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Discovering My Triggers

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Over the past few days I have been trying to think of ways to help me achieve my goal of stopping or at least cutting down my picking. While I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror the other night I thought to myself “I know how I can stop picking: Cut my hands off!!”. If I chopped my hands off I quite literally would never be able to pick again, I mean I wouldn’t even be able to pick up my tweezers! But of course this is silly, one simply cannot do this. So then I started thinking what is it about my hands not being there that would help me stop my picking. Obviously I wouldn’t be able to pick up my tweezers anymore so that would certainly help but then I clicked onto a bigger discovery! I would no longer be able to feel for imperfections… no longer be able to run my fingers over my skin, searching for scabs, bumps, pimples, cuts, etc. So this is a trigger for me! Never before have I thought of what triggers my picking. I mean I know certain emotions usually trigger a session but I’d never paid much attention to the physical things I do that trigger my picking. So now I have to work out why I feel this desire to search for “imperfections”? What does it satisfy inside of me that keeps me doing it? This is something I will think about and perhaps even pose to my psychologist in my next session.

So now I know feeling for “imperfections” is a trigger, so are my emotions (stress, anger, depression, etc.) and when it comes to picking at my face mirrors can also trigger me. Steps that I may be able to take then include: every time I touch my skin (and am aware of it as I often dissociate) immediately pull my hand away and tell myself “no”, learn to deal with my emotions using healthy positive strategies (maybe meditation for stress, boxing for anger), cover up my mirrors, shower in dimmed light or the dark AND throw out my tweezers (curls up into a ball and starts rocking back and forth at the thought of doing this… eeekkk)! I have thrown out my tweezers before and literally felt as though I was going insane. I probably looked as though I was as well… I was screaming, crying, pulling at my hair, hitting things, so basically throwing a 2 year old tantrum fit!! Perhaps I’ll take that step after I’ve taken some of the others first hehe!

Anyway back to my exam revision… only one more to go for this semester! YAY!!! I just couldn’t stay away from my blog though, I felt compelled to update and it is thanks to all of you who hit “like” on one of my posts, comment under my posts, contact me on my Facebook group, send me messages and basically encourage me with your kind words to keep on going! So thank you to all of you who inspire me and encourage me to keep up the fight! 😀

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

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