Uncertainty and Finding Happiness: Recurrent Miscarriage and Fertility Testing

You know this journey isn’t easy and people don’t always make it easier. 

I am trying so hard to navigate what feels like such a mess my head is going to explode. 

I’m trying to manage my expectations on this journey trying not to get myself worked up over what I don’t know while trying to be as prepared as possible.  

I have thoughts over and over like: 

What IF we can’t have a baby?

What IF we have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars out of pocket for in vitro since the Maryland mandate doesn’t apply to our insurance based on company size?

I feel incredibly guilty about all of this, and let me tell you why. 

Last year my job was changing my position and I was going to have to leave since I wouldn’t be qualified for the new position.  Rather than staying while they hired someone else, I decided to leave before my vacation and not come back.  

I had been running an online fitness coaching business through beachbody and decided I would go all in on that and use that as my primary source of income. 

The thing is, when I had an additional full time income it was easier to invest in advertisements, give aways, etc, but when it was my full time business I didn’t have that and I instantly started to panic at the deficit I was seeing. 

I found that it wasn’t for me to do full time, I liked it a lot better as a community and a side hustle and support system. In that time finances were really tight. And then between our medical bills from three miscarriages and the vet bills from our dog, Gotham’s, sudden passing everything felt impossible. Debt was stacking up. 
SO now that I’m facing what could be an incredibly expensive process, I feel so guilty. I know I know I KNOW that it is not my fault. But I can’t shake feeling “responsible” since getting pregnant isn’t the problem, my body keeping them is. 

Yes we know that ONE was not viable so that has little to do with my body, but I can’t stop feeling like I have caused yet another financial strain on our family. 

And I share this because I know if I feel this way other women in this situation may feel exactly the same way.  

Why is infertility so hard? 

Not to get political, but our country focuses so much on ending the choice for women to end their pregnancies and puts billions toward that but we put NO money toward helping women WHO DO want families whether it’s through assisting with adoptions or IVF. What kind of priorities are those? Unwanted babies must stay BUT wanted babies - sorry about your empty uteruses. Sucks for you. Thanks patriarchy. 
Anyway. . .

I know that this is going to be a roller coaster of pain and excitement. 

 Post-op after miscarriage #3 that needed a d&c (surgical removal of non-living products of conception) 

Post-op after miscarriage #3 that needed a d&c (surgical removal of non-living products of conception) 

Today I had my first round of tests and everything came back normal which feels bittersweet. My uterus is fine, my eggs are great, my blood work is great, so what gives? 

I know I may have to face that there may not be a reason. We may test and test and test and have no answers other than our third miscarriage was due to trisomy 16, one of the most common reasons for miscarriage.  Trisomy16 is not compatible with life like other trisomy issues.  I think my biggest fear is that I know I may have to face many more losses. Whether these are natural or through lab embryos or simply going a month without conceiving. I know that this is one fo the hardest things I’ve gone through and others face worse - I just feel so broke about it. 

One minute I’m fine the next I want to cry. 

And maybe this makes me naive or maybe someone would say I’m ignoring my feelings, but I promise you I am feeling so hard. I just think that I’m also protecting myself because if I TRULY felt all the frustration, grief, and pain all at once; I would crumble. 

SO I am choosing among all the bullshit to be happy. YEP I’m saying it again I’m choosing to be happy. I’m choosing to look at the positives one step at a time. I’m choosing to be grateful for modern medicine. I’m choosing to be grateful that each baby as taught me something about life or myself. I’m choosing to be happy that if we have to adopt there will be a woman out there willing to carry a baby to term so we can have a family. 

I’m making a choice, because whether you want to admit it or not, sometimes happiness IS a choice. It doesn’t mean we’re happy all the time. It doesn’t mean that we can’t hurt while we choose to be happy, It means we choose a baseline of happy and let our emotions move from there. It doesn’t mean that if you’re facing clinical depression or other mental health issues you’re choosing to be unhappy - in fact if you’re finding hope hard, please get help right now! I know that getting help is the hardest part of all of it but know that I’m here for you. 

