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
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Sometimes It’s Not Just Trich- Day 4 of 7 Day Trichster

I wouldn’t be sharing the full story if I didn’t focus at least one day with my own struggle with other Body-Focused Repetitive-Behaviours (BFRBs). As some Trichsters do, I’ve developed other types of BFRBs over the years. I believe my journey with BFRBs began as a young child as a very bad nail bitter, or in BFRB terms Onychophagia.

Since I began pulling my biggest focus has been hiding it. Thats not easy to do. I rarely pull in the presence of others, if I do I aim to be discrete. So as a coping mechanism, and because BFRBs of all kinds can go in hand-in-hand, I also live with dermatillomania, and cheek keratosis. Big words for other parts of my daily reality. 

It’s not uncommon to see me picking a scab on my head, I put it there. Sure it may have started as a dry spot , but it certainly won’t stay that way. Picking a scab until it bleeds, starting a wound where the wasn’t previously one, the annoyance with any imperfection. The repetition of these types of behaviours are common place in my life. Gross perhaps, but thats not the way I and millions of other Canadians see it, we can’t help it. It hurts sometimes, unlike my hair pulling. Some BFRB sufferers pick their legs and arms, the skin from around their fingers or their faces. I also pick the skin around my cuticles or my face- That is dermatillomania.

I started biting my cheeks (cheek keratosis) as a way to fight the urge to pull, on live television broadcast throughout Prince Edward Island. Sitting on stage at the UPEI Convocation Ceremony, having just botched a speech in front of thousands, I was stressed, but watched. Texts from those watching started to explode my phone:

“Why are you making that funny face?”

“Stop being odd.”

“You look funny.”

“You look weird stop making faces.”

Welcome the funny face into my world. I’m often seen with a funny face, lop-sided smile; I’m chewing the inside of my cheek. Of all the BFRBs I live with cheek keratosis is one that is most prominent as of late. I chew the inside of my cheeks, creating wounds, and sometimes it hurts , but mostly my jaw just reaches fatigue due to the weird movement.  Although I still dislike cheek biting, I feel it’s more socially acceptable, and so its become my go-to. Still painful, still frustrating, but still part of me. 

This is not a complete list of BFRBs, or the fullest of their reality. Visit The TLC Foundation for BFRBs to learn more, or check back later today for my compiled synopsis.

As always feel free to join the conversation, ask questions, like & share.