Day 12: Changing A Bad Habit

My 500 Words, Skin Care

I have a few bad habits, but I have one very terrible and embarrassing one… one that I really should have outgrown by now. I haven’t…until today.

I am a picker. I have large pores but pretty good skin. I spend an inordinate amount of time finding things wrong with the skin all over my body and picking, digging, and popping. I am a pimple-popper, and if there is a lack of pimples, I will find something to pop. I love to pop.

I am not completely sure where this DISGUSTING habit has come from. It started as a form of stress relief to pick at my legs and unearth ingrown hairs from a large patch of skin a few years ago. Prime pickings! Unfortunately this habit has spread across my body and to the holy grail, the face. In the past few years, this has led to some serious repercussions, i.e. infections, scarring, and embarrassing skin lesions.

As I treat another crisis of my creation this week, I am finally inspired to make a change. I kept thinking I could keep squeaking by. Perhaps I have reached the point where the pain it takes to remain the same is greater than the pain it takes to change. I think it is time to make a change. Even this post indicates that something has changed. This is a topic that I would have literally crawled into a gutter and waited for death if I thought about blogging on it previously.

I am calling on Tony Robbins for assistance with this, as he is the king of personal development and overcoming personal obstacles. I started with some YouTube videos of Tony speaking and providing some solutions for getting over bad habits and finding the best version of yourself. Of course, these aren’t Tony’s words. He is mega inspiring, so much so that he generates just as much skepticism as he does believers. One video I found instructs you to do a quick visualization exercise. You start by pointing your right hand straight out in front of you with your toes facing forward. You then are instructed to turn your torso clockwise as far as you can. Then you face forward and visualize doing the same thing but twisting even farther. Then again, but even farther. When you go to actually do the exercise again, you typically find that you are able to turn significantly further than you initially did. Removing the limiting belief, that we can only turn so much, allows you to see that you could actually turn much farther the entire time, you just didn’t believe it.

I found this to be a profound but simple exercise. I plan to practice this in other small ways to get started. I want to utilize it with blogging, with photography, and with my exercise. I am visualizing myself with great skin and zero impulse to pick, which is not the same but will hopefully help me in my quest to stop the mad war against my loving, protective skin.

As I write more regularly and explore more of my actual interests instead of what I think might make me money or sound good at a party, I am finding so many limiting beliefs and blockages. I have plenty of resistance to work through. I am trying to focus on Henry Miller’s first writing commandment, “work on one thing at a time, until finished.” Howeverrrr, I can see my next writing challenge developing and formulating in the background. In the meantime, I will try to continue on with my current 31 days challenge (19 more days!) while allowing the corners of my mind to prepare for what is next.

Day 9: Skin Nightmares

My 500 Words, Skin Care

Over the past few years, I have become DEVOTED to my skin care regimen. I had a case of 24-years-old, drink too much, never sleep right, or wash my face acne. I thought I needed antibiotics and that was that. I was used to the dermatology grind, as a child of a skin-cancer ridden family. I believed what they told me, took the drugs recommended, etc…all by this person who barely took 5 minutes to look at me. I don’t doubt their ability to detect, diagnose, and treat cancer or serious skin ailments, but they should just be honest when  it comes to cosmetic issues. They should have told me to start washing my face twice a day and starting up a preventive regimen. But, that is not what happened.

About a year after starting a low-grade antibiotic, which I still have skeptical thoughts about the safety of, I wanted to go on a birth control. The birth control pill I wanted and the drug I was on didn’t really work well together. I told my OB what I wanted, and I told my dermatologist what I wanted. They didn’t chat or really provide much insight, in case you were wondering. Meanwhile, I learned whatever I could from google, and I came to terms with the reality that most of us make healthcare decisions with pretty minimal information or understanding. My dermatologist thought it was silly and my OB didn’t offer any opinions. After a year of no acne medication and using the pill, I had found some skin care bloggers (*ahem* Caroline Hirons) that changed my life and perspective. These bloggers helped to place the control back into my own hands. My skin could be good or terrible based on my own efforts, thank god.

I started with a serum, a moisturizer, face wash, and most importantly a routine. This went well, and as I grew confident, I experimented. Around the time I found these bloggers and started experimenting with cosmetic products, rather than antibiotics, I noticed some side effects from the birth control, that if I was honest had been going on since I started it. I was having ocular migraines multiple times a month and spent most afternoons wrapped in a blanket of tears and unexplainable sadness. I had some life changes that could account for some fluctuation in emotional state, but NOTHING to explain what I was experiencing. I decided to go rogue…no birth control and no skin care antibiotics. Give me whatcha got acne!

To my surprise, and probably due to my keeping up with a skin care regimen, my acne remained status quo, which was primarily non-existent. Skin issues surfaced from time to time, but they always had. I had found my way to control. Nowadays, my process has changed and is heavily dependent on AHAs, serums, and of course washing and moisturizing, morning and night. It has become one of my favorite self-care activities and am always excited to try a new product I hear about or to treat myself to something lovely. It has become something of a passion for me, so despite my annoyance at the process to get here, I am passionate about helping others find a better way to take care of themselves, especially young girls or women who have NO idea that a few small things can change their relationship with their skin and their face.