Trichotillomania Update: Keeping My Lashes



During August, I had a bit of a bad moment and pulled out all of my eyelashes. For some reason, it only took 6-7 weeks for them to start peeking back through, and by mid September I had stubby little lashes again. The feeling of seeing the lashes start to grow back through is incredible; you're on such a low from the guilt/self-hatred/frustration from pulling them that when they re-appear those feelings start to go and are replaced with the joy of having your own lashes. Somehow (and I'm really not sure how), I still have those same lashes.

As I've written before on this site, trichotillomania is difficult in the sense that you get so happy over the fact that you finally have your own lashes, but you are trapped in the knowledge that the happiness is time-limited and probably won't last long. You can never get truly excited as you're constantly wondering when you're going to pull again (because there's a 99% chance it is going to happen); there is always a negative spin to everything. I honestly can't remember the last time that I managed to keep my own lashes for longer than a month once they've grown back, so being on the 10 week mark is a huge achievement for me! Although part of me is worried that I will pull them all out again any day now (and I have been tempted by a few lashes), I've gotten used to having them and am managing to resist thus far- achieving having them for this length of time has allowed the negative feelings to be slightly subdued.


Whilst a couple of lashes here and there have disappeared due to a weak moment, generally speaking, the temptation to pull my lashes has not been anywhere near as strong as it usually is. Perhaps it is my new found pride in my lashes which have grown longer than I thought they would ever be able to due to years worth of damage, perhaps it's my determination to see how long I can keep them for; getting as far as I have acts as motivation, and I keep thinking that I can't let myself down at this stage. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, and the pulling will come soon. I guess you just never know with trich- there are no rules and it does whatever it wants, whenever it wants!


I guess because I have surpassed the month stage by which I usually pull my eyelashes, I'm feeling more positive about keeping them for longer. I think less about when I'm going to pull them, and feel as though I am less tempted because it is not constantly on my mind. I still think that I might pull them (I am well aware that it is likely to happen at some point), but I am so much more upbeat about it due to the fact that I've shown myself that I can keep my lashes for a decent amount of time. Next on my agenda will be trying to crack my lower lashes and my eyebrows (although that definitely seems like a distant dream at the rate I am pulling them- I'm certainly making up for not pulling my eyelashes by taking it out on my brows!). For now, I'm going to keep riding the positive wave that trichotillomania has dealt me at the moment, as I have no way of knowing how long it may last!




Do you have any goals for trichotillomania or have you achieved any recently?


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10 comments

  1. Your lashes are looking incredible! Xx

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  2. I also suffer from trich- and have done so for 15 years. The last few months I have done so well, very much like yourself. And for once in my life I had no bald spots, with quiet long lashes. However last week I found myself pulling all that hard effort away and am now back to nothing!
    I am in need of ways of growing them back and keeping them!
    Please help!
    Sincerely, your trich- suffering friend.

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    1. Ah I'm so sorry that they've all gone now. That's one of the worst parts of trich. Unfortunately I have no specific answer on how to keep them- I think it's sheer luck for me to the moment. I use serum on them every night to help strengthen them (and I think it also helps them grow). I've had a couple of moments where I have pulled but luckily they haven't been too noticeable on my lash line. Sorry I couldn't be much more help. Just think of be feeling when they do grow back!

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  3. Ive pulled my eyelashes out for around 9 years and eyebrows for around 4 years. Ive been bald on both eyes more times than i can count then ive had half an eyebrow several times, probably all been gone at different times. I then this year started pulling my lower lashes out which is very frustrating and then the past few months i found myself playing with my hair and pulling a few out. I really need to stop now. Not had a full set of eyelashes now for about 6 years! Its awful when you look in the mirror and there’s nothing there! I dont know anyone else who does it and only just came across lots of people who have it when i searched the hashtag on Twitter! Congrats on your lashes! Hopefully ill get that feeling again soon! X

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for sharing your story. It's so demoralising when you look in the mirror and all you see is the bald patches, but trich is just constant ups and downs. I hope you can grow them back but it's equally important to remember that it's also fine if you don't- you're awesome with or without lashes :)

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  4. I have trich- and I knew that it's called this name, I thought that i'm all alone and i'm the only person with this pulling my lashes, brow and hair condition, now, I have no eyelashes, no eyebrows, and I have to fill them every single morning to go off to college, but seeing that there are many people like me made me a bit strong, thank you for sharing your story, i'm in my worst status right now but hopefully i'll get better soon��

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    1. I'm sorry to hear your trich is bad at the moment. We have all been there and it really does suck when you're going through a bad patch. Sending you positive thoughts! x

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  5. Your lashes look amazing! So jealous :)
    I've had trich for something like 15 years, pulling my lashes and brows since I was 12 or 13. I didn't know that it had a name or that there were others like me until a few years ago when my mum told me and offered to pay for therapy - I went once and it was super awkward, so I haven't been since.
    I used to be really ashamed of it, but now I've made some kind of defiant peace with the fact that that's just how my face looks. A kind of "I refuse to be ashamed!" counterreaction after so many years of trying to hide my face behind my hair. I still never ever leave home without a good thick coat of eye liner, but I'm less afraid of people finding out about it. After all, there are worse things. And my boyfriend bites his nails, so at least he understands the compulsion.
    I only just discovered your blog today, and it's such a relief to have someone write so openly about the ups and downs that I know so well. For me and my family it's always been something we don't really talk about, so I just wanted to say thank you for putting it into words. It's a great comfort to know that I'm not alone and that I'm not as weird as I always thought :)

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    1. I found therapy exactly the same. Made even more awkward by the fact that no one has heard of it, let alone knows how to treat it!

      I completely love your outlook towards trich and I really try to adopt a similar mentality. I too will still cover up with make-up (so there's clearly still some element of wanting to hide it somewhere) but will happily tell someone if they ask or bring it up in some way- beforehand I used to totally shut down and deny everything. It's a process but accepting yourself for who you are (and trich being part of that) has helped so much. We don't need eyelashes to be awesome! I'm so glad you've found the blog useful and you're definitely not alone with trich (or weird!) x

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