Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

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!

 

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 see on various forums where people post their successes. . . “50 days pull-free!” and I can’t help but wonder where they started. I don’t think I have ever had one pull-free day. It’s not that I have not tried, believe me, I have, but I don’t know when I am doing it. I try to catch myself, and I do quite a bit, but there are many other times when I realize I have been pulling for the last five minutes and I didn’t even know it.

So how does one start when you don’t even know you’re doing it?

I have read that there are three different types of pullers — those who do it completely subliminally, like in a trance, those who do it cognitively, like pulling until they find that perfect hair, and then there are those who do both. I am pretty sure there are more people who fall into the “both” category, myself included.

I have been trying to pay attention more to not only my triggers, but times when I seem to pull for no reason at all. I notice that I pull when my hands have nothing else to do. When I am driving, when I am reading, etc. Any time my fingers are not twiddling something, fidgeting, touching something with texture.

There is something in the way my brain is wired — my fingers need constant stimulation. When I am not touching something with some sort of texture or fidgeting with a slinky or something I can feel my anxiety creep in. I am not going to pretend to understand why, but it is a definite fact.

I have always been a fidgeter, even before I developed Trichotillomania. I have always had to play with something in my hands, tap my foot, twirl a pen and that sort of thing. Somehow it developed into hair pulling when I was a teen. I never really thought about it until I started to realize that having something in my hand to play with took the edge off the urge to pull. So far it is the most satisfying thing to me besides the hair pulling.

I have always been kind of embarrassed by the fidgeting, I thought it was a bad habit or that it was annoying other people. I thought it was weird and I tried to stop doing it whenever I was in public as much as possible. Now I have learned that a lot of people do it. A lot. Most just don’t develop into hair pulling.

So now I am trying to make sure that I always have a fidget toy or something to hold, to play with. When I am typing I am good as long as my fingers stay on the keys. If I stop for a moment to gather my thoughts my hand goes straight for my hair. So I have a little rubber spiky ball and a little pink plastic slinky on either side of my keyboard that I hurry and grab before my hand goes to my head. I am trying to train my brain, alter that routine to reaching out for a fidget rather than going up. I have read about muscle memory, and I think a lot of my hand going straight up to my head all the time is because it has done it for so long. It’s like a reflex at this point. I am going to stay diligent and keep stuff to play with all the time.

I think that twirling a pen or something in my hand is a lot less noticeable than pulling my hair out, I just have to train my arm muscles and my brain to switch paths. Easier said than done.

Peaceful hands.

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

Anxiety is a pain — literally, it hurts. I experience it more often than I probably even realize, I’ve just sort of become used to it similar to the way people get used to chronic back pain.

I had a doctor appointment today, I have been feeling very dizzy and nauseous in the afternoons for about a month. Turns out my medication dosage was way too high. Easy fix. But sitting in the waiting room (which was packed of course) my heart is pounding and I am desperately trying not to make eye contact with any one.

At work I had a meeting with some of the big bosses and some community leaders. The company I work for is hosting a community event soon and I am in charge of digital marketing, so we met with the sponsors to follow-up. So I am sitting in a room with my boss, his boss, and CEOs of several companies. We went around the room to update everyone on our part of the planning. I have a hard time breathing in those kind of situations.  And I can’t focus. I’m not talking about being distracted, it’s different. It’s like taking all the words in a paragraph and jumbling them up and then trying to read it . . . it’s all there, just not in the right order and it seems so simple . . . just read it! But it does not make sense, there’s no mental connect.

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For people with Trich, it seems that a big chunk of the relief the pulling provides is the stimulation to the skin. My fingers love to feel the little spiky, short hairs that are growing in. I can’t explain it, it is difficult to even try, but that prickly sensation is so soothing.

And then, of course, my hands and arms seem to move on their own. My right hand will reach up to my scalp and start hunting for the perfect hair without me even telling it too. My arm and hand seem to have a mind of their own. If my hand is not being stimulated by something else such as typing, coloring, etc. then it feels the need to move.

I have recently started coloring. Yeah, I know, I’m 34 years old and yet I have a big box of colored pencils and several coloring books. Not what one would expect. But, as you’ve probably read, there is a huge craze around adult coloring right now. There are tons of books out there featuring intricate designs, mandalas, etc. Filling in these shapes, the shading, choosing color combinations and such has been shown to have calming and stress relieving effects.

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It’s getting warmer where I live, which makes it more difficult to wear a stocking hat like I have been so accustomed to doing. For one, it is just too warm and for two, wearing a beany when it is 70 degrees outside will draw more attention to my head than I want. Which is not hard to do because I want ZERO attention on my head.

In a weird way I am glad, because I feel like in a way my hat was a crutch. Out of sight, out of mind. I don’t want to be ashamed of how I look anymore. I am plain sick and tired of it. I want to be able to go through each day like a “normal” person. I should wear a hat if I want to, not feel like I have to.

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