Time to Quit
I have decided that I want to quit picking… for years I have been holding onto this behaviour because I don’t know how I will cope with my feelings and my life without it. My picking has been a constant companion to me over these last 20 plus years… a “friend” even… helping me out in times of stress, calming me down when I’m anxious, not letting my excitement over things get out of control, entertaining me when I’m bored, helping me hide from the world and the list goes on. But my relationship with picking (despite the good things I have gotten out of it – if that’s even possible!) is an unhealthy one! It has destroyed my skin to the point I am badly scarred all over (both the darkish scars from recent sores and the white lumpy scars from old sores), it has made me hate myself to the point I don’t even know how to love myself, it has almost driven me to suicide on numerous occasions, it has caused severe depression and anxiety, it has kept me from forming friendships and spending time with family, it has stopped me from loving others out of fear that no one could ever possibly love me while I look like this, it caused me to fail year 11 (almost twice!) and drop out of high school, it has lost me jobs, isolated me, tormented me, tortured me, trapped me and taken precious time away from me that could have been spent enjoying my son’s early childhood!
IT IS TIME TO STOP!
For these last 20 years I have made a new year’s resolution each and every year to quit picking and I have never been able to do it. I would also set myself goals… I’ll stop picking by the time I’m 13… ok 16… then it was 18… 21 came and went and now I’m almost 25! Every milestone when most people would be excited to become a teenager (13), be able to legally consent to sex (16), be recognised as an adult and be of legal age to drink (18) and basically to party it up (21) my focus for each of these milestones was instead on stopping picking so that maybe I could wear a dress and start to feel good about myself. But again each milestone came and went and still I picked.
25 is now my new milestone! I’ll be a quarter of a century old! Still young enough to hopefully have some fun, enjoy my life and let the scars heal. And hopefully my scars will recover (as I’ve already noticed my sores and scars aren’t healing as well as they used to)! Maybe just maybe I could wear one of the many dresses I’ve bought over the years that still hang in my closet, tags attached, for my birthday this year. I turn 25 on the 15th October. My final exam for this semester is on the 14th June (and then I get 6 weeks off) so if I put this plan into action on the 15th June that gives me 4 months exactly to get this under control! Perhaps 3 months to stop picking… 1 month to heal? Now my question is do I try and quit cold turkey, like I did when I quit smoking, knowing that I will probably go insane and experience incredible withdrawal symptoms or do I try and lessen the amount of picking I do each day? And the second question is do I 100% never pick again or do I still allow myself to target a small area that I can hide so that I can keep the urges at bay? I’m not sure what to do yet but if you have any suggestions please let me know!
I’m nervous about putting this out there and especially online because what if I fail, like I have so many times in the past? Well you know what – I might just fail but if that happens I will have at least documented the journey and hopefully other sufferers will realise they’re not alone in their struggles because I surely am not the only derma sufferer in the world who has many failed attempts at quitting under her belt. Wish me luck!!
There’ll be more to come after my exams… Wish me luck for those too 😛 hehe
Posted on June 10, 2013, in My Stop Picking Journey, Picking and tagged Dermatillomania, Picking, Quit Picking, Scars, Scratching. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
Do you seee anyone for support with the picking that could help you now that you want to recover? I am new to your blog so have only seen a couple of posts so I apologise if you have mentioned this somewhere ;p
There must be something in the air this year as I have also decided to stop causing my body harm after almost 20 years of doing so. My way of doing it has been to completely stop doing severe harm, but to cause small bits of harm when absolutely necessary to a particular area that won’t be visible. It seems to be working so far apart from a bit of a slip up the other week. But when it’s been something you’ve done for so long it sort of becomes like an addiction, and everyone knows recovering from an addiction is likely to involve relapses. So try not to be hard on yourself if you do find you’ve picked. You will get there, and so will I 🙂
P.s. Good luck in your exams!
Hi laidir… I see a psychologist and a doctor on a regular basis for support in other areas but now that I am determined to try and stop the picking I am going to see if they can focus on trying to help me with that instead. I hope they have some useful strategies up their sleeves!
I’m glad to hear you have decided to stop causing your body harm as well, it’s a positive step in the right direction and I like how you’ve gone about it. I was thinking of doing something similar… instead of quitting cold turkey maybe only targeting a small area to keep the urges at bay. You are right it is like an addiction and over the years I have had many relapses. I wish they had AA type groups for pickers!
And thank you 🙂 only one more exam to go!!!