Trich Confession

SO Confession time - 

I wound up pulling after almost a year without pulling. 
i was ashamed and disappointed. I caught myself in a trance and couldn't' stop. If you have trich you may or may not know that everyone has different states of pulling AND within that everyone is totally different whether the pull one way or another or multiple.  

When I am aware I am fully able to control my pulling and have been able to for almost a year. I think this is where the meditating and affirmations have really come in because they've taught me to be aware and taught me to breathe through tension. 

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But yesterday i was studying and I just started pulling until the entire top of my head is SO THIN - along with a bald spot on the back right hand side. 

To be honest I've been thinking about getting a topper anyways to help my hair look longer while it grows out, so this just solidifies the plan. The things that I'm doing to move forward, though, are the most important in this case. I see so many people with trich get mad at themselves, and beat themselves up, and give up. 

I am not giving up. Instead I'm going to get back to writing my affirmations and breathing and meditating, which I have not been doing to be honest.  I am taking progress pictures every week because even though seeing the damage sucks, seeing the improvement matters even more.  

I've been sick lately, I've been dealing with the miscarriages, I've started a new job, I'm studying for my real estate license and I think all of that is just adding up to make me more stressed and it came out in a trance of pulling. 

I was telling Steve how bad it makes me feel about myself and how much it truly sucks.  But i had to remind myself that THAT attitude is where in the past I would just give up and not continue to work on myself and my pulling. I'm also trying hard to wrap my head around embracing this disorder, over coming it, and de-stigmatizing it. Sometimes i feel by not pulling I'm giving into the stigma that it's "bad" and the reason it's "bad" is because we're told it is - and we're told we look ugly with bald spots. And the truth is I've been so inspired by women with hair loss like alopecia etc that have taught me to just embrace their bio hair - so can I embrace my biohair and hair issues? But can I embrace it while not pulling? 
I often feel bad comparing to women with alopecia because it seems like we are CHOOSING to  pull out our hair while theirs is falling out, but the truth is trich is not a choice, It's something deep in our bones that is from trauma and at the same time CAUSES trauma. It's complex. 

That's 100% what makes posting these pics so hard and 100% why i need to share them. To remind me that none of us are invincible. This is overcome-able but incurable and that if I can do this, so can you! Are you struggling? Please leave a comment and let me know what your biggest struggle is with trich. 

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!