Journaling (again)

I am terrible at journaling. Every year I start a diary with positive intentions and I’ve always stopped after a few weeks. I know that writing my thoughts and feelings down helps me but it’s also so hard sometimes. I suppose it’s because when you write you make it real, you take the thought out of your head and there it is in front of you in the real world, and I guess this scares me.
Despite this yearly failure and potent fear of confronting myself, here I am yet again trying to start a journal. I want to stop pulling my leg hair out as it’s giving me scabs and scars and enabling me to hide from my anxieties rather than acknowledging them. So, I will try to post here each day as my pulling has become daily and is creeping in to multiple times a day and I know if I catch it now I may just be able to actually help, care and look after myself.
Lordy our brains and bodies are a f***ing complicated mess aren’t they?! Jesus Christ what is my life!!
Okay, today is Day 1 and it’s the afternoon which is good because I’m feeling good but I know as it becomes evening and night the urge to pull is stronger. I’m wishing myself luck and deciding I’m going to make some changes damn it! No matter how long or difficult that may be!!

Comments

  • Good luck on your new journey @Anna !! I admire your determination. Give your Trich some hell today Girl!!😉👍💪
  • Thank you @SleepySloth !!

    I'm so happy to say I didn't pull at all yesterday/last night! It was on my mind the entire time and has been since I woke up today but I used a lot of the tips I'd read on this forum and I realised not pulling has to become part of my nighttime routine.

    The first thing I did was put/hide my tweezers in the downstairs bathroom so there's extra effort and more time to stop myself if I go to pull, rather than them being in my bedside table drawer. (Couldn't bring myself to actually throw them away, that's the next step...)

    I then made a rewards chart with the days of the week and at night I put a sticker next to the day when I haven't pulled, made me feel like a primary school kid!
    When I got in to bed I listened to an Agatha Christie audiobook (loads on YouTube) and oh my gosh its such a good way to lose yourself in another world. Whilst listening I did Sudoku so my brain was doubly engaged in other things.

    It was an active distraction if that makes sense, it was always on my mind but after posting on here yesterday I was determined to go for it. I know it's only one day and everything can change and like my journaling it always starts well and then goes downhill but hey I'm trying!

    Come on day 2...

  • Hiya @Anna,

    Welcome to the forum!! I'm mighty proud of you for facing your challenge and getting on here to tackle it. It's lovely how you're putting your journal on here so others can draw strength from it as well. I've also always struggled with journaling and not been able to keep consistent with it, so this may just be an inspiration for myself too.

    You're doing fabulously!!! Congrats on your first day PF!!!

    You can do this, xxxxx

  • @Anna it's so cool that you've made a post as your journal entries , that way we can help you too and advice you when you're feeling lost. I actually wanted to do that too but I tend to write chunky paragraphs so I spared everyone the pain 🤭 it'll be interesting to watch your journey good luck!!

    ~Yuri
  • Thank you Joy and Yuri! I was so nervous about posting on here but it's helped to encourage me more than I realised it would!
    ...
    I spent so much time when I was younger not engaging with group support systems because I couldn't understand how sharing my sht and listening to other people's sht would help, but now I'm the BIGGEST advocate for group work and support systems. I never realised before how much feeling alone or feeling like the only one or feeling that no-one in your life truly understands you impacts acceptance & recovery. It's only since joining a mental health support group (Oct 2019) that I started to accept how my brain works and not keep beating myself up about it.
    ...
    I'm sat at my desk right now writing this and feeling all the scars on my legs, how bumpy they are... I'm going to put some tights on... right, tights on. I am wearing a long skirt btw I wasn't just wearing pants before. OH MY GOD ANNA YOU ARE AVOIDING WRITING ABOUT WHAT THIS JOURNAL IS ABOUT!
    ...
    I didn't pull last night either, which was very hard I will admit. But, I'd given myself a sticker already and I didn't want to have to take it off and so treating myself like a primary school kid I guess is working?! Wish me luck tonight...
    ...
    I will just say that the worst thing to happen today was my mum seeing my scared and scabby legs. (Yes I live with my mum because - pandemic, but trust me I am cool, I swear...) She'd seen them before but quite a few months ago when they weren't as bad as they are now. She was pretty horrified and I know her reaction wasn't meant to hurt me but it really did. It was exactly the reaction I always fear when telling someone about my mental health and how it manifests. Bless her, she did apologise, (and immediately make me a cup of tea) but it was just really rough and makes me feel kinda sad, especially because I'm trying so hard to make a change and find some brightness, I guess it just felt like she was casting a big shadow over it all again.
    ...
    Day 3 afternoon/nighttime will be better...

  • I know exactly what you mean @Anna about your friends and/or family saying something that isn't meant to be hurtful, but it is. They seem to only recognize the negative and can't see the progress we've made so far.

    Just know that you can share both your successes AND your failures here. And we all GET IT. We all have been there and are just as happy for you when you have one pull-free day, as we are when you get to 100 days. Keep plugging away Anna!

