Sunday, 4 October 2015
BFRB Awareness Week: My story
My dermotillomania is linked to my sensitive skin history.
Growing up, I was always the one with the "bad" skin. I tried everything I knew of to fix my skin: Every quick-fix, every advertised product, every advice from people with polar opposite skin types from mine. Nothing helped. Of course that doesn't surprise me now, but growing up skin products came in"normal", "combination" and "problem skin".
The skincare market has changed for the better since then.
Thank a deity of your choice for that.
Since I had problems with my skin, I assumed I had problem skin. As in: Acne and breakouts. So I spent decades trying to dry my skin into submission.
Of course that only aggravated the problem.
Pretty early in the clusterfuck that is the history of my skincare, I remember having the disordered thought that an open wound was better than the breakouts I got (From the harsh products I tortured my skin with), so I rationalized abusing my skin.
I can't remember which came first: The picking or the failed attempts of fixing my skin.
But pick, I did.
Every little imperfection I could find.
And people gave me hell for my "stupid habit".
Which of course only made me more anxious.
Because you can't just will yourself to stop picking.
It got a lot worse around the time where my mother decided that my nail biting was irritating to her and needed to be stopped. So I went from one anxiety outlet to the other.
Which is why it was such a relief to discover that dermotillomania is a thing. It explained so much. It explained the anxiousness of needing to pick and why I couldn't just will myself to stop.
I used to pick at everything, but now it's limited to just my shins.
Learning to care for my sensitive skin has helped so much. Learning to use the right tools and methods, and understanding that there is no "magical product" made a world of difference.
Somehow the Korean skincare routine somehow satisfies my urge to mess with my skin.
I learned a lot from being "the one with the bad skin". An understanding of how shallow and horrible people can be. How insensitive. How rude. How ridiculously misinformed people can be and still be completely stuck up and believing they are experts.
And how it feels to not be at home in your own skin.
You learn to let the small things go and only sweat the big things. And you learn to be a more tolerant person. One that doesn't need to comment on people's appearance.
And you learn how it makes you breathe a sigh of relief when you learn you don't "just have a bad habit".
Which is why I share this.
Maybe some of your out there recognizes yourself in what I post this week.
If that happens: You are not alone.