My Experience With Obsessive Compulsive Self Harm - "Picking"

Wednesday 18 February 2015

I'm always the first one to advocate being open and honest when it comes to mental or physical illness.  One thing I've never really been, is ashamed of the problems I have, or have had in the past.  But I have to be honest and say that this is one issue I do feel ashamed of.  Or maybe it's more embarrassed, than ashamed.  I don't know.  I just know that this is the one thing I am constantly trying to cover up, and not let anyone see.  It bothers me, and it bothers others also, which is why I feel the need to keep it hidden.

It's something called Excoriation Disorder.  It goes hand in hand with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and basically it means that I pick at my skin.  When I feel particularly stressed, or when my anxiety is running high, I pick at my skin to the point that it bleeds, and of course hurts.

This disorder can be considered a form of self harm, although of course it is not to the same degree as cutting or burning.  It can however, be purely an obsessive behaviour in some people, and have nothing to do with wanting to self harm.  It really depends on the person, and the reasons behind why they began "picking" in the first place.

In my case, it's almost like a coping mechanism.  It's a sense of control, and a release when I'm feeling stressed and hopeless.  It has also become a habit, where I often don't even realise I'm doing it.

In all honestly, I didn't even realise this was a problem - or how bad it had become - until people started noticing the sores on my arms.  I felt so ashamed when friends started to ask me what had happened, or if I'd been bitten by something etc.  The looks of horror on their faces broke my heart.  I had no idea it looked so bad.

Nowadays, it's something I think about every day.  I feel embarrassed to show my arms, so I am constantly trying to cover them with long sleeves.  It's not always easy during Summer, but at the end of the day, I would rather swelter in the heat, than for another person to notice and be horrified by my sores.

My right arm
I'm doing my best to start healing myself from the inside out, and to stop hurting myself on the outside.  I am also trying my best to heal as much of the damage I've already done to my skin.  I'm using Bio-Oil each day, and praying that I won't be left with permanent scarring.

I'm no expert on this disorder, so this post may not be so helpful for those looking for facts and medical information.  But I just felt it was something I wanted to put out there, to share with whoever may or may not read it, and be dealing with something similar.  Just know - you really aren't alone x
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Glamour Affair Blogger Event in Melbourne

Wednesday 11 February 2015

In January, I was lucky enough to attend a blogger event in Melbourne called Glamour Affair.  It was run by two lovely bloggers, Melissa and Erin - hover over their names for links to their blogs!

The event was held at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow pub in St Kilda, and the turnout was great - about 35 bloggers and YouTubers.

I love these sorts of events, because they are such a great opportunity to network and get to know different people involved in different kinds of social media.  Not to mention the AMAZING goodie bag we were sent home with!

Some of the brands we walked away with were Benefit, Lush, Shanghai Suzy, LonVitalite, Schwarzkopf, The Body Shop and Skindinavia... to name only a few!

When we arrived, we were each given a small box, with a heart shaped USB stick on a chain inside.  On the inside of the lid, was the name of one of the other guests at the event.  We then had the challenge to find that person and take a photo with them.  The photos were then uploaded to Instagram and two were chosen to win a beautiful necklace from Bevilles!  It was a fun idea, and a lovely way for us to break the ice and get to know one another.

Throughout the afternoon, we took part in other activities and saw presentations by representatives from Benefit, Lush and LonVitalite.

We were extremely lucky to be given three full-sized Benefit products, including Puff Off, which had only been released that day!

It was a really great day overall.  We enjoyed great company, yummy food and learnt a lot about some awesome brands and products!

Unfortunately, my photos aren't the best - but if you would like to have a look at some of the other pictures from the day, head over to Instagram and search the hashtag #GlamourAffair xo

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