Friday, March 07, 2014

I have Trichotillomania

I pull out my own hair.

This is how Wikipedia describes Trichotillomania.

All caught up on what this is? Okay.

I have suffered with this in varying levels of intensity for over 20 years.

I wasn't aware of it for several years, since it happens mostly when I'm zoned out, watching a movie or reading a book. A friend pointed it out to me one day and from then on, I learned to hide.

I thought I was a freak.

I thought I was the only one.

Then one day I saw a Tyra Banks show with other women who suffered from Trich. I bawled my eyes out because I knew I wasn't alone, and because now my affliction had a name. Trichotillomania.

Oprah also did a show, though I don't really remember which one I saw first.

For most of my life I have been able to hide it well while still wearing my hair down, but during my second and third pregnancies it got progressively worse and now I can only wear my hair half up half down with a barrette or all up in a ponytail.

This year I have been really working to grow in my relationship with the Lord, as well as the relationships with the people around me; my family, my friendships and my church family. It is not easy possible to build true healthy relationships without sharing yourself. Trich teaches you to hide and builds a wall.

Healing from Trich requires vulnerability.

Vulnerability is scary.

Sharing this with the world is scary!

I have decided that this is the year that I heal myself. This is the year that Trich no longer has a hold on me.

Part of my journey is to share this with others; to share my struggles and pain and ultimately, my victory.
Jesus wants to set me free and He has already given me the victory!!!

"But thanks be to God!
He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 15:57

Here are some things that are helping me along in my journey to freedom from Trichotillomania.

Stream of conscience Journaling.
Write what you are thinking, without censorship or judgement. Let it flow without thinking too much about what it is. Just write. Do at least 3 pages and when you are done, BURN IT! Yep! Burn it, shred it, put it down your garbage disposal...okay, so don't do that last one, but seriously, DESTROY IT. Oh, and don't read it once you have written it. This is meant to be a safe place to write out your true feelings. A place where you can be totally honest with yourself without fear of judgement (yes, even from yourself) or shame. It works! Even if you don't have Trich, give it a shot.

The e-book "What's wrong with pulling my hair out?" by Abby Leora Rohrer
I was so skeptical about what could possibly have been in this book that would cure me of Trichotillomania, but I decided to step out in faith and get it anyway. This book will only help you if you are willing to help yourself and do the work. It is not a magic pill or a trick to stop trich. It's a tool to heal yourself of the underlying problem that started your Trich in the first place. I learned that Trich is not a disease, but it starts as a coping mechanism and turns into an addiction. Yeah....let that sink in for a bit. If you have Trich and are ready to heal, I highly recommend this book. Here is the website to get it. (Just FYI, this is not an affiliate link and I get nothing for sharing it.)

Prayer and Bible Reading
Being completely vulnerable to God in my prayers and knowing that He loves me no matter what, that nothing I do can change how much He loves me. I cannot tell you how powerful it is to know that He loves me unconditionally. No conditions. He loves me for me. Spend time in prayer and get to know your maker by spending time in His word.

Essential Oils
Now this will not cure Trichotillomania, but it helps me to stay grounded and calm so that I can focus on my recovery. I really love InTune by doTERRA as well as Balance and Serenity. If you would like more info on oils please let me know. Those I do sell;)

Not claiming Trich
I do not call it "my trich" or "my pulling", because I DO NOT CLAIM THIS! This is not who I am and though it is something that I struggle with, it is not mine. I do not identify myself as a "trichster" or a "trichie" and I hope that if YOU do, that you will stop. This is not who you are beautiful and powerful, which are both things that Trich teaches you that you are not.
Trich does not speak the truth.

Not Hating Trich
I know I just got done saying I don't claim Trich and now I'm saying I don't hate it. What? Here's the deal. Trich was there for me when I was a young sensitive child who could not comprehend and process my feelings. Trich got me through those years. I cannot hate something that helped me cope. Was it ideal? No. Was is perfect? No. But it helped me. If I hate it, then I hate myself for allowing it to continue. That only perpetuates the cycle. I understand it now and I can let it go.

Okay, so that's it! I shared my deepest darkest secret with the world and I will keep you posted on my progress as I heal and as my hair grows back out. If you know someone who suffers from this, please just love them for who they are and send them my way. I would love to answer any questions you may have about this topic and would appreciate your support on my journey.



Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

Amy, you are my hero. I'm so proud of you for your courage and faith. Thanks for being a light to others. Xoxo

Unknown said...

I love you Amy. Your honestly, your strength, your unfailing faith and your bravery in sharing this major bump in the path of your life give me so much respect and love for you. God, with all your other tools listed, will bring you through this. You are amazing and always an inspiration to me. <3 *Gretchen*

Unknown said...

So awesome that you have the courage to share this and are seeking the Lord on this journey! Praying for you!

-Bonnie @ Revolutionaries

Unknown said...

You are amazing, Amy! I love your take on trich, which goes to show how brave and wonderful you really are. I hope more people suffering with the same condition will be able to read this post and your blog, so that they can find inspiration in your words! Stay strong Amy!

Amanda Mazzocchi@ Good Look Ink

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this! I was so surprised and impressed when I saw you being so open about Trich on FB the other day, and now I understand WHY you have chosen to be so bold. Thank you. Everything you said about the mentality of hiding and the way Trich "teaches" us to hide and feel less worthy, really resonated with me. *hugs!*

Hannah said...

You are so brave, Praying for you!
A book that helped me with a lot of things (not Trich, but overwhelming compulsive worrying and fear) was Unbound by Neal Lozano. It deals a lot with going to the very root issue and addressing it there, and healing in Christ, and really embracing our identities as Children of the Father. There's also a website
That book changed my life, so I tell people about it :D
Praying for you!

Anonymous said...

Amy, we all have quirks and it takes courage to admit them sometimes. You can do this! By the way, I love your hair! Please tell Brooklyn that Mrs. P says "hi" for me, would you? Take care!

The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one."
~Jill Churchill