mild depression as well (according to my therapist) as a result of anxiety so it comes and goes in waves but there hasn’t been a noticeable increase - Tiredness: Started taking the medicine in the evening and I’m not as tired during the day anymore - Dizziness: probably linked to tiredness; is no longer noticeable - Thirsty: I definitely have to drink more water, especially when I wake up in the morning, but it’s a good habit to get into - Hair loss: I’ve definitely noticed more hair loss. I get this same symptom when my anxiety gets really really bad, but it hasn’t really gotten like that so much since I’ve started college so the hair loss is definitely linked to the medication. I keep my hair in a braid most of the day and at night to try to limit it, though to be honest I don’t know if it makes a significant difference.
  7. Definitely breaking out more, really hard to ignore the bigger ones but I can generally keep myself from touching smaller bumps unless they have a whitehead, then I just scrape them off with a fingernail. Not very dry yet, as far as I can tell, and definitely not dry on my chin or forehead/nose. Scalp/back seems to be getting drier and more broken out, but my hair still gets nasty by the end of the day. Products used: - Up and Up Charcoal Facial Cleanser: for morning face wash - Thayers Cucumber-Witch Hazel Toner Spray: spray on face morning and night immediately after cleanse - Aveeno Sheer Daily Moisturizer: morning and night after toner dries - Burt’s Bees chapstick: use in morning - Aquaphor tube: use as chapstick, mainly at night ( I don’t like heavy or thick substances on my lips during the day) - Suave Cocoa-Oatmeal Body Wash: use with shower gloves (gently) on body, use with something softer like a Konjac sponge for face (DO NOT use gloves on face, they are too abrasive) - DMC Deep Cleansing Oil: use twice a week as gentle exfoliator; apply 1-2 pumps of oil to face with fingers and wait for ~5 minutes, then massage face with gentle pressure in circular motions for ~5 min. You will LITERALLY feel and see the blackheads and clogged pore plugs come out. Wash off with gentle cleanser. Super satisfying, but once I start getting drier it may become too drying, so this part may not stay. Symptoms: - Dry face: no - Dry lips: no - Dry nose/eyes: Not really, maybe a little with my eyes. - Aches: A little bit, but could be due to gym or poor mattress. - Depression: no more than usual - Tiredness: Yes, I became more tired and “disconnected.” I am going to try to take it in the evening rather than the morning now to see if it helps. - Dizziness: Like I said, I felt more “disconnected”/daydreamy, and sometimes that became a little dizzying or nauseating but not enough to really be concerning. - ThORsty: I am consistently really thirsty for some reason? My throat feels a little stuffy too, like I had a cold. I was taking pretty strong antibiotics for acne before I started Accutane, so perhaps my body is just trying to readjust to needing to defend itself.
  8. This is my string of weekly updates and self-motivating factors as I try to combat my acne with Accutane while also combatting my Dermatillomania (OCD behavior that makes it enjoyable for me to pick at imperfections and bumps on my skin, like acne, especially when stressed). Accutane is more cost effective, efficient, and thorough than trying to counter my broken-out, oily skin with even more over-the-counter products and regimens. My skin just doesn't respond positively to anything, it either makes it break out or makes it break out really badly. I’ve also started getting a ton of really annoying sebaceous filaments on my chin that won’t go away. I’ve tried many topicals and antibiotics to no avail, and this is the last resort. I may not have chronic or severe cystic acne by most people’s standards, but it is definitely unresponsive to the combined attempts of my dermatologist and I. I have been weakly fighting my Dermatillomania over many years, as despite the scabs and scars it is still shamefully and uncontrollably satisfying to me to clear out my pimples. I see a therapist for both my anxiety and skin-picking now, and I hope that taking Accutane and knowing that I could smooth over most if not all of my self-inflicted damage from the past will provide the extra motivation to get over this utterly embarrassing and socially limiting disorder! Please help me out and follow me on my journey, if you will Products used: - All of them, pretty much, at some point. - CeraVe moisturizer makes me break out for sure. Symptoms: - Acne is dumb - Honestly what the heck
  9. I have a variety of PIE and PIH scars that I got from skin picking. I picked at them over and over again so they're pretty red and brown. There's a few on my face and a few on my body. I've tried a lot of products that are recommended for these scars but nothing has really helped. I don't know what to do next. I'm thinking of dermarolling but I'm not sure. What should I do next? I can't afford laser treatments for multiple areas of my face and body as it'll cost too much. But, I'm considering it for the scars on my face atleast. Anyway, what should I do next? Thank you!
  10. Hi, I've picked at my skin for as long as I can remember - I've always known it was bad but I've only recently realised how much I'm psychologically unable to stop. I don't pick so much as squeeze at every pore I can see, every day. For years the only visible result has been inflammation the day after, and spots have stayed hyperpigmented for a while. I'm now 19, and pock marks have started to appear on my face, mostly in areas where I can't even recall recently having a spot. They're not all hugely obvious, some of them are small and not really noticeable unless they're in an angled light. I'm terrified that all of the spots and pores I've squeezed over the past decade are going to turn my face into a total mess of acne pockmarks. Is this likely or will it probably only be these odd ones? Perhaps the ones that are appearing are remnants of something else, like childhood chicken pox scars that are only just now appearing? I really don't know. Any help or reassurance would mean a lot!
