Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kill the Beast: A Habit I Wish I Didn't Have

Have you ever noticed the scarring on my face and chest?

That started when I was about five or six, only it wasn't my face then. I didn't know this until years later, but I was exempt from the rule against wearing hats in elementary school. I was exempt because I would scratch at my head until it scabbed, and then I would pick at the scabs. There's actually a tiny bald spot on the crown of my head. I was allowed to wear a hat in an effort to prevent me from scratching.

In fourth grade, I picked at my chicken pox. (Those are the scars that dip in.)

In fifth grade, I picked at my forehead.

In seventh grade, I started getting acne, and it all just kind of went downhill from there.

Back when it first started, my parents took me to a dermatologist, which is also information I found out later. I remember wearing hats, and I remember taking long car rides to Salt Lake or somewhere and listening to Radio Disney on the way, but 5-year-old me did not store the information of why, if she ever knew it. The dermatologist said that it was probably neurosis. I don't know how far you can trust a psychological diagnosis made by a skin doctor, but it's true that the picking is worse when I'm stressed.

And now you know that I don't have a skin condition.

Listening to: "Mr. Sandman" by The Chordettes
Reading: Paradise Lost by John Milton

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