I was reading this post titled Start over at No Meat Athlete. It was about how getting started was tough (haha, I'm paraphrasing and over-simplifying, excessively). He used the term "GTD experts" and had a link under GTD. I clicked on it because I had no idea what this was and turns out it stands for 'Getting Things Done'. Ummm what?? There is a community of 'Getting Things Done' people?? It stands to reason that I wouldn't know what it stood for seeing as how, well, I just don't get things done!
From there, I ended up doing the time-loss internet thing where you go from link to link, reading interesting tidbits, then you look at the clock and wonder where the last hour went when you started off by reading a blog post. What I ended up finding was an organizational tool that Jerry Seinfeld used called Don't Break the Chain. The idea is that you have a year calendar on one page (or whatever works for you) and you come up with something(s) that you want to do every day. When you do them, you mark a big X across the day and all those X's form a chain. Don't break the chain!!! I figured this might work for me possibly because when I had my little counter on here for consecutive days tracking, it worked for me. I loved this post on lifehacker because I liked the changes he made with using separate calendars and what to do if you're sick or away on vacation etc. And I liked this post because she created a pdf calendar which I'm going to print off.
Now, I decided I would start with three things that I WANT to do every single day.
1. Activity - I'm going to start with 15 minutes. Most days will be more than 15 minutes just by design of the class I'll be doing but for those days where just putting on my running shoes seems like it would be too much, 15 minutes will be non-threatening. Usually when I've set out telling myself just 15 minutes, I end up completing the whole workout anyway because the obstacle has already been conquered.
2. Cleaning -- self-explanatory. I'm not that tidy of a person, yes, I admit it. I'm not great at maintenance. I've been a million times better for the last couple months though. Again -- 15 - 20 minutes.
3. I was trying to come up with a third thing. One that I deemed just as important. Something that would keep me together. I finally came up with not pulling my hair. Or I'll call it Pull-Free.
I have trichotillomania. That's a fancy name for 'I pull out my f*cking hair'. Yes, it makes me angry. So angry. I don't think I've ever mentioned it on my blog before. I really try not to mention it at all. What's to say? I don't want to hear ignorance like 'just stop' or 'snap out of it'. That type of approach doesn't work for drug addicts, alcoholics, overeaters, compulsive gamblers, or hand-washers etc and it doesn't work here.
I had done really well for the last couple of months. My hair was filling in. I really liked it. I really thought that I was over it. After 14 years. Magically. Just like that. I wasn't that self-conscious. Then sometime in the last couple of weeks, it snuck up on me and I find myself starting from scratch. And the worst thing about it being hair, is that once you've pulled, it's gone. It takes a lot of TIME for it to start coming back in. You have one pulling episode (?) and you deal with it for months. Or forever. So right now, I have a massive baldish spot on the top of my head. About the size of 1 1/2 of my hands. It is a challenge for me to walk out the door. I have called in sick before following pulling because I just can't go out. Social situations are impossible. While I don't mind hanging out with a few friends, I find this difficult to do spontaneously. I need to have a plan because I work up to social situations. Going to a party or a club or something like that, no. Just no. And I've decided that I'm not going to do things that me feel uncomfortable or anxious because that's exactly the type of feeling that bring out the anxiety and pulling. It's not worth it. So not worth it. I'm sure I seem standoffish or selfish or lazy when I turn down invites but I'm going to try to stop caring about that. So much of my energy is placed on how to make it less noticeable, cringing about sitting in front of someone on the bus, always wearing a cap to the gym. I wonder what it would be like to just not think about it. Freeing I bet.
I often wonder what people are thinking or how many people notice. Thank goodness I'm tall. You can't really tell from the front but definitely from the back and from one side. Nobody really asks. But geez, I don't dare let a child see the top of my head by accident because they ALWAYS notice and ALWAYS say something which is just embarrassing all around. I've tried medication in the form of different anti-depressants but I find that they don't work well enough for me to make all the other side effects worth it. What I've found does work for me, is behavior based stuff. Like wearing a scarf on my head when I get home. Or wearing gloves when I drive. Just being really aware of when and where I do it.
After I decided my third task for Don't Break the Chain, I started googling trich. There are loads of youtube videos where people have documented progress or just talk about what it's like etc. However, I'd found a show that I hadn't seen before. It looks like a documentary called Girls on the Pull that aired in the UK. I think this show very accurately shows how it is. So if you're interested or curious or you know me, it might be interesting for you to watch. There's two parts, about ten minutes each. I really wish that there was a salon or woman like the one on here close to me. I want to find this salon and fly there. Getting a hair cut is a freaking nightmare for me. It would be much more bearable to get a haircut if different hair disorders like alopecia and trich were covered even briefly in hairdressing school. The top of my head looks like the 17 year-old girl in this documentary. I'm much fairer though so I think (hope) it's not quite as noticeable.