  11. I picked a pimple and scabbed my skin, how do I get these marks to fade away?
  12. I've been picking for a bit over 2 years now. I'm only 16, but I really don't want this to continue any longer. Overall, my acne is not TERRIBLY bad, but I guarantee my acne would be 90% better if I had never started picking. I just picked everything on my face, back, and chest last night and I was so upset that I didn't go to school today. I'm going to cut my nails so I can't scratch, and keep myself busy because I usually start picking when I'm bored on the computer. I'll probably post every other day to say how I'm doing. I'm not expecting anyone to reply, but if anyone has any tips that would be great. I just felt that I had to post this somewhere to get myself motivated to stop this awful habit.
  13. I finally made a post because I think I have a problem. I am usually amazing at self-control in other areas of my life: eating, exercise, studying, working, etc. But when it comes to skin picking I feel helpless to my own hands. It's the worst when I'm looking at a mirror, but even sitting in front of my computer here I'm conscious of my acne and the desire to pop them. I can feel them on my face, and that's a combination of just being mentally aware of them and them actually hurting and throbbing sometimes. I then get up to look in the mirror, knowing full well I'm about to pick them, but in my head saying 'no, not this time, you know it only makes it worse. Don't pick them don't pick them don't pick them.' but yet I always find myself doing so anyway. Even while I'm doing it I can say to myself 'this is stupid you're not even doing anything. You're just making it worse stop. Stop. Stop.' but there my hands are, just picking away despite my mind saying something completely different. I often make myself bleed. Even when I know that a pimple hasn't surfaced yet and it's just a bump under my skin for now, I'll pick at it until my face looks terrible, with no results, like I was telling myself would happen. Now that I'm off of birth control it's only gotten worse. When I can afford it I plan on going back on it. I'll wash my face after I'm done picking and tell myself that's enough to make sure the bacteria doesn't make it to other pores, but I know that I'm just fooling myself. I tell myself everyday that I'm going to stop and never pick again, but it never happens. I hate this feeling of being powerless to myself, as it's the complete opposite in every other aspect of my life. It makes no sense to me. I feel a bit crazy, in fact. Well, I think that ranting about this had made me feel better. Maybe having it in writing will help me with self-control, but I doubt it.
  14. Hi all. A couple of months back, I came over this website in regards to meth users and their symptoms/disabilites. Many of these users get something called "meth bugs" where they hallucinate or imagine that bugs are litteraly crawling through their skin which leads to picking of their skin. Also, methamphetamine tend to cause mild to moderate acne, especially on the face. As a result to this, many users develop picking habits which they carry on even after being clean for months. Now the interesting thing is that many of these users still have acne (from what I've read), even after being clean for years. Could this be the result of habit skin picking? You decide. Below are three short videos in regards to meth and skin picking. I myself have never done meth but I do have acne and its awful but I feel like I can correlate to what these people are saying in so many ways, even with the "imaginable things". Let me what you guys think of this. http://www.methproje...#Looks-Horrible http://www.methproje...tml#Ryans-Story http://www.methproje...Chaunceys-Story
  15. Decided to do this because I THINK that if I have something to look forward to - like posting everyday that I haven't picked - it will give me some motivation to not pick! Right? Last night I picked when everything was going well on my face.. kind of reeked havoc on my face. But this morning it's a lot better. I have a few secrets that I use for when I pick. After I pick, I panic because I'm like.. WTF DID I DO! So I do this: 1) Apply Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal Mask.. which kind of gets rid of the redness and swelling. 2) Wash my face, apply ACV, then my Benzyclin... which helps a lot. 3) Stress THE FUCK OUT! Have a mental break down. Drink a lot of lemon water. 4) Take two Aspirin to subside any inflammation. 5) Go to bed. ^^^^^ I'm NOT DOING IT ANYMORE. March 14, 8:59 a.m. Day 1 - No picking, so far.