Every time I talk about this, I say this: I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. I believe we find reason in what happens. We look back on things and we try to give reason and assign sense to things that just don’t always happen “for a reason.” Because I swear to god if one more person tells me “it will work out” “trust god’s time” “stop trying and it will happen” or “everything happens for a reason” I will certainly lose my shit. 
I don’t need to know these things, trust me, I try to talk myself into my own bullshit explanations of whats happening. What I need is to get through this in one piece. What I need is to end this journey as the parent I’m craving to be.  What I need is peace no matter what.  What I need is for people to know that they’re not on this journey alone, that I’m not on this journey alone. One of the reasons this is so hard is how isolating it feels. Even when people give you stories of hope you still feel alone and frustrated. I get it. But know you’re not alone and we can do this, even on the days that we hate it so much we might crumble.  

The Key to Success: Celebrate Failure

We hear a lot about self-care, self-love, basically putting ourselves first in a world full of demands. 

  • Demanding that we get paid for 40 hours a week but work "above and beyond" 
  • Demanding that we be this perfect parent
  • Demanding that we can also be pinterest perfect wives
  • Demanding that we get no sleep but are never tired
  • Demanding that we have time to make our bodies look like Kim Kardashians. 

It. Is. A. LOT. 

HOW do you have time to take care of you? NOW we all KNOW that none of that is real or realistic but SOMEHOW we still wind up deep into 35 instagram stories comparing ourselves to what people felt was "insta worthy" to share. 

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It's bullshit and it perpetuates the never ending anxiety that we CAN'T. It makes us believe that FAILURE is inevitable and FAILURE is what we do best.  Think about the message that sends to your brain? You are literally telling yourself you're not enough and you're failing to reach expectations ALL THE TIME. SO what are you going to believe??

I know if you're reading this blog you probably struggle with trichotillomania.  That means you probably feel most of your failure around the ability or inability to stop pulling your hair.  Trust me in the 20 plus years of pulling I LITERALLY tried EVERYTHING. 

  • Sheer will
  • Keeping a journal 
  • Having a reward system 
  • Having a reminder bracelet 
  • Having loved ones kindly call me out 
  • Putting bandaids on my fingers
  • Having fake nails 
  • Fidget toys

But every damn time I failed and when I look back on it its because 

  1. When we think of "pull free" we have this idea of perfection from day one of NO PULLING.  WELL we already KNOW we can't be perfect so how the hell does that set you up to win?
  2. I KNEW I was going to fail because when have I EVER succeeded with this or succeeded at being perfect in general??
  3. It was more comfortable to pull and be miserable than to feel the uncomfortable feeling of finding how to quit WHILE not being perfect. 

And how the hell do you love yourself when you feel all these feelings? You don't. 

That's because our self-love cannot be based on our achievements or accomplishments or our looks. We have to love ourself regardless of the bullshit we will always think isn't good enough or worthy of love. I'm sure you love imperfect people in your life. So start applying that to you. 

The thing is where do you start.. Well you start in consumption mode

READ AND READ AND JOURNAL AND LISTEN AND READ 

TRUST ME - consume EVERY one of those bull-shit self-help books you avoid. Tell yourself the happy thoughts and gratitudes you have each day even though it sounds stupid.  Listen to podcasts that lift you up and help you feel like a boss. Journal your feelings and emotions and release the crap that you're holding onto every day.  

Stop expecting perfection and ONLY celebrating the "perfect moments: 

Celebrate the weight gain, the failed cookie experiment, the time you forget to pack your kids lunch. Celebrate the buil shit that makes you human like EVERYONE else and just consume and realize that EVERYONE is on the same ride you are and we're all faking it all the time.  Even when you've reached some type of "self-love nirvana" there will STILL be moments you are faking it. I fake it like every other day. It sucks. 

