I haven't written in a really long time. I think the last time I wrote was over a year ago when I attempted to gain control of my picking by making tally marks on my bathroom mirror. (major fail by the way).
I pretty much gave up on making any real attempts to fix this problem after that, until now. I don't know what happened exactly. I don't know if it's all the light being shone on OCD on television through shows like OCD Project, Hoarders, My Strange Addiction, and Obsessed, or what, but something finally broke in me. I'm finally fully committed to kicking the shit out of this bullshit compulsion. Before whenever I tried to stop it was always a half-ass attempt. There was always a part of me that said, "I can't really stop", or "I don't really want to stop". This time there's no little voice telling me I can't do it, or don't want to do it anymore. It's happening. I'm pulling out all the stops.
I've never gone cold turkey before when trying to kick this, but this time I am. I'm not allowing myself to pick anything: my scalp, my back, ingrown hairs, dead/dry skin, heals, cuticles, face, the inside of my ears, hangnails, nothing. That's right nothing. I went out and bought stress ball sort of toy. It's a yellow golf ball actually, and looks like this:
I use it whenever I watch TV, a movie, or just feel myself getting ready to pick anything. It is a god send so far. I can sink my nails right into it, stretch it, just squeeze it, or pass it back and forth between my hands to keep them busy. It's prevented lots of picking so far.
I've also been forcing myself to confront my problem whenever possible. Every time I go into the bathroom I force myself to look in the mirror without touching my face. I put my hands in my pockets, or behind my back and stare at every little imperfection on my face. When I feel in control enough I touch every pimple, scab, piece of dry skin on my face that I would normally pick off, just touch. Let me tell you, the first day it was unbelievable hard, but it keeps getting easier. I saw my first ever pimple heal without me popping it. I can't even explain how insane is to say. I watched it form, grow into a white head, get hard, and fade away all on its own. I didn't pop it, scratch it off, dig at it, or anything. I just watched it go away on its own.
On top of testing myself and getting a stress ball to help relieve anxiety I've been doing as much research as possible about my compulsion. This web site has helped A LOT:
It goes in depth about just how much damage you do to you skin when you constantly pick at it, and disrupt the cycle of a pimple by popping it. I guess I like knowing just what I'm doing so I can remind myself whenever I see a mirror.
I guess what I'm trying to say is this is the most confident I've ever been about finding something that will finally work for me as far as quitting goes. The more I resist the urge to pick, the easier it becomes to resist the urge. I'm not avoiding the places where I pick, I'm going to them as often as possible and forcing myself not to pick.
I'm going to beat this thing. Let's all beat this thing.