  16. So it's taken me a month to even find the courage to make my first post on here. But in reality that's barely surprising considering the complete & utter bullshit that is my pointless existence. If any of you out there think that things are bad & that you've wasted so much time & energy on this never-ending struggle, well, at least this should give you some retrospective hope in that you haven't fucked everything up anywhere near as epicly as I have. I once had a future along with all of the ambition in the world. A pretty good looking face too. Now I have nothing. Alright so this is going to inevitably end up being a ridiculously long & petty post of depressing self-pity, but I really feel like I have nowhere else to go - I can honestly say I'm currently at the lowest point of my entire futile existence. I'm one of those people who usually just compartmentalises all of their emotions & disguises their crumbling insecurities behind a veil of conceited confidence, so sharing my personal feelings is a huge deal for me & doesn't come naturally whatsoever - never has - I guess that's something of a typical consequence when you're an only child who has never really had any kind of entirely open & trusting relationship with family or friends alike. But this has simply gone on too long so I figured now is as good a time as any to finally vent some of my endless misery since I've found many other inspiring posts on this site to be of great help in understanding & coming to terms with this stream of shit I seem to be stuck in; even if the meaning & reason of this struggle is more unclear to me now than ever before. As a fair warning to those who have considerably more pressing issues than listening to some pessimistic teenage rant of regret - as much as I will try to keep the details relevant - this is going to be an unnecessarily long & most probably entirely worthless post for the majority of individuals. ***STOP READING HERE IF YOU CBF WITH IT - I UNDERSTAND THAT I OVERTYPE/THINK THINGS SEVERELY & YOUR TIME COULD BE SPENT MORE PRODUCTIVELY/POSITIVELY*** But I've finally come to this breaking point after realising that the mistakes & most of all the missed opportunities of the past are what will truly haunt me forever. It's just completely bemusing to me that I could have so much to regret in life already - when I've only just turned 19 two months ago. One of those painful missed opportunities was undoubtedly in not getting my lazy arse on here after my earliest signs of acne 5 years ago & not having the balls to share my insecurities & concerns even in a place where so many others like myself soldier on through far more impressive waves of shit & continue to do so with the majority of their sanity intact. That kind of strength & courage is deserving of far more than I have made of my own situation. Maybe that's what has made me so reluctant to sign up for all this time, even though I can recall reading threads from as early as 2008 (maybe 2007), because I was so embarrassed about how redundant my issues seemed in comparison to what I see so many of you have to go through each & every day. But you know what. Fuck it. I've come to terms with the fact that things are pretty much only going to get worse from here on out - so even if this is nothing more than a truly self-indulgent display of my disgustingly neurotic narcissism, well at least it should give most of you some comfort or even humour in knowing your lives are nowhere near as ridiculous & unnecessarily fucked up as mine. You might still feel you have had to endure worse with your skin, but at least what you've done & achieved with the circumstances & what you were given should be of some reconciliation since you didn't throw it all away like I have done over the last half decade. Then again, you may just be pissed enough to want to kill me for being such a complete & utter idiot about it all. I certainly have felt that urge in recent times. You might call it karma, but in reality to me it seems I was the only one who damned myself in my own downfall from the very beginning. Anyway, I've basically lost myself to disillusion & apathy (as well as slight anxiety/OCD/BDD) over the last 5 years suffering pretty much purely from the impact of acne; whether it be physically on my skin or psychologically in my mind. It has almost quite literally pre-occupied my every sober thought since the first fucking spot I got. After all of this time I truly feel completely stripped of my humanity, bare to the core of my withering soul. & yet I've only really come to terms with much of this seemingly endless path of self-destruction in recent weeks. It's a tough pill to swallow; one that I've been choking on for what seems like an eternity. But to be honest, things could not be worse in my world so I guess it's worth a shot just to see if I'm somehow worthy of redemption in some of your eyes; cause in mine I passed that point a long time ago & I'm not sure I actually see a way back anymore... A year ago I was still pretty much a typical 18 year old guy. I still had my friends & I was still seen as this generally popular & (over-) confident individual, with a good dose of humorous pessimism. I was that awesome, witty, intelligent, funny kid who just did everything the way he wanted - & quite simply didn't give a fuck. Class A narcissist really, I know I am, & that's how I must've seemed to most people at least. Only thing is, beneath that veil of cool collected confidence, the truth is that I was completely incarcerated in my own feeble-minded insecurities - & had been for the past 4 years spent in endless fear & self-loathing. In reality I knew I was just being weak, but at the end of the day, I was that *guy* who for some reason or another just couldn't even leave the house without a full face of make up on to hide all of the horrid marks that no matter what I did would seem to engulf my entire face every morning. Yep that's the person I was & had been for what was meant to be the most enjoyable 4 years of my life while I was unable to rid myself of the only real thing that had held me back all of this time since the very first day I met it - acne. From the beginning, I was just far too concerned about my looks & far too embarrassed to even talk to anyone or do anything about it. & well, my skin wasn't really that bad back then when I first began what eventually seemed to be an endless cycle of countless hours spent in the bathroom trying to make myself look 'normal' - just so I could have the confidence to face the world & another day. It was that much harder for me though because I was regarded as one of the most attractive ('hot') guys in my school even after I started slapping on foundation & I was also that guy who was always up for a party & getting drunk & doing all the stupid stuff that 14 year old rebels love to do. For some reason I was always attracting the attention & company of older teens too & that led to even more of a 'bad boy' reputation since it made me so very uber-cool. That just built up the pressure for me to look good all the time since that was already the mindset I'd had since the days of pre-teen angst along with my impeccably obsessive vanity & the delusions of grandeur it all brought - probably the beginnings of OCD that I failed to recognise. In reality I never needed perfection though, that