Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Today I got my hair cut and highlighted by Jamie (she's wonderful).  And she thanked me for sending her an article about trich.  She said it gave her a better understanding about trich.  Which she was grateful for because she had another customer with trich- a young girl.  She had goosebumps just telling me about this sweet young girl.  The young girl has no lashes and I pointed out to Jamie that I pull my lashes too.  I showed her up and close... And I didn't feel awkward at all.  We talked about trich for a bit... And I just realized that I wasn't even aware of the other people in the salon.  Who knows if anyone overheard- I felt comfortable enough where that didn't even cross my mind.  Hoping and praying that with more awareness others will feel comfortable  and not ashamed about having trichotillomania.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pulling others

I've had this post drafted since July '12... I just couldn't get myself to finish it and hit "publish."  Why?  Cause this part of trich just seems weird to me... especially cause I don't know how common it is among other trichsters.  Like will this make me even seem weird to them?!

So here it is... well, you can probably guess by the title.  Not only do I pull my own hair, but I pull others.  I'm serious... I pull out other peoples' hair.  Well, let me make it clear- just my immediate family.  Not like strangers... although sometimes I see hairs on people that are begging to be pulled.  I think to myself, "If that was my hair, I'd pull it!"  So yes, I pull my family's hair.  

Husband- I pull his white hairs... just a few at a time.  He doesn't care.  I'm sure he doesn't think it's trich related cause lots of people pull out those few white hairs... except in his case it's his wife pulling them.  I'm sure he'd think I was crazy if I got out the tweezers and pulled ever last single white hair out though.  Those white hairs bug me- they stand out so much against is auburn hair.  

My children- I pull those occasionally stray hairs that are just sticking up out of nowhere.  Not sure how much they've noticed (cause it's normally when I'm brushing or styling their hair).  But I have heard my son say "ouch" a few times.  
My cats- yes, even the cats.  My sweet Pinky is a calico cat.  And in some of her black patches she'll have one, just one, random white hair.  And it bugs me.  She'll tolerate me pulling a couple, but if I pull too many she gets annoyed and walks away.  Can't blame her :)  
Now, I don't do this often.  My family doesn't have bald patches or anything :)  But I do it enough where I'm aware of it.  And I think it's weird.  And I'm pretty sure you will too, but... there it is.  

*Update, I googled it.  And this article in TIME said, "a small minority pull other people's hairs."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Let Hope Anchor Your Soul Canvas
Artwork by my friend at Lindsay Letters.  You should definitely check her out- she does amazing work!  She made this print for my sister Christina.
Yesterday I lost all my beads.  Yesterday I lost one pesky lash.  Yesterday I spiraled down and lost many more lashes.  Yesterday I was in a bad mood.  Yesterday I was so frustrated.  And then... yesterday I heard about Moore, Oklahoma.  I don't normally stray from the topic of trich on this blog... but my troubles with trich yesterday seem so unimportant now.  Yesterday I didn't lose a child.  Yesterday I didn't lost my home.  Yesterday I didn't suffer the pain of losing everything.  
So today I'm...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Trichster and TLC both shared this on their facebook pages- 
Life With Trichotillomania (video interview on Huffpost Live).  Nancy Redd talks with several trich suffers and a doctor.  Great interview spreading more awareness! 

Hosted by: 
  • Sandy Rosenblatt  (Bethesda, MD) Has Trichotillomania
  • Valerie Vanone (Brooklyn, NY) Has Trichotillomania
  • Sarah Robertson  (Toronto, Canada) Founder of CBSN
  • Dr. Ali Mattu  (New York, NY) Clinical Psychology Post-Doctoral Fellow, NYU Child Study Center

