Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking forward to 2014

December was an okay month; I've done my nails twice since the last (and first) time I posted, but I just didn't feel like taking pix or blogging about it. In hindsight, I really should have because now it looks like I only ever use hot pink nail polish!!! (I'll be sure to use something different next time.) But I've been kinda bad with the picking, especially on my thumbs which always take the brunt of it anyway, so I sort of wasn't in the mood. And as usual it's caused some fights, arguments, whatever you want to call it, with the husband. I'm not sure exactly why it's been a bad month... I think part of the reason is that I'm one of those people that get a case of the holiday blues. But also I think it's because we just don't really have an effective way of dealing with it together as a couple. I pick, he comments, I get mad and frustrated, I continue to pick, he gets angry... it's just a nasty cycle. I'm not going to say that my New Year's resolution is to stop picking because 1) I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, and 2) I don't want to set myself up for failure like that by saying that I'm going to stop altogether. But hopefully we can work on some way to at least deal with it a little better, together.

So anyway, for today's mani I used a bottle of Rimmel Lycra Wear 10 in 292 Magenta, and on my left ring finger I put some 1/64" silver striping tape. I've never used the striping tape before but I definitely like it. For those of us who don't have a super steady hand, it's way easier to use the tape then to try and draw a straight line! Of course I still managed to put the tape on a little crooked but it's not really that bad. It's just the OCD part of me that notices :) Enjoy the pix below. I made sure to include one of my thumb this time, with a little evidence of my mistreatment of it. It doesn't really look that bad because my hands are freshly lotioned and my cuticles are soaking up some nice Borghese cuticle oil, but you can definitely see a little red cut from when I picked too much, and I think you can tell that the skin around my thumbnail is messed up. It's permanently red because it's just a bunch of scar tissue, and it's always rough to the touch. Or maybe I'm kidding myself; maybe "normal" people would look at that picture and think "Ew, what's wrong with her thumb?" I don't know... my hands haven't looked "normal" in so long I probably think they look good when other people would think they look gross. And unfortunately I've done so much damage to them that even if I did stop altogether they'd never look normal again. But although I definitely regret that a great deal, I think I've (sort of) accepted it, and I'm trying not to let the fact that my hands will always look messed up be an excuse to just keep on picking. So another think that I am hopeful for in 2014 is that I continue to get better.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why hello there...

... and welcome! However it is that you've found my blog, I hope you enjoy your stay. I decided to start this semi-randomly today... I'd been thinking about it for a little while now, but didn't think I'd actually do it. There are so many people out there with better looking nails, better quality cameras and photos, and better nail painting techniques. What's the point in creating a blog to display my mediocre nails? Well, the point is that doing my nails is actually (hopefully?) helping me to get over a pretty big problem. I have an impulse control disorder called Dermatillomania, or compulsive skin picking. This used to be classified under Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders in the DSM, but with the latest DSM out this year it is it's own separate condition. Impaired stress response, anxiety, and depression are all aspects of this condition. For those who are unfamiliar with it, I know it sounds pretty gross. It is, and I know it's hard to understand. Why would anyone pick off their skin?? But for me it's something that I've been doing, to various levels of severity, for most of my life. It tends to get worse when I am particularly stressed out, but many times it is just habitual. Any minor cut or scrape turns into a scab which is quickly an easy target for picking, and can sadly become a noticeable scar. Aside from that, my face has always been a frequent victim of my picking, although this has gotten better in recent years. However, the worst of my "self mutilation" (if you want to call it that) has always fallen on my hands. I remember a few years back, while I was up late at night sitting at my kitchen table studying for an upcoming final, picking all of my hands until the skin around my nails on all ten of my fingers was a bloody mess. I sat there, stressed out about the upcoming exam, with my hands throbbing in pain. This past summer I actually took a picture of my thumb after one particularly bad picking session. I intended to post it here to help document my progress, but of course now I can't find it! I was always a little embarrassed about my picking, but at the same time thought (or at least hoped) that most people were unaware of my problem. And in a weird way, I never really wanted to stop. Like a baby sucking it's pacifier, this has been a source of stress relief for me for a long, long time. It wasn't until my fiance (now husband) really started to express his concerns that I began to seriously think about trying to end this. To be honest, I wasn't always open to hearing his thoughts on the matter, and it has and still continues to be a source of tension in our relationship. But I know that this is something I should stop, and something that I am capable of stopping, so I've been trying to get better. (Cue the nail polish!) I always feel so much prettier with freshly painted nails, and for whatever reason I don't pick my fingers as much when they're painted, particularly within the first 48 hours of painting them. Plus, I love looking at nail art on Pinterest and reading about new techniques and tips on nail blogs, so I thought I would give it a try. I don't think I am a nail design master or some nail art expert. I'm just trying to enjoy my new hobby, and hopefully get some therapeutic benefits from it. So without further ado, here are pics for my very first nail art blog post. FYI, this is OPI Black Onyx, OPI Flashbulb Fuchsia, and OPI DS Radiance. If you would like to leave a comment - whether it be about nail painting techniques, your struggles with skin picking, or questions about skin picking - please do! Enjoy!

Not that I think anyone would, but please don't ask me for advice! (On nail painting that is!!!) There are tons of blogs out there where you can find much more experienced and more knowledgeable nail experts :)