7 Day Trichster Series

In 2016 I embarked on a personal journey to talk about Trichotillomania and BFRBs for seven days. It was the most rewarding, and most difficult thing I’ve done.

Take a read through this tag.

For more recent blogs, and more general mental health focus as well see “Blogs“.

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A Shiny New Year

It’s supposed to be sparkly, it’s supposed to be exciting, it’s supposed to be filled with newness and shine. Ahh a New Year. A day when, for whatever reason on January 1st we convince ourselves things will be different- but will they?


I love lists. We’ve talked about this before. So the concept of making a year-long list of “to-dos” is extremely exciting to me. If I were ambitious I could look back in old journals and see resolutions back to when I was young, when “spend more time with the neighbours dog” was a logical resolution. 

My ambitions have changed slightly since then. I’ve resolved to spend more time with friends, to eat healthier, to exercise, to actually do my laundry more than once every three weeks- you know, adult things. Every year I’ve enjoyed creating those resolutions. I’ve managed to keep them up, for about a month. Finding myself annoyed, disappointed and unimpressed come February, chanting in my head “next year we’ll do better!”

It never bothered me, until this year. 

I’m struggling with the whole “resolutions” concept this year. My mind unsure which way to turn, annoyed for the first time at this “new year, new you” mantra folks seem to have adopted.

“What should they be?”

“Why do they matter?” …”Do they matter?”

“Who said January 1st had to be the day, and whoever it was, how dare they tell me what to do!”

“What is a GOOD resolution?”

“Are my resolutions bad?”

It’s taken me half of January, a lot of brain power and even more time spent journaling to figure it out. 

So far I’ve come up with this…

Just because it’s January doesn’t mean a new goal has to be achieved.

Just because the gyms are packed doesn’t mean you need to be there.

Just because everyone is losing the “holiday weight” doesn’t mean you need to rush into it.

Just because it’s January 15th doesn’t mean you can’t make a goal now, you can make a goal on August 10th for all anyone cares.

Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean you need to make goals, or be accountable to a list at all- give yourself a break.

What a new year does mean is a chance to refocus, to reinvest in YOU.

So this year that’s what I’m doing. Not making resolutions that I’ll do because I “should” or everyone else is. Rather doing what’s right for me. Taking the pressure off, focusing instead on what I need. 

Right now that means actually drinking water, eating no dairy products, reading more and detoxing from my phone.

Will these goals change next week? Maybe, but I’m alright with that.


If resolutions are your thing this year, and you want to take it “Up a Notch” take a look at Talking to the Void, my friend Nicole has something pretty fantastic planned!

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.”

When things are good.

Sometimes it’s hard to write when you’re feeling good. Sometimes it’ scary.

I’ve been struggling to write lately.

Struggling to find a topic, struggling to sit still and write, struggling to find the motivation. Partly I think it’s because I’m not struggling right now, things are good.

When I started blogging there was no goal. There was just a need to talk, to write and to reach-out. When I started blogging pulling was fine. It was there, but it was alright.

As the blogging progressed passed the first #7DayTrichster series it was alright, but things were also not fantastic. Stress, an odd time emotionally and other life events got in the way. Pulling was bad.

Listening to the stories of others is hard emotionally, rewarding yes, but hard on the brain. I found myself frustrated by the lack of awareness, of endlessly hearing of the lack of support. Of hearing others struggle I became exhausted.

Writing more meant dealing with more.

Every blog, every share made me want to pull more. Made me more frustrated, more sad.

Things have turned around now, things are looking up. Things are good. 

So now I sit here re-evaluating. Not only for myself but for all those with Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours. Do I keep writing, despite not feeling it? Or do I focus on something else? Do I continue to share via this blog when the feeling strikes?

I don’t know.

I’m in a good place, but an odd one. Bare with me folks. I’ll be back.

In the meantime I’d love some inspiration- send me some ideas? 

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Let’s Connect! Want to collaborate? Suggest a post? Ask a question? Meet to chat? I’m all ears! Send me an email or connect via @AnaSmallwood on twitter or  @timetotalktrich instagram. 

 

 

Still Here!

It’s been a while, I know, I know.

Life gets in the way sometimes, and that’s okay.

Im not going anywhere though, the journey of sharing my story with Trichotillomania and BFRBs will continue but within the crazy confines of my busy life.

In the meantime, until I find five seconds to write a new post check-out this article I had posted on The Mighty.

…The one in which I interview my ex about relationships #thathappened

 

The List.

Sometimes I question why, and how I do it all. The daily list. The daily grind. What’s it all for?

Stay tuned for my critique of it all. In the meantime- my list. 

  • Student
  • Employee full-time
  • Employee casual
  • JazzFest Volunteer
  • Community Volunteer (Bluenose, Give Agency, Wine & Dash, Run for the Cure…likely forgetting some)
  • UPEI Alumni
  • MSVU PR Comm Society President
  • Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia Board of Trustees Member
  • Mental Health Blogger
  • Mental Health Blog Contributor
  • Symmetry Editor
  • Brownie Unit Guider
  • Girl Guides of Canada Link Member
  •  MSVUSU Speaker of Council
  • 3 twitter accounts, 3 instagram accounts, 3 Facebook pages (Full-time Work)
  • 1 personal twitter account, 3 personal instagram accounts, 1 Facebook profile, 1 LinkedIn profile
  • 1 society twitter, instagram, Facebook Page, and LinkedIn
  • 1 blog twitter and Facebook page
  • Friend
  • Daughter
  • Mentor
  • Pet owner
  • Networking is important!
  • Maintaining connections
  • Whatever a social life is
  • Dancer
  • Sometimes runner
  • Try to cook
  • Time for Me?