Posts Tagged ‘advice’

Awhile back I wrote about a cool fidget cube thing I saw online. There are different things such as switches, buttons etc., on each side and it fits in your pocket so you can take it with you any where.

I really wanted to get one, but money has been pretty tight lately so I held off — until yesterday! The cute little gadget went on sale for about $4 and free shipping on Amazon. Add to cart, yes please!

I can’t wait to get it! I did not realize how much I fidgeted until I started researching Trichotillomania and started trying to track my triggers and patterns. I always have to have something in my hands, whether it be a pen, stress ball or anything else so that I continuously have something against the skin in my hand. When I don’t have that feeling my hands reach for the hair, I have definitely made that connection. It seems that the skin on my hand needs stimulation.

I have always been sensitive to textures, I guess maybe more so than most people. I did not realize it was more intense for me though. I remember wearing corduroy pants as a child and rubbing my hands across the ridges of the fabric over and over because I could not get enough of that sensation. On the opposite side of that spectrum I cannot handle the roughness of emery boards. You know, those nail file things? Even the thought of touching one of those makes my teeth hurt and gives me the chills. Keep those things away from me!

I hate dry skin with a passion that seriously cannot be put into words. I will literally pull over if I am driving and I have dead skin on my fingers just so that I can pick it off.

Anyway, I should have my fidget cube in a few days. I will let you know how it works!

 

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?

 

 

 

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.

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/technology/brothers-bracelet-lends-hand-with-hair-pulling-condition/

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: https://www.facebook.com/TheMightySite/?fref=ts

and the website https://themighty.com

I found this post online today, and so many of these quotes really hit the nail on the head for me, so I have to share in hopes that these help others too.

“Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.” Jodi Picoult

37 Freeing Quotes For People With Anxiety

One of the biggest advancements I have personally made in my battle with trichotillomania is when I decided to treat it as a footnote rather than a main idea. Trich convinces you that it is in charge, that it controls you, that it IS who you are. It convinces you that you can’t be, you can’t exist without it, like some sort of parasite. Here’s the thing . . . none of that’s true.

Here’s a little exercise I want you to do if you are struggling with this: Make a list of all the things you love, all the things you are good at, all the things you want to do. Completely forget for a moment that you have trich. That’s hard, believe me, I know, it is hard to think of yourself as not having it. But it gets easier, I swear! Just practice! Meditate for a moment before you do this, read my previous entry on meditation for tips.

Think about who you are, who you truly are. Not who you are with trich, just who YOU are; the essential you. You are who you are without trich. It does not have you, you have it, keep that in mind. This thing that makes you pull your hair out does not define you. The way you live your life and treat other people are what define you. Your values, your helping others and attitude define you. In the big picture trich is very small, it just likes to make you think it is huge so it can keep it’s control.

If you grew up in the 1980s, like I did, you most likely saw the movie Labyrinth starring the late great David Bowie. The beginning of the movie shows Sarah, a spoiled teen obsessed with all things fantasy and mythical, in a park, reciting lines from her favorite story, the Labyrinth. She can never remember the very last line. It begins to rain and Sarah, realizing she’s late to babysit her baby brother, rushes home where she is confronted by her angry stepmother and father. She considers her baby brother Toby a nuisance and is not too happy about having to stay home to comfort him on a stormy night.

Sarah noticed that Toby has taken her favorite stuffed animal, a bear named Lancelot, and charges into the infant’s room to take it back. He won’t stop crying, and though she reluctantly tries to comfort him the baby won’t stop crying. Sarah remembers “the words” said in one of her favorite stories, “The Labyrinth,” that, when said, will conjure up the Goblins who will come and take the baby to the Goblin City forever. Though she initially forgets the words, she inadvertently mutters them as she shuts out the lights and leaves the room.

Toby instantly stops screaming and the lights won’t come back on. The Goblin King, Jareth (David Bowie) appears to Sarah and tells her that he’s done as she wished and taken the baby to his castle. She instantly regrets what’s she’s done and begs for her brother to be returned. “What’s said is said,” says Jareth, and Sarah is given thirteen hours to solve the Labyrinth.

There are many tricks and turns throughout her journey, and through it all she learns that although life isn’t fair sometimes that’s just the way it is. At the end of The Labyrinth she confronts Jareth, and for the first time remembers the final line: “You have no power over me.”

She’s more tenacious than she knows, and you are too. We all are. Remember, trichotillomania does not define you. This is not who you are. As often as you can push it aside and focus who you are.

Peaceful hands.

I watched this video several years ago, after it was suggested to me by the counselor I was seeing at the time. My appointment was in the middle of the day so I came back to work following my session and just had to watch it right away. I’d never heard of Brene Brown, but while watching this video I felt like she knew me.

If you have not seen this I highly recommend you do, it is well-worth 20 minutes of your time and trust me, if you deal with shame (which all of us with TTM certainly do), this will make you feel a lot better. Brown breaks down how and why we feel shame, the cycle — we feel unworthy so we feel shame, then we numb ourselves with vices and get depressed, which leads to more shame. Sound familiar? But some people have harnessed their own vulnerability . . . and we can learn from them.

I had been having a particularly rough time yesterday with my appearance, it seems I’ll always struggle with that, so I watched it again.

This video inspires me to allow myself to be human. Imperfections and all. I hope this brightens your day.

Peaceful hands.