Here is a copy of a blog I wrote for my friends:
Ok Friends. Here is the deal. I have a bad habit. It is gross. I warn you. I like to pick at my scalp. I have been doing it since college so I have probably been doing it at least 5 years now, maybe more. When I am stressed I pick. When I am bored, I pick. Anxious, nervous, pick. Typically I have one or two "spots" that I am working on. Here is the gross part, they bleed, they scab, and that just makes it that more fulfilling to pick it off the next time I am anxious. And maybe a little skin around it. I never realized how incredibly disgusting it is until I wrote it down. I part my hair so no one can see the mark. My hair dresser usual just calls it a "boo boo." A boo boo that has never exactly healed. But I do eventually let it heal and create a new one. Usually there is already some dry skin there or something to get me started.
So, ok, I've known I have had this problem for a long time. My husband has always encouraged me to stop and I never have. I say I will, but I don't. Nor have I made any major effort to stop. In undergrad at my moms suggestion I started writing "i will not pick my head" on a sheet of paper every time I got caught. It just pissed me off.
So, as a side effect of one of my crohns meds my hair has been thinning out. And I know that the picking does not help and that I lose hair in that area. So, if I want my hair to stop falling out, I am going to start treating my scalp better.
Today I committed to NO PICKING. Only once did I catch myself touching a scab and I caught it before I picked it. I was driving and it was so hard not to. I dug my nails into my steering wheel. I realized I needed repetition. So I started saying the "our father" "hail mary" and "glory be" over and over and over on my commute until the urge to pick passed. It can't hurt to get some divine intervention on breaking this habit.
It could be my lenten sacrifice although its been so long since I have been to church I don't think I can call it that. But, in keeping with any good 12 step program I have admitted my problem. I have hit bottom and am grossed out by it and truly want to stop. I am asking God to help me break my gross habit. And I am asking my friends to follow my progress. I think I have done it for so long because I can cover it up and no one has to know how gross it really is. Unless they are 6'5" and look down on the top of my head (which my husband is).
So I have gone one day, about 14 hours awake so far, without picking. And to be honest, that is the longest I have gone in years. I considered cutting my fingernails short to aid in my crusade but then how will I pick my nose? Just kidding!!!
So if you are not too grossed out, stay tuned for updates!!!
Just edited out someone's name as you all wouldn't know who it was anyway lol.
Post Edited (FitzyK23) : 2/12/2008 9:55:35 PM (GMT-7)
While reading your description of your bad habit, I was trying to relate to you by thinking of something I do, which is picking my fingernails. Most people bite their nails, but I pick mine until they are painfully short. I get what you are saying about how fullfilling it can be. It's strange to think that, though. I do it so unconsciously that I don't even know about it until it hurts. The only thing that ever gets me to stop is having fake nails put on, and then for some reason I don't even feel the urge. I guess it's because my self esteem is increased (like UMDterp said).
But anyway, I thought maybe if you tried wearing a cute hat, like a beret or something, you could at least stop yourself from unconsciously picking because there would be a barrier there. And feeling cute and fashionable might give your self esteem a boost (or at least distract you from your anxieties for a little while).
Just a thought. I also take meds for depression and anxiety so I advocate that as well.
You can do this. Remember that. Your divine intervention is coming to you at all times in various ways.
Post Edited (indigosunrise) : 2/13/2008 1:08:13 PM (GMT-7)
I think it is great you are working on stopping, Fitzy! Honestly, I got nervous driving to work this morning...and my hand went for my scalp! I thought about this post while driving and quit picking.
EVERYONE has some habit or another they are trying to break and I am really glad you were brave enough to mention yours--it helped me realize my own bad habit (s).