Buckle up, my dudes. This post was a doozy for me to write. And share. This is something I am extremely ashamed of but since I’m already putting my life out on the internet then why not add this on too*?
I pick my cuticles constantly, to the point where I will start bleeding*. It is called skin picking disorder or excoriation or dermatillomania or, very cleverly, compulsive skin picking. Regardless, I do it and I do it A LOT. It is bad. Actually, it is really bad. Sometimes I am 100% aware I am doing it, other times I have no idea. I’ll pick watching tv, I’ll pick talking to friends, I’ll pick during meetings, I’ll pick just sitting at my desk*. I’ll take breaks from typing this blog post to pick. I met with PG today and she brought it up because of how bad it was during our last session where we talked about some Extremely Difficult to Talk About Stuff, which sent my picking into overdrive. By the end of it, I had to ask her for a Band-Aid because I was bleeding*. [Not surprisingly, the picking is often associated with OCD (23% of those with OCD also have skin picking disorder). Here is some more information on skin picking and OCD.] I took pictures of my hands (my thumbs, really, because that is what I pick most often) this morning to add to this post*. And they are not easy to share*.
I have done a lot of research on this but, aside from a futile attempt to replace picking with using a fidget cube, I have not broken the habit*. Painting my nails doesn’t work, I’ll just start picking again. Getting a manicure will help for a few days or until I chip the nail polish (which TBH is usually right around when I am walking out of the nail salon, getting in the car, or buckling my seat belt). The fidget cube didn’t work because I need to use my right hand to control my computer mouse and my favorite side of the cube was nearly impossible for me to comfortably use with my left hand.
This is probably where I should warn you that this post likely won’t give you the warm & fuzzy feelings that (hopefully) my super inspirational TED Talk post did. I know I need to stop picking but do I want to stop picking*? I mean, I do want to stop, but it is going to be so difficult to stop that I’m torn between giving it another shot* and continuing on with my life because it will be so much easier to pretend this problem isn’t a problem*. So… what next? I’m not sure. I bought some cuticle oil because I read it will make picking harder since it is slippery* (I haven’t even opened the Amazon package it is in though)*. PG is looking into a specific type of therapy to help people stop picking*. And I am just going to have to try really, really hard to break this habit*.
I know I am not alone in this, so if you are reading this and you are picking, take comfort in the fact that I 10,000,000% understand how you feel*. It sucks. If/ when I find something that has helped I will post an update*.
any * indicates me taking a break to pick
Spotify users! Be sure to follow my obsessive-compulsive diaries playlist for some of my favorite groovy tunes. It is a delightfully random mix of new songs and old songs from a bunch of different genres. It’s a great playlist if you need a good dance party or if you need a cry. Or a crying dance party.