As people who know me even kinda well know, I have what I just found out psychologists now call a Body-focused Repetitive Behavior. I don't remember when I first started biting my nails, but now that I'm 30, I feel like I want to stop.
When I was reading today, I was surprised to see the clinical advice (besides drugs):
Therapy for these disorders consists of two parts. The first, is Habit Reversal Training (HRT), a four-step process which teaches you awareness of your habits, how to relax, how to breathe and center yourself, and to perform a competing and opposing muscle response. (I have described this technique in a previous issue of TLC's IN TOUCH, in an article on cognitive/behavioral therapy for trich, which I'm sure you can get copies of.) It can be extremely useful if practiced daily and stubbornly, as it must become as automatic as the habit you are aiming to eliminate. These are stubborn problems for two reasons. First, you have probably rehearsed the unwanted behaviors hundreds or even thousands of times. It is important to accept that they will not simply be overcome in a few days or weeks. Second, you are fighting the fact that they feel good to do, and provide much short range satisfaction and either stimulation or soothing. It takes time and a good deal of effort to master, but I believe it is worth it. Research shows it to be an effective technique. The second part is known as Stimulus Control (SC). Skin picking and nail biting are a complex behaviors, with many different inputs. SC is a behavioral treatment that seeks to help sufferers first identify, and then eliminate, avoid, or change the particular activities, environmental factors, mood states, or circumstances that have become associated with, and that trigger picking or pulling. The goal here, is to consciously control these triggers that lead to the undesirable behaviors, and to create new learned connections between the urges new non-destructive behaviors."
Most of the time I'm in this group:
Some do it in an automatic way, as if they are in a trance and not really thinking about what they are doing. Usually, they are involved in some other activity at the same time such as reading, talking on the phone, working at the computer, watching TV, etc.
So I would say about 90% of the time I really just don't even have it in my mind. One time I tried to stop doing it before, and I just couldn't stand the feel of new fingernails, and I would just notice I was doing it.
I feel kinda crazy lately. SPACE MADNESS!!!
This is just too funny not to re-post. For anyone who doesn't take The Onion seriously, here's their incredibly psychic satire from a year and a half ago, and a CNN Money news item from a week ago. I remember laughing my ass off at the Onion story when it came out, but I guess I'm not laughing now. Okay, yes I am.
Oh my God...check out the quote from James Kilts in the CNN article. I'm gonna die.
Sometimes I print out the current page of the tinyblog and send it to my sister (in secluded retreat) in a letter. I did that recently, and one of the posts was my Five Things I Miss From My Childhood meme. So my sister, who surely knows how to play along sent me hers:
5. Selling Kool-Aid from my Radio Flyer red wagon: Basketball playing teenagers get thirsty! and when Mom's buying the Kool-Aid there's no overhead!
4. Diving Boards and Merry-Go-Rounds: Both have fallen prey to lawsuit-land.
3. Skateland!: The circling roar of wheels on the rink. Colored disco-y lights synchronized to 80's hits (before that had become ironically hip), always with the inevitable minor injuries!
2. Tree climbing: Hours in the huge maple in our front yard, sometimes with a popsicle or a book, but more often just way, way up where the slim branches float you on the breeze.
1. sprinkler: Hot, hot days are made tolerable by little icy jets of water that flash-freeze you as you leap!
Last night I went to Chicago to take a bunch of pictures. Oh wait, I went to celebrate my Dad's birthday. He's 62. He's still looking pretty good. That bodes well for me and the future of my hair.
In Chicago I was a picture taking fool, and Chicago is full of things to take pictures of. I talked to my Dad and we struggled together with our arrogance so that we could find some place of connection in our lives and have an honest and loving conversation.
I think it's pretty important for people to keep trying to work with their Mom and Dad even if maddening because they are the gateway to all the other men and women in their life. It always disturbs me when people say they hate their parents, because I just feel like it's a big mistake to let it rest like that. Even if I get to the point where I can't even talk to my dad then I just try to retreat and work with him a little in my mind.
The night before I had a little BBQ and had a few friends over. Sasha, Steeeeeeeev, and the inflammatory and slightly insane Graumagus of Frizzensparks.
Fear the Frizzen.
I'm in Rockford, IL again at my Mom's pretty Bungalow that she's gradually doing up in a nice little art-deco style. It's mellow and relaxing to be here. I burned Sufjan Stevens' album, Illinois and am listening to it for the first time while I'm actually in Illinois, which is pretty cool. I told my mom about it and she thought it was a cool idea but winced when I told her there was a song about John Wayne Gacy, Jr. on the album. It really is one of the prettiest songs though. If you're interested, there's some live performances you can listen to over at the KEXP site.
FOR ROCKFORD PEEPS
Please Email me! I'm having a BBQ at my Mom's house on this sunday the 18th, so say hey, and if you can't show up then let's see if we can at least meet at the Rockview for a beer or something. First round's on me.
I'll probably take some pictures once we get started on the bee process, but we're waiting until next week when it warms up a little and we get some of the social stuff out of the way.
In addition to the photos that I process and put up all pretty for my "The Witness" story, there are several cool photos that didn't make it into the article. I now have all the raw photos up in something more browsable thanks to the outstanding Simple PHP Gallery...an application I could have written, but wouldn't have done half as slick just for myself. Just upload the PHP files into a directory full of images, tweak some stuff, and voila!
What a beautiful sad lonely night.
As you may know, I did this thing at burning man where I was "The Witness". I even wore a T-shirt. I tried to experience all the creativity that people were manifesting. Then, I took pictures, and did my best to write nakedly and honestly about my experience at burning man.
Lots of people saw me and said that they wished they had written, but it really did take a very specific kind of determination to see through the busyness, excitement, intoxication and haze and just get the writing done.
I prepared as much as I could before I left, so that when I got back I could hit it hard and throw up the photos and stories so people could see it right away when they got back. I think I did a pretty good job. I wish I could have written even more about little playa stories, but I guess this is a handful for anyone to read. Please take a look when you get a chance and let me know what you think: