My hopes with sharing my experiences with this is that the people who don’t have trich understand it, and what it does to its sufferer. Also to help the people who like me, battle this everyday so we don’t feel alone in this world, so we know that there is someone out there who is going through the same thing as you. Usually in a different way, but in general we all have close to the same emotions about trich, and how to fight back the urges to pull on a daily basis.
Do you know how long it takes hair to grow back? It actually differs for each person, but for anyone suffering from Trichotillomania, it takes even longer. Every time we pull out the hair We create damage that makes the hairs take longer to grow. The average growth rate for eyelashes is 1 to 6 months, but a person with Trich can expect to wait at least 4 months without the assistance of growth serum’s. And at that point, they’re probably still not grown in completely. If they are not patchy and missing in spots, they won’t be very long yet, and with how long It takes it’s likely those hairs are pulled before they had a chance. For me, they hardly even pop out of my eyelid before I’m pulling them out again.
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Eyebrows take around 60 days on average, so from the time they’re gone I’m drawing them on for at least 2 months in order to look normal. And the hair on your head, depends on the length but were looking at years for our heads to look normal. Sure we have many ways of hiding this because of the powers of makeup, but I’m sure I’m not the only trickster who would love the freedom of not HAVING to do It to feel normal everyday.
As a result of wanting to be rid of this for good, I have been doing a lot more research lately on Trich. Still looking for ways to overcome this once and for all. In my last post, I had discussed the struggles of living with this on a daily basis, and unless us trichsters find a way to completely best it, we will be living with it for life. This is something I’m still not ready to come to terms with. I have control over almost every aspect of my life…except trich. I am determined to overcome this for good no matter what it takes or how long.
I can do this. I am strong enough to overcome this. I can see the days in the future when I don’t have to prep my face to look normal walking out the door. When I can go to the store, and not worry that everyone is looking at my missing hair, brows and lashes. Comforting words written on my wall, stashed inside my brain and constantly repeated. Over, and over I fight back the tears as I look in the mirror. Feeling helpless and alone, even when I know I’m not…I’m not the only one who suffers from this condition.
But does anyone actually feel the same way as I do about it? Every story I read, every person I talk to who has this, has it in their own way. We all have different “side effects” of trich. I personally pull from the bottom of my head, my lashes, and my brows. I even pull my leg hairs at times to try and avoid the other hair. I don’t notice when I do it most times, and it’s almost always worse when my stress levels peak. I feel completely out of control with this condition and like there is nothing that will make it go away for me. For almost 20 years I’ve dealt with this, 20 years of being laughed at, picked on, treated like I was differnt, asked if I had a mental disorder, treated like I was stupid because I wouldn’t stop- and anyone who doesn’t have it doesn’t understand that you can’t.
They think I have no self control just because I can’t help, or notice when I’m pulling my hair. To them I say nothing. Because what can I say to them that would change their opinions? Nothing. That’s it, just a big fat nothing. They don’t have to deal with it, and sadly if they don’t have anyone in their life affected by it, then chances are they don’t care enough to even listen. This is a Disorder, not a Decision.
I want to have my eyelashes back for once, I’d love to not have bald spots under my head because that’s where I pull from so much. My hair is always cut in layers to try and hide the random hairs growing back at different lengths all over my head. It would be nice to not have to draw on my eyebrows completely every time I walk outside, and only have to fill them in in occasions when I Want to, not Have to.
My newest way of coping? Talking to others who have this, and I have still been reading some amazing books I’ve found by authors who have struggled the same as me. (I created a list at the bottom of this post with my favorite ones so far, as well as some of the other things I have been using that’s working for me.) The best part you ask? Not only does it help me not feel so distant from the rest of the world, but while I’m spending time reading their stories, I’m not pulling! The simple act of reading someone else’s journey is helping me Fight the Pull!
Unless I know I’m leaving the house I avoid all mirrors possible. I can’t even look myself in the face while I brush my teeth without it bothering me, or worse making me want to pull. But I would really love to have long lashes, and my own eyebrows more than I want to wear makeup for a day. I have been exercising a lot more lately, especially when i feel the urges to pull, so it’s helping keep me distracted and get into shape at the same time. I had recently read an amazing blog that said naming the hairs you have trouble with can be beneficial to some people also, and although I have no tried this I’m happy to know that it is working for someone. This I may just have to try, but the name I would give right now wouldn’t be pleasant, and I probably won’t be typing it out. Haha.
I also use the Tangle , it’s a toy made for stress relief and hand therapy. This is probably my favorite thing right now out of everything. My hands are CONSTANTLY busy with this, and it doesn’t give me a chance to move my hands towards the hair. I’m hoping that a combination of everything i’ve been trying is enough to finally stop pulling. Fighting the urges to pull can be to much to take at times though, and I cave. Fighting it can make you irritable, stressed, sad or depressed, and can even get worse the longer you fight it-unless you find a way to control and get rid of the urges completely for that moment. And if your a trichster, this means most times you end up with some missing hairs.
I have the tendency of pulling at my split ends for hours at a time if I’m left alone to do it. Occasionally resulting in me pulling the whole hair out, which explains why my hair constantly gets thinner and thinner as the years go by. Why do I keep doing this damage to myself even though I’d give anything to stop? Where is my self control so lacking that I can’t fight the one battle I’m dying to conquer?
I am not an expert, or any type of medical professional…these are my thoughts and feelings that I love with daily because of Trichotillomania. I’m sharing my story because it not only helps me cope with it, but I am also hoping that reading my journey will help others get theirs under control also. Maybe some methods you’re using would help me if I tried them, but we would have to share our experience that way. And maybe some of the things that are working for me would work for you also. If you would like to follow my journey, you can follow our blog in many ways.
If you would like to read any of the books that have helped me, you can for free on amazon with kindle unlimited. If you don’t have it already, you can try it free for 30 days (that’s what I’ve done, and I’m reading as much as I can before I have to start paying for it!) This gives you access to a lot of info on trich, and many other free books as well!
Until next time, keep Fighting the Pull!
— Kylie —