19 days pull free

I made it 19 days pull free- the longest I've ever gone!  There were definitely challenging days, where I felt like all of my thoughts were consumed by trich.  And other days were easier with less urges.  So although my streak is over, I am still really proud of how I did.  The lash pictured below has been bothering me for days.  It was long and straight and despite using an eyelash curler, it never curled.  It just stuck straight out.  So I tried my hardest to ignore it.  But I'd gently tug on it every once in a while... and then I started to notice that the lash hurt.  And that was more irritating than it being straight.  This morning I kept tugging on it and it kept hurting.  I knew it would quit hurting if I just pulled it out.  I knew this lash would end my streak... and I gave in.  And after that I pulled out the tweezers and pulled a few hairs that I had been bugging me as well.  I knew if I was going to try again tomorrow that these hairs would make it challenging.  I know that's probably stupid... cause there is always going to be some hair that is bothersome.    
Pull free day 1- starting tomorrow (really... I should start trying right now before I do some damage).  Okay... pull free day 1 starts tomorrow, but I'm going to start fighting the urges now.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Today is going to be a tough one... That one brow is still bothering me- I can't seem to stop touching it.   Plus I'm going to be in the car for a couple of hours.  Ahhhh!
Until I was actually sound asleep- I wasn't sure if I was going to be pull free yesterday day.  But I did it.  And now it's a new day- another day to keep fighting.  
I can do it!  You can do it!  We can do it!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Praying I can resist the urges tonight.  The past couple of weeks haven't been as bad as I was anticipating.  But tonight is bad.  There's one brow I keep touching and at least 3 lashes I've been eyeing.  Ahhhhh!  
Don't pull!  Don't pull!  Don't pull!  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

2 weeks pull free

Here's two weeks of being pull free (click pics to enlarge).  
In these pictures I just have mascara, a little bit of eyeliner on and no other make-up (bare minimum for taking kids to school).  Not sure if the growth is noticeable to others or not, but I think I'm getting somewhere.  I've heard brows take 4-8 weeks to grow back (not sure about lashes)... so hopefully I can keep this up and start to really see some progress.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I've been lying to myself...

...and it's been working.  Lying, pretending, imagining... whatever you want to call it.  I've been telling myself that my hair is fine.  It's okay.  It's normal.  All my hair is nice and even, silky and smooth.  I've been telling myself that there are no course, thick, or kinky hairs.  There are no frail and thin hairs.  There are no short hairs sticking straight up.  There are no fly away hairs refusing to lay in place.  All the hairs on my head are just as they should be.

And why have I been lying?  Cause it's kept me from fishing for those bad hairs.  Although I know the truth... there probably is some hair that isn't quite right.  But when I'm imaging that they are all fine, I don't go looking for those hairs.  I'm just pretending that they aren't there.  It has honestly kept me from touching my hair.  Crazy, I know.  But it's working.     


I mentioned on my About Me page that I love country music (Brad hates it... poor guy).  Well, I recently got Julie Roberts cd Alive and I just love the song "Stronger"... I had to share it.  Even if you don't love or even like country music you have to listen to these lyrics.  
Here's the lyrics for you too:

I fall sometimes

I crawl sometimes
I lose it all sometimes
And it makes me stronger
Crash land sometimes
By my own hand sometimes
I tear up my plans sometimes
And it makes me stronger

I curse sometimes
And even worse sometimes
Oh how it hurts sometimes
And it makes me stronger
I weep sometimes
I can't sleep sometimes
I get in too deep sometimes
And it makes me stronger

And when I start thinking that no one's there
No one knows and no one cares
I get tired and I get scared
'Til I remember the one my soul who owns
Who promised I'd never be alone
When I bow down before his throne
It makes me stronger
Oh Stronger
When I bow down before his throne
It makes me stronger

I forget sometimes
What I regret sometimes
And I forgive sometimes
It makes me stronger
I trust sometimes
Just enough sometimes
To give it up sometimes
And it makes me stronger

(Repeat Chorus)

Oh Stronger
When I bow down before his throne
It makes me stronger

I fall sometimes
I crawl sometimes
Lose it all sometimes
It makes me stronger

Monday, May 13, 2013

Like I've said before, I am horrible at remembering to take pills, medicine, vitamins and such.  Surprisingly,  I've been able to remember to take my NAC everyday (I think), but it hasn't been easy.  So finally this weekend I headed to Target and got a pill box.  I filled it up for the week, two a day.  And now if I can't remember if I took one at breakfast or not- I can just check and see.  Such a simple thing, but this is going to be so helpful for me and my poor memory :)
Oh, and I've reached my personal record of 12 days pull free!  Back in high school, when I was in track we got a juice every time we got a PR... maybe I should treat myself to something today :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

When I was a part of Trich Support we had pull free challenges all the time... I don't remember keeping track of days then.  So I'm not sure how well I ever did (doesn't help that I have a horrible memory).  

When I first started this blog, I was pull free for a week.  Then six months later (took me a while to get back on the horse), I was pull free for 12 days.  That was the longest I had gone (to my knowledge).  Once again, it took me like half a year before I tried again.  No matter how many days I go, I really want to get up and try again the very next day.  Not six months later.  I want to try every day- even if I pull day after day.

