Today I'm going to write something that is quite personal but I think it's important.
Trichotillomania is like an addiction to pulling your hair. It's very hard to stop and it's very hard to live with.
I've been suffering with it on and off for about 2 to 3 years. It's worse when I'm stressed, bored or upset.
|Before or right at the start|
The main reason it's so difficult to stop is because you can't escape your hair. Unlike alcohol or cigarettes where you have to go and purchase it, your hair is always with you.
|31 of December 2012 (pulling at the front)|
I didn't want to go to therapy for it because I felt I could do it with the help of the people around me. The first step was to admit that I had a problem and talk to someone about it. My boyfriend and my family have been very supportive. If I go through a bad spot, I've been able to talk to them about it.
Next I tried to keep my hands busy at all times but at school that was difficult. The other problem was that school was stressful, another trigger for trichotillomania. So I tried to stay more relaxed and not worry about the small things.
I used to have long hair so partly to hide the patches where I'd been pulling and partly to make it harder for me to pull at it, I would tie it up. I cut a fringe at the front because that's where I was pulling a lot. I've stopped pulling completely there now.
|Starting to grow out the fringe I added (June 2013)|
I decided to cut it short at the beginning of last october. This was to let the hair grow out more evenly so I wouldn't have very short bits compared to the rest. I also found that having it short made me pull at it less.
I later cut it even shorter and haven't cut it since. I had a patch of very thin hair at the back of my head which is slowly disappearing. As it's growing a bit longer, I've found I've been pulling more but I'm more conscient I'm doing it so it's easier to stop now.
|Really short hair (December 2013)|
I'm trying to take better care of my hair by using hair masks etc. This means I feel more guilty when I pull at my hair and it also helps the damaged hair.
I'm not at the end of my struggle yet but I'm getting there. It's a slow but sure progress and my goal for the end of 2014 is to have longer hair again and not be pulling it out.
|January 2014 ( pretty much what I look like now)|
I hope this has helped or at least made some of you aware of this addiction. If I can conquer it anyone can!