Back again :) Trying my best to be productive today. Got to keep moving! Anyway I am excited to share a project I finished this morning. I finished two projects this morning, but one is still top secret!
I made this Noodlehead Wide Mouth Pouch to hold a few tools which I find helpful in dealing with my skin-picking. It was important to me to have a special bag which I would love and be likely to use everyday, so I chose my favourite hot air balloon fabric. Those smiley balloons perfectly represent the feelings of peace, hope and optimism I need. I lined my pouch with cherry sketch print and used another print from Handle With Care to fussy cut a hexagon for the zip tab. The reverse of the tab has a snippet of Happy Thoughts text print.
Going to talk a little bit about my plan to control my dermatillomania now.
In my pouch I like to keep back-up cotton gloves, wet wipes, antibacterial lotion and moisturiser. My main tactic for fighting my derma right now is minimising the contact between my finger tips and the rest of my skin. So, in risky situations, such as at the computer or reading, I'll be wearing my cotton gloves. They are the single most useful tool I have ever found for myself. Currently, I am also wearing them to sleep in. And I don't care how silly that looks :) I keep plenty of wet wipes to hand to keep my skin clean without touching it, and in case of uncontrollable itches. Theoretically, apart from in the shower and applying ointment and moisturiser, I should never be touching my skin.
This plan is working really well, but it has a problem. If I choose to be in a situation where my wearing gloves would be too awkward, and it's too dark/inappropriate to be knitting or stitching. Part of operation 'improve quality of life' involves me going out more. My favourite type of 'out' is probably the cinema. And in the cinema I would wear my gloves, so not a problem. But sometimes, such as last night, at a gig in town, I can't wear gloves. Obviously, I *could*, but the likelihood of awkward questions is a bit much for me. So I need to figure out a way of distracting my hands so I don't pick. Last night there was picking. I think that the enjoyment of being 'out' made the picking setback a justifiable cost, but I clearly need a better plan for next time. Some sort of touchy toy that I can keep in my hands constantly to occupy both fingertips and brain. Not sure just what that is yet unfortunately. Another option would be too acquire 'night out gloves'. They need to be lightweight and pretty enough that keeping them on all night won't look weird. I'm going to have a look in town later and see if anything might suit.
So far you'll see that I'm concentrating on building a barrier between me and my skin. Those who don't have derma, or any other compulsive disorder, might be thinking that this is a rather impractical approach. Over the many years I have tried practically every approach apart from being more open. My previous need to keep my derma secret meant I was doomed to fail, as any coping tools had to be hidden in company, and no amount of will power alone ever worked for me. But I really think that physically stopping myself from picking will eventually make my will power stronger too. I see it as creating 'pods' of time without picking. A few hours with literally no picking makes me feel so much stronger At the moment, I most definitely need a physical barrier to create these 'pods'. I'm not prepared to look ahead right now, just coping with each day on it's own merit.
My short term aim is to let the skin on my calves heal to the point where I can get the tattoos I've always wanted. I have never ever been tempted to pick my other tattoo so I'm fairly sure that, once tattooed, my legs would become something more that just a surface to pick at and would hopefully be safe. Claimed back for my own, if that makes sense. And (though I never ever look at my legs these days to avoid any temptation) I believe they are getting close to normal in skin texture. And I feel really proud of that.
And now it's time for my walk. Finally seems to have stopped raining!