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Friday, April 30, 2010

A Case of the Crazies

I am tearing my fingers apart. And not just the usual thumb skin-picking. No, no, ALL my fingers are victims of my vicious picking, biting, and pulling away at the skin surrounding my nails. Yeah, I know...it's disgusting. But, I've been doing this ever since I can remember. As a child, my mother used to pour Tabasco sauce on my finger tips so I wouldn't chew on my nails. Problem solved. I no longer bit my nails, but I moved on to just picking at them and the skin around them until I developed callouses and picked even more. The consequence of this was my mother concernedly (is that a word? I don't care, I just made it up. BAM) holding my hands with a crease between her brows and saying, "Oh honey, your fingers are becoming deformed!" I hated it when she said that. My fingers are not deformed and I would always, every single time, snatch my hand away and say just that, "My fingers are not deformed!"

I tried quitting so hard in high school. I tried wearing Band Aids on the tips of all my fingers. They only last so long. I wore latex gloves while doing school work (I was home schooled and subsequently avoided the ridicule that would normally go along with wearing latex gloves while writing a term paper). The latex only succeeded in making my hands sweaty. I gave myself manicures to try to deter me from un-prettifying my nails. I just picked all the nail polish off and then proceeded to demolish my fingers.

About a year or so ago, I became so frustrated with my apparent lack of will-power to stop picking at my fingers that I googled "how to stop picking cuticles." Who would've thought other people actually suffer from this? Apparently I fall into a select few who go by the name of "Skin Pickers." I'm not proud of this. But, I am relieved that I am not as severe as some of the people in some of the forums I read through. Some people pick at their skin everywhere on their body and are therefore scarred head to toe. Some people pull their hair out. Some people are so obsessed with plucking that they have no eyebrows (I can definitely understand how plucking can be addictive, but I, at least, have will power in this area).

Anyway, so this skin picking phenomenon happens when the serotonin levels in the brain are slightly (or not so slightly) imbalanced. This would probably explain my so extreme that I used to have to physically leave my clothes in the middle of the floor and say, "The world will not end if this is not hung on a color-coordinated hanger" repeatedly while rocking myself in the fetal position minor OCD. I've thought about talking to my doctor about this and maybe getting on some sort of medication just long enough for me to break the habit of destroying any semblance of a dream to become a hand model, but considering the fact that, since I moved, he lives over 600 miles away (not to mention it would only confirm that this is more of a problem than just an annoying habit), I figure I'll just continue to ignore it (even after I recently had someone comment that, "It's such a shame because you actually have very beautiful hands." Good bye hand-model-dream).

Besides, usually I'm pretty good unless I'm really upset or stressed out about something. Which brings me to my original point: I am tearing my fingers apart right now. And I don't know why. I'm in the process of procrastinating on packing (how's that for alliteration?) for my weekend journey home and, somewhere in the process, realized how painful it was each time one of my hang nails caught on the fibers of the clothes I was folding away into my suitcase. Then this caused me to wonder what is stressing me out so much to pick at my cuticles as if I had a Nazi standing over me screaming that if I didn't post haste reduce my finger tips to bloody stubs, the lives of my entire family and the hot guy I've been eyeing up in my personal trainer class will expire at first light (considering it's one in the morning and the sun has been rising earlier now that we are in Daylight Saving Time, that doesn't give me much time).

Back to the point. Me. Stressed. Picking my cuticles/skin around my nails. And why am I procrastinating so badly on packing for home? Is there some psychological reason for all of this? Am I terrified to go home and confront...?? What? What am I scared/stressed/irrationally nervous about in this situation?

This is about the time when I think a psycho-analyst would be really helpful. Except, knowing me, I'd probably get all uppity that someone is trying to figure out the inner workings of my brain and then become petrified that he/she/it would break through my emotional constipation and make me confront what I'm feeling. I mean, who needs feelings anyway?

I just paused for 10 seconds to think of how to end this post and started picking at my left index finger which is already raw and sore from previous pickings. Need I say more?*

*Maybe I've said too much and someone really can psycho-analyze me sufficiently from what I've already written and knows exactly the inner workings of my brain and then I'd have to kill he/she/it for knowing too much.....

1 comment:

Life as I know it said...

I LOVED this! You wrote it so well and it was funny. :)