Struggling with OCD Habits

Lately my bipolar moods have been pretty under control. I’m fairly stable there.

But my OCD-habits are flared out of control. It is not the major things I first wrote about, like when I would have to check that my doors were locked three times, to ensure that I knew for sure it was locked.  These are minor things, but perhaps all the more annoying.

Number one of habits that is causing me trouble–I cannot stop picking at the skin on my fingers or the thin layer of skin on my lip. It is a nervous habit that I had been broken of, but due to stress (which triggers a lot of my habits and medical conditions), I have started again. I have not done it for a while, but recently it has been stirred up. This would be something I could deal with–except it is nearing winter. And I have a major problem with my skin cracking and bleeding in cold weather. So it further compounds the severity of this annoying habit that I just have to do, even though I know it is not good for my health.

Like right now, as I sit and write this blog, I am seriously struggling not to pick at the skin on my fingers or to peel at the layer of skin on my lower lip. It is not healthy and it makes it difficult to eat or drink, or cook (should I get any sauce or juice onto my hands it burns in the peeled off skin; and should I try drinking beverages without being careful, it hurts my lip), let alone considering how it makes me look when I cannot stop this habit as easily as a normal person.

I know logically it is the stress making me do this. Stress triggers my OCD in a major way, just like my bipolar becomes less manageable in stress. And my OCD habits stress me out further. And stress from all of this combined triggers my eczema. And the eczema makes me freak out and itch…which just further swings my OCD habits into extremes. All in all a vicious cycle–started and ended with my OCD nervous habits.

So right now I’m struggling to contain my nervous habits. It’s a struggle, one that some days I come out on top of, while other days I probably come out the worse. However, I can recognize that at least it was better than it used to be for me. That is a small win, even in the midst of all my stresses.

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