wasn't what it was about, I just wanted to have the normal skin so many of my friends seemed to be blessed with. So I guess my way of solving that was to fake up - with make up. You won't believe that all of my 'firsts' were pretty much with a full face of foundation on. First drunken make out sesh. First time not remembering a thing on new years. First time spending the night with a girl in my bed. First time having sex twice in a row. First time smoking up. All of what were meant to be some sort of eternally memorable landmarks of adolescent adventure, all of it happened while I was completely self-conscious about the mask I was wearing to hide my true imperfections. I guess that's why it was so easy for me to just keep on putting everything else off & putting foundation on every morning, because I was actually living life the way I wanted without much regret. To me & my self-esteem at least - I looked good, so I felt good, & therefore I was good. It was like my daily dose of liquid confidence that I simply couldn't go without - becoming an addiction of sorts - because somehow that false image of perfection was worth the occasional once in a blue moon that I got called out on my audaciously feminine habit. To face the world & reveal my real skin & what lay beneath the mask, even for just a moment, always seemed like a far more daunting task than I could bear to imagine. I guess I never really thought it through, because for some reason I always felt like life as I knew it would be over the day I decided to go without. It was the fear of being an entirely different person in both my own eyes as well as others that stopped me from ever getting over it. Of course, I had always planned to stop wearing it once my skin got clear anyway...but the problem is that year after year, it just never did. & I mean honestly the only real point of wearing make up for me was so I could attempt to live my life undisturbed the way I would have if I'd kept my clear skin. So I could pursue girls with the natural flirtacious flair & confidence I was gifted with if I'm to be entirely honest. Funny how that worked out in the end...but at the time it made sense to me since I've never had any kind of close relationship with my parents so I didn't even have proper discussions about my skin until years later when the situation had well & truly worsened. But anyway that initial honeymoon period of loving life lasted about a year. Thereafter things all sort of started going downhill as I became ever more obsessive about my skin & used literally more than 10 crappy cosmetic products every day in an attempt to control things as my situation degraded into oblivion. But somehow each & every day just 'putting on my face' made everything better no matter how much of a pain it was. I mean it was torture to have to do that every time I wanted to leave my room, yet that paled in comparison to what I thought about my skin & the idea of facing the world without a mask to hide behind. I didn't know how I could ever talk to a girl like that. The fear of being judged was just too much for me. Even after most people basically knew I was some kind of make-up-wearing-freak, somehow I was still liked by so many & I was still regarded as one of the most popular kids in school thanks to my outgoing lifestyle & effervescent self-confidence & charm. & this just encouraged me to keep on doing what I was doing since I was getting by & supposedly had more of a life than many 'losers'. Sure I didn't actually get to have a girlfriend or anything, but that's not to say I couldn't have. & I still got to enjoy some moments of teenage promiscuity on a few occasions at least. It was more due to my increasingly reclusive ways due to my fear of more & more people discovering the truth & judging me that resulted in just basically having no desire to even contemplate the kind of shenanigans it would require to sustain a proper relationship. & yet nevertheless I always wanted one & that's all I really yearned for in my lonesome existence. That's why I couldn't just stop putting the make up on, cause for me it seemed as though that would well & truly eliminate all hope - the irony is that's probably all I actually had to do to get what I wanted. Anyway, this surreal life I was living continued throughout the rest of my schooling career as my skin suffered more & more everyday for my naivety. I could tell my friends were getting increasingly impatient with my antics as I spent hours 'in the shower' trying to fix my face & was late to pretty much everything as covering things up began taking longer & longer. I was also restricted to pretty much exclusively going out at night & I began to choose the things I did based purely on the condition my face was in. I mean in all truthfulness I still had a pretty awesome social life despite my personal issues, but as things took randomly tumultuous turns for the worse, there were many more lonely Friday nights spent watching TV instead of going to parties with my friends as I usually would have done, plenty of missed opportunities that I wish I could've had the courage to make the most out of. Eventually the stress of it all really got to me & it kick-started a new breed of truly hideous acne & wounds that I struggled to cover up no matter how much crap I put on my face - along with a healthy dose of bacne & some flare ups on my chest & back of my arms too. That was kind of alright for me since I wouldn't be caught dead jumping in a pool anyway thanks to my face, but it was still severely distressing & there were some awkward situations I encountered due to that. My face had really started to get bad though, & it was always directly influenced by stress which just kept on accumulating with no real way to release all of my frustrations & anxiety. The worst part was probably when I started bringing my make up into school. Yep a little loreal compact. How cute. That allowed me to miss a ton of lessons & lectures purely due to my obsession over touching it up in the bathroom at every chance I got. Which eventually led to me just hiding out in the bathroom in a sweaty cubicle all day to avoid facing all the bright lights & glare when it was particularly bad. I never realised how pointless that exercise really was until it was too late. Eventually I couldn't even make it out of my own bathroom to see my friends. Honestly, I spent new years of 2011 in front of the mirror for something like 4-5 hours as I attempted to look somewhat good for a night that had promised what I'd been looking forward to for a long time: a girl to spend the night with. & yet there I was at midnight still toiling away at my stubborn face trying to just get my skin to look normal enough to be unnoticeable in drunken teenage stupor. But I couldn't do it, & despite making it out the door eventually & enjoying the rest of a pretty good night/morning with good friends, I didn't have the courage to follow through on my initial plans - & I still regret that decision to this day. Because that was the turning point for me in my life. Where it went from bad but manageable - to seriously fucked up beyond belief. Suddenly all I wanted to do was hide from the world. & somehow what I had told myself would be a couple weeks spent 'finding myself' had turned into constantly dodging calls from all of my friends & getting so