Thank you to ladyslothbottom for her submission on “planning picking.” It clearly was very thought-provoking for me because I just ranted a whole bunch.
One more stray thought - I think location could also be part of the planning process, as it gets to be summer and people are self-conscious about showing skin. Strategically planning where to pick could help because some areas are more easily concealed. Typically, half-heartedly trying to control aspects like location haven’t worked for me, but I think when the process of controlling starts to almost replace the behavior itself, it might work. It has to serve a purpose.
Okay I need to get off now because when I get like this I just type a lot and don’t make much sense. Thanks again to ladyslothbottom, I love when the community bounces ideas around.
Hi! I saw the post about 'planning your picking' and I wanted to say that I've tried it. Everyday I've put aside a time where I'm allowed to pick. I can only do it after I get out of the shower at the end of the day and I have to sit in one spot. I don't set a timer, but the seat is uncomfortable enough that I won't stay for too long. It seems to really help. I still have issues with it of course, but I've reduced the amount of time/damage I've caused since I started.
That’s excellent! I too am thinking of planning my “window” to be in the evening, because our skin works hard to repair damage during sleep. The only thing I’d be careful of is letting the time go by and winding up in a full-blown “anything-you-can-find-until-there’s-nothing-left session.” Because when that happens to me, which is rare these days, it’s usually at night when I feel like I have limitless uninterrupted alone time. The hard part for me will be remembering to set the timer, because I’ve tried to implement one in the past in my bathroom but usually ended up just leisurely picking and showering and whatnot, having not set it. But I think very consciously planning a daily time slot will help me out there.
for the past few weeks (with the warm weather coming) ive allowed myself to pull hairs from my legs, pick my lips and pick at my face for no more than 30 minutes or so and i force myself to stop and doctor everything and i dont feel as bad? i mean i still feel super gross with all the scabs and stuff but i feel better having the control to let myself pick than letting my picking control me.
Sounds like this technique works well for you! That’s the other thing, it allows for carefully/mindfully taking care of the skin afterwards instead of simply leaving in shame and frustration, bummed out that you “lost control,” which creates more negative feelings and a vicious cycle ensues.
Tending to the scene of the crime can be empowering and forgiving…skin heals but damage control is important in order to work with the skin and not against it. (Plus, the word control is right there!)
I like what you said, “having the control to let yourself pick” instead of it controlling you. Because acceptance of the nature of BFRBs is crucial. It becomes incredibly ingrained and hard to fight. For many of us we need to be okay with it to a degree…BUT that doesn’t mean we need to give up entirely. This technique takes a “fight” and turns it into a sort of collaboration.
Seeking control by controlling the thing that controls us when we want to control things. Uh…yeah.
It’s genius, it really is. Your success story is inspiring and encouraging, thank you!
Thank you love! <3
Hey, guys. Not sure if anyone has tried this yet - I’m about to embark on it for a few weeks to see how things go…
I visited a private therapy clinic yesterday and the lovely counsellor told me that conditions such as Derma and Trich occur and continue to occur because of feelings of a loss of control, whether that’s self-control or control of certain aspects of your life such as work.
He suggested that during the day we give ourselves specific windows to pick or pull for a set amount of time, gradually reducing that time after a while and thus returning a sense of control to our lives. Eventually, he said, it could be eliminated entirely. He mentioned that by allowing yourself to continue picking but having to resist for some time beforehand if the urge appears could be the starting point for recovery.
What do you think? I’ll let you know how it goes.
Wow OK I’m suddenly really hype about this because I’ve never thought of it before! Has anyone else tried this? I think it’s actually kind of genius because I think many of us experience a sense of accumulating urges when we are able to go for awhile without picking/pulling/biting, etc. This inevitably results in some extent of a relapse and the frustration is intense, because we feel that sometimes we are able to control it but it’s just a matter of time before suddenly we can’t. This “planning” strategy would 1) eliminate the built-up urges and resulting relapse/session 2) give a sense of control, which, I 100% agree is a lot of what BFRBs are about. Sometimes it feels like an addiction that just takes over. But in reality our fingers are doing exactly what they want to be doing in that moment. With derma, we feel for a moment that we are in total control of the surface of our skin, and that we can eliminate any “imperfections” we like. So yes, the chemical, almost biological release we get from the behavior and the incredibly strong urges are similar to an addiction, but there is something to be said for this ability to manipulate that we crave. We take it out on our own body because it’s available and it’s harmless for everyone else. When these behaviors are compared to OCD and even eating disorders, the thing that strikes me is the way such disorders emerge as coping mechanisms, and are described as an attempt to “get a grip” when it feels like there’s nothing to hold on to.
I am really into this and will definitely be trying it. I also love the idea of reducing the window allowed for the behavior. I may try setting a timer, knowing that when it goes off I have to drop my hands regardless. The time allowed could be reduced gradually and I think this could be really effective for significantly reducing wasted time and bodily damage. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
So I was thinking about how diaryofaskinpicker and I both like the game 2048, and I realized that, through all my forays into knitting and fidgets and meditations, the only thing that’s actually come close to the satisfaction I get from picking is playing 2048. It’s such a simple activity, and it requires absolute concentration, and sometimes I find myself zoning out and suddenly realizing I’ve been playing for a lot longer than I thought.
And while I definitely spend more time on that site than I should, (especially considering I have two essays due this week), it at least doesn’t cause me to bleed, which I suppose makes it a slightly less unhealthy habit.
(ps I also like the star version)
Ace game, I love it too.
I won first place in a poetry contest! I feel very proud because I haven’t been very active & involved with my writing since middle school. Also super stoked because I get to have a dinner with real, established poets, and also recite at a reading for the high school winners! Crazy!
More on this later after the events. It’s given me new energy for sure. I’ll tell you guys how it goes and if you’d like I can post the poem although it doesn’t have to do with BFRBs. Thank you guys for being so supportive about everything I share with you. I remember a few weeks ago I mentioned sharing my writing and your encouraging comments put a genuine smile on my face. So freaking excited.
Hi! Sorry do you mean a picture of the awareness ribbon? Here’s a transparent .png I made awhile back:
okay but your blog actually kind of turned my life around like i had no idea that there were derma triggers let alone what mine were, i had never thought "what will happen if i don't pick" because resisting the urge never seemed like a possibility.... and then i just decided no i'm not doing it anymore and i slip up every once in a while but it's nothing like before and i feel so confident and just thank you so much, seriously
This makes me so happy! Before I found the online community I felt very clueless about my behavior, and while it’s still unpredictable and hard to understand sometimes, knowing some basic traits we BFRB sufferers tend to share has helped me a lot. I am so glad that it’s helped you and thank you so much for your kind words xx