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Archive for November, 2009

I’d planned to write this on Thursday after our Thanksgiving meal, but we got to watching TV and the whole day got wasted away.  I’ve been turning it over and over in my head and still nothing is concrete, so here’s the stream of consciousness version:

“They” always say that holidays are the hardest for people recovering from substance abuse.  It usually causes you to face up to things that have happened over time, or with loneliness that can come with working the steps.  Sometimes I wonder if it is similar for us with this “addiction” to hair pulling because of the way we pull away from people.

The holidays are hard for me.  Friends listing things they are thankful for every day on Facebook this year is a great idea, but is sort of hard for me to stomach.  I know I have a lot to be thankful for, but I find myself getting sucked back into pure frustration as well.  It is hard for me sometimes, to look through my tendency for pessimism and focus on the good things.  With my sister pregnant, and me not, it is even harder this year.

This conversation years ago with one of my therapists comes to mind:

Me:  I know I should be glad I only have Trich and not something as serious as cancer.  Sometimes though, I almost wish I had cancer.  It is so much easier to explain to people.  They understand chemo and lack of hair then because it isn’t something you do to yourself.  But that is a horrible thing to wish for because it is such an awful disease.

Therapist:  You don’t have to be glad you have Trich.  You don’t have to think that it is bad of you to want something more explainable.  It is OKAY to be angry and upset. (Ed: That was a new concept to me at the time.)  Just don’t let it rule you.  Work through it.

But I think that working through it is constant.  Sometimes, I feel fine with it all.  Then I’ll have a few bad days of pulling, or I’ll have a spot on my head I can’t cover easily and I start to get pulled back into the cycle of fear & frustration.  It is easy to get overwhelmed.  It is easy to get angry again.  It is hard to be thankful when I feel like I can’t be normal.

At the same time, I’ve chosen to become a champion for Trich education and other pullers.  I have to change my thinking.  My new haircut is a little too short & doesn’t cover as well as I’d like.  There’s nothing I can do to make it longer.  If a bald spot shows, and someone asks about it, it is NOT a tragedy.  Scary yes, but it is not a tragedy.  It is a chance to educate someone.  Maybe their niece or daughter or grandson pulls and I can give them a lifeline to information.  Maybe giving them info now can save that teen years of unnecessary fear, frustration, shame & hiding.

And that is something I can be thankful to have a part in!

So what can you look at in your life and be truly thankful for?  Is it easy for you to be thankful and find the good things in life, or do you struggle like I do?  I’d love to hear your input!

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Foggy

I hate starting my posts with apologies. But I feel like a slacker again. I just don’t have much to write about at the moment. I think my brain has just chosen to shut down & rest for a while.

I keep going through weird cycles where I don’t feel a single urge for a while and then all of a sudden just can’t help it. Maybe it is the “food” I’m eating. As in junk. I haven’t been taking very good care of myself since I got back from CA. I think my body got too used to restaurant food at the conference and now I’m having a really hard time convincing myself to cook and eat the things I should eat. Having a bunch of appointments in the late afternoon or evening doesn’t help much either.

So, I suppose that should be my goal for this short week: I will eat homemade food and resist the temptation to guzzle down french fries that I shouldn’t be eating anyway! I also REALLY need to drink more water. No more after-noon coffee either.

Ok, that should be more than enough to keep me nearing the edge of insane….

Oh, and the day after I reached 5000 hits to my blog, I also reached 100 approved comments. So I really do want to do a giveaway. I just haven’t figured out what it will be yet. I’m still waiting for suggestions. Hint, hint.

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Over the Hill

Today I reached 5000 hits on my blog! I’ve been waiting & watching but didn’t think it would happen for a day or too.

I should have a party but it would probably be pretty lonely. Now that my presentation is done, however, I am planning on reading books that are NOT about pulling or skin picking.  I also  rented the movie “The Soloist.”  That’s a reasonable celebration.

I got to see the REAL N.A. Ayers this weekend play various instruments  at our music therapy conference, so now I have to read the book & watch the movie & all that jazz. I look forward to learning more about his journey with mental illness and music therapy. He’s inspiring, that’s for sure.

But I feel like I should do a give away like other bloggers do for their blogiversaries and milestones. But hmmmm what to offer up to a bunch of hair pullers or parents. Leave suggestions, and I’ll be thinking.

Stay tuned if you want in 😉

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It’s Over!

This is late, but I still can’t get wordpress to cooperate on my phone.

My presentation is finished! I got good feed back and felt good about the event. I ran out of time, so I was cramming things in at the last minute, but I got the words out there and more people know now about Trich and skin picking, which was my biggest goal.

Maybe some of those therapists are even on here reading now since I gave my blog address for possible follow up.

But it is done and I’ve been enjoying my time in California. Thank you to those readers who have offered support and words of encouragement of the past couple of months as I’ve obsessed over this.

Now what do I do with all my time?

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All Done

I just have to celebrate…I feel as though my presentation power point is DONE! I have some edits and slide prep to do, but figuring out what narrative goes with what slide and all of that is finished. From here on out I’m just practicing and refining.

AND I’m two days ahead of schedule. I don’t think I’ve ever beaten a deadline on something big like this ever before. It feels really good to have accomplished that.

My hair is suffering a little from all this computer time & trying to time myself speaking, but I can accept that just from the thrill of being about done with this thing.

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Better or not?

So as you might recall, I’ve been posting that I’ve been doing better with my pulling lately. Upon looking at my hair last night though, I”m starting to wonder if I was just delusional.

Perhaps those struggles while driving really are worse than I thought (due to the fact that at home is so much better?). I’m not sure what’s going on with my actually pulling frequency/duration/severity.

I do know that I’m still feeling way better than I would’ve expected going into the week prior to my presentation and 5 days prior to flying.

And really, if I’m feeling successful, that’s all that matters regardless of how much scalp I can see right?

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Two Months ago…

I started the TLC Hands-Down-a-thon in an effort to reduce my hair pulling. Perhaps some of you have kept up with my progress on here. For those just visiting for the first time here’s the gist:

1. The first few days were great & I was really empowered. I sent out lots of emails, got great donations, and did great using my tools to help beat urges.

2. A couple of weeks into September I really started to struggle and it was hard for me to stay motivated. I felt like I pulled a lot and even though I wasn’t feeling stressed, I just was frustrated.

3. I read some helpful info in some of the books I’m using for research. Even though my donations had fallen to zero and I was sad about that, I found a new tool (aka pen caps) and started taking a more proactive approach.

4. I lost my favorite pen cap in the car somewhere, so driving is still a struggle for me. Hopefully wearing winter hats will help with that some. I’m doing much better at home and have been managing my stress level much better than I’d have expected considering the HUGE deadline I have in only 11 days.

5. I have just about two weeks left of this major stressor hanging over my head. At the same time, I’ll be learning more great things about hair pulling and music therapy, so I’ll share what I can when I find something interesting!

So thanks to those of you who have been reading. I hope that you’ll stick around. Please comment if you ever have questions or something to share. It gets a little lonely on this side of the monitor. 🙂

As an aside, I got to dress up for Halloween this year and used a felted cloche hat I made last year for my 1926ish garb.  My hair is a great length right now for that era & the hats:

IMG_0608

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