Since I began pulling out my hair over 20 years ago I do not remember one day that I did not pull at least one hair on my body out. Yes there have been times in which I had no bald spots, had all of my eyelashes, etc… but I still pulled. It was not for lack of trying. There was a time that I saw therapists, tried medication, and would even try to will myself to stop. Yet I kept right on pulling.
No matter how much help I received, how hard I tried, or how much my heart yearned to stop, I still pulled one hair a day. For every day that I tried, and every day that I did not succeed, I took that as an opportunity to consider myself a failure. I said it out loud. I called myself a failure to other people even.
Then, about a year ago the “failure selftalk” stopped. Acceptance replaced it. I have trichotillomania. It’s a part of who I am at least for now; maybe always. AND, there is nothing wrong with me. I accept the me that is today. I am giving myself a break, and I am taking the opportunity to love myself rather than beat myself up.
Since I began my journey a little over a year ago I have stumbled upon many support group pages, facebook groups, and individuals on twitter. It has been a blessing to meet and talk with others like myself who know what it is like to live with trich. No matter how it presented in each and every one of us, I knew that no matter who I was speaking to that we GOT each other. Finally, I was amongst others who were like me. I found a community of hair pullers and that felt and feels good to me.
That said there is one thing that I kept finding myself getting triggered over. I kept getting bothered whenever people were discussing being pull free. What was it about that, that had me so bothered. I originally thought that I was jealous of those that could be pull free. As I started to ask myself questions I got that it was not the celebration of being pull free that had me triggered. It was the moment the person would mention I was pull free for X amount of days but today I pulled. Usually after that statement was followed by another that would show how disappointed they were or ask the question, “What is wrong with me?”. That is what was and does break my heart every time I see those statements.
Coming from someone who has not been pull free. To go one day….JUST ONE DAY is amazing. It is a SUCCESS. I feel like that feat should be celebrated! We all know how hard that is to do. Maybe that will be the beginning of never pulling a strand of hair out again. However, it may not be. And, rather than taking the time to “pick/pull apart” at the drama of what happened, what went wrong, what you did wrong, or what is wrong with you, let’s take that moment to celebrate. Yes, I said CELEBRATE.
For every day you live pullfree, I want you to celebrate. And if you pull again, for two days,
two weeks, or two years, the next pullfree day that comes around I want you to celebrate that as well!! Any day we can say “Hey I did it. I really did it,” is a day that calls for a celebration. And I don’t mean a brief pat on the back. Actually take a moment, and sit down, compliment yourself. Show yourself some love. Acknowledge yourself for every hard moment and everyday that went by that you struggled and yet you did not pull. Celebrate the fact that there is something really fabulous about you and you in fact accomplished what many have not been able to and some may never do. Perhaps this is just the beginning. Maybe just maybe the next time you go pull free you will go even longer.
No matter who we are, and what we do in life there will be a moment where we will fall off the horse. It does not matter how many lessons we took, or how good we are at riding a horse. We will fall off. Rather than beating ourselves off for falling why don’t we pick ourselves up off of the ground, dust ourselves off, and hop back on!
It’s time we all chose to enjoy the ride and the gift of life that all of us were given. Because here is what I know . . .
Everyone is a GIFT.
Everyone falls down.
Everyone can start over.
No one is perfect.
And there is nothing wrong with any of us.
Sandy Rosenblatt graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in health and human development (family studies). She serves as Executive Director of an assisted living home, overseeing care and treatment for people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. She also serves as Head of Client Services for Live Authentic DC, a space where you can discover how much richer and more thrilling it is to be yourself.
Sandy’s main passion is her website which is dedicated to eradicating shame around trichotillomania which you can visit at http://myopportunityis.com/trichotillomania-hair-pulling/.
You can also follow Sandy on twitter at @Sandybeach28.