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From About Face:

Ruby Zoom



Go Ask Alice letter


A message board post


An anonymous writer's confession:

My skin picking problem started when I was about 15. (I'm 17 now.) That is when I started getting serious acne. Before that I don't remember that I had great problems. I liked to pick on scabs from scratches, but was not obsessed with it. However, after getting my first pimples everything changed.

For about two years, I didn't even know I had a problem. I had lots of pimples, and wanted to pop them all. So what? My mom still pops her pimples. After poping every day, I didn't feel that bad. My face looked bad, but I didn't care much.

Time went on, and I became more and more concerned. My acne gradually started getting better, but my feeling about my skin worse. That is because I started noticing all those scary red marks left after hundreds of squeezed zits. My mom was noticing that my zits were freshly squeezed all the time. She begged me to stop. She even told me, "I'm going to take you to the doctor, if you don't stop!" The thought of that scared me. "I shouldn't go to the doctor," I thought, "there's nothing wrong with me." But the thing about my mother, is she only says she should go to the doctor, but rarely does for herself or her kids. Now I wish she would have taken me...

As time went on I began thinking about my behavior, and began realizing that I have no will power. I would look in the mirror one morning on the little acne days, and like the way I look. My face looked nice, I was almost pimple free, and I hoped no pimples would come in the future. Boy, was I wrong...

Here is what I started doing about half a year ago until now, when my acne reduced to 0 to 2 new small pimples a day, and lots of annoying blackheads on my cheeks, forehead and around the nose area. I'm having one of those good face days, I've been talking about, so I closely look in the mirror to make sure I look beautiful. Then I see a big fat blackhead on my forehead. Gush, it annoyes me. "Leave it alone", I tell myself, "by squeezing it you will only make it worse, and your beautiful face will look ugly again." The next second, it feels like a different voice is saying, "Ah, don't worry about it, it will be a gentle squeeze, nobody will notice." So there I am squeezing that  stupid pore out. "Done... OK, let's go now Anna," I tell myself. But my eyes are searching for a new victim at that time. "Found it," they say. Now, repeat the squeezing and the searching part. Some pores are successful, others arn't. It doesn't matter. I keep squeezing. Often I say, "This is the last one, I swear,"or, "this is the only one, and then I'm done," but I can't stop. Finally, because my mom is calling me from the kitchen, I stop, back away from the mirror and look at myself. All my beauty, all my skin that brought happiness and light to that day is gone, gone. My face is red, my heart is broken...

"So, stay away from the mirror," you might say. Well, that would work, if all the damage I did was in front of the mirror. Say, I'm watching TV or reading a book, and then it happens. My fingers automatically reach for my cheek and start searching for a bump, a scab, a skin flake, anything, something,,, I might try to stop then, but I don't even realize I'm doing it sometimes. It's like breathing, you don't know you're doing it.

Often I know my face will look bad if I scratch it. So then I go to my neck and back. (I have a little acne there too.) So I pick there instead. Boy, I would'n want the gut of my dreams to see me in a bathing suit with all those spots from picking pimples on my shoulders. But, her, it's winter now, I'm wearing a turtle neck sweater, so who cares. Right?

Have I tried to quit? Of course I have. One night I tell myself, that tomorrow I'm done. That's it. But tomorrow I break the promice, I just do. I've never had a power of will. I want to lose weight, but I can't get away from that peace of cake. Maybe, it's different, maybe it's the same. But whatever it is, it's ruining my life. It's breaking me down, and tearing my heart into tiny peaces. I get upset, depressed, angry. I just sit there, wishing I had perfect skin, like those models in the Cosmogirl magazine. I pay attention to everybody's skin. I havn't met many people with brown scary spots all over their face, and probably will not. I just hope I stop soon. I hope I stop. Maybe my spots will fade away, but I will get new ones if I don't stop. I hope I stop.

Thank you everyone who've read this messege. It made me feel so much better. I hope you understand. I'm too afraid to tell my family or friends about my problem. But I feel comfortable sharing with you.



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