A Band Aid Can’t Heal Our Emotional Scabs

Shutterstock / Chepko Danil Vitalevich
Shutterstock / Chepko Danil Vitalevich

I have this habit of biting the skin around my fingernails. Always have had this problem. And I probably always will. I think I picked it up from my dad because he does the same thing. What we both have in common is that we tend to bite more frequently the more anxious we get. And the more I bite, I hit some bleeders. Some are small and harmless and stop bleeding on their own. And other times, after biting and biting, I hit a geyser.

The next thing I’m looking at is this massive round goop forming by my nail, which doesn’t add to my already chipped nail polish.

So I take a napkin and wipe it but it still bleeds. Literally, my finger has been stabbed by a gangster in my mouth. Not ok. I don’t really panic so much at the sight of blood. I just get annoyed with myself because I just didn’t know when to stop biting and now there’s blood everywhere so the next time I have a conversation with someone, it goes something like “Oh gosh, is that blood on your face?”

This is making me seem like a complete vampire of a human being. Okay, relax.

With these obvious bloody wounds I just created, I grab a band aid and call it a day. Not only is the band aid used to stop the bleeding (and getting blood all over my shit) but it’s also meant to protect the wound from elements – anything that can potentially harm the wound from healing properly. Because like anyone, I don’t want infections.

In a sense, our emotions are similar to physical wounds. We find things to protect them from further harm – whether its drugs, alcohol, food, work, a new relationship, or even hobbies like exercise or cleaning (if you find cleaning a hobby). The last thing we ever want to feel is harm. Pain. Hurt.

But pain is inevitable in real life. It happens. All the time. To everyone. Just a common occurrence that we learn from and grow from.
 Even more, sometimes it hurts to rip a band aid off of a wound. Exposing it to air to dry out and scab over. But it’s necessary to give some air and breathing room to a healing wound to form a new skin, a tougher one. 

Because pain leads to healing. No matter how hard it is to truly believe that. But it does. You won’t believe it right away, when the wound is still fresh. But when you’re ready to rip the band aid off, whether it’s after a few days, a week, or a month or two (obviously after changing the band aid a few times) you can see that it’s healing. Almost like exposing yourself and your vulnerabilities to what’s truly hurting you on the inside and realizing that it’s okay to feel that way, to feel that hurt.

So don’t be afraid to rip the band aid off. I’m not asking you to do it right away. But when you’re ready to see the scar, do it. And you’ll see it’s not as bad as you think. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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