Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

2 ways I’m pulling less

Posted: June 14, 2017 in Recovery

I am noticing some regrowth in the areas where I most commonly pull, but of course it is not growing as quickly as I would like it to. I will be patient.

I have been pulling considerably less, and I attribute that to two things:

  1. I started working a second job in the evenings. I usually work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at my day job and then go to the other from  6 to 10. It’s not too bad, I suppose, all I do is run a cash register for a few hours. I am not pulling during that time because my hands stay busy. But I feel guilty for not seeing my family as much, but then we need the money so I am not sure what to do there.
  2. I draw all the time now. Every chance I get, even if it is just lines and shapes. I crave a pencil in my hand and that feeling of the lead dragging across the textured paper, the ability to make lines darker or lighter.

When I am doing my drawing and sketching my hands are busy with that and my focus on the design distracts me from the urge to pull.  It’s been helpful.

 

I still pull, of course, while I am driving or in a stressful moment, but I am proud of myself for how much progress I’ve been able to make.

Finding my fidget cube

Posted: March 1, 2017 in Recovery, Uncategorized

My fidget cube arrived (finally), and I love it! I will take a photo of it, and maybe a video too, so you can see how it works in case you’ve been thinking of getting one. I let my 7-year-old son play with it, and it has since dissappeared, but I am 99% sure that it got scooped up and put in the toy box. That was Sunday night and I just have not had the motivation to dig through the toy box to find it yet.

I have not been updating this blog as much as I thought I would, and that is mostly because I am not sure what to write about most times. When I created this blog I had this idea that I was going to start figuring out how to stop pulling and I would share my successes with you all. But, I really have not had very much success. It is like I take one step forward and two steps back. I’ll do good for awhile and then one night I will just go nuts and erase all of my progress.

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I’ve always loved to draw and write, but I had not drawn anything other than doodles for what seemed like an eternity. But recently I have started drawing every day again. It seems like it is all I want to do, every free moment I get I am drawing, I can’t stop! It is like I’m possessed or something.

I draw in meetings, when I am home for lunch, at night after the kids go to bed, all day on the weekends (in between loads of laundry and such), all the time. I have been doing these little zen doodle things. Everyone keeps telling me I should publish a coloring book. Maybe I’ll try when I get enough done, we’ll see.

The good thing is that my pulling has dramatically decreased. I noticed that I was doing it more at night when I was  just sitting on the couch watching TV. Now I am drawing and it keeps my hands busy. And if I do catch myself pulling I just out my pen or pencil back down to the paper and focus on that instead. It’s helped so much, probably the most out of other techniques I have tried.

I will share some of my art here.
jennys-art-1

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Wow, I am such a slacker. Well, as far as keeping up with my blog goes. The rest of my life is so organized it’s ridiculous. I guess that is a pro of having OCD-like tendencies, right?! The glass is half full!

So back in the beginning of April I went in to have my extensions moved up. Well, it had been so long since they were put in my natural hair that had grown out was all dreadlocked, so the stylist (who is wonderful, by the way) had to take them all out and put them back in again. It took more than seven hours. Ya, don’t do that.

It’s now mid June, and not wanting to make that mistake again, I have been trying to get a hold of my stylist. Mind you she is doing most of this for me for free, so I am not pushing for an appointment too hard. . .

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Do other trichsters get white hairs? About a year ago I started noticing that the hairs that were growing back in on my heavy pull areas were coming in white. Not like an off-gray or a lighter shade of my natural color, but stark bleach white.

I had someone tell me once that they come in white because the root area has been so damaged from repeated pulling that it no longer produces pigment. Huh. It makes sense.

The white hairs are the hardest not to pull. The whole thing with Trich is wanting everything to be uniform. Anything that feels and looks out of place must go. I have tried, but absolutely can’t resist pulling the white hairs. The first thing I do when I go to the bathroom is look in the mirror and examine carefully for the white hairs. When (not if) I find them I HAVE to get everyone of them out. I don’t realize how long I have been in the bathroom, then I look down at the sink. . . .

Another challenge, but after so many other challenges this one does not upset me too much. It does, of course, but the fact that I have hair extensions now and actual hair more than makes up for it.

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A few years ago when I first began seeing a counselor for my trichotillomania, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc., one of the first things he suggested was mindfulness meditation. At that time I had never heard of it, but now it seems like that term, mindfulness, is everywhere. The Harvard Business Review just published an article on the subject today, as a matter or fact.

But there is a reason we’re hearing about it more. Many reasons, actually. Meditation has been proven to help with anxiety and depression, increase focus and better deal with your emotions.

I’ll admit, I have not been able to get myself into a steady meditation routine. I tried it for a few weeks then stopped for awhile, decided to try to start again and then stopped again. But I’m happy to say that I am in an “on” period and I have been meditating every day for the last week.

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So yesterday at work one of my coworkers and I got on the subject of the ways kids and people in general deal with anxiety (my son has some social anxiety issues and my coworker suggested we get him into some non-competitive team sports).

My co-worker mentioned that his sister-in-law “pulls out her hair and eyelashes.”  Without much thought I sort of smiled and told him that I have that, and that it is called Trichotillomania.  So we started talking about it, and he was really cool about it, not judgmental at all.

He is someone I would have probably never told about my disorder. Very few people I work with know about it. But it was nice to hear some one talk about someone they know having it. Every time I hear somebody say “I’ve heard of that,” or “I have a friend who had that,” it makes me feel a little bit less . . . freakish? More normal, I suppose.