Those of us with various mental illnesses have what are called ‘invisible conditions.’
That’s not always true. Some people have scars from cutting, for instance. Others have various conditions like Skin Picking Disorder or Excoriation for instance.
Sometimes, these conditions can cross. For instance, I’m a nervous picker and have been all my life. So at any given time, I’m picking at scabs (mostly), calluses, nails, pimples or any other part of my skin that strikes me as abnormal.
Last spring, I shaved my head in support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for children with cancer. I liked it so much (some actually said it made me look badass!) that I decided to keep it. However, my scalp was not used to being bald and, with a previous problem with my oily scalp, the inevitable happened.
Pimples. Then picking. Then picking some more.
Most of the time, I don’t even know I’m doing it until I feel the trickle of blood running down my scalp. But the more nervous I am (and with my Generalized Anxiety Disorder tied in with the BPD and PTSD, that’s fairly often), the more I will pick.
So here’s the deal: if you want to know how things have been going for me lately, you needn’t even ask.
Just look at my head – the more scars, the harder things have been for me lately.
So my head is now a reflection of my ever-changing moods. Like a big bald mood ring.
Why do I do it? I honestly don’t know. It’s a compulsion I’ve had all my life. It may be connected with a bad stretch of OCD behavior in my childhood, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a fascination with what lies underneath the skin. I do like watching Dr. Pimple Popper for instance. So maybe there’s some deep psychological thing I have for pimples and scabs.
Mom would be so proud, I know.
But even using the Korean Cure (and it’s really good stuff), my naturally young scalp skin keeps making me feel like a pimply adolescent.
It’s bad enough having such a large head. A drill sergeant in basic training once asked me, in front of the entire platoon, “did your mother survive childhood with such a large pus head?” But now I deal with the stares of people who must think I’m driving nails with my noggin.
Nope. My cranium is merely a roadmap to my current psyche. And now my secret is out.