We all need to stop picking our scabs.
There’s something so simple and satisfying about it: carefully removing that which is crusty and dead, seeing what fleshy colors lie beneath. It’s carnal and human, albeit totally gross. But, if we’re bravely honest with ourselves, what other reasons might explain why we seem to be addicted to picking at our scabs?
Maybe we want to feel temporary pain — or maybe we think we deserve to feel temporary pain. And so we rip. Slowly, slowly. Rip, rip, rip our skin away.
Maybe we want the ability to see our injuries clearly, without any scabs in the way to shroud how deeply we’ve been cut. Perhaps we want to face our trauma head-on, day after day, for what they are.
Or maybe we know what a scab really is, and we’re not ready. Maybe we’re not ready for stitches or scars — for healing. Perhaps our identity, as it stands, feels inseparable from being wounded. The prospect of getting better and being better is terrifying, painful, and worst of all, new. We will be a new person, once our wound closes. And so, we never allow it to.
Our bodies know that existing with an eternally open sore is an absolutely horrible idea (read: you will get an infection and die). And this is why no matter how many times we rip away its beautiful scab creations and make ourselves bleed, it will eventually coagulate that blood, make a new scab, and pray that this will be the time we’ll leave our damn skin alone. Our bodies love us; why don’t we love ourselves?
Why do we keep calling our exes to ask why they gave up on us?
Why do we skip our breathing treatments when we know that behavior could land us in the hospital?
Why do we procrastinate?
Why do we criticize our skin, our teeth, our CF bellies so harshly every time we pass a mirror?
Why do we go on social media more when we’re loneliest?
Why do we reject help from the people who offer it most willingly?
Because we don’t love ourselves enough to let the healing happen. Or make it happen.
This week, I’d like to gently encourage any readers out there — especially my chronic illness warrior friends who may be shirking their health-related self-care duties — to start paying attention. Notice what scabs you tend to pick. Investigate why you pick them. And patiently, lovingly, try to allow yourself to heal.
Hurting is not an identity.
You are worth healing.
Note: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cystic Fibrosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cystic fibrosis.