But when we celebrate that there are things in life we all hate and we all get through that keep us connected as humans rather than this need to be perfect to "have love" THATS where the self-love grows from. 

 

It's Funny How It All Starts: The Journey to Helping Others with Trichotillomania

3 years ago we bought our house.  It was in July that I started coaching people through their health and fitness journeys while I kicked mine back off.  I started coaching in order to help make some extra income for my family. We were in a bad place, but through it I found that I LOVED helping women make connections that she couldn't make on her own. 

  • Why she was emotionally turning to food
  • Why she was afraid to let go of the weight
  • Why her struggles with weight have lasted so long
  • Giving her a community of support to turn to
  • Giving her a toolbox to use but she had to use the tools. 
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See I went to school for Higher Education - I got my Master's of Education because I wanted to help guide college students. I enjoyed what I did - but I think this was guiding me to my future purpose.  

I spent years trying to fit my trichotillomania.  YEARS FIGHTING. AND FIGHTING. 

One day - it clicked. Why am I not applying the same principles to weight loss, binge eating, emotional eating, to THIS? 

You see when I tried to fight my binge eating urges, when I tried to starve myself, none of it worked. But when I started to take care of my anxiety, my stress, and my emotions, it helped me learn how to tune into my body more. 

So I did the same thing with the intention of ending my pulling.

I started to say positive things to myself.

  • I am not going to pull my hair because I don't feel good when I do
  • I can stop pulling my hair
  • I have trichotillomania but I do not let it define me 
  • I can overcome my trichotillomania 
  • I don't have to fight this I can work with it
  • My disorder causes me to pull, but I can over come my disorder 

I started to celebrate small victories and victories like doing the work necessary RATHER than celebrating ONLY pull free days. I celebrated the moments i stopped pulling, I celebrated the moments i could get hair cuts. 

Even more than that - I started to love myself. I started to share this journey and stop seeing it as something I had to hide. I stopped seeing it as shameful. Because WHY am i ashamed of something I can't control? We are ashamed because we are told to be. JUST like how we are told to be ashamed of our bodies and our fat.  We hear so many terrible messages about what we should be like, how we should respond. 

Let me tell you something, we think trichotillomania is WEIRD and so we hide it and then this shame and pain makes us dig into it even more.  Let me tell you something, EVERYONE does something "weird" to deal with their stress and anxiety. We also do this because of a COMPULSION. It's not a choice. WE KNOW THIS. YET we still blame ourselves. We still feel ashamed and we still feel alone.  

But you're not alone. 

Once you start to just FCKING LOVE YOURSELF bald spots and all THAT is when you can make the change. When you can celebrate the work you're doing for yourself every day - to not pull because of how it makes you FEEL not because of how it makes you look, that's where the magic starts.  ANY change I truly made and stuck to was because I wanted to be strong and love myself.  

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This doesn't mean I feel perfect and love myself in every moment. Just like ANY relationship, sometimes it takes work. Sometimes it takes reminding yourself that you have worth, that you are beautiful, that you are strong.  

AND THAT is how I have found that there are certain behaviors you can do daily to 

  • Build your self-love and self-worth
  • Develop the tools to stop pulling through daily mindset development
  • Learn to stay present in the moment 
  • Create a mind and body connection so you can stop pulling as soon as you recognize it
  • Make it work for you since everyone is so different. 

This is how i developed my $12 course to help you develop your OWN pull free life and what that means for you, what works for you, what makes you feel GOOD and like you've overcome your trichotillomania.  You get lifetime access to the videos and documents to help you get through this.  

Try using these tips above to work on loving yourself and see if it can help you start to work on your trich. I know I compare it to a fitness journey, and maybe you've never been on one THAT IS OKAY.  Just think of it as any life change - it takes time, it takes work, it takes patience, and it takes trust in yourself.  Work on these things. And if you STILL feel stuck check out my course HERE!

