Anybody who knows me knows that I've got this issue with needles. I can't stand the sight, or even thought, of needles. I just freak out. And it pisses me off every time that I do. I really want to get past this, because it's absolutely ridiculous and unfounded. It's not the pain that bothers me; the needles don't hurt. It's not the blood that bothers me; I've certainly seen worse. It's just something about the needle itself.
Well, I decided to do a bit of research on it finally... and I found that I'm far from alone. This article on Wikipedia was extremely informative. According to this, I'm even on the right path to getting past it. What I've been working on is a form of desensitization... although I didn't know the fancy word for it. On December 2, I got my ears pierced. I nearly passed out as soon as the first needle passed through. I wasn't freaking out or breathing abnormally. The piercing didn't hurt. My body just reacted instantly and went into its own state of shock. Pissed me right off. I had to lay down and recoup for a while to let my body calm down. Then came the second piercing. But lo and behold, I didn't react nearly as bad to this one! I remained sitting up... I shook a bit... I probably went a bit pale again... but I felt better. Obviously an improvement.
This was definitely not enough though. I'm still having quite a reaction, which is simply not acceptable. So on the evening of December 24, I decided to stretch my ears. Granted, I wasn't using a needle, but it was something at least similar. I was using something like this to stretch them:
Not too friendly looking... but not a needle. And not creating a new hole in my skin, so it shouldn't cause any problems... right? Wrong. I hooked these things into my ears, and almost instantly started to feel slightly light headed. I didn't react nearly as bad as I did to either of the piercings, but it was certainly not good. So I laid down for a while, drank some water... and got over it. Not an entirely pleasant experience, and a very odd one.
So I want to try this again. See if I still get the same results. These talons go up to a 6 gauge piercing, and I only stretched up to 8 so far. Out of curiosity, tonight, I pushed one of the talons into my right ear, just to see how easily it would take to the wider end of the talon. Surprisingly, it pushed about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way through before I started to feel a slight pinching. I didn't get light headed though.... which is a big win. I felt almost like I had gotten a small jolt of adrenaline, but that may have been just from excitement. This is the first time I haven't reacted adversely to things piercing my skin. Then again, I've also been removing and replacing my piercings daily now to clean them. Perhaps this is helping in some way. I certainly hope so. I guess I'll see how I do when I actually stretch them up to 6 gauge. Unfortunately, I have to wait a little bit... I need to let my ears heal up some, build up at least a little scar tissue, before I go torturing them more.
Next test: Tattoos.