Excoriation disorder (also referred to as chronic skin-picking or dermatillomania) is a mental illness related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is characterized by repeated picking at one’s own skin which results in skin lesions and causes significant disruption in one’s life.
If you have ever seen my Facebook page, then you know I am "certified crazy", as my sister likes to claim of herself. I come from a family that suffers with their mental well-being.
A few years ago I began the journey of healing, breaking generational curses... but I didn't do it alone I got a Psychiatrist.
I knew I had been through so much trauma in my young life that I wasn't going to be able to truly heal without facing some things. Not to give you ALL the details of my therapy, but one of the ailments I was diagnosed with is Obsessive compulsive disorder, aka OCD.
For those unfamiliar with the OCD its excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions).
I often brag that my OCD is what makes me so damn good in business. One of my mantras is "make your crazy work for you". And I do! The ability to create & organize businesses is a product of my OCD.
That's an upside... but let me really be transparent with you. That's one of the few upsides. I also obsessively clean 🤪. And no, I will NOT come clean your home!
In the interest of transparency & not to take your focus from my opening statement. There are other symptoms that I don't so openly discuss. One of them being picking, or in my case scratching. I don't pick, I scratch or itch.
My anxiety levels will get so high that my mind will make me think I'm itching either all over, or in one particular spot. Its better when it's an all over my body experience, because when its a solitary area it can lead to breaking skin, and bleeding.
I've been managing my thoughts, habits, and behaviors really well these past few years. But the ending of 2020 triggered me. And I did this to myself. I took this picture the day after, so the swelling went down, and the minor bleeding had stopped.
I took the picture to alert my support system that I wasn't okay anymore, and my coping techniques were not working.
There had been A LOT of changes in my life this year, and during the year I just rolled with them. Now it seemed like EVERYTHING was flashing in front of me.... EXCESSIVE THOUGHTS!
I don't even know what I was thinking about when the scratching began. I didn't realize it was happening until my skin started burning, and was swollen. Even then I didn't stop scratching that spot, because the thoughts didn't stop.
From January 2020 through December 2020, my life and the world went through some dramatic changes. I started out the year on tour with BJ's Wholesalers, promoting and testing my juice line (that's on the NRI Wellness Center page).
When COVID hit and sent us into lockdown, I was stuck in Atlanta with my biological mother, younger sister, and my nephews. My mother is my #1 trigger. At 40 years old, I'm still working out our unresolved issues. You read more about that later in this story.🙄
In February, I got an investor in my brand, we rebranded. Everything about my company changed. In May we decided to relocate to Tyler, Texas. When Georgia and Texas opened up I was on a flight to Texas. Found a house, and thought I was moving immediately... that didn't happen.
I found myself back in Atlanta. But not due to COVID, or even because I wanted to be there. My mom was diagnosed with Parkinsons, and I felt obligated to be there. So I slept on her sofa from June until October.
I was still running my business virtually; while fighting with her, watching/caring for my nephews, and worrying about it all!
Until I couldn't take anymore.
In October things had lightened up a little in the outside world, so I headed to Etta, MS. By the way, I've been tested for COVID three times, each time was negative. I stayed in Mississippi for a month before FINALLY landing in Tyler, Texas.
But I couldn't just relax into my space... see from June to October I had also started a podcast (10 Dimensions of Wellness) that was doing exceedingly well. Over 1 million organic listeners. I didn't really think people would be interested so I didn't really put a lot into it by way of branding.
However, by the time we reached November I had gained enough traction, and had interviewed enough people to host a virtual health summit. So I did it! On November 21st, NRI Wellness hosted its first virtual health summit.
At this point your probably thinking to yourself... what's the problem? Oh did I mention that by the time I got to November 2020 I was completely broke... not a dime, no savings, nothing! I had been living off my savings the entire year, no stimulus check or business assistance.
So now as I sat in my empty beautiful new 3bdrm place, I needed to start figuring out how to make some quick income. Guess what happened again... EXCESSIVE THOUGHTS!!!
One of my tribe members/friends called me, and helped me out financially. But I was so deep into my thoughts, that I didn't notice the anxiety getting so bad I wasn't getting out of bed anymore. Sleeping odd hours, and was still extremely exhausted. Telling myself I needed rest.
My thoughts were eating me alive. Not to mention I had some outside factors (my mother), adding fuel to the already burning fire.
There is a happy ending to this story. The title says it all!
I preach so much about self care and healing. However I wasn't really taking care of myself. In 2020, I didn't reach any of my goals, and that's okay. I was distracted with life.
BUT... I made some better business decisions, and truly got in touch with myself. I'm a yoga teacher now because of 2020. I'm building an entire platform dedicated to the 10 Dimensions of Wellness thanks to 2020. I also live in a new city with new opportunities. I started writing Peace & Blessings in December of 2020, and I finished it this year.
You are most likely wondering what switched in me...
Me, and my ability to control my thoughts, that's what changed. I did somethings to make Kami feel whole again. I am choosing to recognize the behaviors, and change my approach.
I started back following my daily routine of devotion, meditation, yoga, affirmations, journaling, & proper nutrition.
I also called a friend who is a therapist & naturalist, she told me to buy some plants. Repotting plants, and playing in the dirt can be really grounding.
See it wasn't that my coping techniques weren't working, I had out grown those methods. 2020 did do a lot more positive than negative. It gave me new coping techniques for where I am now in life.
I had become stagnant, stuck between two lives, who I was and who I desired to be. I was changing again, evolving so to speak. I was getting better. Is this what they mean by turning 40 changes your life...
I forgot to mention that in June 2020 I turned 40 years old, or that my child also turned 21 this year. So add the worry of having a black son to the list above. We ALL know what happened in 2020 in the Black Community was also enough to send anyone over the edge. But I digress... let's get back to the positives.
So now, when my thoughts are starting to become excessive I distract myself on the yoga mat. I can't think about other things while breathing, and holding poses. I also read or study different journals, stories, etc. I can't have excessive thoughts while focused on the "storyline". My favorite thing to do when I find myself getting anxious, I like to take candlelight herbal bubble baths and meditate in the water. It's a calming experience for my physical body and mind.
At the end of 2020, while I was in a meditative state, I made the intentional decision to release all toxic relationships. In 2021 I'm being intentional in my relationships, they will support me personally and in business. I will do my best to live authentically. I will walk in my purpose on purpose! I affirm that daily!
Just for Today
Ask Yourself, how did you change this past year? Was it for better or worse? What did you learn about yourself? What coping techniques do you have for this level of your life? Journal your thoughts.
Meditate on This
Divine Creator, make me whole in every way possible. Allow my thoughts to be guided by your desires, and not my own. Allow my mind and my heart to be at peace. Heal my mind. Heal my body. Ase