Unfortunately, I have fallen back upon a compulsion – the ‘C’ in “OCD.” For probably 5 or 6 years now, I haven’t done it and I think it is simply the gravity of my life falling down upon my frail shoulders that is causing it.
I have begun to scratch.
I will be listening to music (my favorite thing to do) or watching a movie and all of a sudden I am, like, “OUCH!” I have, unknowingly, scraped the top layers of skin away from my hand. I tend to it – wash it with soap, put on some A&D cream – and hope for the best.
I saw my internist (MD) on Tuesday and she said that all my scabby spots looked fine, save one, that I should tend to. I have been putting on salve 2 times a day on all the spots, washing the wounds, and carefully, oh so carefully, drying them.
But I can’t begin to tell you how embarrassed I am of myself. My hand looks like that of a very ill person, and maybe I am, but I am mentally ill, not physically. It is strange how it comes out.
She suggested I wear a glove, so right now, as I type this, I am wearing a winter finger-less glove on my left hand (I use my right to scrape the skin).
I feel like a freak and a loser and like I can’t control anything. That’s it. That’s the bottom of it. I am in a situation where I am not in control – and, boy, how I love control – a tall order for someone with mental illness.
I guess I just wanted you to know that, like a lot of you, I am struggling. Some days are better than others. But I am taking steps to move on, for anyone out there following my story. I packed for hours today, ’til my back was too sore to continue.
But there are coping mechanisms I use – like the silly glove or calling a loved one or watching an interesting movie or listening to a great band on my stereo. Hell. It is hard as FUCK right now, but I am still sane. I am still writing. You will get through whatever it is you are going through…and so will I.