Perfectionism Sabotages Your Pull-Free Progress

Every time I tried to stop pulling in the past I failed. 

I failed because I would put so much pressure on myself to be perfect. I HAD to be COMPLETELY pull free in order for it to count. I would go pull free for weeks at a time and then in a trance, I would pull a hair and it would lead to a whole pulling binge because, well I had failed. 

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I find a lot of women with trichotillomania are perfectionists in so many areas of our life, and it often leads to us totally giving up on something if we can't be perfect. Does that sound familiar? 

What I have found, is that to overcome trichotillomania you have to overcome that perfectionism and that expectation that "pull free" means NEVER pulling a single hair. 

Pull-free freedom is a lifestyle and a mindset. It's about living with the mindset of someone who is pull free. For me, pull free freedom means that I AM pull free, but if I relapse, if I pull a hair mindlessly, I don't give up. I keep going. Much like a fitness journey. If I have a piece of cake, I'm not going to just give up and gain 30 lbs. I'm going to meal prep and get back on board!

Pull-free Freedom is about doing the activities like meditation, talking positively to yourself, and owning your disorder and that the disorder causes this behavior and that you are a STRONGER person not a weaker person because of it.  It's a lifestyle and a mindset.  

In order to live this pull-free life - you have to realize that you WILL have days that you pull, sometimes without realizing it. We're talking about a disorder that you're living with for the rest of your life. Overcoming it means that you've developed strategies to help when it gets hard and being able to adjust your mindset back to a pull-free life even when you've relapsed. 

It means being able to tell yourself it's okay and releasing the pulling behavior rather than dwelling on it.  Tell yourself "Hey, it's okay, I pulled a hair but right now I can make a NEW choice. RIGHT NOW." Don't wait for a Monday or a new day. If you decide the day, the week, any of it is a wash, then you'll go on binge after binge.

This is why tracking your progress helps SO MUCH. Seeing that you've changed your patterns, that you pull less than you were pulling, that you have gone longer without pulling or binges, is EVIDENCE that you can totally overcome it.  It's like climbing a sandy hill. You will make it up the hill but in the process you're going to take a few more steps because it will cause you to slide back a little bit at a time - BUT you're STILL making forward progress. 

Tell me how many times you've given up because you weren't perfect - you're not alone in this belief, and I encourage you to try giving yourself. GRACE. 

I'm Calling Bullshit: Trichotillomania tips that DO NOT work and one that does

Replacement behaviors are bull shit. 

YEP I said it. I have NEVER found a replacement behavior that would curb my desire to pull.  Not pulling feathers out of pillows, not playing with slime, not my fidget cube, nothing. 

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YES those can be VERY satisfying, but let me tell you that when you really don't understand HOW to make that switch in your head to change your pulling behavior, no replacement behavior will suffice. I'm going to be honest, I would stick with it for 2 weeks or so and give up. I wouldn't have whatever device at some point and then pull again and give up. "HOW am I going to keep this up?" ALWAYS ran through my head because no matter what you do to replace it the change has to be DEEPER> 

This is why I also think BARRIER methods are bull shit.  Barrier methods are GREAT when you're around friends or family and you need an awareness of what you're doing because you'll leave your hat, beanie, scarf, whatever on but when you're alone OFF It comes. 

The reason these don't work is because if you're using JUST a barrier method or JUST a replacement behavior you are relying SOLEY on this particular thing to help you change your behavior and it becomes a CRUTCH in a sense and you don't change the behavior because at the end of the day, you haven't made an internal shift. TRUST ME I know you THINK you want to change SO BAD and that you would do anything because I DID THAT. For years I just wished and wished and wished and hoped that it would just go away.  I thought about how unfair it was. I thought about how I didn't think I could ever change no matter what I did. It was an internal shift that I made with my mind to BELIEF.  Because when I tried all these other things I had the thought of "oh I HOPE i can do this" the BELIEF wasn't really there.  

