Sunday’s Sundries: 4 Years of Blogging

On April 4th, I celebrated my 4th blogiversary.  I had intended on writing something about this special occasion, but a whole lot has been going on in my life outside of this little world of books I created four years ago.  I didn’t have the emotional energy to write anything.

I’ve only talked very briefly about my mental illness, and I’ve only ever mentioned a small part of it.  Frankly, I didn’t see my Depression and Anxiety as anything to talk about.  My view was that what I was dealing with, while requiring medication, was still your average, run of the mill, Depression and Anxiety.  However, what I never said out loud is that I also have Dermatillomania.  I never mentioned it because I didn’t admit it to myself for quite some time, and I wasn’t even aware of it being a thing for even longer.

It turns out that for most of my life, I’ve had some type of BFRB (Body Focused Repetitive Behavior) or other.  I didn’t truly notice any of it or understand that the things I was doing weren’t “normal” until I went on Paroxetine.  It was like I was seeing myself from a slightly distanced point of view and I suddenly began realizing so many things that I had been living with as if everyone else does too.

My denial, or blind spot, for my Dermatillomania was so bad that whenever I read something on The Bloggess, I could relate to a lot of what Jenny Lawson has been through in regards to mental illness, but all I thought when she wrote about her BFRBs was that I was grateful I didn’t have it “that bad.”  So when I realized that I did have it “that bad,” I also realized that I needed to get care that involved more than just medication.

Well, that sounds great, doesn’t it?  It would have been great if my mind didn’t immediately get defensive and convince me that I was ok, my skin picking wasn’t creating scars, I didn’t do it very often, no one else ever brought it to my attention, I just needed to stay on the medication, and everything would be alright. *sigh*

Fast forward to the Boyfriend and I moving out to San Francisco.  I went to the VA to get a new primary doctor, and what I thought was just a formality turned into me not only seeing her but also having an appointment with a psychologist immediately after.  While the VA in Austin is amazing, the VA here in SF takes health care to a whole new integrated level.  Anyone I have an appointment with there is in communication with my primary so nothing gets overlooked.

To make a long story short, my psychologist has a way of getting things out of me that I didn’t even know were in my brain.  While that’s amazing, and extremely helpful in my progress towards better mental health, it’s also caused my Anxiety to spike.  With my increased anxiousness, the skin-picking has increased as well, and battling with all of this uses up a lot of spoons.  Hence, the lack of a proper celebratory blogiversary post.

3 thoughts on “Sunday’s Sundries: 4 Years of Blogging

  1. Happy blogiversary Blogiversary twin! I just looked up Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors and discovered that I have one (cheek biting, but only when I am super stressed) so I can relate somewhat, but not likely in the same manner you’ve been experiencing it. I am glad that you’ve found good help with your dermatillomania! It’s so nice when the healthcare system actually works in your favor. 🙂
    ~Litha Nelle

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    1. Yes, many people have a slight BFRB of 1 kind or another, often without being aware of it. It doesn’t become an issue until it gets to the severity similar to mine. I have spent an hour or more picking at my skin, and for years BFRBs were considered to be a form of OCD because of the obsessive like qualities that the 2 disorders share. It was finally considered a separate diagnosis in 2013, and is treated similar to addiction. I’m currently in the process of logging every time I pick so I can hopefully figure out my specific triggers, and that is exhausting, frustrating, and a little depressing, no matter what anyone says about how I’m making progress, doing the right thing, etc. Sometimes I just want to sleep because I know I won’t pick when I’m sleeping. What is really annoying is that I often pick when I’m reading, which has always been my escape, but a fidget toy is helping with that.

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      1. I never thought of fidget toys being used like that! I have been using a hair clip to use my left hand while I’m reading lately to see when I am losing sensation/vibration (it used to be constantly numb, so now that I’m feeling something sometimes I’m ecstatic). Best wishes with your progress- it doesn’t sound easy.
        ~Litha Nelle

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