I'm curious what type of psychological diagnosis I might have.
I understand that's quite a way to start today's comments, so let me start at the end of the story. At the first glance of today's self-portrait, there is an obvious change in my appearance: the beard is gone.
Now, let me say for the sake of clarity, that I generally prefer myself with some sort of facial hair. Unfortunately, however, I find myself literally unable to leave my whiskers alone, especially when they get a little longer. I constantly catch myself reaching up and touching them. I bite on the ones near my mouth. I pluck errant hairs when I catch my reflection in the mirror (and not just the grays, either!). The worst of all? When they get long enough to grab with my teeth, I pull them out - yes, with my teeth!
(To answer the obvious question: yes, it hurts.)
When I was a small kid, my mom got very worried about me because I started to lose patches of hair. Fearing some sort of dreadful disease, she hauled me off to the doctor for a diagnosis. She found his first suggestion to be ludicrous: perhaps I was pulling it out on my own. But I couldn't be that goofy, right?!
Wrong. Soon, Mom found some clothespins hidden away with some of my hairs stuck in the spring mechanism. Yes . . . apparently I was pulling out clumps of my hair. Although I don't remember this happening, I would assume that it hurt then as well! Recently I asked a psychological professional what could've been my motivation for doing something so strange at the time, and she replied that it was likely caused by some sort of anxiety I had at the time. Hmmm, it makes me wonder.
Back to present day. I won't say that I shaved the beard solely because I was tired of messing with my whiskers. I've stated before that I really love changing my appearance on a regular basis, so this was just one of those times. But, I have also readily admitted to having some pretty strange proclivities, and this was certainly one of them. Either way, it won't be a distraction - at least until I grow it back again!
#213 May 21, 2011, Pencil