I would actually build up even MORE self hate and frustration when I would try these other things thinking it was SOO impossible and I was hopeless. This didn't give me any encouragement or make me feel ANY better at all. 

It's like deciding you want to change your diet, so you throw out all of the old food, buy all the healthy food, prep it, but you still choose to go out and buy take out. THIS IS WHAT I WAS DOING. I was still choosing take out. BECAUSE not choosing take out isn't about what's in your fridge, it's about the DECISION. 

SO how the FUCK do you make this decision and this belief? 

THIS IS REALLY SIMPLE: 

YOU TELL YOURSELF YOU ALREADY DID> Yeah you fucking LIE. 

You tell yourself EVERY DAMN DAY that you have made this change ALREADY - I don't care if you haven't, I don't care if you pulled 200 hairs yesterday. You tell yourself you ARE the person you want to be. These are called "affirmations." NOW stick with me. I always thought affirmations was some weird hippie bullshit but let me tell you how to make this MAGIC work for you. 

EVERY DAY I told myself the following. 

  • I am not a hair puller
  • I control my trichotillomania behaviors 
  • Today is a pull free day. 

Throughout the day IF i started to pull OR if I did pull I would say to myself outloud "UHM HEY I am not a hair puller. I control my trichotillomania behaviors today is a pull free day!" I would immediately stop. 

I was 

  • Calling myself on my own bullshit
  • Holding myself accountable

And so overtime even when I would WANT to ignore that voice I wouldn't because you START TO BELIEVE what you tell yourself every day. At first sometimes I'd say this stuff and ignore it and pull 10 minutes later. But month after month it made that mental shift for me.  I lied myself into quitting basically.  You can seriously do this too. USE MINE you don't have to reinvent the wheel. BUT you HAVE TO REPEAT THEM and this is where that piece comes in of you really wanting it and not driving out to the drive through. This is where you have to start eating the food in the fridge. 

Maybe these sound like bullshit too - but let me tell you this bullshit will actually change your behaviors for REALS it's not bullshit you're going to lose under the couch in a week or leave at home. YOU TAKE THIS WITH YOU! 

Will you try this? Comment below and let me know if you're going to try and what you're going to tell yourself. 

Trichotillomania: Just Cure Me ALREADY

I can't tell you how much time I've spent googling "cure" for trichotillomania. 

  • Looking up different treatments and costs
  • Checking on different vitamins and remedies 
  • Looking up different types of therapies
  • Trying to find specialists in my area

I mean so frustrating 

I looked into so many different hair stylists that create GORGEOUS barrier methods but wound up disappointed each time beacuse 

  • These were close to $1000 if not more a visit which would be every few weeks and I can't afford that 
  • They weren't available ANYWHERE near me. Even the ones in the US were hours and hours away 
  • These didn't CURE anything but just blocked it and still had limitations on how I could live my life. 

I felt like I was going to live my life in hiding and just being "different" from everyone. And here is the thing, there is nothing wrong with being different. But the type of isolation I felt was so hard. 

 

I was willing to participate in test studies if they needed me I felt so done. Even now I still feel that frustration as i meet others who have felt this way. Why is that it's a fight to be recognized?? And NOT just by the medical community, but by the people that know us. 

Luckily from my experience, over time I've found support from family and friends as I've shared what I'm going through, but there are so many stories that are different. So many that end in hateful comments from family members or hurtful comments from significant others. EVEN well meaning comments that are painful. 

It's not even about the "just stop" but the comments like "why can't I be enough for you to stop for" or "why can't you just think about all the good you have" it just doesn't work that way. 

Much like any mental health issue there is no "one size fits all" there are different levels of severity and even throughout my own life I've had different levels of severity and different places I've pulled from. 

