A white ceramic cookie jar with a red lid. The jar is decorated with a drawing of a rooster and the words: "Kellogg's, Good Morning"

Addicted to Air

I’ve talked a time or two already about how my pre-diabetes diagnosis has me looking at various ways to reduce the amount of sugars and carbs in my daily food intake. What that also means is I have stumbled across so many books and websites that play on the tired old trope of “sugar addiction.”

I’m not going to amplify any of those sources here tonight—you can find them easily enough by making your own visit to Professor Google. Besides, you don’t need to know much more than the fact that this metaphor is out there loud and strong in the culture to be able to ride along with my complicated feelings on the topic. Mostly critique, but some small resonance, as well.

Continue reading “Addicted to Air”

In Need of Eyebrow Pencil

You ever heard of trichotillomania? It’s a disorder where someone pulls out their own hair — sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, sometimes just eyebrows & eyelashes, sometimes from the scalp or other areas of the body.

The Trichotillomania Learning Center defines the disorder thusly:

Trichotillomania (trick-o-til-o-MAY-nee-ah) is a disorder that causes people to pull out the hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, pubic area, underarms, beard, chest, legs or other parts of the body, resulting in noticeable bald patches. Hair pulling varies greatly in its severity, location on the body, and response to treatment. For some people, at some times, trichotillomania is mild and can be quelled with a bit of extra awareness and concentration. For others, at times the urge may be so strong that it makes thinking of anything else nearly impossible.

Trichotillomania (also referred to as TTM or “trich”) is currently defined as an impulse control disorder but there are still questions about how it should be classified. It may seem to resemble a habit, an addiction, a tic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Most recently, it is being conceptualized as part of a family of “body-focused repetitive behaviors” (BFRBs) along with skin picking and nail biting.

I’m bringing this up on account of the fact that my eyebrows are currently half-gone. Seriously. At this point, I’m trying to figure out whether it’s better to just pluck the rest of things out and draw my “eyebrows” on with a makeup pencil until they have a chance to grow back, or continue muddling forward with my patchy half-torn-out eyebrows as-is. (At least the frames of my glasses and the cut of my bangs provide some level of camouflage, whichever approach I choose.)

FrankenfurterEyebrowNow, I’ve never been sure as to whether the term “trichotillomania” officially applies to me — I don’t have any sort of formal diagnosis, nor have I bothered to have a doctor’s consultation about the topic. And I feel some level of concern around the possibility of taking a condition that is a very real source of struggle for folks (see: ABC News, Psych Central, Psychology Today and U.S. News & World Report) and co-opting it as a description for my own unconscious stress-behaviors.

And yet, half of my eyebrows are gone, and I don’t see any of the rest of my co-workers with strangely patchy brows. I was also particularly fascinated to see the connection drawn by the TLC between hair-pulling and other repetitive behaviors like nail-biting. Because after sternly self-discplining myself to cease that habit for a month so I could be well-manicured for The Cruise, I am fully off-the-wagon on that score, and my nails have all been bit to shreds.

So I guess it’s safe to say I’m not handling my stress as well as one might hope.

Oh well. At some level, it’s hard to get myself worked up over this particular limitation in my ability to handle the stresses of life. Maybe the the term trichotillomania would fit, if I ever chose to talk to a diagnostician about it. Even if that’s true, I’m fortunate enough to have a very mild expression of this behavior: now-and-again patchy eyebrows and occasionally a pulled-outeyelash or two. I’ve had this habit for decades, and it’s never escalated beyond that.

So all things considered and as odd as this may sound: I remain profoundly grateful for the plain dumb luck that has allowed me to have such (relatively) good fortune in my life. Even if I will be combing my bangs a little bit low for a few weeks….


Image credit: http://globalgrind.com/2013/08/06/guide-steps-to-perfect-eyebrows-photos/


Taking this Show On the Road

wheelsWell, the wheels kinda fell off the cart today. I had all sorts of ambitions — laundry, unpacking, Coursera, neatening up & getting organized, Epsom bath, and lots of precooking for the week ahead. And some of that got accomplished, but not nearly as much as I’d hoped.

After however-many days of self-neglect, I did decide to put the Epsom bath first on the priority list, and the bath segued into a nap — which is part of why my schedule got so off-course. After all of that, I did manage some unpacking and it will be easy-peasy to do a load of laundry tonight. So: partial success.

What concerns me most is that I haven’t done any cooking with all the food and spices I bought yesterday.

The challenge of taking the HCG regimen through the work week was greatly aided by all the food I’d been able to prepare with my coaches over the weekend. It only made sense to set myself similarly up for success during the coming week with a similar cooking spree, but I have completely dropped the ball.

And the funny thing is that this week, pre-cooking and pre-planning are even more important than they were last week. Because this week, I’m heading out of the familiar spaces of home and office.

I have two different AM networking/training events during the work week, and then Mr. Mezzo and I have concert tickets for Saturday night. Of course, there’s going to be “forbidden” food and drink at all these locales: I’m sure both networking breakfast buffets are going to be all about the bagels and Danishes currently off my list of allowables, and I think the concert venue is one of those “two drink minimum” kinds of places.*

So it would very much behoove me to make some preparations to help me get through these events. Instead, I’m having to look at the question of why, knowing this, I let my lazy child run the show and create a circumstance where I’ve stressed myself out in this fashion.

At least there’s a little more time left in the evening, so I guess I’m going to go do at least some cooking, so I can partially dig myself out of this hole.

* For the record, the tickets were bought many months ago, before I knew I’d be making the commitment to the HCG program. I’m not that much of a masochist.


Image credit: https://theplastichippo.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/preparing-for-oblivion/