Dark Roast and Finger Puppets

Posted on July 18, 2012


New bag of coffee from Costco, the Kirkland Dark Roast to replace the Peet’s I so obnoxiously demanded we drink each morning. Turns out the stuff gets under my skin and makes my feet and fingers move just the same, and is about one-third the price. Constantly re-evaluating my financial choices, and knowing that I’ll have some serious writing to do in my near future regarding these financial woes (because, yes, I am still suffering from the wreckage of my past), it’s good to start looking at things now.

Good to start looking at things as soon as you notice they exist.

I’ve been doing the compulsive picking at my face and back thing for quite a while now, and I’m not sure how to kick it. On suggestions from (fill in the blank~ sponsor, Jill, Mr. Man, Angel etc.), I’ve done and am doing the following. If any of you can think of more, please respond because I am desperate to stop hurting and mutilating my skin like this.

1.) Praying. Every morning, afternoon and evening, I pray to be relieved of this obsession as I have been relieved of the obsession to drink. I’m not sure if there is a rock bottom to which I must fall before this relief occurs, or if it is simply an amount of willingness, but God of My Understanding, please remove the obsession to pick at my face and back and allow me to use my time in a healthier way.

2.) Post-its. I’ve written (and today, will rewrite) multiple post-its and stuck them around the house, my car, my wallet, and anywhere I can see my face. They say helpful things like, “Praying can relieve you of this obsession, don’t pick!” and “Picking is self-mutilation, play with the tangle!” What once was startling to look at has now become a part of the scenery. I look forward to rewriting these messages on more exciting paper and re-posting.

3.) Tangle. The tangle is this funny plastic, pick toy that I bought off some esthetician’s website that is supposed to keep my hands busy. It works to a certain point, in that, at one point, I begin wearing it as a bracelet and picking continues with my new, wiggly jewelry.

4.) Awareness. I am talking about it with all of my friends, because I am ashamed of it and I don’t want to do it and so if I talk about quitting, the desire to remain a consistent human being will override (at some point?) the obsession to pick. Psychologically speaking, this is what Robert Cialdini would call a “public commitment [leading] to consistent further action.” The same goes for writing it down here, like an Amway Corporation study about what happens when people write down their commitments. That’s why companies will have the customer, and not the sales clerk, fill out an application or contract. We are more likely to follow through and commit when we have written something down. That being said, I find that I have been picking at the right side of my face since I started writing this entry. Generalized anxiety is a mofo.

5.) Changing my face products/conditioner/shampoo. The problem is, I LOVE MY SHAMPOO. I gave up my conditioner, I bought some new fancy face wash/peel stuff that claims to work with very small water molecules that can better penetrate my most precious and most gigantic, living, breathing organ, but the truth is I don’t have acne, or any skin problems other than my dirty fingers all over it. If I could keep my hands away from my face, I am fairly positive that I would not pick at it. However, at one point, I was fairly certain that if I moved away from Porn Valley, I would not do porn. Needless to say, I ended up right in the shit again. I’m picking at my face right now. STOP IT JENNIE!

***Side bar. Why do women spend so much freaking money on products? Yes, I know all about youth culture, I know that we are encouraged, if not pressured, to stay young forever, Endless Summer, all that bullsh*t, but how is it that I can justify spending $80.00 on some micro-hydro-face wash and peel but not on, say, a nice pair of sheets that will last much longer than my wash? And why does it not bother me that this micro-hydro-washey stuff was made in some giant-ass metal tub in some giant-ass warehouse where people stand around in protective plastic clothing and it all gets pumped out through tubes and into different buckets? And why do I envision two lab techs standing over beakers, saying “Eureka! I’ve found the secret to keeping Jennie’s skin young forever” and then shipping it directly to the store I bought it from?

6.) Finger puppets, mittens, gloves, bandaids and any other device that covers my fingers/face/back/self. I don’t even know it, but I space out, the duck finger puppets come off and next thing I know my hands are to my face.

Those are the healthy things I do to try to stop. Here are the unhealthy things I do (to try) to continue.

1.) Justify. It’s just one. I will fix this. If I just scratch at it, it’s not like picking. Because it’s scratching. And scratching is different than picking.

2.) Wear clothes that don’t reveal how many scars I’m making on my shoulders and back. Hiding. Sick as our secrets.

3.) Continue picking even when I read the “stop picking” post-it.

4.) Say it’s getting better. Which it is. But it isn’t. Which probably, actually, falls under #1.

5.) Wear makeup. More hiding. Hiding hiding hiding. Freckles and LANCÔME makeup will not hide this forever. My skin will change, is changing, and I need to stop this now.

Okay. That is the post rant for the day. I’m not going to talk about book stuff (as exciting as it all is, I must focus on the task at hand), and I’m not going to discuss the internship for which I interviewed (apparently, “Angry Birds” is not the correct answer to “What will you do when there is downtime”). I will in the next post. Perhaps. Although, I totally just ruined the punchline.

If anyone here has overcome any obsessive/compulsive behavior, and has any tricks to the trade, please advise.