Monday, April 30, 2012

I've been out of town.  I knew my pulling would probably be better while gone- simply because I was with my Mom most of the time and I don't pull as much in front of here (compared to my family or when I'm just home alone).  Plus we were busy doing stuff and I don't pull as much in public.  And despite being in the van for long time (10+ hours), I didn't pull nearly as much as I normally would a vehicle.  I think my eyebrows are actually filling in more.  I have to fill them in with eyebrow make-up daily, but lately I've noticed that I actually have some more.  Still haven't had another pull free day, but there is growth.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Caught in the act

This picture is from the summer of '05. No idea why my husband took this picture. No idea why I never deleted it from our computer. But here it is... caught in the act.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When people stop hiding

TLC shared this quote from Dr. Deibler today on their Facebook status: "I often tell my patients that aside from treatment itself, an important thing unfolds in recovery: When people stop hiding, they start getting better."

I think it's true.  Although my pulling has varied over the last 20 years... Just being open about it has helped me feel better about myself and the fact that I have this disorder.  And sometimes I think that's more important than the actual hair growth.     

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's all about the growth

I still haven't had another pull free day, but I need to be okay with that.  I came across this passage from You're Already Amazing by Holly Gerth about perfectionism vs. growth. Now, I know this book isn't about trich or anything like that, but the message can still apply here.  

This stuck out to me.  "Perfectionism is all or noting.  Growth is little by little."  Perfectionism would be to be pull free and never ever pull again (I think perfection might equal impossible).  But "growth is little by little."  Growth is having some pull free days here and there, it's being more aware and pulling less.  It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

"Perfectionism is all about the goal."  Perfectionism would be all about being pull free, having full lashes, brows, and no thin patches.  "Growth is about the journey."  Hmmm... that's what this blog is kinda about? 

If I try to be perfect.  I will fail.
If I try to grow... well... I'll grow.  That's something I can actually do.

* I haven't read this book but after reading the description on Amazon, it sounds like a good book to read:
"Women feel enormous pressure to be perfect. To have the perfect body, to be a perfect woman, to have the perfect career, and to have the perfect attitude. All the time. Under all that pressure and all those expectations are women carrying burdens they were never meant to carry and suppressing the dreams they were always meant to live.  In You're Already Amazing, popular blogger and co-founder of (in)courage helps women understand and embrace the fact that they don't need to do more, be more, and have more--because they're already amazing just the way God created them to be. As a licensed counselor and certified life coach, Holley knows what readers need to hear. Like a heart-to-heart talk over coffee, reading this joy-filled book encourages women to forget the lies and expectations the world feeds them, instead believing that God made them for a purpose and that he loves them right now, at this moment, and always. Holley takes readers on a journey of the heart to discover their strengths and embrace all God created them to be."

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"I'm not gonna let it get me down
I'm not gonna cry
And I'm not gonna lose any sleep tonight
'Cause tomorrow's another day..."

Jo Dee Messina, Bring on the Rain

Do not give up

Kinda feel like today might be the day that I end my pull free streak. I don't want it to be, but today the urge is strong. I really just want to quickly get rid of the hairs that are bothering me and then start back up again as if I never pulled them.

*Update: Just minutes after posting this I did pull my first hair in one week. Wasn't even one that was bothering me. I was just messing with it and out it came. The hair felt weak; it probably didn't have enough strength to hold on... that's why I can't even mess with my hair. For some hair, it doesn't take much for them to come out. Sad. I guess that's what happens with 20+ years. Not going to beat myself up.

12 Step Information adapted for Trichotillomania and Skin Picking

The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.

The Twelve Steps

1. We admitted we were powerless over trichotillomania - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God, as we understand God.

4. Made a searching and fearless personal inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of what we learned in our inventory.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these negative beliefs and behaviors.

7. Humbly asked God to remove our negative beliefs and behaviors.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed -- including ourselves -- and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends wherever possible, except when to do so would injure anyone.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and promptly acted on what we discovered.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other hair pullers, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The Twelve Traditions

1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon group unity.

2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority -- a loving higher power as expressed to our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

3. The only requirement for membership is a desire for recovery from trichotillomania.

4. Each group should remain autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or 12 Step Pickers/Pullers as a whole.

5. Each group has but one primary purpose -- to carry its message to other hair pullers who still suffer.

6. 12 Step Pickers/Pullers ought never endorse, finance, or lend the group name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim.