stressed out & anxious about everything that I couldn't even make it to sit my exams. So I talked myself into dropping out of school where my grades were already suffering immensely & it had all pretty much gone to shit thanks to the fact I struggled to even just show up every day as it became more & more difficult to cover up my hideous face. The school thought I was just an arrogant underachieving pothead anyway - which I guess I was. I wouldn't have been had my skin been in a different state, but it was all just too much for me. & I couldn't make that vital step to just face the world as an honest person. Honesty was always a slippery slope for me, cause my entire life was a massive lie in reality. & almost nothing else seemed to matter apart from my skin & the judgement I would receive as a result of it. An incredibly senile way of thinking in retrospect. Because I could've just stopped wearing make up & started all over again, which is all it would've taken. But I just couldn't force myself to do it. Even though I was so concerned about the damage I was doing to my skin every day due to wearing the shitty pore-clogging crap that my mum bought me, facing the world without it seemed to be a far more unthinkable task. So I decided to stop wearing it, but due to my ridiculous anxiety, that also meant I would have to stop living life for a while. One of the worst decisions I ever made, but at the same time school was never going to be part of my ultimate plans in life anyway as a musician/guitarist. I'd wanted to drop out two years prior really. So school wasn't going to be missed. & to me it felt like I didn't have that many true friends around anyway, so my social life was a sacrifice I was more than willing to make. I was wrong about that of course, because I had what seemed like hundreds of phone calls everyday for the first couple of months spent in self-imposed solitude & exile. But at the time I was thinking solely of my own interests & goals, & for me I just needed to take a few months of time to myself & concentrate on getting into guitar college once my skin had cleared sufficiently. I even started up my own guitar selling business so I could focus my time & energy into something productive. Well things took a turn for the worse after that as I had ongoing issues with my parents since they couldn't come to terms with my decision, education was always at the forefront of their minds despite full well knowing I had little to no desire to pursue anything that required a formal certificate of my intelligence, & so I ended up becoming just as frustrated as they were. I've been hiding out in my room for the vast majority of the entire past 12 months. I quite literally have not even been able to make it out of my own front door for 95% of the time. Not even just to go to the gym. Or to take a walk. Or to have a smoke. Or to see an old friend (as if..) The only brief moments I would venture into the world outside was to complete deals with clients for my business since substantial sums of money were just about enough to motivate me to slap on some make up again & just deal with it for an hour or so. But I'm not even joking when I say I spent pretty much all of 2011 staring at the TV or my computer & feeling sorry for myself. Clearly 2012 isn't going to be much better... I mean, I was actually happy with what I was doing for the first few months cause that's what I wanted in reality. To just hide away from the world & finally take some time to relax & focus on my life & my future - & most of all to get as clear as I possibly could for my planned return 5 months later. I had even formulated a plan for my own guitar sellling business to focus my time & energy on something productive, it's still going strong today. But shit happened in between & my entire world capitulated into absolute & utter senile emptiness as my own parents decided that my reclusiveness (due to not being in touch with my friends) & anger (due to their lack of understanding my situation) was endangering my life just as much as their own, some paranoid delusional belief that I still can't quite wrap my head around since I never directed any of it towards them, & well I'm just not the suicidal type. Otherwise I'd be long gone that's for sure. I just gave up talking to them because they wouldn't listen to what I needed, & therefore I didn't see any point in giving them that same luxury. So they came to the conclusion that I was severely depressed & that it was necessary for me to be abducted from my own bed & put in a mental hospital for the sake of my sanity. Seriously, I was carried off by 5 men including my own uncle & shoved in a car because I was trying to deal with my skin & come to terms with a new way of living without the crutch I always wanted to rid myself of…I have no idea if I'm even going to have kids one day but I sure as hell know that I would never force them into an institution like that & undeniably fuck up their life forever. To make it just that much worse, this was at a point where I had finally healed 80-90% of the marks on my face after making so much progress without the stress & pressure of social life that had torn me apart from the inside, I had the clearest skin I'd seen in a long time, & for the first time I had really started to understand the narcissistic bastard I was as I began to feel, enjoy & appreciate life in an entirely different way. I was right on track with all of my plans to brave life with my bare face. That's all I wanted. To be free. But instead I was plunged into the depths of despair & depression as I suffered severe trauma & anxiety thereafter, because you truly can't imagine the kind of screwed up experience being in a mental hospital was for someone who was entirely sane in reality. The sheer iniquity & injustice of it all was beyond anything I had ever encountered before. I tried to be positive & laugh things off in there & just think of it as some kind trippy mindfuck that would be over soon enough because I was told it would be a few days at the most. But being deceived by doctors & still stuck there more than a week later had already ruined me forever. At that point I actually felt well & truly depressed about my life for the first time. I'd never had those kind of feelings of complete & utter hopelessness before, & it fucked with my head, it really did. Because the moment I finally got out of there after two weeks, I should've been free to go & live life to the fullest exactly the way I had planned it all 5 months prior. June was the month I was meant to return to my former life, but as a different person. The new me without the make up. Instead my skin had become a complete mess along with my mind as for the first time I felt previously unknown anxiety & a distinct jitteriness from the medications they had forced me to take whilst being haunted every night by freakishly vivid dreams that I had never had to experience & endure until then. Suddenly I was back in a world I was completely afraid of. & the progress I had made with myself & my skin over the months of self-exile was rendered entirely redundant. Nevertheless, I tried to see my friends since I had to tell someone about the ordeal I had endured, but it forced me to return to what I had tried to rid myself of all along - hiding behind the make up. & although I almost had my life