Job hunting

Posted: January 19, 2017 in Musings

I’m so depressed. But for once it is not due to pulling, it is just life in general.

I went to college and earned a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising and also minored in English. I worked my ass off in college to earn that degree. At one point I was taking care of my baby while working full time and going to school full time. I took a year off when my baby was born, and I know a lot of people don’t go back, but I was determined to finish.

I don’t live in a hug city, but it is not teeny tiny either. I think there are about 70,000 people here. So a few months before I graduated from college I got a degree at a local media company. I thought it was perfect, a job in my field right out of college. And it was for awhile.

Here’s the thing. I have now worked her for 11 years and I barely make more an hour than when I started. In fact, a few years ago the company took back 4% of our pay. I did not even know a company could do that. And no one has had a raise since. That was about 8 years ago. So many people have quit the company and either moved away or found other jobs. I’ve stayed for a couple of reasons. One being that I keep being promised things like bonuses, commissions, etc. Another is that I really like what I do and the people I work with.

When I tell people what I make an hour for what I do they laugh.

There have been many, many layoffs over the years, and every time someone is laid off their workload is distributed between everyone else. I’m not complaining about that, honestly learning all of these different things has been great because I now have many different skills that I would not have had otherwise.

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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.

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I have taken some time off work, about two weeks to be exact. My daughter moved to Kansas City, Missouri in July and I had not seen her since, so I bought some plane tickets and flew out there to pick her up and bring her home for Christmas. I’d never been that far east before, and it was the longest I’d ever been on an airplane.

So since I’ve been off work I noticed that I have hardly pulled at all. And when I do I can catch myself and stop. I have noticed that before, that when I take some time off work my pulling greatly decreases. It’s not like I have an incredibly stressful job, I mean it has its moments but it’s a desk job and I sit in a corner in an office that is pretty much blocked from view. I am responsible for a lot. There have been a lot of lay-offs so I have taken on more and more responsibility. I have not had a raise in about 8 years, and money is tight so that really stresses me out.

But the urge to pull is so much less when I am just at home with no-where to go, when I can just sit and read or draw or something. I want to keep this streak going. I go back to work January 3. How can I keep this sense of calm after I go back to work?





Posted: November 10, 2016 in Musings

It seems that I have been doing everything I possibly can to stop pulling. I am taking medication, exercising, meditating (though I should do this more often), trying to keep my hands busy by drawing, finding fidget toys, etc. and yet I still can’t stop. Is it possible that I can’t stop? Should I keep trying or should I try to accept it and live with it? When is it time to throw in the towel, so to speak?

One of the first steps in dealing with this disorder is identifying your triggers. I have discussed this in several other posts, but it is important. For example, caffeine and over-stimulation is a trigger for most people, myself included.

For me, however, I have been doing this for so long that it is harder to identify my triggers.  I think that after 20 years a lot of it has become muscle memory. I pull when I am tired, I pull when I am wide awake, when I am bored, when I am stressed. . . there seems to be, aside from a couple of obvious things, no rhyme or reason to it. Maybe I need to try harder to identify what sets it off.

This last weekend I found myself pulling more and more in front of people. Usually I can hold back when I know that I am in a room full of people, but this weekend not even that stopped me. I am hoping that was just a temporary thing. I realize that I am doing it and stop, but then start again moments later without even knowing it. I wonder how many people have seen me pull and wonder what the hell I am doing.

I found this article about two brothers who have developed a bracelet that vibrates when a person reaches to pull his or her hair. It was designed for people with Trichotilomania. I am wondering how well it works. I would like to know before I spend the $90 for it. I think it is pretty new so there are not a lot of reviews on it. If you hear anything please let me know.

Two to three times a year I have an absolute breakdown. By that I mean a 24-hour or so period where I am a completely different person. Super depressed, way more than usual, not eating or sleeping, being super angry at the world in general and curling up in a ball and crying and screaming in a corner. After awhile I get exhausted and I fall asleep, then when I wake up I gradually come out of it. I don’t always remember much after one of my “episodes,” which is probably for the best.  I would never hurt anybody, except myself of course, but I’ve learned that when I get that way I just need to go into my bedroom until it passes. It’s like catching the flu or something. . . it grabs you and won’t let go and you just have to let it run its course. That was my Saturday-Sunday. Thank God it only happens a couple of times a year.

Following that I pulled more than ever last night. I went on a major binge. I honestly can’t believe I have any hair left today, I thought I just about got it all. This “manic” episode has continued today, it is like my fingers have a mind of their own. I can’t focus on work or anything else going on around me today, everything is jumbling together and not making sense.

I couldn’t sleep last night, which I am sure contributes to the way I feel today.

On a side note, not wanting to make this post entirely negative, I have found a correlation between caffeine intake and pulling. A couple of years ago I completely cut soda from my diet. I have it only every once in awhile when we go out to eat or something. I had heard that caffeine and other stimulants increased the urge to pull, so I decided to pay closer attention to how I reacted. Sure enough, when I drink soda I tend to pull more.

That’s just a little chip on the iceberg in my quest to get to the “root” of this. Ha ha, see what I did there? LOL. Only trichsters get that joke.

While perusing my Facebook newsfeed the other day I saw a post by one of my friends from an organization called “The Mighty.” I rarely click on those posts from other pages because too much of the time it is just spam or click-baiting stuff, but the headline promised an article about dealing with anxiety, so I clicked. Come to find out, The Mighty, both the Facebook page and the website, is all about mental and physical disorders and how not only the person afflicted can cope but how loved ones of an afflicted person can be supportive as well. And they are written by people who are actually battling what they are writing about.

You can get a free account and then tailor your subscription to the kind of articles you want to read. For example, I set mine to show me articles about anxiety, depression and my favorite devil, Trichotillomania.

I may even write and submit an article. We’ll see.

I only just subscribed yesterday, so I have not read a lot of articles as of yet, but so far everything I’ve read has brought me a comfort that I am not alone in this. The thought that I was alone has been one of my biggest hurdles with TTM. Some of the paragraphs in the submitted articles could have been taken straight from my blog or diary. It’s so real. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Here’s the Facebook link:

and the website