BFRB Week: Sharing Our Stories




You may (or may not) be familiar with this blog by now. The TL;DR is that I talk a lot about my experiences with BFRBs (body focused repetitive behaviours); the main one being trichotillomania (pulling out my own hair), but I also struggle with dermatillomania (skin picking). For the past 4 years, my online rambles have been incredibly cathartic and helped me come to terms with the anxious whirl of thoughts that are constantly whizzing around my brain; it's allowed me to accept who I am with these BFRBs, grow as a person and gain a better understanding of the disorder and how it affects me. And, I hope, that it's helped some of you not to feel so alone!

But aside from its personal effects, sharing my random rants on the internet has led me to an incredible online community that I never knew existed. There is a world (wide web) of amazingly supportive and like-minded people out there, all going through similar things. Being connected to these people who will message saying 'I know how you feel', 'you'll get through this' or 'I'm experiencing the same at the moment' when I say I'm having a bad trich day gives me so much encouragement on a daily basis. My loved ones have always been greatly supportive, but being in touch with people like you, who just get it, is utterly invaluable to my well-being. To know there are others like me, to know what I'm doing isn't weird, to simply know that I'm not alone.


Today marks the start of BFRB Awareness Week; a time I am seeing as an opportunity. When I'm chatting to others with BFRBs about the disorders and I learn about how, why and what they do in relation to their BFRB, my understanding of the disorders and myself grows. I write a lot about myself on this site, and I want to start showcasing these other experiences over the next few weeks in an attempt to educate and bring further awareness, empower those with the disorder to unashamedly own their stories, and show others that there is no 'right' struggle. If there's one thing this has taught me, is that there is an enormous amount of similarities (almost to the point where other stories sound exactly like my own), but also a wealth of small differences in each of our stories which make us and our struggles so unique. And each of the similarities and variations are totally OK.


I think there can be great strength in collectively speaking out about experiences and sharing knowledge, so I really hope that the next few weeks can at least help reassure some of you going through a hard time right now that it is OK to struggle with a BFRB and that you're not going through this on your own. So, bring on the posts...and if you wanted to share yours (anonymously or not), please email me at prettyandpolishedblog@gmail.com.




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