Waking up with a pulling hangover
If you're 21 or above (let's pretend underage drinking doesn't exist for a moment) you've probably woken up with a hangover. You've probably woken up with a splitting headache, dry mouth, and maybe even some feelings of regret or shame. Why did I drink so much? What if I told you I have felt that way after a big pulling episode, would you believe me?
If I get pulled into the "trich trance" before bedtime I might not go to sleep at all. What once was a normal sleep routine has now changed into some chaotic living nightmare. I am pulling my hair out for hours. My fingers are sore from the repetitive behavior. I am so tired and in pain yet I can't stop. Finally, with my hand still reaching for my next hair, my body shuts itself down. I sleep.
I've woken up with intense feelings of regret, shame, and embarrassment. My head hurts, my mouth is dry, my eyes burn, and my finger tips are bruised. Why did I pull so much? The reminder of my night is all over my pillowcase and on the floor beside my bed. I quickly gather all the hair I can to throw away.
For most of my life, I responded by mistreating myself. You're such an idiot. Why did you do that? What is wrong with you? You are such a failure. Intensifying the feelings of embarrassment and shame that I woke up with which unsurprisingly leads to more pulling. Great.
Now, I practice positive self-talk. I use the word 'practice' because it is so easy to fall into old patterns. I'm trying to change those. It is amazing how quickly I can recover when I say things like: It is a new day. You did the best you could. You will be okay. Everything is fine. I can look at the day in eyes that aren't squinting in fear, but open to the beauty of the world. Open to the beauty of me. With or without hair.