Trichotillomania Update (And Why It's OK To Not Be OK)


I did something bad. I was doing so well, had a full set of lashes, and then received some bad news. I cried, my heart broke, and my eyelashes were destroyed. All of that time and hard work trying to grow them back through, and my happiness at being able to wear mascara and ditch the false lashes...all disappeared in one ten minute splurge. I hated myself for ruining my eyelashes yet again, for forcing myself back into the routine of covering up the ugliness, and once those ten minutes passed I was filled with utter disappointment, guilt, regret and self-loathing. I used some bad news as an excuse to pull out my hair, but was left feeling heaps worse than before.




Despite being left feeling worse- us sufferers are well aware that pulling out your hair never solves anything- during those ten minutes, I escaped reality. The trance-like state I fell into for that short period of time allowed me to focus on nothing but the odd sensation of having eyelashes and the overwhelming urge to pluck them all out. The immense stress I had been under for the past few weeks, topped off by some awful family news, disappeared bit by bit with every eyelash that was being pulled out. It's as if my eyelashes embodied the stress, and pulling them out of my eyelid symbolised the stress pouring out of my body. It was cathartic, and, dare I say, blissful for ten minutes. Focusing on nothing but eyelashes. Forgetting the bad news. I knew I shouldn't be doing it, but it felt too good.


Because that's the thing. We pull our hair out because it feels good, it relieves the tension. It isn't completely pointless and there is always a reason behind it. But as soon as we slip out of that trance, those good feelings fall away and we're left with something even worse that what we started with. But we know that, and we pull anyway. That ten minute opportunity for escapism is, in our complex minds, somehow worth the pain, guilt, frustration, depressive state etc that comes crashing down immediately afterwards. But that's OK. It's not ideal, but it's our version of a comfort blanket. For those ten minutes, I felt better. We all have our coping mechanisms, however strange or destructive they may be, but if pulling out my eyelashes helps me deal with a horrible experience, I'm OK with that. It's temporary. The hair will grow back. Sometimes life throws you something which makes you too weak to resist the urges, and that is totally fine.



Pretty and Polished

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8 comments

  1. This brought a tear to my eye - it's exactly me over the past week. Sorry to hear about you having a bad time & hope you feel better soon. Exams & essays etc will be over soon! Also you didn't do a bad thing - it's what feels natural to you. Hair grows back - in it together gal! Gweni xxx

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    1. Thanks Gweni! Just looking forward to when it does grow back xxx

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  2. I've never told anyone I have trich, I didn't even know it had a name til about a year ago. I think you're so inspirational and brave, I wish I could be honest about it but it's being going on too long, haven't been able to grow my brows or lashes back for 10 years. Your blog is wonderful and I wanted you to know you're not alone, you're an inspiration and I really admire you.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. It's scary to start talking about it at first but people are honestly so much more understanding than you would think. There's no need to ever be ashamed of it, no matter what you may tell yourself.

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  3. I woke up this morning feeling exactly like that! Not many people know I have ttm, but my fiance really and he just says great you pulled your lashes out again! If he's around and sees me he stops me which pulls me out of the trance(I love that word for it BTW!)for a short period of time! I find if I'm tired I have a way harder time stopping myself when I get stressed! I've had insomnia for the last 2 weeks and last night I was upset about money issues and our kitty just went missing yesterday! I fell asleep scared to look in the mirror as I could tell I did a number...and mine had grown back for a month! So I woke up with dread, disgust and shame as I checked out the damage! 😠 I don't go out much and of course I have a bday party to take my son to tomorrow! Sorry for sharing so much but I just found your site this morning and think you are beautiful strong and inspiring! 💜 I'm going to have to get some eyeliner today but with a 2 year old I don't have time for lashes! Any recommendations for good eyeliners that are easy to put on? I'm in the social network marketing biz and it involve a lot of selfies and vids and inspiring others but when this happens I feel so shameful I can't post much because I feel like a liar and so self conscious! I hope to one day be brave like you!

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    1. Thank you for your comment and I'm so sorry for the stress your experiencing at the moment... Hope you find your cat, I can't even imagine what you're going through. It's always a horrible moment when you have to examine the trich damage you've caused- I think this part probably creates the worst feelings.

      As for eyeliners, I love soap and glory's supercat for doing winged liner, or Collection's fast stroke liquid liner for a darker, bolder look. If Kohl is more your thing, MUA do a great one that's fab for smudging into your lash line for a subtle look, think it's only £1 too. I find false lashes are the best option though, and they don't take *too* long to put on! It's easier said than done but there's no need to feel self conscious about trich, most people don't even notice anyway xx

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  4. Ok, yes, I do understand that this comment is late. This spoke to me so deeply though. When I was around 7-10,I was always very stressed. My parents were divorced, my mom was verbally abusive and my dad was dating this woman who abused me. I had began by pulling my eyelashes out, the feeling of it was just so soothing. After I had pulled out all of my lashes, I had then moved to eyebrows, soon pulling them all out. My parents began to become concerned. They would scream at me whenever I did it, making me do it more. Soon after that, I had moved to my hair, there was soon a bald patch in the middle of my head. I had skillfully learned to part my hair to the side to cover it, (I was around 9 at the time.)
    Then, one day, I suddenly just stopped. I guess being beautiful was really important to me. I found other things to entertain me, I made sure my hands were always busy with something else, so that I would never get the urge to pull any sort of hair out. I'm now 14, and haven't pulled my hair for about 3 1/2 years! Occasionally I pull one or two eyelashes or hairs out, but nothing that makes a difference. My eyelashes grew back in, long and beautiful, same for my eyebrows. My hair is almost all the same length now, and is quite long!
    One day, everything will be ok <3

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear the first part of your story, but so inspired. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - this has helped me to realise that there is hope for us and that one day we might be 'pull-free'. Well done and stay strong! X

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