7. 12 Step Pickers/Pullers ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

8. 12 Step Pickers/Pullers should remain forever non--professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

9. 12 Step Pickers/Pullers as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

10. 12 Step Pickers/Pullers has no opinion on outside issues; hence the group name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions: ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

The Twelve Promises

I can expect a miraculous change in my life by working the program of 12 Step Pickers/Pullers. As I make an honest effort to use all of the tools of the program...

1. I know a new sense of belonging. The feeling of isolation and loneliness will disappear.

2. I am no longer controlled by my compulsion. I act with courage, integrity and dignity.

3. I know a new freedom.

4. I release myself from shame, worry, and regret about pulling.

5. I know a new love and acceptance of myself. My self-esteem comes from within.

6. I enjoy stable periods of freedom from pulling.

7. I am capable of enjoying life without feeling that I have to hide from others.

8. I learn that it is possible to mend - to heal from the shame and pain of the past, and to learn new behaviors and attitudes that will help prevent my pulling.

9. I acknowledge that I am a unique and precious creation. I treat myself with gentleness, patience and dignity.

10. I trust a guidance I receive from my higher power and come to believe in my own capabilities.

11. I learn to see myself as beautiful, worthy and capable. Whether I am abstinent or not, I enjoy a healthy sense of self-esteem and the love and support of others.

12. I gradually experience serenity, strength, and spiritual growth in my daily life.

Tools of the Program:

  • Meetings
  • E-Mail
  • Buddies
  • Abstinence
  • Literature
  • Slogans


  • Easy Does It
  • First Things First
  • Be Gentle With Yourself
  • Let it Grow
  • Progress, Not Perfection
  • One Day at a Time
  • You Are Not Alone
  • Let Go and Let God
  • Together We Can Make It
  • Keep It Simple
  • Love, Learn and Grow
  • Just For Today
  • Let It Begin With Me

The twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have been borrowed and adapted for use for people with TTM. For more Information on the twelve steps and how they developed, please contact Alcoholics Anonymous.

12 Step Information adapted for Trichotillomania and Skin Picking taking from TLC.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Woo hoo!!!!

I'm getting close to the end of day seven. You know what that means?!? ONE WEEK PULL FREE!! I just need to hurry up and go to bed already and make it official :)

This whole week not a single hair from my head, a single brow or lash was pulled. Nothing! Okay... one hair was pulled... but that wasn't fault. Baby Girl got a handle full hair and pulled one out. Gotta love little grabby baby hands :) But I didn't pull any! And trust me, it hasn't been easy. There are some hairs that I kinda wish I would have pulled last week... now I have to deal them and let them be. Driving me a little bonkers!

FYI: I have the BEST husband ever!! He is so supportive and cheering me on all the way! Thank you, Babe!! I LOVE YOU and appreciated all of your support!

Simple tough questions

My five year old asked, "Why do you always put on make-up before we go somewhere?" Um... no answer. Not sure how to explain this to the kids. Someday.

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Making myself uglier"

In an Interview: Living with Trichotillomania, the urge to pull your hair out, one thing that "Izabella" said stuck out to me: "I felt disgusting, ugly, and the worst part was that I blamed myself for my ugliness... I’d scream at myself because I knew it was the truth – and I felt like I was making myself uglier, when I could become more beautiful."

I think that is one of the hardest things about this disorder... it effects your appearance. And you're the one doing it to yourself. I know I used to have great long lashes and now I don't... and I did it to myself. I am the reason why I don't like what I see in the mirror. I don't know how many times I wish I could trade my trich for someone else's illness or disorder... one that didn't make you ugly.

I need to change my thinking and remember:

Well, my blog is public, but it's not "public knowledge"... meaning I haven't told friends and family yet. I guess I'm slightly hesitate to share because I'm not sure what others will think. Trichsters who read might relate... but what will non-suffers think?!?! My family and a lot of my friends know that I have trich... and I have received nothing but support from them. But I think it's a little different when you're getting a closer look into someone's struggles. No one has made me feel like a freak or anything... but sometimes you just can't help but wonder what people are thinking.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I haven't yet... but I know I will. There is no cure for trich, so I know someday I will pull again. Well, unless this is some type of miracle (which I do believe it, but that's beside the point). For now... I'm just enjoying these pull free days and hoping that many hairs will get a chance to grow because of it. And I'm hoping and praying that when I do happen to pull a hair that I won't beat myself up about... that'll I remember these days and know I can stop, even if it's just for a short time. Day 5 is almost over... still pull free.
On to day five- I can't believe it. I must have been making some progress prior to being pull free... cause looking in the mirror this morning there seems to be a lot more lashes compared to my "before" picture (pictured a couple posts below). That's encouraging! But I have to keep it up- cause weeks of growth can disappear so fast.

