Defining Me. Defining Curly.

Hello if you’re new here, I’m Anastasia and I have body-focused repetitive behaviours as well as generalized anxiety.

Need a refresher? Take a look at my 7 Day Trichster Series.

Some quick FYIs:

Trichotillomania– the unwanted urge and unprovoked “habit” of pulling your hair out from eyebrows, head, anywhere really.

Dermatillomania– the urge to pick at your skin.

Cheek Biting– the biting of lips and cheeks.

That’s not why we’re here today however, I’m here to get back into blogging. It’s been over two years and so there’s no time like the present- right?


Since I can remember I’ve hated my hair’s texture. In my view it is not wavy, not curly, just frizzy. As someone who cannot stand varying textures in my hair it drove my trichotillomania up and down the wall. Despite comments and praise when wearing my hair natural I have always HATED it.

Sure, there has been days it has “behaved” and I’ve accepted it’s wild vibes. However, these days of acceptance and self-love have been few and far between. Generally I can handle a few hours with my natural hair flowing before resorting to a pony-tail.

This month I have been changing that view, and letting my hair be itself, or least I’m attempting to.

With some research and an ultimate goal of self acceptance I’ve put down the straightener and picked up new products and Youtube videos. I’ve learned a lot and am happy to report with every passing day my hair is getting healthier and the curls are showing their true gorgeous selves. My acceptance of this new journey is still in the works, some days a bun still is my favourite relief, but everything is a work in progress.

Not sure what else to say today, but I’ll be back sooner than later (I hope). Enjoy the trip down memory lane in the The Cycle.

“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” -Lucius Annaeus Seneca

 

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What a week!

It’s been a week, one whirlwind, awesome, challenging- week. 

Amid all the crazy I don’t think of my mental health, which is a nice break. I get into a “get shit done” mode and generally just try and survive until sleep arrives.

Friday for example I worked from 4am until 9:30pm straight through and then went out with friends, cause St.Paddy’s Day arrives but once a year! Next day I committed to volunteering at 8am then worked until 10pm.

The hours are hard, the lack of breathing time exhilarating, the copious amounts of coffee-clearly not healthy.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it. 

I love the challenge of testing my limits. It’s rewarding to be able to look back and say, “that was entirely too much” but also, “I did that! I survived that!”

It’s not all fun however, despite the outcomes.

My social media makes each 18 hour day seem relatively glamorous. Instagram shows a smiling face; coffee (who can complain about that?!); Twitter is engaging; and Facebook shows happy memories. Snapchat makes light of the hours, and is the only true perspective to the reality, one that only close friends get to see.

I volunteer, work two jobs, manage many volunteer positions in my spare moments, have pets to take care of, and try to gain some semblance of normalcy throughout it all. In all this other elements of my life suffer. 

The pets are cared for less, sleep doesn’t happen, relationships take a hit- far too much goes to the wayside.

So today, as I take the time to focus on #selfcare, finally call my parents back, and “reset my life” I remind you that what you see online isn’t always the reality.

Look beyond what you see on a screen to the reality of a human being.

A smile is easy in front of a flash. 

Take care of yourselves friends ❤


Join the conversation! Give this post a share, a like or a comment! Spread the word about mental health, and body-focused repetitive behaviours.<3 -A

10 #SelfCare Tips for Trichotillomania

Anyone with a Trichotillomania knows certain things that make our pulling better, others make them much worse.

Not often discussed however, is how to take care of ourselves in between. Below are my current ways to to take care of my trichotillomania. More tips to follow on cheek-biting and others. These tips are only my current ones, and constantly adapting. My experiences but I hope they may helps some! Feel free to add your own in the comments.

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1. Rosemary Oil– This has been a favourite of mine for a long time. I read somewhere once that rosemary oil, being an oil that carries heat is good for bruises. One year after an event that involved far too many barricades to move-I needed to get rid of some bruises. It works great for bruises but is also known to increase hair growth. I haven’t delved into the specifics of this, but it feels good, smells amazing and that’s enough for me! I put it on bald spots mostly or add into my hot oil hair treatments.

2. Coconut Oil- Hopping on the coconut oil train like everyone else. It’s awesome and is great for making hair feel soft but also nurturing.

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3. Hair Brushes- I admit sometimes I go full Rapunzel and brushing my hair repeatedly “…47, 48, 49, 50.” It makes my scalp feel good and is good for my hair too. Big fan of a bamboo comb like this one I bought at The Body Shop a few years ago.

4. Braids- More of a coping strategy, but they’re fun to do and great for when I need a brain break.

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5. Working Out- I’m not the greatest at this, but it does help clear my mind when I’m active. Arm days are great- hard too pull when your arms are sore.

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6. Outdoor Walks– Being in nature, experiencing nature and because I’m in Canada, and it’s cold half the year- hats and mits make pulling impossible.

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7. Hair Cuts- I’ve talked about the hair dresser before in The Dreaded Hair Dresser. Once I’m comfortable with a stylist however, getting my hair dyed and cute feels great and luxurious!

8. Fake Eye-Lashes- I’ve been pulling from my eyelashes almost exclusively as of late. This tip is also somewhat of a coping mechanism, but when I put on fake eyelashes I’m far less self conscious when in public which is definitely a self-care win!

9. Hot Oil Treatments- Caring for my hair and making it feels super soft making this one of my favourite tips. Coconut oil and a bit of tea tree oil or rosemary oil mixed into the mix makes my hair smell equally as lovely.

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10. Cooking-I find cooking really relaxing and as such it makes pulling less of a focus. Food as fuel is also key ❤  Continue reading “10 #SelfCare Tips for Trichotillomania”

BFRB Network Haul

Had the urge to buy something for myself, for selfcare a few weeks back, so I took to the TLC Foundation website to see what I could find. They’ve got quite a fantastic selection of fiddle toys, books, bracelets and more!

