Today I want to talk about my skin-picking and how I’ve been doing with it. My feet were healed for about a month or more. My thumbs healed for a couple days which doesn’t seem like much but it was actually a bit of an accomplishment for me. It’s much easier to constantly pick at my thumbs than it is my feet so of course, my thumbs get the worst of it on a regular basis. I was so happy my feet were healed. I started to pick at them countless times but I was able to stop myself every single time and that felt so good. I was especially happy about my thumbs being healed because it’s really annoying walking around all day, every day with painful and super sensitive thumbs because all the skin is missing.
Over the weekend I hit a major bump in the road. It’s extremely personal so I won’t go into details but it’s been very rough on me. It’s caused a lot of issues with myself and others around me. I haven’t been sure how to deal with it so I have been doing the best I can. I reached out to my therapist again because I feel like I might need that extra help but it doesn’t stop the anxiety and other crazy emotions I’ve been experiencing. I now find myself facing another bump in the road which is my now raw thumbs and feet. My feet were the first to really get it. I was sitting at home watching TV and thinking about everything and as always, the worry and anxiety triggered the thought of “I need to peel this skin off, it will make me feel better”. So I peeled the skin off my left big toe and off the outside ball of both of my feet. The fact that one toe was left untouched is somewhat of a win for me but it’s still a setback.
Did peeling my skin off help me feel better? At the moment it did, but afterward, I had to deal with how upset I was with myself for having the setback. I think the part that got to me the most was when I looked around me on the couch and saw that I was surrounded by pieces of my skin. It was A LOT of skin. After looking at it and back at my feet I realized I had picked at them until they were raw. I started crying as I got up to the get the broom so I could sweep up all the pieces and throw them away. I was so disappointed.
Today I sat on the couch and because I have no more skin left to peel off my toes I ended up peeling it off my thumbs. It was the same experience all over again. Raw thumbs and lots of skin to sweep up. It all sounds really gross, I know. Sometimes I wonder how on earth anyone would like me while knowing this about me. Today I am writing to you with broken skin on my feet and thumbs but I am no longer mad at myself. I realize I had a setback which doesn’t make me happy but I also know I was making really good progress before. I know I can’t just stop because it doesn’t really work that way. My goal is to go longer and longer every time without peeling off my skin. My goal is to let this skin heal and leave it healed even longer than I did this past time.
At this point what I hate the most is feeling my broken skin. It hurts when I walk and when I take a shower because it makes my skin swell which makes it more sensitive. I hate the way my thumbs feel when they’re swollen from the water because it’s all I can focus on while I’m washing my hair. I try not to change the way I stand in the shower to much because I hate the way the broken and swollen skin feels on the floor of the tub. I think after the skin is done healing on my feet I will finally go get a pedicure. Not only as a little bit of a reward for myself but also because the softer my skin is, the harder it is for me to peel it off.
Like I said, I know this probably sounds really gross and you’re probably wondering why I would even want to share it. It can be embarrassing for me to share this sometimes and it leaves me feeling vulnerable but I want to make sure others know they are not the only ones that deal with things like this. I am done hiding and making up excuses for when people ask me what’s wrong with my thumbs or my toes. I shouldn’t have to lie. I hate that I peel off my skin. I hate that I have anxiety, OCD, and excoriation disorder but I have accepted it and I am dealing with it. If I can accept this about myself I believe others should be able to accept this about me as well.