I started this blog because I try my best to accept the fact that I pull my hair out and I know it’s not something that’s just going to magically go away. I try my hardest to stay in that mindset and I want to share that with others because that’s when I feel most in control. It’s what allows me to be comfortable and happy in my own skin. If I own it, it can’t hurt me. If I have a disorder and it doesn’t have me, I win. Logically, it’s the best mindset to have.
If I’m being honest, sometimes I don’t want to accept it.
I still get angry over finding a pile of hair in my bed.
I get sad over the fact that I have a new bald spot.
I get embarrassed when someone notices I’m pulling.
I find it incredibly frustrating that I have to wait weeks or months to see regrowth.
I hate that everyone can see the damage.
I can’t stand when my eyebrows are uneven. (and my trichy brain insists they have to be even until I pull more.)
I hate it when I have a new gap in my lashes and I don’t feel like I can wear mascara because that’ll bring more attention to them.
I get absolutely devastated when I’m suddenly without any lashes or brows.
I get jealous over long hair.
I get angry when people tell me they’re having a bad hair day.
I hate the fact that I hide and just want to be alone because the damage has caused so much anxiety that I have trouble talking to people or looking them in the eyes even when I HAVE hair.
I still get the smallest urge to say, “Oh fuck you” when someone says they’re so angry/stressed they’re going to pull their hair out.
The “Raise your hand if you still have real hair on your eyebrows” memes floating around the internet still sometimes make me want to flip tables.
It’s not always the hair loss or the time lost, it’s when you realize you had 30 minutes of weakness and because of that you’ll have to wear your lack of self control on your fucking face for the next few weeks, and that’s assuming you can stop pulling long enough to see regrowth.
Everywhere you go and everything that involves women surrounds long, beautiful hair. Every commercial, every ad in a magazine, every website, every book- EVERYTHING surrounds long, thick, beautiful hair and how to keep it that way. It’s often what is expected when it comes to beauty and sometimes I hate it. I hate it with a passion.
I often wonder what these women would do if they suddenly didn’t have it any more. What would they do if they went to put on makeup and realized their eyelashes were gone? Would they feel the same rush of panic that trichsters do? Would they cry? Would they even be able to leave the house? What about looking people in the eyes? Would they still want to be intimate with their partner?
Nobody cares about trichotillomania unless it happens to them or someone close to them. Nobody cares about research or donating hair to people who lose it because they pulled it out. That’s crazy! That’s stupid! They did it to themselves and it’s not due to medical hair loss. You can’t even get a wig if you’re over the age of 18 because it’s not due to medical hair loss. They often don’t even try to understand. It’s always,”Why would you do that?” or “Doesn’t it hurt?” or “Just stop!” or “You’re going to go bald.”
The guilt and the shame is constant.
….Now that I’ve had my purely emotional rant, I think it’s important to say that acceptance means accepting the fact that hair is beautiful. It’s accepting that I will have these feelings sometimes. I will get angry. I will get upset. I will get jealous.
All of these thoughts and feelings and emotions are just a part of the disorder. You can accept them along with the hair pulling.
It’s what you do with these things that matters. One thing that really helps me is practicing mindfulness and empathy. Mindfulness helps me to be able to step outside of myself and realize that thoughts are only thoughts. They don’t represent reality. Empathy allows me to be able to see the world from another’s point of view- it’s helpful to know that those without trich don’t have to understand, and they might have a whole list of things that causes their own seemingly ridiculous thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
It’s also extremely important to remember that you can always, always turn something that causes you pain into something positive. There’s always a way.