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I’ve had dermatillomania, or compulsive skin-picking, for as long as I can remember.
After dealing with shame and worry for years, I decided one New Years that I would work on kicking the habit for good.
Many expensive manicures and bottles of hand cream later, I finally got to a place I’m proud of.
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I clutched my mangled fingers together under the table as the woman across from me playfully scolded the owner of the restaurant — a neighborhood spot in a neighborhood full of billionaires — in broken French.

It was the first time I’d been invited to post-work drinks with this clique of Wall Street women, with their perfect, smooth, bejeweled fingers lifting forkfuls of tuna tartare. As a journalist at a finance-news giant a few blocks away, I might have looked like I belonged there. Instead, I was disoriented.

I was expecting a networking opportunity, but I arrived at a happy hour among girlfriends-who-knew-each-other-from-work. I was a Midwesterner one year into her first big-league job in New York City; I was acutely aware of my discount-store dress and my inexperience with the city’s culture.

So I chewed. As I smiled and tried to keep up with the conversation, I hoped none of my raw-ripped hangnails were bleeding onto my white napkin. But even as that thought burrowed into my mind, I pried another layer of skin off the thumb on my right hand.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve compulsively bitten and pulled my skin, leaving bloody fingertips and hard, calloused spires of flesh.

Growing up, I was badgered constantly for it. In high school, a classmate brought me a bottle of lotion after spending months watching me pick and tear. A relative at dinner questioned who would want to eat …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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