back at one point...I was just too fucked up from everything & couldn't do it. I ended up more withdrawn than ever for the next few months & barely did anything besides watching TV, even what I once loved more than anything in playing guitar had become nothing more than a chore. But I did manage to eventually gather myself & had regained resolve through being inspired by my passion for music once again. & I even managed to relax & appreciate the little things in life the way I hadn't been able to for months. Then suddenly after a new regime of skin care my face actually miraculously cleared up & looked the best it had done in years. It made me want to live again, to go out into the world & redeem myself for all the shit I had done. It was like starting over a new leaf. That was 3 months ago. I had finally recovered my mind & realised how much time I had wasted. I understood that life was all about choices & decisions & I had based mine on all of the wrong things - I was ready to make up for all that I had missed out on. With as clear a face as I'd seen for a long time I simply felt invincible. Everything was possible. & it felt good to finally be able to look myself in the mirror & say that the struggle wasn't for nothing. I managed to enjoy one of the best weeks of my life with my head filled with all of the ideas & potential I had been ignoring for too long. But then of course I had to go & fuck absolutely everything up entirely... Within a period of little more than a month, I managed to do the unthinkably idiotic & burned a permanent scar into the middle of my forehead with AHA after a manic skin picking episode, whilst simultaneously grinding my perfectly good teeth down to a chipped gappy smile & ultimately slipping into the terminally depressive state I now find myself in as a result of it all. Then my acne suddenly flared up & returned after my misguided overuse of manuka honey somehow believing it was a miracle cure for my problems - it seemed to work with amazing results initially since it was helping to heal the wound on my forehead, but I screwed it up just like everything else. & now I'm experiencing the most severe acne I've ever encountered in my life. Not to mention I've hardly had a good nights sleep since then due to my insomniac night-owl schedule being obliterated by daily renovation work right outside my room, along with the relentless nightmares I constantly endure in my brief moments of restless disturbed sleep. One of the worst parts of all this might be that I can no longer enjoy one of the few things I had left to freely appreciate & be thankful for in eating glorious food as I developed TMJ disorder due to my nighttime clenching & grinding & now have to experience disturbing sounds & sensations whenever I chew too enthusiastically, which means to say as a normal hungry person would do & as I always have done my entire life; I can't even sing the way I used to. My teeth also don't come together properly anymore due to the removal of so much enamel, which makes chewing an even more challenging task. It's an effort just to sustain myself to keep on living..I was eating one meal a day & sometimes even less than that. & yet starvation just didn't even seem to matter to me. Nothing did. I couldn't have possibly envisioned how acne could've affected me so adversely & without any reprieve. So I'm left here in an unfamiliar world of never-ending sorrow & remorse as I'm forced to reflect on everything I have done wrong in my short time, & more heartbreakingly everything that could've been had I not been so naive in my endeavours. To me, it almost feels like the end is near. Mentally, I'm on my last legs really - & physically I'm probably not too far behind after constant self-imposed malnutrition & semi-starvation with absolutely no activity whatsoever besides changing the DVDs or killing time on the internet researching my own paranoid thoughts; sometimes I can barely even be bothered to do that much. I'm a mere shadow of the person I used to be. Even simple every day tasks have become an unbearable hardship. Life has become meaningless. & I've become socially awkward beyond belief. Despite seeing some old friends recently in an attempt to turn things around since I've finally accepted my appearance, it's almost as if I'm completely brain-dead most of the time. I just feel like I have nothing interesting to say & draw complete blanks in regular discussion. My mind is a vapid maelstrom of anxiety & regret. Which makes me afraid to speak due to being maddeningly inarticulate, something I've never had to deal with before. I just don't feel like myself anymore. 3 months ago I felt like I could've salvaged things at least, because I'd seen the light & had hope for the future - I was still my same old self for the most part - but now I'm stuck here staring into the empty abyss. More alone than I ever have been. Completely lost in my thoughts of remorseful regret. It's so frustrating to know the person I've let fade away is still here somewhere even though I can't seem to find him right now. It's worse that my old friends notice how distinctly different & silently serious I am - I must be fucking outright creepy to be honest. I wouldn't even be the same person to most of the people I left behind a year ago, compared to the ridiculously sociable pretentious rockstar attitude & image I used to project. I just always seemed to have a way with words & incredibly sarcastic sense of humour that made me an articulate connoisseur of language & an equally interesting & enjoyable person to just talk to or hang out with - the perfect cover for the insecure mess in my head. & yet I sit here having taken days to type this simple post concerning the emptiness of my soul. The former wordsmith in me would have had confident & illustrious sentences flowing across the page with all of the heartfelt over-exaggerated emotion intended, & in a far more concise form than this ridiculous essay, but instead I find myself second guessing every single move I make & every single thought that comes to mind, just stuttering in the darkness swallowed by endless apathy & regret. On top of all of this, my skin is in the worst condition it ever has been. The damage done is now permanent & that's what makes things so much harder to accept. I can't accept the life I've thrown away all for the sake of my own vanity & need to fit in. Not when I have absolutely nothing to show for it after everything I've put myself through - & not when the physical & emotional scars are now going to haunt me forever even if I do get clear. All I have now are the memories of a past that promised so much; yet delivered so little. I'm more than willing to admit how superficial & pretentious I am, I've never met anyone else more so & I guess that's why I've fallen victim to my own fatal flaws & imperfections. But I wouldn't wish this kind of suffering on anyone in the world, because although it may seem like nothing more than pathetic self-indulgent vanity for most of you - & you may even think I deserve what I've been dealt - it is truly soul-shattering to have to relive every wrong turn I made every single moment of every day the way I do now. I honestly don't know how much longer this can go on, I'm surprised that I'm still here at all. I want to live, I really do. I just don't know how to anymore.
