Tag Archives: Commitment

Small Victories

I made it 10 days without pulling my hair!

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We are often hardest on ourselves so after pulling a few hairs, I’m giving myself the same advice I would offer another trichsters who stopped pulling for any length of time and then pull again.

Don’t stop celebrating that victory just because you slipped up.

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Although it seems like all that work was for nothing, it’s not in vain. Every time you resisted the urge to pull was a small victory, another step closer to recovery. You are building strength and training yourself not to pull.

It’s a long hard process, but you’ve already done a lot of the work. You are learning ways to be aware and self-sooth without pulling. It didn’t start overnight so it will also take time to fully stop. Next time it will be that much easier. 💜

 

Persistence not Perfection

Trichy Insights

Let’s strengthen those weak muscles!  

Just persist until you are successful!

My solace tonight as I persist in my journey to recovery from trich comes from comments of some of the people on the Fairlight Bulletin Board posted on Amanda’s Trichotillomania Guide.

Definition of Success

I just wanted to add another observation to all that has been said about making a commitment to not pulling. Think of it as exercise. When I started walking a couple of months ago, I thought a mile was forever. Now that I’ve been walking regularly, my stamina has increased, and a mile goes by quickly. I can’t run a marathon (yet!), but I am stronger. In the same way, as we practice not pulling, we’re building “muscles” that make it easier not to pull. The first couple of weeks are horrible, but then it gets easier–if you persist. I’ve slipped a couple of times…

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Commitment and Acceptance

Lately my focus has been on Commitment and Acceptance as I delve into ACT therapy. A member of my online support group had a great post about her methods (including acceptance and commitment) for managing trich.  I have included her post below.  The original can be found on the beating trich support group forum.

“In the last year and a half of being here at DS, I have learned a great deal about my relationship with trichotillomania. I can’t always maintain a PF, but I have done it enough to get to the point where I feel I am managing this thing. Perhaps my methods can be of help to others. I am a scalp puller, but I believe these methods can be adapted for brow and lash pullers. I call them my ABC’s, but really they are my CAB’s. Anyone is welcome to post their favorite methods of attack here as well.

1) To borrow from the 12 Step Programs, the first thing is to accept that you are a hair puller. To own it, and to take responsibility for it, and to work towards taking control. Only you can do this. On the other hand, you don’t have to do it alone. You can ask a Higher Power for help, and you can ask for support here at DS. There are so many of us in the same boat.

2) COMMITMENT: You must commit to fighting this thing. Make yourself that promise, even if you have to grit your teeth sometimes to keep it. Don’t make excuses. Without a strong commitment, I find that I falter. Remind yourself that it is rarely “just one” hair.

3) AWARENESS: Be aware of your triggers – study yourself. Is it food, stress, boredom? Where are you when you pull, what are you doing when you pull? Are you driving, reading, watching TV, at the computer, in bed, in the bathroom, looking in the mirror? Be aware of what your hands are doing. Be aware of when the urge hits. Be aware of when you pull. Stay present. Don’t let yourself get into the pullers’ trance.

4) BARRIERS: Have your barrier of choice readily available, anywhere, any time.
-I have lightweight driving gloves in the car;
-a bumpy drier ball and light cotton gloves by the computer;
-I wear jewelry that I can play with when I go to lectures, or have to work with other people;
-I knit when I watch TV, or I wear a baseball cap or gloves.
-I wear a baseball cap when I read. I also have gloves and a drier ball handy. (Gloves don’t work as well when I read, because I tend to pull them off. The hat works the best . It literally “caps” the urge.)
-If the urge is on fire, I will put ice cube or ice packs on my head.

5) SURF THE URGE: If I don’t have barriers handy, I utilize visualization techniques.
-I will imagine that my hands are very heavy, and concentrate on the weight of them in my lap. Or, I will see the urge as a wave or a strong misty wind. I see it approach, and I stand my ground, I will not be swept away buy it. Nor will I strain myself to try to hold it back. I will let it wash over and past me.

-The urge always passes. It may take 1,3,15,30 minutes, but it will pass.

-Another thing I do is jump on top of the urge on my surfboard (or not) and ride it out.

-Sometimes I see the urge as an angry insect, and I put a large glass lid over it and watch it frantically beat it wings into exhaustion.

-Sometime I visualize it being zapped into oblivion by a ray of white light.

-Or, I will imagine it is a cap on my head, and I will expel a large gust of air through my scalp to vanquish it.

-If visualization isn’t your thing, just breathe into the urge. Close your eyes and breathe it away with slow, steady breaths. Breathe from your belly, or look up some yogic breathing techniques.

6) I check in here almost every day. The support and community here is of incalculable benefit. If I falter, I don’t beat myself up, I just start all over again. It is a process.

Commitment

commitment

Staying committed is essential to recovery from trich.  We all have those days when the idea seems very doable and all important…but then there are those other days when things are not going so great and it seems too hard, not worth the fight.  It is in those times when commitment is most important.  The decision to fight no matter how we feel or how we are doing in our current situation is the difference maker.  It is easy enough to continue on when the urge isn’t bad, but stopping yourself when it is all consuming is the real key.  It is the decision to keep working after a major pulling episode or when your hair is at its worst.

Through a steadfast commitment to monitoring and consistent use of helpful strategies, the pulling WILL get better.  We must preserve even when it seems our efforts are in vain.  This why progress monitoring is great…we can take a step back and look at our patterns over a long period of time.  Even though the past day, week, or month has been bad, the overall decline in pulling will be evident with continued dedication to recovery.

I have tried charting for many years, but usually give up after a few months when it seems it is not helping.  I am now committed to chart each day no matter what.  I know in the long run, this will lead to progress.  It may take years, but I will get better.  The good times will last longer and it will be easier to climb out of the depths of a bad pulling spree.  Eventually, it will be easier to resist the urges and in time I know I will be pull free.  I am committed, even when I don’t feel like it, I will continue.

