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April 27, 1997

I wrote this when my picking was at its worse.

Oh my god. This face-picking thing. If I hadn't slipped up today, I would've been free for a whole week. It happens when I'm reading. Whenever I read, there's that underlying thought of "ugh.. I have to get to a mirror.. I have to pick at those blackheads" and it's such a controlling and dominating urge, it's not even funny. I haven't touched Gravity's Rainbow in a while. I mean, first I covered up the bathroom mirror, and I was okay. Then I turned to the long mirror in my room. Then, I covered that one up, along with the dresser one for good measure, and I turn to freaking compact discs - how pathetic is that?

So I was reading my history book (studying for a history test tomorrow), and getting really distracted as I was reading about the Suez canal.. it was probably the phrase "Communist pressures on the oil-rich Middle East" that caused me to come down here thinking "I can't stand it, I have to write about this!" (funny, I know), but I accidentally wandered into the downstairs bathroom, my insubordinate feet dragging me to the wrong direction, where I unleashed a brief but purgative attack on my poor nose, which just looked so horrible in the mirror at the time that my fingers just flew up to my face and "worked their insidious magic," before I could stop them, as some person on the net effectively described this face-picking urge, and I was actually thinking, there as I picked away, about how I was going to write about this in my journal, already forming the sentences to condemn the act in my head as I was performing it. How demented is that? Now, now, it's not so bad. I've been avoiding this for a whole week. That's quite a record for me. The last time I lasted this long was back in early March, and that I don't even think that lasted past the week mark.

But now, more than ever, am I intent on putting a stop to it. In the corner of my eye I can see the shadow of my profile on the side of the computer. It looks noticeably good. Not a lot of damage has been done, in all truth. It was just surface-picking - no gratuitous use of fingernails, or anything like that. Not that I'm trying to justify the act. I'm just consoling myself by saying that look, not much damage has been done, we all slip up sometimes, it's all right, just try harder next time. That, and I told mom about this disgusting habit and she's doing her best to help me. All I know is that it's probably going to be a long time before I take down those papers covering the mirrors. The lesson learned: there is no "just one pore." One thing always leads to another; my pores are like dominos. No more. I've gone without doing it for a week, and I can go without doing it for another week. Shit, what I did today, back in my bad face-picking days a few weeks ago, wouldn't even qualify as a full-fledged picking but just "a cleansing." And I'm freaking out about it so much that I'm writing long paragraphs about it. It shows that I'm making prodgess. Soon, perhaps, picking more than once a month is going to be inconcievable. Then, one pore a month is going to apall me. And someday. . .

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