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Describe the location where you pull the most

In this blog post I will be responding to a question from my guided journal, My Trichster Diaries. Please feel free to share your answer in the comments below.

After living with trichotillomania for as long as I have, I've noticed a pattern when it comes to my pulling in certain locations. I like to call these places "hot zones" because I know once I'm there I am most likely going to be pulling nonstop. Why? Well, a couple reasons. These places make pulling convenient, I'm relaxing or decompressing from the day, or simply, the lighting is good. Here are some of my "hot zones."

The Car

Driving a car and even being a passenger in a car can trigger my trichotillomania. While I drive it is very easy to rest my left elbow on the car door and pull from my scalp. Resting my elbow there not only allows me to rest my arm, those who have trichotillomania know how tiring it is to hold your arm up in one place for a while, it also takes me to my favorite spot right behind my left ear. It is too easy!

Growing up in Philadelphia it was normal for me to commute 45 minutes to an hour to work and 45 minutes to an hour back home. On days where there was an accident it could take almost two hours one way! I never thought anything of it. Now that I've lived in Florida for a while I realize that isn't as common. I bring this up because my entire commute home used to be a time where my pulling went wild. I would practically zone out the entire ride home. It became a routine where once I parked I would look down and collect all the hair I pulled. My floor mats were covered. I'd leave the car feeling embarrassed.

As a passenger I've noticed that I play with my split-ends more. I am still constantly running my hands through my hair but I am less focused on finding the perfect hair to pull. The end result is the same though. Hair all over the floor mats.

The Couch

This is a big "hot zone" because I love spending time on the couch! Who doesn't? I don't instantly start pulling the second I sit down but my hands do start to creep up to my scalp after a while. The couch cushions are a perfect resting place for my elbow, I like to relax after a long day, I'm reading or watching TV, the reasons for pulling are endless.

The Desk

Does concentrating also lead you to pull more? For me it does. It often takes me much longer to complete things like sending email because I am pulling while I'm typing it. I don't know about you but I can't type fast enough with one hand. When I pull while concentrating I feel like my thoughts become clearer. I can think through things differently. If it wasn't for the hair on the keyboard and bald spots on my scalp I wouldn't even view it as a bad thing.

What do I do now that I know where I pull?

I'm able to better prepare myself when I enter those areas. Start building that BFRB or Trichster Tool Kit. I wear my Keen2 from HabitAware, I have fidget toys that I only use in those areas, I take frequent breaks, I stop watching reality TV shows that make me cringe, I get up and play with the dog, and most importantly, I remind myself that I am doing the best I can.


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