As for my current situation…I am 16 days PF on my scalp and 4 days pull free with my lashes.  March looks like it will be the first month since September when I had more good days than bad days.  This is progress for which I am very thankful.  My hair still doesn’t look any better, but I know I am working towards my goal and that feels great.

Here is a great post about commitment to kicking trich:

And the #1 Strategy for Beating Trichotillomania Is…

The Difference That Makes The Difference

…you have to make ENDING this problem a MUST for you.

What do I mean by that?

Well, a long time ago, I heard someone say, “We rarely get should’s, but we always get our MUSTS.”…click for full post

Trichotillomania Relief Specialists- The Blog

I just found this great trichotillomania resource, which can be found at http://blog.trich-free.com/

The following post from their site gives a great overview of the kind of material on the blog.

Here are our top 10 articles from 2014:

  1. I Pull My Hair – Is Something Wrong with Me? (12/9/14)
  2. Trichotillomania And The Secret of True Self-Confidence (1/6/14)
  3. Shaving Your Head – A Real Solution for Trichotillomania? (11/13/14)
  4. Part I: Commitment in Action – The Inspiring Story of Katie (1/30/14)
  5. Trichotillomania And You:  The Past Does Not Equal The Future (12/31/13)
  6. Trichotillomania: To Have Or Have Not (11/20/14)
  7. Pillars of Trichotillomania Freedom, Pt. III:  Emotional Healing & Freedom from Trichotillomania (5/13/14)
  8. “Programming” Your Subconscious Mind for Trichotillomania Freedom (5/7/14)
  9. Trichotillomania And The Winning Attitude of An Olympian (2/15/14)
  10. Part II: Commitment in Action – The Inspiring Story of Katie (2/8/14)

Based on this list, here are four of the most important take-aways that have come through loud and clear.  Of course, feel free to share your thoughts about these in the comments section below.

  • Trichotillomania does significant damage to one’s self-esteem.  It’s clear that one of the most troubling elements of trichotillomania is the sufferer’s feelings about themselves.  Generally speaking, the longer one has struggled with trichotillomania, the worse one feels about themselves.But it doesn’t have to take long.  Teenagers often feel the worst about their struggles with trich.  Feelings of being different – or even damaged, as though something is really “wrong” with them because they pull – are common.  Such feelings are especially difficult during the teenage years, when acceptance by one’s peers – the need to “fit in” –  is of paramount importance.The good news is, this also means resolving one’s challenges with trichotillomania virtually always results in a massive and nearly immediately improvement in one’s self-esteem; here at The Trichotillomania Relief Specialists, we’ve seen it happen this way again and again and again.   Within just days after starting with us, clients are happier, more self-assured and more confident than they’ve felt in years.
  • The most commonly suggested solutions for trich may not actually be solutions at all.  What kinds of ideas for managing your trichotillomania have been offered to you by your well-meaning medical doctor or mental health professionals?  What kind of ideas have you come up with as a result of your own research?I’ll tell you what WE hear – shave your head, put gloves on your hands or grease on your fingertips, cover your head with a hat, bandana or hairpiece, go outside and pull grass instead, etc., etc., etc.Ridiculous, right?  Whether or not you’ve actually tried any of these, don’t they just sound silly?

    Because, what is it you instinctually know?  That’s right – at best, these are nothing more than strategies to help manage or temporarily redirect your urges to pull – not to eliminate them.  And even if they “worked”, how long could they possibly provide meaningful relief?  Only until the next set of urges beset you.  It’s a never-ending cycle, and because of that, it’s reasonable to ask whether there might be anything more effective than a mere band-aid for managing trich symptoms.

  • Next to strategy, commitment is what’s most important.  We’ve seen again and again how a deep and powerful desire to be free of trichotillomania has made the transition to a trich-free lifestyle that much easier.True, clients need to first learn how to create that freedom from trichotillomania.  That’s why they come to see us – to be taught the two most important pillars to true, lasting and struggle-free independence from hair-pulling (both elements are taught in the very first week of our flagship 90-Day Distance Personal Breakthrough Coaching Program™).Of course, once clients learn the two major elements to freedom from trichotillomania, they do need to be willing to employ what they’ve learned at the appropriate times.  We’ve discovered that those with the deepest commitment to freedom from trichotillomania are the most likely to employ those strategies most regularly, thereby most quickly and easily freeing themselves from the prison of trichotillomania.
  • Your beliefs have a lot to do with your success – or lack thereof.  In particular, I’m talking about the beliefs you hold regarding your own power to change what’s not working in your life.Do you believe you have the ability to conquer your trichotillomania?  Do you believe anyone has that ability?  Or do you believe your trichotillomania is – and must remain – firmly in control?  Do you believe the best you can ever hope for is to manage your trich symptoms (but not ever really get rid of it once and for all)?  Even if it were possible, do you believe successfully managing your trich symptoms has to mean constant struggle along the way?If upon reading these questions you realize your answers are not what you wish they were, understand you’re not alone!  Just about all of our clients have felt exactly the same way at various points along their journey with trichotillomania.  In fact, most are still feeling this way the very first day they meet us to begin their 90-Day Distance Personal Breakthrough Coaching Program™ with us.

    It stands to reason that the more you believe you can at least learn to exert control over your trich symptoms, the easier you’ll find it to be.  Unfortunately, the opposite is true as well.

    But more good news: even if you don’t believe you have the ability to take control of your trichotillomania, we can assure you it is indeed possible –  for most, in fact, far more easily than they ever imagined possible.  You simply have to learn the skill.  Like any other skill, the more you practice, the better you get.