In my previous blog I shared a bit about my history with ocd/dermatillomania- how I realized I had it, how it affected my life, and how everything began to change. Within this blog, I will be continuing with my current experience
If I think about my own experience, I would say I experience anxiety much of the time. It is/was hard to determine this, because when it’s your own experience and you have nothing to compare it to, it’s hard to determine what it is to feel ‘normal’ and ‘ok’, if that even exists at the moment. When I feel anxious and uncomfortable within myself, I pick at my skin, and for a short time, I feel better. However, I have had some similar effects with writing, which is obviously a more substantial solution, as it assists me to build my self-acceptance, self-discipline and self-correction. This allows for more of a facing of self, and a real release (real-ease), instead of a build up of energy and then a self-destructive release/high/numbing experience, such as that which I manifest within skin-picking.
Within my process of writing, self-forgiveness and self-corrective application, I have managed to get parts of my life back, and of myself back, wherein, the OCD no longer runs my life in every moment like it used to. It has been a necessary process for me so far, to even be able to write about this.
What I have discovered in my writing so far, is that OCD is like an extreme escape and withdrawal from the world, to not have to face and cope with situations and events that seem to me to be too overwhelming, wherein, instead of teaching myself and learning how to face/cope with the world and my life, I had instead perfected my ability to escape, suppress, neglect and hide. The thing is, these habits- escaping, neglecting, avoiding, hiding- actually create a world of chaos. These mechanisms literally manifest the exact thing that drives me to pick at my skin, almost in a way, allowing myself to justify and continue the addiction.
And it is like an addiction, in my case. On the Wikipedia entry on dermatillomania, skin picking is described as more similar to substance abuse rather than an anxiety disorder. For me, I can relate to this and I observe it within myself in many ways. When I watch television shows about substance addiction, I can relate my exact experience, and feel as though I am watching myself and the struggles and self-compromise I have created in my life with this disorder.