    Stay strong & talk soon!

    SleepySloth
  • The responses on here have been so lovely and mean so much to me, especially because a few weeks ago I didn't even know if what I was experiencing was even a thing!
    ...
    Last night was really really hard and quite bizarre to be honest. Actively distracting myself right before I go to sleep with Sudoku or an audio-book is working for me which I'm so thankful for. But I woke up at about 2am and my left leg was really hurting. I turned my light on and realised that in my sleep I'd scratched one of my scabs right off and had dug into the skin like I do with tweezers. There was blood on my leg and under my nails and I didn't really know what to do.
    ...
    My sleep is always strange; vivid dreams, shouting/talking, squeezing spots I've been trying so hard not to squeeze during the day and now picking at my legs which I'd been trying so hard not to do all day and night - F*UCK OFF SLEEP ANNA YOU ARE NOT HELPING!
    ...
    Then it started to feel crazy itchy... and having read on here before about the itch I knew it was all part of this thing we all deal with, which in a way was good because I recalled all the advice that had been shared. So, I went to the bathroom and half asleep I cleaned that part of my leg and put a plaster over it so I couldn't get to it again.
    ...
    The main struggle with this whole situation was that I had to look directly at my leg, which I haven't done since I really started to dedicate myself to this PF life. I saw all the little hairs growing back, the hair growing through the scabs all the things that would make me pull them out in the past. It was rough. To be honest I think being half asleep really helped me in this moment because I just wanted to get back to bed. Unfortunately, when I was back in bed the itchiness became really bad. But I remembered one of the pieces of advice was to put pressure on the area to relieve the itch rather than scratching at it. I'm not sure how long I was awake trying not to engage with my trich thoughts but it was quite a while... eventually I slept.
    ...
    I haven't looked at my leg again and the plaster is still there. I don't think I can look yet or take the plaster off. But I think that's okay...

  • @anna I think it's okay too that you're not ready to take the plasters off, metoo when I first went trich free I couldn't look at my small hairs growing in the mirror or even feel the individual hairs on my scalp because it would trigger me hard. As time goes it becomes easier and eventually you won't find it triggering anymore to look at the hairs and feel your skin! :3 I think it's great you still fight everyday and don't give up, keep going and updating here it's awesome 💟

    ~ Yuri
  • So I haven't posted here in 3 days, not for any reason just me being rubbish at journaling. I do want to be better at it though because I know it helps me each day to reflect rather than just push on.
    ...
    I haven't pulled any hair since I started this journal, which if you include today is 7 days PF - oh my gosh! 7 days! Until I worked it out just then I hadn't realised it was a week - oh my gosh! Okay, that's given me a bit of a boost because I've been struggling the past few days.
    ...
    Having not been able to look at my legs I've now totally swung in the opposite direction and each day I'm staring at them and kind of feeling nothing but also a lot... that makes little sense... I suppose what I mean is that when I used to pull my hair I'd do it for long periods of time and my brain would basically shut down and that's kind of how it feels now but yeah.
    ...
    I'm not sure where my heads at at the moment, and I feel like my body is deteriorating a bit as well, even though I haven't pulled, but yeah, just a confusing time.

  • @anna that's so awesome wow a week already..! I think your mind and body are just confused on why it is not receiving the sensations of pulling anymore which is apart of reprogramming your mind and habits. I would say though to make sure you're replacing the pulling habit with something else that could daily give you higher dopamine and other hormone levels. For example exercising daily is a great one or praying. Good luck you're an inspiration 🥰

    ~Yuri
  • Oh my gosh, I continue to be awful at consistently journaling - I knew this would happen, got off to such a good start but oh well at least I'm back now right?!
    ...
    Ugh, life continues to be boring and scary in lockdown and I do feel like I kind of sleepwalk through a lot of it which isn't completely bad.. but also not great.
    ...
    Most of the scabs on my legs have come off now which is good but my skin colour is, of course, all over the place; like reds and pinks and yeah... bless its heart, it still needs to sort itself out, but it will get there.
    ...
    I'm willing myself on every day to not pick at my hair or my skin in any way because I can tell that my body is fixing itself, which is amazing to see. After everything I've put it through it still wants to fix itself, honestly... just to think about that for a second makes me feel all kinds of good things.
    ...
    I will post tomorrow, promise - I've written it now so I have to!

  • Good to hear you are seeing healing in your legs @Anna 👍 Our bodies are truly amazing aren't they? No matter how much we use and abuse them, they still hang in there with us!
    Don't be too hard on yourself for not journaling every day. I would love to set that goal for myself every day too. But I like to remain a realist, so I shoot for once a week.... just to let everyone know I'm still alive 😉
    Hang in there with lockdown. It's GOT TO get better soon?.....Right?!

    Stay strong & talk soon!

    SleepySloth ♥️
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