Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Confessions of a Pickaholic

I've been thinking about my wedding for a long, long time.  I wasn't necessarily one of those little girls who tossed a white pillowcase on her head and pranced around, pretending it was a veil.  Instead, I was one of those little girls who started to think up what colors I'd like, what dress I wanted, and what food I hoped to eat.  I was more of a planner than a dreamer, I guess you could say.  So it's not really a surprise that one of my earliest wedding memories is from way, way back in my childhood.  The only problem is, it's not a positive one.
 Image via Random Inklings

I'm going to let you in on a little secret, that up until a few months ago, I had literally told no one.  Here goes.  I have vivid memories (yes, plural) of crying myself to sleep when thinking about my future wedding.  What on earth could cause such absurdly-timed and -placed sorrow to a little girl?  I had multiple freak-outs about one specific detail of my wedding dress - the sleeves.  More specifically, I wept and wept, horrified at the thought of wearing a long-sleeved wedding dress to cover up all the little scars I had inflicted upon my knobby arms because of my addiction to picking. You know how kids get all sorts of scrapes and cuts as they just go about life?  Well, I was no different.  But I perseverated on those little scabs, picking them off at an alarming rate.  As a consequence, I got a hearty smattering of little white scab-scars all over my arms, which led me to the dramatic conclusion that I would have to don a long-sleeved wedding dress in my future.  And that broke my heart.

(Disclaimer: I was having spaz attacks about this back when long-sleeved dresses looked like this:

  Image via So Vintage Patterns
... and less like this:

 Image via Wedding Plan Ideas

Quite the difference a couple decades makes!)

Here we are, a good number of years later, and I, sure enough, am not wearing a long-sleeved wedding dress.  Unfortunately, though, my picking habits have not died with my nightmares of the sleeves.  Anything that can be picked, I'm all over it.  Fingernails, cuticles, zits, scabs, peeling skin, the whole gamut.  It's gross, don't get me wrong.  The more I mature and take a step back to analyze this habit, the more unnerved and disgusted I become.  Why on earth would I continue to engage in a behavior that often leaves me mildly bloodied and in a bit of pain?  Why do I obsess over getting every last bit of whatever it is I'm picking?  When loved ones who know of my habit tell me to stop, they are spouting mere lunacy.  May as well tell me to stop breathing.  Sometimes I know I'm doing it and can't stop, and sometimes I don't even realize my hands have drifted to my newest pimple until the deed's done.  Frankly, I'm getting grossed out just talking about it this much.

Anyhow, my nightmares of long-sleeved dresses are now replaced with nightmares of stubby, gnawed-upon fingernails, big red patches on my face from my newest conquest, and just a generally crappy look come wedding day.  I know that I, in theory, can just express some more self-control and avoid picking, but the thing is, it's sort of my comfort zone in times of stress.  A time of stress.  As in, the weeks leading up to the wedding, perhaps?  I'm putting all of this out in cyberspace, hoping I'll feel a bit more compelled to be a good girl and resist the urge to pick, as I'm now accountable to a group that consists of more than just myself.  Here's hoping that I can defeat my pickaholic ways in the very near future!

Any other pickaholics out there?  Or, anyone else have a bizarre wedding fear from childhood?

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