Although I did make it through the day, it wasn't easy yesterday. I had a couple spots on my lashes that were really bothering me. I wouldn't say they hurt... maybe sensitive is a better word. I was really aware of them and how they felt. In the past, (the not so distant past) I'd pull those lashes until it felt better. And although my intention would be to just pull until that feeling went away- it normally left me with a gap. So... yesterday I resisted the urge. It wasn't easy; I did keep touching them. But I never tugged or actually pulled a lash out. Amazing!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's not just pulling that needs to stop... I need to stop messing with my hair all together. If I'm messing with my hair, I'll start fishing for the "bad ones." If I start fishing for the "bad ones," I'll want them gone. If I'm want them gone, I'm going to be tempted to pull. If I'm tempted to pull... well, I probably will. Or go crazy thinking about that one "bad hair." Hmm... reminds me of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie :)

I know I had mentioned not posting daily (especially not multiple times a day- sheesh!)... but I guess I just have a lot of thoughts right now (maybe that's cause I'm just starting this blog... or maybe cause I want a bunch of posts so I don't have to see that before/after picture anymore). I hope people find help and realize that they are not alone... but this is also for me. A lot for me. And if I have something to share, I will. But if I don't, well... then there may be days, weeks of no posts.

Before & After

Here's the most recent picture of my damage... before and after with make-up. I hate looking at this picture. I hate looking in the mirror and seeing... nothing. Maybe that's why I go to bed with make-up still on and put it right back on as soon as I get out of the shower. I know make-up just covers up the problem... but the cover up helps me feel a little more normal.
(This picture was taking on March 20th during a photo-a-day challenge. Photo for the day was Before/After)

Oh, and I made it through day 3! Driving was probably the hardest part of the day- especially sitting at stop lights. And I think I hit every red light yesterday. But I did it! I din't pull a single hair, brow, or lash!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Itching to pull

It's day 3- I made it. Day 2 had some hairs that were itching to be pulled (literally). My scalp and the base of my top lashes kept itching... it's like the hairs wanted to come out. But I've resisted. Wow.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Trichotillomania, Trich, TTM...

Well, that's what I have... trichotillomania. So what is trich (in case you are here and don't already know)? According to Trichotillomania Learning Center (TLC), "trichotillomania (trick-o-til-o-MAY-nee-ah) is a disorder that causes people to pull out the hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, pubic area, underarms, beard, chest, legs or other parts of the body, resulting in noticeable bald patches. Trichotillomania (also referred to as TTM or "trich") is currently defined as an impulse control disorder but there are still questions about how it should be classified. It may seem to resemble a habit, an addiction, a tic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Most recently, it is being conceptualized as part of a family of "body-focused repetitive behaviors" (BFRBs)." And in case you haven't already checked out TLC... their website is a great source.

FYI: This won't be a blog with daily posts. I think I'd get depressed talking about trich everyday. But I'll be posting here and there. This blog is to help others know they are not alone, but also kinda for myself... some accountability and support. It's still early... so I'm not really sure where it's going to go. We'll see.

My journey with trich

I'm on day two of being "pull-free." I'm not sure if that's ever really happened before (maybe). Not saying I haven't tried before, I have. Trust me, in the past 20+ years I have tried and tried to stop pulling my hair, eyebrows, and lashes out. I'm not sure what really hit me a couple of days ago... what made me really want to try again. I didn't have a huge melt down or anything. I wasn't bawling over how ugly I looked. However, looking in the mirror lately (or pictures) has not been my favorite thing. I have hardly any lashes, my brows are sparse, and my hair has a bunch of short little hairs sticking up everyone and thinning patches... I hate it. So I was looking around on the Internet and came across a blog of a young girl in UK who was blogging about trichotillomania and how she has been pull free (I'd share the link to the blog here, but I honestly can't find it anymore). After reading a bit of her blog... I kinda just felt like- I can do this. So... here I am. I'm trying to be pull free... and you can join me on the journey. My journey with trich.