I humbly offer you this dark secret about me

Warning: Graphic content

I’ve got a difficult blog post in me that needs to come out. I’ve deprived myself of getting my thoughts out into written form for a while, and turned away from my blog. Now it’s time to explain why.

My skin picking / dermatillomania has gotten a lot worse over the last few weeks. For the first time in 20 years I am not only picking at my usual patch of skin (my butt) but also on my arms, legs, shoulders and back.

I approximate there are 40 open wounds on my body.

It hurts when I sit down. And now that the wounds are in visible locations on my body I feel self-conscious and unattractive, like I’m hiding a big filthy secret.

This is particularly sickening and shameful and embarrassing to admit, but some of the scabs I pick off are quite big and those I will sometimes study almost admiringly. The bigger they are the more satisfying.

Last weekend I ended up with hands and nails caked in blood and shredded skin, so much so that I washed my hands and the water ran brown. I can’t remember when it was last this bad.

I tell myself every morning that today will be the day I respect my body enough to let it heal. Today’s the day I summon enough self-discipline to resist.  Today’s the day I go deeper and meditate in order to discover what my body is trying to tell me through this compulsion to pick.

Then I start to pick and I just don’t care the damage it causes.

I took photos but I can’t bring myself to post them. I thought shaming myself would help me stop, but it feels like too big a punishment.

All I can do is, starting today, be compassionate with myself and make the commitment that WHEN the time is right I will sit in stillness and ask my body to tell me why.

There are issues around me at the moment which I can’t discuss, which it would be ignorant to be think are unrelated. Perhaps my compulsion to pick is aroused from my desire to control myself and the situation. To keep feelings and thoughts subdued so I can cope. To keep things safe. To soothe myself.

Just this morning I’ve decided to try and make a note of whenever I feel the urge to or actually begin to pick. Now is one of them. Thinking about my finances (specifically the lack of) is another.

I’m not in the headspace to end this post with any transformative advice or a great rousing message of inspiration. I just wish compassion, peace, growth and healing for each and every person in suffering, in all its forms.

I’ll be back very soon with my usual Freedom, Birdie ramblings! Just needed to get this out. xx


7 thoughts on “I humbly offer you this dark secret about me

  1. I’m so sorry it’s been this hard for you… I know from experience it’s not as simple as just stopping picking. I admire your bravery in sharing this with us. I hope you don’t mind if I keep praying for you, Bethany 🙂


  2. There’s really nothing I can say to make you feel better. I feel for you. All I can say is that we’re all rooting for you to get better.


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