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Arden Raine is an ex-theatrical making sense of life through many lenses.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Trichotillomania and me

*This began as a Facebook status but is important enough to share here.*
I have been having a bad time with my Trichotillomania.
That is an obsessive compulsion to pull out one's own hair.
On YouTube I found a beautiful British Channel 4 documentary titled: "Girls on the Pull". 
It's in 2 parts and though I cried through most of it, I see what those girls are going through and realize how lucky I am. And so happy that those women found Lucinda Ellerby, the salon owner who specializes in helping those with Trichotillomania. 
I have had Trich since age 11, so for 31 years it has been my companion.
I have many times stopped and restarted the pulling.
As life and anxiety drag on my resources the trich becomes a means to buffer myself from that anxiety. I have come to see it as a gentle reminder to self care and revisit my therapeutic toolbox.  But I do not berate myself for the relapses.
My last restart began, unsurprisingly,  with the miscarriage last year. And has ramped up lately with the dual upheavals of kidlet's school problems and home worries. Nothing earth shattering but honestly I have pushed my own needs/self care to the back burner and the Trichotillomania is a wake up call to take better care of myself.
My lovelies I am sharing this not because I am in any way in crisis.  I am not. But because of the stigma and self loathing that trich can imprison a person. Obviously not me as I rarely wear make up anymore and am open about Trichotillomania.
I didn't know what Trichotillomania was until I was in college. It was that dirty secret I had to try to hide because it embarrassed my family. Too many who have trich feel this way.
I have since accepted my pulling as the act that it is. It is my body's way of processing high levels of stress and fear.
So if you see me with less eyebrows or notice my bald spots and want to talk about it- I am ALWAYS willing to do so.
4% of the population has this disorder.
That's a lot of folks under a lot of heavy-duty shame and stress (for the most part).
What I can say is it can get better. Self love and care can do so much. But science do not understand (yet) what causes Trichotillomania.  There are no cures (yet). There are some therapies that may work but there's not yet something that medicine and point to and say: that's why it is and this is what causes trich so here's how we combat it.
But it can get better.  Not everyone loses the hair forever.  Some never can grow back what is lost. Some find that after their first bout they never experience it again. For some it's constant. For me it's situational. 
But know I am using my toolkit to counteract the behavior.  Somedays I am amazing at keeping myself trich free. Sometimes years! Sometimes months, weeks, days, hours or minutes.  Each is a victory in its own time. Celebrate those victories!
If you have Trichotillomania and want to talk. Message me. If you do not have trich and want to talk, message me.
And again: I Am Not in Crisis! I am working through the issues that are behind the behavior and doing amazing at removing the triggers. (I have a lot of triggers. Lol) So don't worry.  I am alright.
If I was hiding my trich. You'd know I was in over my head! I love myself too much now to ever feel ashamed of my body.  I have worked hard to see myself as the beautiful soul I truly am. So if I have pencil brows it's because I want them not because the trich must be hidden. I wasted decades in my youth on such self destructive behavior.
And I recommend: "The Gifts of Our Compulsions" by Mary O'Malley.  It has helped with a lot of my compulsive behavior management/recovery.
As always be kind and find the beauty of this day!
Lucinda Ellerby

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Myst (Story Track #12)

In the foggy glow I arrived tense and focused. 

What might step sideways through the grove and join me? My imagination ran wild and free.

Grey cloaked sprites and gossamer frilled monsters?

Honey-tounged bards from long lost ways?

Crow folk to gather me in their rainbow wings and secret me deep into their mysteries?

Soldiers lost on their way from one plane of existence to another?

Ethereal wisps readying to lure me to boggy death?

Ships of thick cloud that carry lost souls and pirates across the cosmos?

Ancestors with a secret quest?

War kittens?

In the end does it matter?

As now not just I have traveled and wondered and imagined but so have you.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Polite Ultimatum (Story Track #11)

As I strolled through the park grounds on a lovely spring morning an icy chill ran up my spine.
That feeling of being watched, nay stalked clenched my bowels.
Eyes pryed away my outer selfhood and left only my primal core. But no matter where I looked only semi-bucolic normalcy was to be spied.
Then as I reached the front door step I found the note:
Dear Human Fe/male (you all look and smell the same),
The food dispensing machines have been broken for years! Fix them post haste.
Full suet goodness is expected immediately upon your receipt of this message.
Now fill the baskets and back away slowly. We expect your compliance and your kat to be locked safely behind the invisible forcefield by no later than 0800.
In Antici.......
The Squirrels,  Erm, we mean the Robins!  Yeah. The Robins that's the ticket.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Something Adorable This Way Comes (Story Track #10)

"Of course it's a changeling!" the nurse maid replied. "But it's a might bit cuter than the Lordship's babe. That I'd swear 'pon my mother's grave and before the rack!" she inadvisably exclaimed just as the Master of House rounded the top stair.

Lord Alistair thought to himself: "The drudge is correct. The imposter is much more handsome and better mannered than my brat! Not that truthfulness willl save her from getting the boot. God let the wife not notice!"

And in this revere Alistair went to fetch the good doctor to increase Lady Sylvia's laudanum and then to locate the head butler to sack the uppity nurse maid.