168. Hair

I’ve been attempting to grow out a beard as of late. Emphasis on “attempting”.

Unfortunately, whether it is due to genes, testosterone levels, or a general lack of manliness, I haven’t been very successful at it. All I have going for me right now is an awkward tuft of facial hair at the bottom of the chin.

(if only it grew as voluminously as it did on other parts of my body. Which part of the body? I’ll leave it up to your imaginations)

The reason why I’ve been growing it out, aside from the fact that I’ve been dreaming of having a beard as magnificently badass as Mr. Heisenberg’s, is because the skin along my chin has been damaged, and pimples have been forming there as of late.

Does growing out a beard help sooth damaged skin and prevent pimples? Well, no. Actually, I don’t know. But I’m sure it’ll help me.

You see, the reason for the damaged skin and growing pimples is because I’ve been scratching at it. Picking at it. With my fingernails. I’ve been, for the past 2 years or so, pulling out the hair growing on my chin (I refuse to call it a beard, because it would be an insult to beards all around the world) strand by strand.

Why?

Trichotillomania.

It’s a compulsion. Like OCD, kind of, sort of. Facial hair isn’t the only victim – I’ve also pulled hair out from my scalp, my eyebrows, eyelashes, legs… You get the idea. It’s difficult to explain, kind of like OCD – it just doesn’t feel right until it’s done. The thing with pulling facial hair out, you see, is that it’s a lot more difficult due to the fact that I have to pick a lot closer to the skin – hence the damaged skin. Then when dirt from underneath my fingernails get under the damaged skin, pimples form.

Goodness, I should be glad that pimples are all I have to worry about.

It’s been about 2 years now, and people around me have gone from curiosity to concern, and from concern to learned indifference. It’s just something that Joseph does, don’t worry about it. Those who have tried to stop me in the past have since given up on their efforts to rehabilitate me. It appears that nothing works better to deter one from a bad habit than to suffer the consequences of the habit.

So the damaged skin. The pimples.

Thus, I’ve been leaving the hair on my chin alone, and every time I brush my fingers against the pathetic stubble that is there, I have to remind myself not to begin pulling any of them out. As a testament to my efforts, the skin has begun to heal, and the pimples have shrunk.

It does feel odd, though, to have a hair barrier between the skin of my fingertips and that of my chin. I guess I’ll have to get used to it.

Although having a magnificently badass beard would help.

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