Trichotillomania

Trich Update

It’s been about a month now since I shaved my head and I have to admit I haven’t made a ton of progress. I wish I could say I had tiny little baby hairs growing where I’d pulled out chunks – actually, that’s true. I do have new hairs. But I also have new spots where I’ve pulled out more hair. I just haven’t been able to keep my fingers away.
I keep blaming these last few months as the reason why I can’t stop pulling hair; I keep saying, “Things have been really stressful” and, “I’ve just been busy” and, “I’ll do better once things calm down,” but…life is busy and stressful. I can’t continue to cope with life by pulling out my hair. And yet here I am! That is how I’m coping with everything.

When I shaved my head, I did it with the hopes that not being able to pull my hair out as easily would help the temptation die down and I’d be able to feel more “normal,” and then start the process of growing my hair out again. But instead of the temptation going away, I’ve just tried that much harder to pull the hairs out. I pinched those tiny little hairs between my short fingernails until I cracked my nails and caused them to split open. And then I cut my nails shorter so hopefully I wouldn’t be able to grasp the little hairs between them, which has just caused my nails to become shorter and shorter until I’ve finally had to start cutting them up into the quick.

I have pulled until the ends of my fingers are raw from my sharp, bristly little hairs and my nails are chewed up and broken and I have bloody, bald spots on my head. I am a mess. I look in the mirror and shudder.

And my sister-in-law’s wedding is this weekend. This coming weekend. As in six days from now. Weddings are supposed to be pretty and everyone attending is supposed to look nice and well-groomed. How am I going to go looking like I just got into a fight with a woodchipper and lost???

I won’t lie – I am freaking out. I broke down into hysterical sobs about it tonight. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to show up to this wedding and pretend like I’m happy and doing well and everything is great. I’m going to see people I haven’t seen for over a year and I’m going to look like the same freaky, bald weirdo as I did when I moved away.

I think that’s what is stressing me out the most – seeing friends and family I haven’t seen in a long time. I was supposed to be getting better and getting a grip on things out here in California, and now I have to go back to Virginia and admit defeat. I haven’t gotten better.

And I didn’t just cry tonight; I pulled out a ton of hair. Yeah, I did. I got the tweezers and just yanked and yanked until the sink was full of tiny little black hairs and there were little pin-pricks of blood all over my head. I pulled them out because I was angry and stressed and I felt like, maybe, if I pulled enough of them out my anger would melt away. Or maybe that I’d release all the pressure bottled up inside my head. Or maybe that I’d look so horrible I’d just have to tell Shawn I couldn’t go to the wedding at all.

I know this is absolute nonsense but the irrational (and incredibly convincing) voice inside me keeps telling me if I go on this trip for my sister-in-law’s wedding, I’m going to die. That’s how worried and stressed out I am! I have this horrible, overwhelming sense of dread like I’m not going to survive the trip. I know it’s ridiculous but I’m still in complete panic-mode.

And let me just add this while I’m at it: I know my problems are trivial. I know there are people with painful diseases, people who are starving to death, people being persecuted for their beliefs, etc., and that my problems are laughable compared to theirs. And that just makes me feel even worse inside because I know I’m such a wimp compared to most people in the world. There are so many people truly suffering right now and I’m complaining about not looking quite normal and having to go to a wedding?

What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just be normal? (Or even do a better job of acting normal?) Why do I have to blow everything out of proportion and freak out and cause everyone around me to be stressed and upset? A normal person could go on this trip and smile and be happy and enjoy seeing old friends. But me? Not a chance. I have to stress out and pull hair and cry and imagine myself dying in countless scenarios.

I’m sorry this update wasn’t more positive. I know things will get better and I won’t actually die on this trip, but man – right now it’s difficult for me to remember that! I feel like I’m unraveling.

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