Sometimes (OK, frequently) I pick but don’t grin

And this time, I wrote about it in a guest post for the American Psychological Association.

If you really want to know how I’m doing right now, look at my thumb. It always betrays me. My face will, from four decades of muscle memory, arrange itself in a way that will not cause you worry. My voice is calculated to extract any upset so it will not leach in and erode your wellbeing. But my thumb can’t lie.

More specifically, the skin to the right of my right thumbnail, and if things are especially dire, the left of the left one, too. If it’s smooth and un-pocked, I’ve been OK for at least a few days. Roughened, but not raw means there was a tough patch in the recent past but I’m on the upswing. Actively bleeding, I’m doing my damndest to keep it together in front of you, and bandaged—I’m trying to protect me from myself. And you from having to look at it. Or really look at me.

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