Sunday 28 August 2016

I hate my skin.

TW: This post includes details of self harm. Please take care reading it. 

I pick my skin. A lot. Several times a day. I've done it at least since my teens, but it has got a lot worse in the past year or so. I absolutely hate my skin at the moment and even though it's mainly because of my picking, It also give me the severe urge to carry on picking. I've been trying to think of why I do it, what my triggers are etc. I tend to do it much more when I'm stressed, anxious, or very depressed. This can be to distract myself from the thing/s I'm stressed about, or can be as a form of punishment if I've been too anxious or depressed to do something. I also find that if I see a flaw (a spot, bit of dry skin etc) I just *have* to sort it out. I will do this for hours on end; as if I'm in some sort of trance. It's like an itch that gets worse, the more I leave it. I cannot concentrate on anything else, and all I can think of is "fixing" that flaw. Of course, it rarely helps my skin. Quite the opposite in fact. The more I pick, the worse it gets, and I have marks that I don't think are ever going to go away.

It's got to a point where I don't just use my fingers, I use pins as well. I've come to realise that this has become a form of self harm. Although it hasn't required medical treatment, I've caused myself to bleed a fair amount, and have needed to use plasters. Small parts of my body have reduced/no feeling now as well. 

I've admitted (some of) this to my parents, and think it has worried them. I try to conceal the wounds and make excuses for why I've been out of the room for so long. It is something I guess I feel ashamed of, but the more I hate myself for it, the more I do it!

I've been trying very very hard to reduce how often I do this and have so far managed up to a day with no picking. I just about managed yesterday, and I'm trying to make it two days without picking. It is so difficult, because I'm having to try to ignore those intrusive thoughts and urges. I'm trying to find ways to distract myself, by keeping myself as busy as I can. This of course isn't helping my physical health, but sometimes I have to compromise in order to help my mental health a bit. 

A while back, I bought one of those fidget toys. It was some little wooden blocks strung together with elasticated string. You could make different shapes by twisting and moving the blocks. Unfortunately, I found it didn't really help. It kept my hands busy for a bit, but it just wasn't the same. I wasn't "fixing" anything, just adjusting it. 

I've tried adult colouring books too. It helps a little, and can be a good distraction sometimes, but it doesn't require much focus so doesn't really help keep my mind off intrusive thoughts and urges. 

In order to calm my skin down a little, I've used ice cubes on the worst marks. Although it took some of the redness away, I ended up using this as a way to harm myself; by holding the icecubes on my skin until the pain was too hard to bear. 

At the moment, I'm using cross stitch to distract myself and keep my hands busy. I struggle with concentration, but on my not-so-bad days, I can focus on this and push those picking urges back a little. I game a lot as well; casual gaming when I can't concentrate for too long. 

I'm feeling so restless right now, but I'm trying to hold it together and not give in. Can I make it to two days without picking? Wish me luck, I need it!