“I knew I was hurting myself and did it anyway.”
Breaking the Breakout Cycle
SUMMARY: This chapter introduces the disease as a real phenomenon that is on the medical record books and yet not talked about much due to the taboo of self injurious skin picking and especially hen it has to do with pimples and breakouts. The Nicole Brown Simpson transcripts are brought up as the first public mention of pimple picking as a bad habit shared by other women. Prior to just a few years ago, there was very little mention of this habit, now there are a few growing websites and discussion groups solely dedicated to habitual picking.
Congratulations, You Have Overcome Your First Hurdle the Fear of Public Humiliation, and Started Looking for Help!
“My girlfriend has a terrible obsession with picking her face. It is not that she has bad skin or acne, but, when she is in a certain state, she will stand in front of the mirror for hours and pick her face to shreds. It leaves her with horrible sores and open cuts covering her face.
One day, she will be fine, and the next day, she will look like a war casualty.
After she does this, she feels that she has to hide for days.”
It begins with clipping an occasional article from Glamour or Cosmopolitan magazine – the cover splashes the words “Secrets for Skin Success” or “Break the Breakout Cycle” or “Feed Your Face for a Fabulous Flawless Complexion.” Whatever the words are, they promise a quick fix for a problem that has plagued you for a long time. You know it probably won’t be any new news, yet you buy it anyway, in the hopes that this one article might hold that one missing fact that has been eluding you: the one clue that will supply the miracle cure and make you healthy again. Over and over it fails. I know because over and over it failed me. Yet I still bought the magazines.
While this book may provide you with lots of useful information, you may not find all the help you need to stop picking. Use this book as a leaping board from which to begin your own self discovery and recovery. Any habit, good or bad, is ingrained behavior that has been learned and practiced over time. You can unlearn behavior, it just takes time and effort.
Overall this book is designed to go beyond the quick fix and is divided into specific sections:
- It begins with solid medical background information.
- Takes you through some of the reasons why blemishes occur in the first place.
- Goes on to discuss some of the deeper emotional and spiritual reasons why you breakout and pick.
- Offers anonymous accounts from other pickers so you won’t feel so alone.
- Discusses the traditional and not so traditional means to treat breakouts.
- Presents a variety of ways to combat the urge to pick.
- Ends with additional resources that will hopefully help you towards a lifetime of recovery.
Combating a skin picking behavior must be done on many levels. The problem is way more than skin deep. You and I both know that. Otherwise that zit creme you bought at the store last month would have cured everything and you wouldn’t be searching for more help right?
So even if it goes against your nature to take a slow methodical approach to reading this book – DO IT!!!!! Let’s face it. What you have done up until now, has not accomplished the results you desired, so just try for once to do it another way – my way. You got the book, you may as well try to do it my way. I know what you’re saying, “But I want to stop picking now, just cut to the chase, get me some instant gratification, you don’t know how long I’ve suffered and I’m tired of it. Tell me the miracle secret to healing, NOW. I can’t wait any more, waited long enough, bla, bla bla, bla bla…”
I know. I’ve been there, done that. I am the Queen of Impatience and you have met your match! If you really want to stop picking on you, slow down and get the complete picture.
This book will go through step by step, and give you all of the information you need to start healing your critical self. We will start by learning how your skin operates, and move on to why you operate the way you do emotionally, then we’ll talk how you can change your behavior, not just for today, but over a lifetime.
Every time you go to pick – pick up this book instead. OK?
Sure we all “maintenance pick” a little bit here and there. Pick off dry skin here and there. Once in a while your lip becomes chapped and peels so you bite it off, your hands get dry and a small hangnail develops. Few of us can resist the temptation to try and pull it off. We might occasionally scratch off the top of a whitehead. This is normal.
This book, however, is for those of us who cross over the line of normality and pick the dry skin off and then go looking for another piece. We exacerbate the chapped lip problem by continued peeling. We pull our cuticles until they bleed. We constantly feel out our face looking for new frontiers of pore cleansing. And sometimes we’ll go even further. Our relationship with our skin feels like a battlefield and we are on a continual covert mission to seek out and destroy ourselves.
You are not a bad person. What you need is a new mission in life: one of self acceptance and love. You must make peace with your critical self.
Critical is not a negative word. In its purest form, it can mean both judgment of a fault OR judgment of truth or merit. It is the critical self which drives us to learn, grow, become more than we are, become successful in life. It is also the self which beats us down, accuses us of failure, makes us question our own validity and the root of all self hatred and self loathing.
Whatever you wish to call it, you must be at peace with this part of yourself in order to stop the habit of nervous, obsessive, compulsive picking. This may not take overnight. You have to remember it took you 5-10-20-40 or more years to get to this place. But it will happen. I know it can, because it happened (and is happening) to me. The first step however is, understanding how you got here in the first place.