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  • Compulsive Skin Picking

    I have been compulsively picking the skin on my face for many years now and am starting to give up hope and fear that I will ever be able to stop. I have been releasing a lot surrounding the skin picking but still haven't stopped the actual compulsive action. I was under the impression that once I removed the resistance to skin picking and accepted it, that the actual action would go away but it has not. I have tried to figure out the emotional reason that I do this action without even knowing and I cannot seem to find out what causes it, I still have no idea. The worst feeling that I get from this action is after I have picked my skin, I am so upset that I did it to myself and constantly think about it and it takes over my thoughts, it’s almost an unbearable feeling. I am often left bleeding and upset. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • #2
    Hi Bethbc!

    One of the challenges with compulsive behaviors is to find a tiny space between the behavior and a release before engaging. So, if you could find a way to pause even before the first pick and start doing that for just a second. And then two seconds. And then see if you can find what want is stirred up. It's in that little interval where you might address the urge to do this and eventually neutralize it. If you're really patient with yourself and your process, slow everything down, make an agreement with yourself that you can still pick but after you pause and release, you might find that you make some headway with this. I know both from personal and professional experience that self loathing can come up towards ourselves when we are struggling with compulsive patterns. One way to dilute self loathing is to ask, "Could I love myself even though I do this?" And even more powerful, "Could I love myself BECAUSE I do this?" Self loathing makes it much harder to do things are are kinder and gentler and good for ourselves.

    Another perspective is that all behavior, even behavior we want to change offers some sort of pay off. If it didn't we wouldn't engage in it. Exploring the adv/disadvs of engaging and not engaging in the behavior can be very illuminating and offer insight into how to neutralize the tendency.

    Hale has this great question that I find very powerful, "Could you let go of wanting to be controlled by skin picking?" We can fill anything in besides "skin picking."

    We don't need to know why we do a thing or what the underlying feeling for a behavior is. The interesting thing about releasing is that when we just answer the questions honestly, IOWs allow the answer to be yes or no, because we can still have a great release even with a no, understand and insight come effortlessly.

    Warmly,
    Delilah
    www.theaccordcenter.net

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by DelilahCertifiedSMCoach View Post
      Hi Bethbc!

      One of the challenges with compulsive behaviors is to find a tiny space between the behavior and a release before engaging. So, if you could find a way to pause even before the first pick and start doing that for just a second. And then two seconds. And then see if you can find what want is stirred up. It's in that little interval where you might address the urge to do this and eventually neutralize it. If you're really patient with yourself and your process, slow everything down, make an agreement with yourself that you can still pick but after you pause and release, you might find that you make some headway with this. I know both from personal and professional experience that self loathing can come up towards ourselves when we are struggling with compulsive patterns. One way to dilute self loathing is to ask, "Could I love myself even though I do this?" And even more powerful, "Could I love myself BECAUSE I do this?" Self loathing makes it much harder to do things are are kinder and gentler and good for ourselves.

      Another perspective is that all behavior, even behavior we want to change offers some sort of pay off. If it didn't we wouldn't engage in it. Exploring the adv/disadvs of engaging and not engaging in the behavior can be very illuminating and offer insight into how to neutralize the tendency.

      Hale has this great question that I find very powerful, "Could you let go of wanting to be controlled by skin picking?" We can fill anything in besides "skin picking."

      We don't need to know why we do a thing or what the underlying feeling for a behavior is. The interesting thing about releasing is that when we just answer the questions honestly, IOWs allow the answer to be yes or no, because we can still have a great release even with a no, understand and insight come effortlessly.

      Warmly,
      Delilah
      Hi Delilah,

      Thank you so much for your reply, this is very helpful. I would also like to know if you have any advice on getting overwhelmed by emotions when releasing. Because I have found that when releasing on other topics I have had great success but on this specific topic I have found myself getting extremely frustrated and anxious almost immediately and it makes it very very difficult to release any feelings at all. I would love your insight on this.

      Many Thanks,
      Beth

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Betbc!

        We can titrate the releasing process if it's too intense. Instead of just opening up fully to feelings we can ask ourselves to just let one drop come up and check to see if that's tolerable. If it is we can do it again and then check again, is it OK, does this feel safe? And if yes we do it again until we can handle two drops and then three and then maybe a thimbleful. And then maybe just an ounce. We can manage the releasing so it goes at a pace and intensity that feels safe and tolerable for ourselves. Eventually, if we are gentle and kind and patient with ourselves and our process, we will be able to tolerate more and more intensity.

        Warmly,
        Delilah
        www.theaccordcenter.net

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you very much Delilah, this has been great advice and is much appreciated. I will incorporate both of these methods into my releasing.
          Many Thanks
          Beth

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DelilahCertifiedSMCoach View Post
            Hi Betbc!

            We can titrate the releasing process if it's too intense. Instead of just opening up fully to feelings we can ask ourselves to just let one drop come up and check to see if that's tolerable. If it is we can do it again and then check again, is it OK, does this feel safe? And if yes we do it again until we can handle two drops and then three and then maybe a thimbleful. And then maybe just an ounce. We can manage the releasing so it goes at a pace and intensity that feels safe and tolerable for ourselves. Eventually, if we are gentle and kind and patient with ourselves and our process, we will be able to tolerate more and more intensity.

