Archive for January, 2011

I did a pretty good job last week of bundling up my head, keeping fidget toys around, & not pulling.  It was the first few days so it was relatively easy.  Then just about the time the urges tend to get bad, I also got a killer headache, and everything went out the window.  Whether or not they’re related to each other remains a mystery.  My doctor thinks I’m stressed about recent bad news and my adrenal glands are shot.  So, they could very well play in to each other.  If I can’t regulate stress, trying not to pull is only going to add to that, and vice versa.

Now that I’m on a quality adrenal supplement to try and get me back on track, it is time to start this hair growth thing again.  I did quite a bit of damage in just a few days.

First thing this morning when I got out of bed I tied a bandana on, pinned the wispy hair up in it and put my hat on.  It’s not pretty, but it helps.  The more I think about what has & hasn’t worked the last week or so, the more I believe there really is a strong sensory component to this.  I wear a bandana type scarf every day, but it definitely does not reduce  my pulling.  Partly that’s because it doesn’t block my hair completely from my wandering hands.  More importantly though, it doesn’t press on my scalp at all & it allows for my hair to move.

When I’m having a successful day with my hat on, I feel calmer.  My head feels calmer.  Even though nothing is really squishing my head much, just the coverage of the hat really makes a difference.  It makes me feel more grounded.  I think the fact that my hair isn’t moving around (swaying, blowing in wind, etc.) calms the nerves down.  The uniform, gentle, pressure of this particular hat (my other one didn’t feel good this morning so I switched), makes for just enough input to my brain to make me feel calm, instead of individual hair follicles sending random confusing messages around like ” I’m itchy, I’m tingly, I’m brushing against your cheek,” and so on.  I think that helps me to be able to focus on other things.

Have you had similar experiences?  Is there something else (like some people say washing their hair) that is sort of like a reset button for you?


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Strength in Numbers

1 in 50

That’s the estimated prevalence of people with Trichotillomania.  So think about your school or your work place.  What’s the actual likelihood that you’re the only one?  My graduating class had just under 150 people.  Then there were the other three grades, whose classes were bigger than mine.  But I thought & felt like I was the only one in the whole school who pulled.

You know what’s interesting?  I’ve found out just recently that another girl in my class was a puller, but we never knew about each other back then.  Can you imagine what a relief it probably would’ve been to both of us if we’d been able to talk to each other about how miserable we were feeling about being pullers in high school?  Geesh, and statistically, there easily could’ve been 10 or so other people in the school who were hair pullers to some extent.  That’s a whole support group!!  Our school was small too.

Just today on a non-pulling related forum, TWO women told me that family members or friends recently told them they pulled their hair.  I have conversations like this all the time when I open up about pulling.  When I put myself out there, I always hear stories back about “oh my, I do that too,” or “My cousin just told me she does this!”.

I have mixed feelings about this.  I hate that it is so common.  I hate that these women have probably felt completely isolated about their pulling.  I hate that they probably lived in fear before opening up to someone, even close family members.

However, I love that because I’ve put myself out there to talk about my struggles and to educate others, the women these pullers confided in could say “I know someone else who does that.  I know exactly what you’re talking about.  Actually, I know someone who writes a blog about that if you want the info.” A network of support & familiarity with this disorder is starting to develop.  The wall of fear & shame is coming down.  Together, we can be strong.

THAT is why I’m here.

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Happy Blogiversary!?

Wow, I posted on this blog for the first time in 2008.  Somehow, the math makes that three years ago.  It sure doesn’t feel like it!  I’d thought it was 1.5, maybe 2, certainly not three.  I guess it is good I looked.

Some blogs do fun give-aways or things for their blogiversary, but that doesn’t really seem appropriate here.  Short of sending someone a copy of a Trich book they can get from TLC, I’m not sure there’s anything anyone would want to compete for from a hair pulling website.  Although, my husband thought I should start making and marketing safe fidgets for use in the car, since driving is a trigger for so many of us.  Maybe I’ll give that some thought.

What I’d really like to know is how long you’ve been following/reading It’s Trichy and if there’s anything you’ve learned, or been inspired by over the years.  I know most people tend to look at the pages & posts with photos, but I sure hope someone comes by to read the content once in a while!  I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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Bad News

Do you find you pull more, or have a harder time resisting urges, if you’re really disappointed, or sad? Tonight is one of those nights for me, and my husband isn’t going to be around, so I’m expecting a struggle. As soon as I come home from my final session, I’m going to have to duct tape a hat on my head, I think.

I’m going to get a movie or two, more books to read, and hopefully figure out some way to get myself past this immense disappointment that I’m feeling right now. Pulling a bunch certainly won’t make it feel any better, but I know the urges will be strong since I’m a bit angry & frustrated too, not knowing whether people are being honest with me or not.

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Idle moments at hand

I was going to post about how hard it is for me to refrain from pulling during a snow day, but I’ve already written the exact same post before!

All this idle time can do me in. Maybe I’ll actually practice guitar or something. I have to keep reminding myself that we’ll be okay money wise and missing one day (which I can’t make up because I already have MLK Day yesterday to make up on Friday) won’t keep us from eating or paying bills. It’s just frustrating though and I need to take some good breaths.

ETA:  I made it through almost 8 hours of down time by clipping up the bit of hair I have, hiding it under bandana AND hat, then hunkering down under clothing layers & blankets so my arms wouldn’t feel the need to move to my head.  It seems to have been pretty successful, and am definitely in high fashion today.

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Rough Day

Something about this weekend has me pulling a lot.  I’d been doing quite well for the past couple of weeks.  I wonder if it something I ate, or the fact that all of my students were extra special this week, so I might be reeling from extra stress.  It could be the snow & lack of sun too, although I’ve been trying to take my Vitamin D.

Regardless, I’m pulling a lot.  It has spread to my eyelashes recently too.  That particular behavior seems to come & go for me.  The past couple of months it started, but right now there’s barely anything left on my left upper eyelid.  It is lovely.

I’d really like to try growing my hair out for our big trip in August.  7ish months should be enough to at least fill things in.  Now if I could just figure out some small goals to get me started & then what my behavioral program should be.  But I’m stuck.  Any ideas?

What have you been doing lately to encourage yourself?  Is it different during the winter (if you live somewhere cold & cloudy) than in the summer?

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Bring Change 2 Mind

I’m really glad I saw this today:


I think this is a fabulous idea.  I wish I could’ve been there with a Trich shirt on.   This group is all about breaking down the stigma around mental illness. Visit the Bring Change 2 Mind website to watch more videos, share your story, & be inspired.  I really liked the “making of” video (the thumb nail with Ron Howard) since some of those people put into words the freedom I’ve experience from being open about my disorder rather than hiding it.  I hope it boosts your spirits today as well.

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