  17. I'm 25, and I've had acne since my teens, most of which has been blackheads/whiteheads with a few occasional small inflamed blemishes. I've also been a compulsive skin picker all that time. I was never really bad; nothing that left scars or even scabs, but I would always spend tons of time in front of a mirror inspecting every pore and pinching out all of my blackheads and whiteheads. Well, I finally got fed up looking at my swollen skin all the time, and with a lot of effort I haven't picked in a little over two weeks. However, literally the day after I stopped my acne got worse, and it's continued to get worse since then. Right now, it's the worst it's ever been in my life. For the first time I have much more inflamed acne than non-inflamed acne. It's really taxing on my discipline and I pretty much feel like crap. I'm not really looking for a solution, just a little validation. Has anyone else here been a compulsive picker and quit? Did you break out afterwards? Will it get better?
  18. overwasher

    Help! suncreen question

    Hello I start work at 6:30 am and hence leave the house at 5am.. its isnane i know having to wake up at 4am.. but anyway. The sun is not out until lunch time (10am for me) I leave work at 3pm I get very little sun exposure till i leave work... now im using BP and AHA.. my skin area where i concentrate the aha and BP is really really fragile and looks damaged.. its red and it doesnt even feel like skin anymore. (why?) too much chemicals? sun exposure? skin picking? all of the above? Anyway my main question is... if i wear sunscreen at 5am it obviously wont work by 3pm? its hard to re apply it as i work in the office and its kinda gross doing it in the very busy small toilet we have.. Any suggestions?
  19. maggie07

    scar removal advice

    Hello. I figured this would be the best place to get some advice. I'm 23, and I have about 8 deep pitted acne scars from skin picking. Some of them though I can't even tell what kind of scar they are. I just picked so much at them. Over the last 2 years, I've been able quit my skin picking. This mainly entails me standing in front of the mirror going, "ok, do you want this huge mountain of a pimple to be there for a few days, or do you want a bloody, oozing sore for a month?" it really takes alot out of me to convince myself NOT to pick. Anyways, I used to be emotionally okay with scars. I just spent about 45 minutes putting makeup on, 15 minutes doing my bangs just right so no one will see that horrible scar on my forehead. But the older I get, the more I want to quit these habits. I want to be able to grow my bangs out. I'm so sick of worrying if the wind will screw them up. I want to spend 5 minutes applying makeup, not hours sometimes. Now that I have my acne under control, thanks to at-home chemical peels, I really want to focus on my scars. I'm at at point where I can control my picking, so I'm not worried about f'ing my skin all up again. So, I've read some of you have had promising results with surgery. I do have ice pick scars, which i understand can be excised out. But I have some scars as big as nickels, that are plump and really white in the middle and then indented on the outsides. They are so hard to cover up with makeup (yes, extreme picking can do that). Would removing these scars work as well? My close friends think I am crazy for even thinking of surgery. But, I'd tried every topical, home remedy, etc. out there and nothing works. I am hesitant on laser resurfacing, but i heard it doesnt really work well for deep scars. My friends tell me I'm beautiful, blah blah that I am making too much out of it. But they dont understand what I go through every morning to get ready. I'm so tired of living this way. The older I get, the more depressed I feel about my skin. I hate looking in the mirror and seeing all those little indents. I dont really go out anymore. Going to work takes alot out of me. Would surgery be the answer for me? Thanks you so much for letting me rant, and reading this post if you did.