            Warmly,
            Delilah
            Hi Delilah,

            It has come to my attention that I have some serious resistance towards my goal. At the start my goal was to stop picking my face, but now I obviously still want the physical problem to stop as it causes me physical pain and makes my face bleed, but after a little while I realised the feeling that gives me the most pain is the horrible feeling I get when I touch texture or tiny imperfections on my face, I don't understand what this feeling is and most of all I just want that feeling to go away. I have been trying to release on skin picking for a while now and it is giving me a great deal of pain to be feeling so stuck. I have so much resistance towards my goal as I firstly feel so confused about it and feel like I just don't know WHAT the feelings are or WHERE they are in my body and so they are not being released when I ask the questions and this brings me a great deal of frustration and a horrible 'stuck' feeling, also I feel this goal is unattainable - as in I cannot ever imagine myself not having this habit because I have lived with it for so long, and have tried to release on this but have had no luck. Finally, I so desperately want this problem to go away and want more than anything to feel peace whenever I touch my face for any reason, because it affects my everyday life and I cannot control when the feelings come up which evidently are stopping me from releasing on another major goal I have which is giving me great frustration as well. I feel at a loss, and would really appreciate any advice regarding this. Thank you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Bethbc!

              First, I want you to know that I am hearing how much pain you are in. One of the things we always tell folks is that TSM doesn't diagnose, treat or cure anything. I am not saying that releasing can't help you with this. It's just that it's important to be open to consider that consulting a medical or psychological professional because sometimes they have answers that you and I don't know about. I sincerely don't want to disrespect you or insult you by writing this. We just want folks to know that there is no shame is seeing an expert and we can continue to release while we do. And sometimes releasing on resistance to seeking help from a professional can be useful, if there is any resistance to this.

              The stuck feeling is something I can help you with directly. Welcome wanting to get rid of the stuck feeling as much as you do. Keep welcoming it. And every now and again, check to see if you can let go of wanting to get rid of the stuck feeling. If you can't let go then go back to welcoming. Welcoming is the 2nd most fundamental way to let go. And it's very powerful. So when we welcome we are actually still releasing!

              BTW, there was some discussion about this topic on FB in TSM Group. This was months ago. If you're OK with going on there and posting a question about this. The person who said she no longer has this issue might see your post and reply to you about what she did.

              Furthermore, releasing on feeling powerless can be very helpful. The way to do that is to see if you can access the feeling of powerlessness and then allow it to be here as best you can. Sometimes it's really subtle because we really suppress it. So it can be hard to access. However some of us can access it and it helps to welcome it, allow it to be here, so that it can come up fully and release.

              Warmly,
              Delilah


              www.theaccordcenter.net

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DelilahCertifiedSMCoach View Post
                Hi Bethbc!

                First, I want you to know that I am hearing how much pain you are in. One of the things we always tell folks is that TSM doesn't diagnose, treat or cure anything. I am not saying that releasing can't help you with this. It's just that it's important to be open to consider that consulting a medical or psychological professional because sometimes they have answers that you and I don't know about. I sincerely don't want to disrespect you or insult you by writing this. We just want folks to know that there is no shame is seeing an expert and we can continue to release while we do. And sometimes releasing on resistance to seeking help from a professional can be useful, if there is any resistance to this.

                The stuck feeling is something I can help you with directly. Welcome wanting to get rid of the stuck feeling as much as you do. Keep welcoming it. And every now and again, check to see if you can let go of wanting to get rid of the stuck feeling. If you can't let go then go back to welcoming. Welcoming is the 2nd most fundamental way to let go. And it's very powerful. So when we welcome we are actually still releasing!

                BTW, there was some discussion about this topic on FB in TSM Group. This was months ago. If you're OK with going on there and posting a question about this. The person who said she no longer has this issue might see your post and reply to you about what she did.

                Furthermore, releasing on feeling powerless can be very helpful. The way to do that is to see if you can access the feeling of powerlessness and then allow it to be here as best you can. Sometimes it's really subtle because we really suppress it. So it can be hard to access. However some of us can access it and it helps to welcome it, allow it to be here, so that it can come up fully and release.

                Warmly,
                Delilah

                Thank you Delilah, I have actually been feeling a lot better about this topic lately for the first time in a long time, as when scrolling through the facebook page I found a quote from Hale that reminded me of something I was doing without knowing. The quote was about releasing the feeling of needing to do something about it, after I released on this I realised it's not necessary for me to constantly try to rid myself of this 'problem' or even do anything about it, and that actually skin picking is not really a problem for me...I can avoid doing it if I really want to! The feelings I was having were simply defensiveness and frustration that I have these urges and have to put in effort to avoid doing it, and picking was a result of me trying very hard (and failing) to prove otherwise! And I am releasing on this frustration and the urges daily and seem to be making slow progress which I am very happy with. Thanks so much for all of your help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Bethbc!

                  That's a fantastic gain! Thanks for sharing it with me and the community.

                  Warmly,
                  Delilah
                  www.theaccordcenter.net

                  Comment

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