it was innocuous at first.
(doesn't it always start off like that?)
my lips were just a little too chapped and
it looked bad,
so i peeled off some of the old skin.
no harm done, right?
then i started wondering if people had
been judging me for always having
such dry skin and i started
picking a little more at
my lips, fingers, and toes.
i climbed the monkey bars a lot and
my hands always had callouses and blisters.
and the next thing i knew it
didn't matter if it was old or new skin
i couldn't stop;
if there was a blister i had to get rid of
it by any means i could.
every day i'd finish whatever i was doing and
find that there was a new deep red spot
on my lips, sometimes bleeding,
a new, shallow pit in my skin where
i pulled off the old layer a bit
too early and it hurt, it hurt but
i couldn't stop and i still
can't and my mother is always sighing
and saying, stop picking already, how
many times do i have to ask you that?
but it's not that simple and
yet i kept trying and trying
and the shame was filling me up
until a year ago when i searched
"skin-picking" on google and discovered
that it had a real name.
falls under ocd-spectrum disorders.
i cried and cried with relief.
i wasn't alone.
this was real.
this was real.
all this time i wondered if i
really was the only person who
suffered from this disorder and
now i had proof that i wasn't.
note: dermatillomania may be more common than you think.
but it is hard for people like me to reach out when
we've been picking for so long.
(i've been picking for eleven years.)
if you see someone doing it, please
don't judge them for it.
they may be suffering from this disorder.
as far as i can tell there
are not many treatments because
many doctors and therapists haven't
even heard of this so
just be supportive of that person.
thank you for reading.