  20. I know there are hundreds of these posts but i too have joined the ranks of those who want to stop skin picking. I have been skin picking for a while now (i think around 2 years) and have tried over and over agin to stop. I know it's leaving scars and my skin always has red marks and scratches on it and it looks awful, not to mention it makes me feel awful! I manage to nearly stop for a week and then i find a mirror and all my work is ruined instantly. I'm trying the chill-out program here on acne.org so wish me luck and good luck if you are trying to stop as well!
  21. I have this skin picking problem and I need to get rid of it. It makes me grumpy and ashamed almost every day of my life. I want to be free again and just live my life day by day with no worries about others seeing my destroyed face and arms. I'm gonna start with the 30 day no picking challenge. I wanted to tell others because I need support and I feel like I will be able to succeed if other people know I am doing this. I told my parents but they told me that I need to make myself stop, they don't get it. My mom picks too, especially at her arms so I thought she would be able to help but I think she might be in denial. That's at least the summary of my story, sooo..... Good luck to all you other skin pickers out there that are trying to quit! 30 days.. day one. Here I go(:
  22. I'm beginning to think that skin picking is really a form of addiction. We have a disease (acne) and if we pick at it, we inflame it or make it worse. We feel remorse or shame because of our inability to stop our behavior (picking). And sometimes the results of our picking causes us to become reclusive and cancel social engagements. It also affects those who love us because we're so obsessed with our skin and overwhelmed by our emotions that we become all wrapped up in ourselves and ignore the needs of others (...yes, we do). Sounds a bit like being an alcoholic! A person who is not an alcoholic can have a drink and stop. They do not feel remorse or shame because they had a drink because they know that they are in control of it...it doesn't control them. A person who is not addicted to picking their skin can have a little flaky skin or bump, or even a pimple but they ignore it...it doesn't bother them that much. Or they might even remove the flaky skin but that's all...they don't feel compelled to keep on picking everything on their face. So what would happen if we handle skin picking in the same way as someone who's a recovering alcoholic? I have a really good friend who's a recovered alcoholic and she's been sober now for decades. What if we followed the same thing as Alcoholics Anonymous? It's worked really well for her and she gets so much support from AA. This forum is like an AA group for skin pickers. It'd be good if some of the "recovered skin pickers" would stick around to help others... I'll be talking with my friend for ideas on how to apply the AA principles to this effort. And I'll keep a log here on how I'm doing with it as well. What do you think? Any AA people out there who have ideas on this?
  23. 2012-07-12: I hereby pledge to stop picking at my face, back, and neck. In the past 3 months, my acne has improved a lot due to oral doxycycline. However, as fresh new pimples become more rare, the old scabs become more noticeable. I need to stop reopening these wounds, I need to let them heal. I have tried to swear off picking before, but this time is different, because I am going to be accountable to all of you. I am going to post once each day reporting my success or failure. If I stop replying, then you should yell at me in this thread or via personal message. I must not slip back into my old habits. Not this time. Wish me luck.
  24. I decided a couple of days ago to make a commitment not to pick at my skin anymore. And as I was thinking through how to do that, I wrote down all of the reasons that drive me toward picking at my skin. And then I wrote rebuttals to them. I posted them on my blog, but I wanted to share them here, too. Getting through these last couple of days has been torture, because I have a couple of picked-at spots that are scabbing over and irritating me to no end. So here are the thoughts that drive me to pick, and my reasons for rejecting them, as I would articulate them today. Clear skin is beautiful, and acne is disgusting--if my face has acne, then I am disgusting Clear skin is pain-free and healthy, but a person's value is not determined by the health of his or her skin. Acne is irritating and can be painful, and it is very hard to get rid of, but this does not make it disgusting. It is just what it is. I can choose to set aside my revulsion, and reserve my energy for other things. Acne is a punishment for not doing everything right I am not perfect, but I do not deserve my acne. No, not even if I choose to have bangs, or eat a cookie, or even if I pick at my face. These things do not make me a bad person, and acne is not a punishment for doing them, even if these things increase my risk of breaking out. It’s not fair that I get acne, because I try so hard It's not fair, but life is not fair. I am still responsible for trying my best. (But this is all I am responsible for. I am not responsible for being perfect, or for the fact that I have acne.) If I leave it alone, it’s never going to get better Yes, it will. It won't get better immediately, or even tomorrow, but it will get better in the long run. I must be patient, and I must make the decision to be patient over and over and over again. If I succeed in picking at it, then it’s better immediately This is an illusion, akin to drinking sea water or paying for something I can't afford using a credit card with a very high interest rate. It's going to cost more in the long run. I deserve to be ashamed of the picked wounds I cause There is no shame in not being perfect. If I picked at my skin, I need to let it go. I can choose to do better, from this moment forward, and this is the only thing I can do . I am destined to pick at my skin No, I'm not. The end.
  25. I thought that I'd log my progress as I fight skin picking! I'm not going to count the days cause that just seems to stress me out and hasn't worked in the past. I haven't picked for a few days, and I don't plan on it! I just simply haven't felt the urge. I've been playing a lot of guitar which keeps my fingers busy. But it seems that I mostly need to rely on WILL POWER to not pick. Wish me luck! Hope all of you are doing well also!
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