I Am A Walking Contradiction

I am a walking contradiction. At times I find life so difficult that I think death is the only answer but then I desperately want to live. I fear ill health and death and yet I fear my fears to the point that I see death as the only way out.

I realised tonight that mental health is just as important as physical health and deserves the same amount of recognition. I have a mental condition and I don’t think I’ll ever be cured from it, the best I can do is learn how to manage the dis-ease. I find that my mental illness also causes physical illness. I feel all kinds of things that I just don’t want to feel but the more I try not to feel the more I end up feeling.

My legs are restless. I am lying in bed but my legs feel so itchy from the inside out that I just wish I could tear them both off. I feel like I need to get up and move around but I am so tired that I just don’t want to move. I’ve just discovered I have a vitamin B12 deficiency so all my symptoms of late can be put down to that – breathlessness, faintness, dizziness, chest pains, rapid heart rate, fatigue, depression, tingling arms and legs, restless legs, etc. At first my doctor just thought I was stressed and anxious, and I could believe that, but it turns out there was an underlying condition. Apparently it can be quite serious if left untreated but I am petrified of the treatment.

You see I fear medication because I fear side effects. Even though an illness makes me ill and could even possibly kill me I never take anything I am prescribed because the medication could make me ill and even possibly kill me. Seriously how fucked is my mind? Like can you even win with me?

And I know I don’t think rationally yet I can recognise my irrational thoughts as irrational. Like I think about ending my life over the most stupidest of things. No seriously it is ridiculous! When I was 13 years old I remember wanting to commit suicide because I thought my wrists were too thin and would snap at any given moment. Lately I’ve been wanting to end it all because I received a dodgy filling months ago and it is still causing me pain even after they were forced to redo it. Now I am too scared to have it replaced a third time so I am just putting up with the pain.

And I know there are people out there right now in excruciating pain. Mental and phsyical. And they would give anything to trade places with me. And here I am complaining. There are people battling cancer right this second. Mothers who have just lost a child. Travellers being beheaded by terrorists. And here I am in a warm comfortable bed. I had a beautiful deliciously healthy dinner and I relaxed to a movie and a new TV series tonight and yet I still can’t feel happy. I just feel… empty, lost, lonely, tired, hopeless and full of regret.

The only thing that helps me is to write. To just get it all out of me. I feel like a failure but at the same time a success. I feel lonely but at the same time I like being alone. I want to be well but at the same time I avoid everything that will make me well. I want more children but I fear I will never be able to have any more. I want to go and check that my fridge door is shut for the hundredth millionth time but I don’t want to keep giving in to my OCD. I want to not suffer with mental illness anymore but at the same time I am grateful that I am not suffering with a serious physical illness. I am so many things that I do not want to be and yet I do not do anything to change into the person that I do want to be. I am a walking contradiction. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

I understand that this blog post probably makes no sense. I haven’t bothered to censor myself. I just wanted to provide you with a snapshot of what goes on inside my head every second of every day. Dermatillomania is not my only disorder. Sometimes my anxiety, depression and OCD overwhelm me and at times like this, it is not at all related to the skin picking. Tonight is just a night for my other mental illnesses to come out and play. Anyone reading this would probably assume I was drunk or off my face on drugs. I know I sure would think so after reading such scattered thoughts. But then again I am a highly rational irrational person and I can assure you that I’m 110% sober but I maybe just maybe am a little bit crazy. Unfortunately.

Posted on October 5, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Your pain is just as valid and important as anyone else on earth, allow yourself the freedom to feel it, own it, you matter and your feelings matter. I know how it feels when you come to the conclusion that death is the only answer, i made the decision to do it and felt bizarre freedom, but obviously it wasn’t successful. I hope you find an outlet, a way to work through the things that are bothering you.

    • Thank you very much for your kind words and for taking the time to leave a comment. I always feel guilty for my pain and suffering because it is mental and therefore goes ‘unseen’ (except in the case of my derma) however clearly mental illness is a very real and serious health issue or our suicide rates wouldn’t be skyrocketing. I am glad that your attempt was not successful and that you are still here to share your knowledge and compassion with others. ❤

  2. I’ve stumbled across your blog, I feel like it’s almost reading what goes through my mind. I presume I to have Dermatillomania. I’ve picked since I was 5/6. My parents took me to see a dr when I was 10 whom said I was attention seeking.

    I then hid it even more, I picked in places that nobody would see, this scaring my beasts , buttox.

    Reading your posts, has helped me feel less alone. I feel such a freak. I feel so odd doing this to myself, but have no damn idea how to stop. I saw a hypnosis cd on amazon & I want to try it- it’s my only hope….I’m 30 on Tuesday & stupidly now on antibiotics I’ve scratched my breast so much it’s a huge infected crater..however…I saw the dr as I pretended it was an abscess (as I knew it was infected & feared to infected) as I’m breastfeeding a 4 month old. My mum commuted suicide when I was 11, I was then sexually abused by a teacher – he got found not guilty in court 3 months ago so my picking is through the roof.

