You Can Call Me Saucy

And now I’m covered in Bandaids

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 These bandaids are my new best friend. Let me tell you why.

I wrote this post about anxiety a week or so ago and the response was overwhelming (thank you again for all the kind comments & virtual hugs!). What I didn’t talk about though was some of the habits I have developed relating to my anxiety. My biggest problem? I am a picker. I will pick at bug bites, scabs or any other loose piece of skin over & over & over again. I will pick until it’s sore/bleeding/gross. This is not an attractive habit. I have scars (mostly on my arms since they’re easy to get to)that will most likely never go away. Sometimes when I pick the bleeding will last for 10 minutes or more (I’m not talking about a gusher here folks but still, it will take several tissues before it’s over). I don’t know what makes me do this but I know I have been doing this a long time (since I was a kid). My mom always called me Romaine (her aunt’s name) because apparently she used to do the same thing. I know my grandmother does too. I never knew why I did it though…until recently. It appears when I get stressed or anxious, my fingernails always search out my arms and their irregularities (aforementioned scabs & bug bites). FF actually is the one that noticed this. He even got to the point where he was able to call me out on it. I would show up at the gym and he’d point to some bloodied spot on my arm and give me a look of serious disapproval. As my anxiety has peaked lately, the picking has gotten worse. I would almost say out of control. There’s only two spots right now on my arms but it’s nothing for me to pick at them several times throughout the day. So, we decided on a treatment. Bandaids. They are dual purpose too. First off, they cover up the spots my fingernails automatically go to when I get anxious. Secondly they are hideous (although no more so than bloody scabs – gross!) and I want to stop picking so I can take them off.

I know there are people who pick. I’ve seen an episode of Obsessed on A&E about this very topic. I don’t think mine is so bad I require therapy or meds but I do know if I don’t get a handle on it, I’m at the beginning of that road and I DO NOT want to go down it. So I’ll employ the bandaid technique for a while to see how it works. I mean $4 for 100 little round bandaids? How do I say no?

I don’t mean to make light of this subject. OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), CSP (Chronic Skin Picking) and Dermatillomania are very real things people are struggling with. When a diagnosis like that is made, therapy and/or meds are much more needed than in my situation. My goal is not to let my anxiety rule me so much that I end up with a more serious form of picking. But educating myself about what can happen has helped me tremendously in the past to make sure I get control NOW. There’s a whole scary world out there full of mental illness that I can’t even imagine. The way this stress & anxiety feels is terrible enough and so often I feel stuck in a prison of my own mind for what feels like hours. In reality, it’s only minutes but all I want to do is escape.

I have a lot more to say about this topic but it’s so intense I can only write so much at one time. Thanks for listening and I am anticipating hearing what you all have to say about this. XOXO

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  1. * Jaysey says:

    I think we all cope with our anxiety in a variety of different ways. I get severe headaches that can put me out of commission for days on end because of the way I handle stress. So I have to try different things to relieve it–like exercise (ugh) or yoga (double ugh), visits to the chiropractor, all-natural remedies, prescription medication, BLOGGING (!!), etc, so I don’tdo something that might be more destructive (like picking or giving myself migraines, just for example). Education, certainly, is important–as is self-awareness…you know you do it, so how can you stop it? Or channel all that anxiety into something else? It will be interesting to see how you deal with it now that you’re more aware and educating yourself. good luck not picking! 😉

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 5 months ago
  2. We all relieve anxiety in one form or another, sometimes unhealthy. I pick and chew at my finger nails (and toenails… gross I know).

    Self-awareness is key and I am glad FF is helping you to find it. Cant wait to hear how you are handling this.

    Lurve you. and I am here if you need anything.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 5 months ago
  3. * Adrienne says:

    I have had trichotillomania for 30 years. I understand your struggle.

    I wish I knew a solution, but nothing I’ve tried so far has worked. I hope you find relief!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 5 months ago

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