Oh- and I got a "happy dance" today from Brad after he counted my ten beads :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Just an update... still pull free.  Today's been a little challenging though.  My oldest had to stay home from school today cause she's sick (she was in tears cause now she no longer has perfect attendance).  So my day has been filled with getting nothing accomplished, trying to cheer up a sad little kindergartner and make her feel better, and entertain the other two little ones.  I keep finding my hands reaching for those lashes.  I haven't pulled, but I've touched... and that could be trouble.  Need to make it through today!  Might need to take a shower or something.
Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of your right hand when you're right handed?!  Sheesh! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I'm just sitting on the couch next to Brad while he's watching the Blackhawks... And out of nowhere he turns my wrist over to see how many beads (if any) are on my bracelet.  Then gives me a high five :)

So thankful for a loving and supportive husband!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The urge to pull my lashes and brows just hasn't been here these past few days.  So that hasn't been a challenge so far.  BUT... the mindless pulling from my scalp has been a challenge.  

I haven't pulled yet, but it hasn't been easy.  And I wouldn't even say I've had the "urge" to pull from my scalp... it's not like I even get urges there.  It's just what I do.  It's so thoughtless.  Like it gives me something to kill time with or something.  Kids are taking forever to get their shoes on- pull a hair.  Light just turned red at the intersection- pull a hair.  Hubby is fast-forwarding through commercials- pull a hair.  Thinking about what I'll type in my next sentence- pull a hair.  It's just what I do.  No strong urge.  No specific hair screaming at me to be pulled.  No tormenting going on in my brain.  I just do it whenever- not matter the feeling.  

So to avoid that pulling, I haven't even allowed myself to touch my hair.  A simple touch leads to searching for off hairs.  Maybe I'll just give it a tug... but it doesn't take much of a tug to lose a weak hair.  And before I know it I've unintentionally pulled a hair.  So I'm keeping my hands down cause just a touch would be too much.

Something I need to work on...

I'm thinking I need to change my way of thinking.  I've gone through many emotions in the past 20+ years of having trich.  I've hated it, ignored it, accepted it again and again.  And I think all those emotions are normal.  But here's where my thinking needs to change... When it comes to wanting to fight trich it's normally because I hate the way I look or feel.  Instead, I should want to fight trich because I love myself and want the best for me.  Just like losing weight or something- I need to do it because I love myself and not because I hate myself.  This type of thinking might take some time to change... especially since I'm prone to thinking negative.  I tend to have that twisted thinking of " I'll love myself when..." or "I'll feel beautiful once I..."  No- I need to love myself now, just the way I am.  And love myself enough to change the things in my life that need to be changed.
Source: Uploaded by user via K on Pinterest

Thursday, May 2, 2013

One bead at a time

My oldest noticed my bracelet this morning.  "Mom, did you make that?!  Can I make one too?!  Except mine's going to be prettier!  I'm going to put a bunch of beads on mine instead of just one."  Hopefully I'll have a bunch of beads too eventually :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Phew!  I remembered to take my NAC both times today!  I'm going to try to take one at breakfast and one at dinner.  It's not quite dinner yet, but I'm heading to my in-laws for dinner and I didn't want to forget.  Hopefully I will continue to remember it... long enough to start seeing it work.

Day one.

Today I am starting my pull free challenge (and some wonderful people are joining me too!).  And to help me along with this, I'll be making a pull free bracelet (see previous post here) as well... hopefully I'll be filling it up with beads!!  I'm also going to start taking NAC again today.

And since progress can be seen best with pictures (I think)... Here's some before pictures from yesterday morning with and without make-up (click to enlarge).

Yikes- right out of the shower, blemishes and all.  And I look like I have absolutely no lashes- the ones I do are very light (brows too).

Thank God for make-up!  I'm sure a smile wouldn't hurt either! :)
See I actually do have some top lashes.  I don't pull my bottom lashes.  Well, I have a few times, but it hurts and I really have no urge to pull them anyway.
 Looking forward to seeing some progress in my after photos. Oh, and I do pull from my scalp as well... I have little hairs sticking out everywhere.

So starting today- I will try to fight the urges to pull any hair, lash or brow.  I'm not even going to tweeze stray brows cause honestly- my brows are so thin I'm not even sure where they should be anymore.  

We can do this!!!  Good luck, guys! :)