“Let me touch, so very gently, your aching, balding, bleeding scalp, and release the shaming, binding ties.”
So begins Christina Pearson’s heartfelt and poetic book Pearls: Meditations on Recovery from Hair Pulling and Skin Picking. Further into the opening poem: “Your wounded, punctured, mottled skin, Endless landscape of hypnotic entrapment” … “Let me ease your long-lived pain, giving great cheer, where once was none.”
This book is how.
After the opening poem of compassion for (her younger self and) everyone in the world who struggles with skin picking and/or hair pulling, it quickly gets practical. Christina tells her story of two decades in the prison of hair pulling and skin picking and of her recovery, the path of awareness of the urge or impulse, of observation without response. The way to truly be free. In this introductory chapter she also writes about founding the Trichotillomania Learning Center, a center of education and research on trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling), compulsive skin picking and other body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRB’s).
Then the main substance of the book: the meditations. They are presented in the format of a poem (not a rhyming one, phew!), one for each page on a distinct topic. The pages also each contain a title, an affirmation of sorts, and one of seven key phrases that repeat along the bottom of the pages throughout the book. They encompass everything she knows to be helpful, written in a truly soothing way.
They are meant to be meditated on, pondered, absorbed. Let them work their magic slowly. You could whip through this book in one or two hours, but you will largely miss the point.
Read a page a day and allow it to absorb into you. Let Christina open your eyes to a new way of thinking about yourself and your behavior. A page a day is a great way to keep your mind on progress and recovery from your skin picking, which is what I assume you want. You will feel like you are meeting with an understanding guide who has been there, through all of what you are going through, and out the other side. With these pages she can be your mentor and friend. You will feel not-so-alone.
When you are having a rough time with picking or pulling, open the book at random and see if you find a message you need, right in the moment.
There is wisdom here, wisdom you need. And you will not be ready for it all at once. This is a book to have and re-read again and again, whenever you need it.
Pearls can almost not be more different than my own book, Skin Picking: The Freedom to Finally Stop, but for overcoming such a challenging addictive behavior, I encourage you to use all the tools at your disposal and gather all the knowledge available. Keep them both by your bedside, and use them daily for best results. :-)
Love and support,
p.s. Have you downloaded my free “Freedom Kit”? It comes with a written and audio report, “Why you pick your skin and how to finally stop,” a video on “how to stop skin picking urges in two minutes flat,” and my “Live Free” newsletter in your inbox each month. Learn more here.