It was my first time ordering from the site, and I have to say it was fantastic. Every purchase funds outreach, education and research for people living with BFRBs which was an added perk. Quick delivery, easy to order things and the items arrived with information about the organization and BFRBs which I thought was awesome! To add to the fun, my receipt had a hand-written thank you note on it with a ❤ and it made me smile-it’s the little things. 

Below is what I ordered and thought of the items so far.

1. Handmade Anxiety Spinning Ring

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I was really excited about this- mostly as it was simple and inconspicuous but functional. Intrigued by the fashion + functionality aspect of this ring it’s exactly what I was looking for. A few weeks later I’m still a big fan of it. Although the pearling on the beds has worn off making it look worn and aged I still like this ring and would definitely recommend it for someone looking to have a fiddle toy without looking like you have a fiddle toy.

 

 

2. Edamame Soybean Fiddle Toy

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HOW CUTE IS THIS!? I bought this not because it seemed useful, but because it’s just adorable. It arrived in a pack of two, the second one isn’t shown in the picture. I love them. I’ve been keeping one on my keychain which has been really helpful driving to work each day. Used it throughout meetings a couple weeks ago- super helpful. I love how this fiddle toy doesn’t look like a fiddle toy but rather a trendy keychain

3. Life is Tricky by Lindsey M. Muller 

I have just started this so a review will have to wait. Stay-tuned.

 


Join the conversation! Give this post a share, a like or a comment! Spread the word about mental health, and body-focused repetitive behaviours.<3 -A

 

 

#SelfCare vs. Me.

I struggle with the practice of self-care. I understand the need. I understand the concept. I love the glamorization of it- I’m just bad at practicing it.

I tend to live by the “hustle til’ you crash” model of life. I’ll volunteer, work, study, write, socialize, refuel on caffeine, eat too much dairy and eventually just CRASH. 

Sometimes that crash is manageable, a weekend of solitude or an evening with a book will do it. Other times my body downright fights back and I get so sick I am forced to to do nothing for weeks on end. It’s rather inconvenient. 

It happened this Fall following a busy summer, even crazier fall, a move, a trip and some other drama in my life. I fought through what I though was a cold for months, only to finally cave and go to the doctor discovering I had pneumonia. Three weeks on the couch, and now a few months later I can honestly say I am feeling healthy again.

Why does this happen though? Why can’t my body, my mind and my abilities keep up to the pace I want them too? Why can’t I just burn the midnight oil, wakeup at 6am, drink eight cups of coffee, run on take-out and thrive like I want to?

The answer is simple- I’m human. 

That’s the hardest pill to swallow. The fact that as much as I want to do all those things, and I want to be super-human- I’m not.

I’m trying to focus more on self-care this year, looking after me and my own personal health, both physical and mental. Stay-tuned for some of my favourite self-care tips relating to both general mental health and body-focused repetitive behaviours in the coming weeks.

Always remember-it’s not selfish to take care of yourself, it’s necessary.


Join the conversation! Give this post a share, a like or a comment! Spread the word about mental health, and body-focused repetitive behaviours.<3 -A

The Lie…

I’ve always been an optimist.

I blame my Dad for this-he is the most “sunny ways” person I know. He instilled in me that every situation, regardless of it’s level of awful, can have a silver outline. He takes the darkest of times and sees the positive light of day.

It’s good, but bad.

It’s made me an optimistic liar. 

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For you see, thanks to my optimistic view of life I lie to myself all the time.

I wakeup and say “today I’ll drink less coffee, eat healthy and really walk the dog!”

I make promises I know I’ll never keep. For example last week, when I vowed not to eat dairy, but then happily consumed a slice of pizza when it stared me in the face.

I like to think I can achieve anything. A positive trait one would think. I also try and see the good in every situation. Achievement, and optimism…both good qualities? Ones you’d put in an interview list for sure!

However, sometimes these views make me believe things that are untrue. Only to face disappointment.

I tell myself optimistic lies all the time.

Bad grade? I’ll do better next assignment! I’ll makeup those attendance marks by talking a-ton in the last few weeks.

A relationship on the tumble? Optimist me sees possibility, focuses on good times, dreams of hope in the end.

…My hair pulling is never exempt from my optimism in particular.

I lie about my Trichotillomania the most.

Wearing a hat? Today I won’t pull my hair!

New haircut? There. I won’t ruin this one. This haircut will make things better…there’s one hair out of place, need to fix that.

New apartment? I won’t pull my hair here. This is a pull-free zone…sits on couch, pulls hair.

New relationship? I won’t pull my hair around this person…pulls hair the minute the person leaves the room.

I don’t need to get help for this, I’m in control…sits on couch and pulls hair out by clumps.

Lies to ourselves are just things of desire. Although no matter how optimistic or well aimed they may be, they’re detrimental to success and to ourselves.

I’m know I won’t magically become truthful to myself overnight. Nor do I want to. I also know I’m not going to become a pessimist. Bright side views and sunny ways is who I am. Who I was raised to be, and love that about myself.

Instead I’m going to aim to be critical. Critical of thoughts, critical of lies, critical of views. Aiming instead for goals with tangible targets, and points of success. I’ll be different this time around…

Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

 

 

What’s Important.

I haven’t wanted to write.

I haven’t wanted to delve into BFRBs and Trichotillomania.

I haven’t wanted to do much honestly.

I feel as if you need to realize something is missing from life to truly bring it back into perspective.

To realize it’s importance. 

Writing used to be a large component of my day, of my week. We’ve taken a break recently writing and I. It’s been good…or at least I thought.

But now, I’m back.

Continue reading “What’s Important.”