Scratching

When I’m anxious, I scratch my face. It’s one of my compulsions. Thank you, OCD!
Is that person staring at me? Scratch. Did I remember to print out my essay? Scratch scratch. I have a test after lunch. Scratch scratch scratch.
Normal break-outs look worse and last longer because of my scratching. I’ve made myself bleed in class, and I have some scarring. It’s not even a conscious decision to scratch. Sometimes I’d be writing, and I would realize that my left hand had done a number on my face.
I got the idea to start using a Tangle from beckie0 of YouTube. Beckie has trichotillomania, which means she compulsively pulls out her hair. In her videos, she often shows herself using a Tangle. When she gets the urge to pull, she plays with the Tangle to occupy her hands. She has many different Tangles of all colors and sizes.

I ordered this Tangle from Amazon. Actually, it’s my second Tangle, because the first one fell out of my backpack on the way to class the day it arrived in the mail. Each one costs less than ten dollars (but I still felt awful about wasting the first one). I would really recommend it to anyone struggling with picking/scratching issues.

I can squeeze it, spin it, twist it, and roll it without any damage to my face. Sometimes even just holding it is enough to keep my hand occupied. It has these cool little bumps that I can pick at or rub to replace the scratching sensation. I try to be discrete with it, and none of my teachers have said anything. The key is really remembering to take it with me.

I’m sorry today’s topic isn’t very pleasant. I know that scratching is pretty gross and unhygienic, and it’s probably my compulsion that most disgusts me. Are there any other scratchers out there? How do you cope?

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