"katie, Get Your Hand Out Of Your Mouth!"

I have been a compulsive skin picker "since the day I got teeth" as my parents like to tease me. From my understanding, I have been picking, biting...and eating my skin since the age of two. From a very young age, my CSP tendencies made complete since to me, as natural as breathing or eating. Call it very odd, but I have always considered my skin to taste rather delicious (doctors have suggested that this may be due to a lack of sodium in my diet). I crave/d the taste of my feet and hands so much, that as a child, I would even suck on my sweaty socks. Still, it was and always has been extremely frustrating for me when people attempt "to help" by calling me out on such actions. On the contrary, such measures only encourage me to bite more. My areas of focus over the years have mainly been my hands and feet, though with a better understanding of my disorder, I have begun to realize how my CSP has infiltrated itself in other ways as well.

From my toddler years through high school, I bit and ripped the skin from my fingertips and the balls and heels of my feet. I also bit my nails and toenails. Teachers and classmates often noted on my hands, which looked like those of a burn victim. Most every home video from my childhood involves a lively Katie with her hand constantly in her mouth. On a fairly regular basis, the skin on my hands would either be so raw or inflexible that I was unable to write correctly with a pen or pencil; it took great effort and pain just to bend them.

My senior year of high school, I'd finally had enough of the pestering. I quit biting and picking all together, and hell, I was successful! I went over four years CSP free.

A little of a year and half ago, I started suffering with the onset of a few severe mental disorders (bipolar i and impulse control...surprise surprise). My anxiety was out-the-roof 24/7 and my CSP came back in full force. I regressed to the severity of my early years of biting. For months, I wore band-aids on each of my fingers. Each night, my boyfriend would help me into cloth gloves filled with various ointments to keep my hands from getting infected. I was astonished that I had fallen so hard after four years "sober."

After finally receiving proper treatment for my psych issues, my picking/biting again subsided. I once again have lovely hands, for the most part; I've made a habit of picking at my thumbs subconsciously, so both are a bit red and swollen. However, I have still been unable to stop biting/picking my feet, and honestly, they are the worst they have ever been in my life. I pick to the point of bleeding on a daily basis, I am picking even more surface area, which I didn't think was possible. I even use nail clippers to get off more skin. I simply can't stop. I am most tempted when I am doing a sitting activity such as reading or watching TV. As I have said, it's just so natural for me. I feel as if I may have the worst feet in terms of CSP as ever before seen (honestly).

As much as I don't want to stop my dirty little habit, I long for the day when I can again wear sandals or walk without pain.
flordelmar flordelmar
22-25, F
Dec 6, 2012