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.
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.