I had another session with my Habit Reversal Training therapist yesterday and although I cannot say that I’m pull-free (not pulling out hair) but I’m better, I’m better at identifying when I’m likely to start pulling out my hair (trichotillomania) and I’ve been trying my best to distract my wandering hands. I have about three different distraction techniques depending on what I’m doing.
1. Knitting – I have been picking up some knitting when ever I have the urge to pull whilst watching TV, so far since I last saw my HRT therapist I’ve knitted, 1 blanket, 1 scarf, 1 teddy bear for a charity that send bears overseas to children, and 3 legwarmers for a housebound neighbour. Soon I will run out of wool and things to knit so before I start knitting strange items like the uterus in the picture, please give me some ideas.
2. Fiddling with my strange squidggy thing, I have 2 of them a small pink one with long tentacles and googly eyes that unfortunately I’ve squeezed to death and is now somewhat deflated and a large black ball-like creature with large painted on eyes and short green spikes all over, unfortunately his eyes are now peeling off – again too much squeezing and pulling.
3. Squashing Playdoh. I have a pot of bright pink Playdoh on my desk ready for when I feel the urge to pull my hair whilst at my desk, it’s beginning to go a bit dry and flaky and is loosing it’s soft elasticity that it once had. I love the smell of Playdoh; it’s one of those comforting childhood kinds of smells.
I’ve been given a chart to fill in by my therapist to fill in when I start pulling out my hair where I fill in columns stating when I did it, how long it went on for, how many hairs pulled out, how strong the urge was and what I was doing at the time and how I felt.
This is going to be fairly tough over the next couple of weeks as it’s time for me as an unemployed person to undertake my “mandatory work-related activity” which I’m beginning to get quite stressed about, it’s probably nothing but I have recently become quite a bit of a stress bunny. Hopefully this worry will iron it’s self out when I know what I’ll be actually doing and where I’ll be doing it, I’m certainly not looking forward to working in a big open plan office where there’s lots going on making it very difficult for me to concentrate and where my tics will drive my co-workers batty. I have been trying to set up my own business and I have always worked best undisturbed (when I’ve finished procrastinating) in my own peaceful study with just Sasha (my cat) for company. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and doing something new but I am feeling just a tad stressed out about this whole “sharing an office” scenario.