Scabs and Scars

I am a picker of scabs.

I have lots of scars.

I am yet to really learn that the two things are related.

For as long as I can remember I have picked at scabs. I find it somehow therapeutic, the pain eases, and there is a weird relief. This has been especially problematic in recent times due to the way I ‘deal’ or should I say ‘react’ to anxiety.

However, I may have finally learnt the lesson.

Nearly two weeks ago I went for a run. I haven’t been for a run for ages, and when I found myself on my backside on the pathway I remembered why. Over the last year I have found myself having more myochlonic seizures which sometimes mean I lose my footing. This is annoying when walking, and it turns out to be quite dangerous when running.

In true MrsN fashion I got some injuries, including a rather large cut in the bottom centre of my right palm. That is a really annoying place to get a cut. Over the last two weeks I have not picked at it once. I have felt it healing, as the skin has stretched and tightened, and I have seen it healing.

I’m a picker of scabs, so why haven’t I picked at this one? I think it’s purely because of its location. It is in such an awkward place, that my knowledge of letting it heal and not picking at it seems to have finally kicked in.

You know me though, it’s no surprise that I managed to get such ridiculous injuries in the summer holiday, but it’s also no surprise to hear that this has got me thinking about metaphors for life

Last week the husband and I were watching a travel programme in Bosnia, where everything seemed to be focussed around the events of the war. I do not wish to belittle those events, and I know I have no idea what it must have been like to experience. However, it was as though they did not want to let it go at all. It didn’t seem to be about remembering the events, but about constantly experiencing it again.

The day after my meeting with the path I was battered, bruised and extremely shook up. I was really apprehensive about leaving the house in case I should lose my footing again. Eventually I dragged myself up to the local supermarket – mainly because E was telling me I couldn’t let my knee get stiff. If I hadn’t gone out that day, I now worry whether I would have made it out that week. I was still in pain, I did lose my footing a couple of times, but I did it and I didn’t fall.

We all experience things which throw us, they are likely to cause wounds of some description. But do we dwell on them, keep picking over what has happened, possibly creating longer term scarring. Or do we live with the pain of the moment, and allow it to heal in it’s own time.

The wound on my hand has gradually been getting smaller, it’s still there, it’s still hurting, but it’s smaller. I have been grateful for antiseptic creams and tubular bandages to hold the dressing in place. I have also been grateful for people willing to open bottles, push down toasters, and generally help out the invalid.

As I was thinking about this blog, I was reminded of a Matt Redman song, ‘Never Once’ the pre-chorus says

“Scars and struggles on the way; but with joy I gladly say; never once did I ever walk alone”

We are going to get Scars in life, that is inevitable, but we can choose how bad those scars are. They are going to be smaller if we allow ourselves to experience the pain, to allow the scars to heal by themselves, knowing that we are not alone and allowing others to help us out when our scars are inhibiting us.

I know I have a long way to go to get this embedded in my life and the way I process things. But I am hoping that when this wound finally heals completely, I will see that it was worth the wait, the pain, the resisting of temptation, and that it may stop me physically picking at scabs, even if the mental and spiritual process may still need some work!

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