Thursday, January 24, 2013

More Bodily Irks and Quirks: Trichotillomania

Another eyebrow gone. It's never a conscious choice to remove it manually, hair by hair (or three). I'm not out to make some sort of obtuse political statement with only one of the right and left sides of my face being naturally decorated in dark brown. It doesn't particularly hurt when I do this. It just seems that every now and then, my body, acting more or less independently of my mind, gets the feeling that perhaps there's too much weight or pressure or something at that one spot on my hairy self, and proceeds to alleviate, or think it's alleviating, the feeling there by plucking the cumbersome, protruding scapegoat occupants of that spot and apparently expecting a final, euphoric pull that will nab the main perpetrator and instantly restore total homeostasis. Of course, that may not happen — and the "spot" may sort of grow as the "partially euphoric" feeling of the pulls catches on. Hence, one whole eyebrow gone. Or, in the past, a set of eyelashes, a bit of my beard on and around my chin, a good-sized spot on top or near the front of my head (though it's been a delightfully long time since this last), or — dare I say it — "down there" when I'm on the can and in no hurry to get off it.

Describing "compulsions" is not so easy, especially with grace. I am not so much in the state of mind to look it up right now, but I'm sure there are plenty of stories, descriptions, and clinical terms available in a web search for "trichotillomania". I think I'm spelling that correctly. It's simply the manic pulling-out of one's own hair, and it may have gotten a couple bits of publicity here and there over the years.

In my relatively brief attempt to just get this out of my head and into the blogosphere during the two-o'clock hour ante-meridiem, I'll say this about my own "episodes": they usually happen when I'm alone, either in bed or at the computer (or on the can), and often when I'm supposed to be doing something specific. My mind just sort of spaces out, and my body is somehow not keen on just old-fashioned masturbating; it seeks other ways to be occupied: fidgeting, knuckle-cracking, grooming...and maybe getting carried away with the grooming, discovering what it proclaims is a pressured spot as I described it before and going to work. And I just drop what I pick out wherever I am. It'll get vacuumed up soon, I imagine. (Or, in the "down there" case, I'll soon flush.) Oh, and these episodes tend very much to be time vortexes, which can be important if I am indeed supposed to be doing something specific. I'm so glad to be done with school and all its assignments; on another tentacle, this whole "job hunt" thing is somethin' else.

Curiosity: In the times when I've freshly cleared what I'd think is a glaring spot on my face where everyone can see, usually the only person who ever mentions it to me is my own mother (who, of course, goes hysterical every time). Only once that I can recall did anyone else ever bring it up to me, and it was a good, delightful friend with absolutely no capability of mocking or malice. Do people honestly not care, generally? Do they say "What's up with that?!" among themselves after I've hit the road? If I went for a job interview like this, how would it go? Well, nobody's contacting me for interviews, so it might not matter. Anyway, it's only sometimes when I have an incomplete face. The stuff does grow back. Personally, I'm just glad I was symmetrical at my cousin's wedding; everything else seems dispensable.

This seems to be all I have to say for now. (I'm giving "bodily irks and quirks" its own tag on here.) If anyone has thoughts, please share them. Meanwhile, I think the feeling of pressure where I recently had an eyebrow has subsided, but my hands are still feeling a bit fidgety and "compulsory". I may try masturbating again. Good night!

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