The lack of consistency can make it hard. It makes it feel like it's impossible to overcome. BUT nothing is impossible. It may be hard, and overcoming it may look very different than you thought, but you can. 

So that's why I had to reframe how I thought about things. 

  1. I could spend my life feeling defeated and looking for a magic "cure" (and trust me I wanted the cure to be easy)
  2. Or I can take a look at myself and start to address this. 
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This realization all came after I'd been pull free for 2 weeks and went on a binge. It was the final straw and when I realized I'd been doing it all wrong. 

SO here is what I found. When I stopped expecting a "cure" to make the urges and behavior just disappear and focused on the fact that this is a DISORDER not something that I DO i started to feel better about  making changes. It helped me feel more like I had a sense of control over how I not only looked at the disorder but how I worked with it rather than fight it. 

The more I focused on fighting it the more obsessive it felt and the more I felt resistance. Now that I honor the fact that i have this it has made the world of difference. 

I started by not being upset over one hair here or there as long as I stopped myself when I became aware that I was pulling, especially since I tend to pull mindlessly.  

Then I started working on the other parts of me that need work like my anxiety and how i deal with stress and conflict.  I started to work on my affirmations and my heart and creating the belief in my mind that I CAN change because the more I told myself "I can't" the more I was "right." 

SO NO I don't believe this is a "CURE" but I believe if you TRULY want to change your behavior in regards to this that you CAN. That it's not impossible, it's just HARD because IT IS A DISORDER. 

It's not something you can or will just stop

It's not something you will "grow out of" 

But that also doesn't mean that you'll NEVER be able to change or grow.  

Stop fighting yourself, embrace the disorder and stop focusing on how much "you suck" because of it. Because the truth is you are a BADASS because of it. You are so much stronger than you think because you have gone EVERY DAY facing your biggest fears and your biggest cause of anxiety and frustration. You have lived every day in FEAR of discovery and have faced another day over and over and over again. 

You have found a way to function among chaos in your life. You are a rockstar believe it or not. Now just find how you will shine and what that looks like for you - and it DOES not have to mean pull free. You can pull if you want, you can address it if you want, whatever way gives you the feeling of CONTROL. BUT I also know you can't do those things alone so if you want you can also set up a call with me to see WHICH ONE you're down with and WHAT you can do to head in that direction. 

At the end of the day your choice on whether you want to "cure" yourself or not doesn't matter but the way you TREAT yourself does. The love you show yourself and the fact hat you stop FIGHTING yourself and blaming yourself for this battle. There are so many of us out there struggling alone. DO NOT stay isolated! I'm considering creating a community for people with Trich who have this mindset or not this mindset. What do you think??

 

About Me: 20 years with trichotillomania

20 years is a long damn time. 

20 years of continually doing something day after day can make you feel like it's impossible to ever change that behavior. 

We hear all these sayings "it takes 21 days to build a habit" which is a myth, actually. But we forget that sometimes the hardest thing isn't BUILDING a new habit, it's breaking an old behavior that has become ingrained in you. 

I don't remember when I ACTUALLY started pulling. I remember bits and pieces of when my trichotillomania started. 

I remember being in my favorite class in 5th grade and looking down at my shoulder. I saw a hair and i saw the cuticle and thought it looked neat. I started playing with it, rolling it in my fingers. Then I remember at some point pulling a hair out of my head. I didn't get the same type of hair so I tried again. 

and again. 

and again, until I found that the rough hairs had that same cuticle. 

This then turned into hunting out "rough" hairs and pulling them out. THEN i started to bite off the cuticle to see what that was like. 

AND THUS my trichotillomania had evolved. It would still evolve more. 

I remember that when hair would grow back, sometimes I'd get an ingrown hair. The pressure would hurt and I would think that if I could pull ONE hair it would reilieve the pressure. SO I would go on a pulling spree looking for the one hair to pull to make that spot feel better. 

