Friday, June 5, 2015

Watch Me and You'll See.

If you're a regular reader of my blog you know that I'm no stranger to confession-style posts. I tend to err on the side of honesty, perhaps too much in certain eyes, but that's who I am. 

I write for me. I write to write. I write because I have things on my mind and in my heart and I want to get them down to virtual paper. And so - lately I've had something on my mind, and in thinking about it I realized I had written about this topic before. So when I went to search for the post and couldn't find it it hit me. I posted it somewhere else. 

And while that's okay - it's great, actually - my heart requested that I share it here, as well. So, here you go. Original post details will be shared at the end. I hope you'll stick with me as I pour a little bit of me onto the page. 

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I have a confession to make.

Sometimes it's easy to make confessions. Super simple, really. 

But not always. 

I write pretty freely about what I go through in general. In my day-to-day. Anxiety. Striving for fitness. Parenting stories. Books that take hold of me and don't let go. 

So, here I am. Stripped bare for a bit.

Confessing to you that I have a bit of an obsession. 

Honestly, it's not that small. But when I say it, it's might sound like I'm trying to be funny.

Bear with me, though, because I'm not.


I'm obsessed with my hair. 



I don't mean that in the way you probably think that I do. The only haircuts I ever get are at those chain salon franchises. Seriously. That's me. $12 haircuts. Only a few. I go months without a trim. Oh, who am I kidding? I go years. Really. It's just how I do.

Anyway, my obsession is related to my anxiety. And you already know that I have loads of that.

Although not officially diagnosed, I think I have a mild case of trichotillomania. 

If you have never heard about it I'll clarify for you. Trichotillomania is an impulse-control disorder.

So what does this mean for me?

I'll tell you.


Trichotillomania is a condition in which someone pulls out their hair from various parts of their body. Personally, I've never had a bald spot. I suppose I don't pull that hard. Or maybe I just don't focus on one area long enough to cause one. But I could. And honestly? I could probably create a small wig with the amount of hair I've pulled out when anxiety hits.

I honestly don't feel like I'm pulling it directly from my scalp. I'm usually tugging at the random strays that are going to fall out anyway. I have quite the head of hair, and it's still there. The whole lot of it.

I tend to pull out my hair when I'm anxious - especially when I'm a passenger in any sort of vehicle. I'll roll my window down briefly to toss a small twist of my now-free strands of hair into the universe. 

And don't think that every time I do it I don't hear Horatio from CSI: Miami in my head - wondering where those strands will wind up. 

But I don't mean to make light of it. It's a serious thing. Sometimes I guess I need to make myself laugh. Because it's a weird thing. It's a strange thing to have.

I think it started ages ago, when I used to take the bus to work. It was an hour long commute and I would spend my time focusing on my split ends. This was back in the day when my hair was actually much longer (seems impossible these days!) and haircuts were few and even farther between.

I'd pull nearly every split end that the sunlight caught before we hit the tunnel. And yes, I've gone so far as to become fascinated with an eyelash in my eye, then tugging a few too many lashes out.

And maybe it's the reason that random neck hair is UNACCEPTABLE. 

Or maybe that's because it makes me feel old? Don't lie - you have them and hate them, too, right? But seriously - as soon as I feel that thing it's out. Gone. 

And yet, despite all of these points, it's not something that really impacts my life - I live with it as though it's part of who I am. Like it's a habit. This thing I do. 

But I feel like I need to say something. I'm not sure why, exactly, or what prompted me to do so right this instance - but I needed to.

I'm not looking for an immediate solution. Not really looking for any solution. Not for me. I'm just trying to promote awareness. Encourage people to learn about it.  

It's a funny sounding word. Trichotillomania. But it's real. 

You really never know what people are going through behind closed doors. You never really know when someone is holding in anxiety that could tear them apart if they let it.

Support them.

Listen.

Just be there.

Sometimes that's all anyone really needs.

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Trichotillomania can often occur in conjunction with other body related habits. Some visible ones to look out for: nail biting, skin pulling/picking, lip or inner-cheek biting, hair chewing. 

* Please be hyper-vigilant and speak to a doctor if you notice that you or someone you love is actually swallowing their hair after pulling as this can lead to digestion issues.  

Some less visible habits that can occur: teeth grinding (during sleep), scalp picking (hard to see/notice if not looked for as usually done in secret). 

Additional Resources for Trichotillomania information and support can be found at these incredible sites linked below: 


Stoppulling.com

Find a support group in your area. 



* The first version of this post was initially published on Band Back Together on August 7, 2012. *

7 comments:

  1. Oh my love *hugs* It takes a brave voice to speak out about what goes on in our mind. And you've been brave many times over. I hope you know, even deep down in that space where things get darkest, that you always have a friend here. No judgment, only listening, support, and love. And help when you want and are ready for it.

    Thank you for sharing you so that others can know they aren't alone. We're not alone. ❤

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  2. You are amazing. Brave beyond words, beautiful both inside and out, and braver than you think.

    And here's another thing we share - I pick at my skin. It's another form of OCD - dermatatillomania. If I have a mosquito bite, or a zit, I will pick at it until it bleeds. Again and again. I have scars, fading now, on my legs and arms from where I had trouble stopping.

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  3. That is such a brave confession. I'm a new reader, but I'm here to listen, if that helps. (((hugs)))

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  4. I have a tiny bit of this too - the scalp picking / cuticle biting variety. Thanks for bravely sharing (Also FYI it was published in 2012 - not 2002.)

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  5. Hugs. I have the cuticle/skin picking variety and it has gotten worse in the last few years.

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  6. Such a brave post. Thank you for sharing. I grind my teeth and scratch my arms, scalp and hands when my anxiety flares.

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  7. I am so glad you shared this, friend I had no idea but I can imagine that this is balm to some readers who need this, who need to know they are not alone. xo

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