    I feel like I will never not have open wounds. : ( x

    • Hi Natalie,

      Thank you so much for reading my blog and taking the time to get in touch with me. I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been picking since I was 4 and will be 27 this year. I thought it was something I would just grow out of however that has not been the case.

      I have tried hypnosis before and I can honestly say it had the most improvement on my skin picking. I did however see a hypnotherapist in person and haven’t found one as good as her since. However her CD was also very effective so hopefully you can find a CD that works for you.

      I also have a little one (well he’ll be 8 soon) but I understand how difficult it is suffering from this disorder especially while breastfeeding. Breasts are one of my target areas. Who am I kidding… my WHOLE body is a target area. I’m sorry to hear that you did not find justice with what happened to you. I too was sexually abused at a young age however my abuser was found guilty. Still it doesn’t take away the damage they have caused. Just know that what doesn’t break you, only makes you stronger and look for the positives in your life. I know my little boy kept me going through some of the most difficult periods in my life and I’d be completely lost without him. Cherish every moment you get with bubs!

      And if you haven’t done so already please join the Dermatillomania Support Group on Facebook – we’re a really supportive group and you definitely won’t feel alone in there!

      Samantha x

  3. Thank you for sharing your struggle. I found you because of a video on YouTube. I didn’t realize other people suffered this way. I’ve picked before, but not so much since high school. I used to pick at my acne all the time and felt so ashamed but didn’t stop.

    Mine always starts with the appearance of other blemishes, acne etc. I really identified with what you said about wanting to get imperfections off the skin even though we are actually ruining it. After high school I didn’t have as much of a problem until a few years ago when I started having foliculitus. I wanted it gone and would pick at everything. It got uncontrollable after I lost my son. I know that if I leave things alone they will heal, but I can’t seem to do that.

    I have many of the thoughts you have. I appreciate you so much for sharing your struggle.

    I know this blog is to get your thoughts out of your head and that you don’t feel worthy of complaining. I’ve felt the same way, I have so much in my life. Your struggle is no less real or important than anyone else’s. I know how hard it is to fight everyday just to be alive.

    You’ve helped me to see that it’s not just my skin that needs to heal. That I can’t just stop. I need healing mentally and physically. I was abused as a child as well, physical, sexual, and mental abuse. I’ve fought to succeed and heal and have a good life. You are a fighter as well, even if it often feels like we are a failure, or that it’s a fight we won’t win.

    Picking does serve a purpose. It’s a lot like cutting I feel. It’s something we control (even if it feels out of control), it satisfies our OCD, and it releases endorphins. I found tweezing hairs out makes me pick less. Helps with the OCD need to “perfect” the skin and relieves stress. It also releases endorphins.

    I’m glad hypnosis was helpful. I’d like to try that to help me with the picking. I’ve wanted for a long time to get help for my mental issues I’ve never really addressed. You have helped me to see how related all of this is, my childhood, current mental struggles, OCD, poor health, skin picking.

    Thank you!!! Thank you for sharing yourself, I’ve been so afraid to do that. You have really helped me to feel that in am not alone, that I am not crazy. Well not JUST crazy, lol.

    Bless you and I hope you find what you need to heal. I want to encourage you to see the skin picking as not an isolated mental illness, but as a coping mechanism for underlying stress and health issues. I want to encourage you to address all of those: the deficiencies (there may be others than B12); why you are afraid so afraid of sickness that it gets in the way of healing; your childhood trauma; the OCD. I hope for you to find healing for your heart, mind, body, and soul. :’)

    • Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Your comment was really heartfelt and I appreciate you opening up to me and sharing so much of your struggle. I can completely relate to everything you spoke about and I know how hard it can be. I have been going through a rough patch again this past year but reading comments like yours ALWAYS gives me the motivation to keep on gong. To keep on fighting this. And you’re so right… The skin picking is not an isolated mental illness but a coping mechanism for underlying stress and health issues. I have only just started to realise this recently and I will be working on getting to the root cause of the problem when I start specialised therapy for my skin picking in November. I will be blogging a lot more then and sharing my ups and downs throughout the recovery process. I hope some of it will be useful to you. Again thank you for taking the time and effort to write in and for your beautiful, encouraging and uplifting words. They mean a lot to me 🙂

  4. Omgoodness! This is like reading my own thoughts. The contradictions, the confusion, the feeling like death is the only way out and yet, you fear it. It’s like you stepped into my head. I just started to research derma and learn more. I’ve been in denial for a LONG time. I started around 8-9 yrs old(my first memory of doing it), and I am almost 35. I have such heavy guilt about doing it (intentionally), while others suffer from things they have no control over. I try to remember to be nice to myself, but then I have this tremendous guilt. Sometimes it feels like mental torture.
    I just wanted to thank you for your bravery. It’s uncanny, how you described what i thought I could never put into words. It has helped me realize that my way of thinking isn’t so rare and that I’m not alone with the intensity of these feelings. Thank you!

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