 Patches on the top of my head and missing about 3 inches of hair in the front and around my hairline

Patches on the top of my head and missing about 3 inches of hair in the front and around my hairline

From around 6th grade through college I would ocassionally pull my eyelashses. It was mostly when they were bothered by an ingrown eyelash or certain types of mascara when I started wearing makeup. I stopped pulling my lashes just kind of out of nowhere - THAT took no effort. 

My hair on the other hand was another story. I remember realizing at some point that if I pulled a certain way, I would be able to pull out the hair with the cuticle and get that piece I was looking for. So now almost every hair I pulled was "perfect" so I would pull more and more and more. NO relief would come. 

It sounds completely bizarre to an outsider but to someone who struggles with this disorder it's all too familiar. 

And that's what makes it SO HARD. You create this behavior, you reward this behavior, you become OBSESSED with it. And you do it over and over knowing that you shouldn't. 

 That comebo

That comebo

I started with a few bald spots that were completely bald but then it spread to the whole top of my head being thin - almost like female pattern baldness. I remember for YEARS my bathroom was coated in a dusting of hairspray. I could smell it and taste it constantly. I would guarantee you I probably have a build up in my lungs of it.

 So many ribbon headbands

So many ribbon headbands

In college I tried to hide it with thick ribbon headbands and a combover.  There was a solid couple years where I did this weird "bump" thing in the front that was still thin AF and had a ponytail at the bottom.

I felt unattractive and had no confidence. It wasn't until after college I finally decided to purchase a "hair piece" I purchased some Jessica Simpson Hair-Do clip in bangs. For the first time, I actually felt a bit of confidence about  my hair. I eventually bought a wider piece that acted as a part.  But as I bought hair pieces my bald spot continued to grow and grow and grow.  I had to keep buying bigger pieces until I had a clip in piece that covered the entire top of my head. 

It took me a long time to find ways to make it look "natural" a lot of practice and youtube videos. I would make sure that the clips were flat and "perfect" which often meant they pulled my hair too tight creating traction alopecia where the hair follicle is completely damaged and may never grow back. 

The constant fear of having to explain this if I was found out was real. Every time I was in an unavoidable situation where I'd have to share it was torture and scary. No one has heard of it so it's not like you can just SHARE it - you have to say what it is, explain it, and hope for no judgement. Examples: getting my hair done for events I was in, explaining why I wanted to do my own or to the hair dresser what was going on things like that. 

 Me with my hair topper.  Top Form by Jon Renau in 6RN . This is a clip in piece and was very expensive.  

Me with my hair topper. Top Form by Jon Renau in 6RN. This is a clip in piece and was very expensive.  

I would spend so much time fixing my hair to go to the gym to cover my bald spots with bobby pins, hair spray and head bands that my arms would be sore and I'd have a headache. TO GO TO THE GYM. Because I'd get too hot in a hat. 

All this time I so badly wanted to quit but I did not know how. I didn't like any of the counselors or therapists I saw. None of them truly understood this disorder. 

I didn't have money to pay for anything extra to help me. 

 The "barrier system" was great for the beach and feeling like I was living my life, but it was also very frustrating and had a lot of drawbacks. 

The "barrier system" was great for the beach and feeling like I was living my life, but it was also very frustrating and had a lot of drawbacks. 

But what's funny is the last straw that made me quit WAS a waste of money. I had found this company that offered these "hair barriers" for women with trichotillomania. It's essentially a hairpiece that glues onto your pullspots so you can't access them so you can eliminate the behavior. It was expensive and there were no salons close so I opted for their "DIY" package. I hated it. I didn't like that it would smell because I worked out so much. I didn't like that it would itch. I DID like waking up with a "full head of hair" lol but that was about it.  I spent over $800 on this and cried feeling like I'd wasted our money because I hated it so much. HOWEVER I decided that was it. I was going to quit. I was fucking DONE. SO if it cost $800 to finally be DONE and to face this disorder rather than hiding from it FINE. 

At this point I shared with my social media following what I'd been struggling with rather than in secret groups and with my husband and felt F R E E. I can't even describe it.  I shared my battle. I bought fun wigs now that people knew what I was struggling with. AND FINALLY in an attempt to just START FRESH I shaved my head.  

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Shaving my head opened up my eyes to ways to finally quit I hadn't realized - NOT shaving your head that's not required. BUT it took away the focus on my hair and helped me focus on other stuff. It's help me develop a method for "quitting" and "embracing" trichotillomania I never would have known if I hadn't just gone for it. I'm telling you my life is in a totally new place. 

 One of the first  wigs  I bought when I opened up about trichotillomania and decided to stop hiding it. This is a synthetic lace front from Nikki Bella Hair - I believe this is the "Kylie Monogue" inspired model. 

One of the first wigs I bought when I opened up about trichotillomania and decided to stop hiding it. This is a synthetic lace front from Nikki Bella Hair - I believe this is the "Kylie Monogue" inspired model. 

I focused on my heart, on my inside. I stopped hating my disorder and figured out I'd have to work with it not fight it if I wanted to win. 

I found that there are so many people like me who feel lost and alone. They hide it well but area constantly wondering if they are hiding it at all. 

See trichotillomania creates this state of fear you're CONSTANTLY living in. You become so obsessed with the behavior you have and hiding it. It becomes a constant strain on your heart and an constant feeling of inadequacy and that you aren't good enough is in your head. It also created this unrealistic goal fo perfection. I always wanted my make up and hair perfect because I could actually control that and not my hair. I thought that being "pull free" meant going from pulling one day to NEVER pulling again. 

 Next I got this blonde one so I had a "normal" hair when I needed to look more put together like a wedding.  Jon Renau synthetic Miranda  in 24BT18S8

Next I got this blonde one so I had a "normal" hair when I needed to look more put together like a wedding. Jon Renau synthetic Miranda in 24BT18S8

It added to an even unhealthier relationship with myself over 20 years.  When I started to view it that pull free is a PROCESS and not a destination - much like when I worked with fitness clients - it helped me develop an A HA moment. It helped me see what SO MANY of us get wrong and WHY SO MANY of us fail over and over and over again. 

I'm glad this disorder is a part of my life now because my appreciation for BAD hair days is on another LEVEL lol I actually like bad hair days now because it's not a bad bald spot day.  I am grateful for the people I've met and been inspired by. 

We all have our "trich" story if you struggle with trich. Maybe you pull differently or from a different area. Maybe you use tweezers while I used my fingers. It doesn't matter. They all fucking suck because we make ourselves feel like shit for a literal ADDICTION we've created in our bodies. We sit there and feel bad about ourselves perpetuating the anxiety and the behavior. We create a cycle we can't dig out of, even when we have every intention of changing. 

  A  List UK Hair "The Mandy"  - LOVE this full lace human hair affordable wig! I wish I had gotten it custom fitted so I recommend that. 

A  List UK Hair "The Mandy" - LOVE this full lace human hair affordable wig! I wish I had gotten it custom fitted so I recommend that. 

It's ridiculous. But it doesn't have to stay that way. There is hope. BUT ultimately it also DOES NOT have to mean being "pull free" many people with trichotillomania have found joy in not getting hung up in it. Trust me I wish I could log the hours of research I've done on this topic - I'm sure you know what I mean.  There are people who have embraced it and feel fulfilled. EVERYONE is different. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed of it because you don't need hair to be beautiful or eyelashes. It's what's in your heart. We have to let go of the self-hate we develop with this disorder.  To be honest I STILL struggle with the stigmatization when I go to explain it to someone in person. I hear my voice crack and struggle to get the words out. 

I'm here for you if you relate to this. I'm here to offer you hope and to share this journey every step of the way. YES it is hard but YOU can do HARD things. 

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199 days pull free and counting