As I get more and more involved in discussing my eyelash pulling condition with others through my work with hair and eyelash pulling treatments I realize that ‘normalizing’ a situation that I had been hiding for years is a very important step in treating trich. Funny thing is, I’m getting involved NOW because I’m actually pull free now. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m ‘cured’, as I know that we are never really ‘cured’. I still ‘have’ trichotillomania, it’s just now I can control it. I’m an ‘ex-trichster’ and will never be a ‘non-trichster’. So I always have to be self-aware and careful. Sometimes little urges to pull my eyelashes start to pop up and I have to center myself again. It gets easier with time, but I know that I have this weakness and I am careful.
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But before I stopped I had been pulling for a long time, and amazingly I didn’t even realize that I had a ‘condition’. I found out by accident when my doctor mentioned it in passing. That was an important day in my life. Once I started reading up on Trichotillomania I actually felt liberated. Like at least there was something behind the eyelash pulling. That was a turning point for me. And one of the reasons that I am so pleased to see websites like www.trich.org and articles and films and celebrities speaking out about their condition. I think this is absolutely essential for us to advance with Trich, and this is why I want to be involved and spread awareness and share ideas, from the point of view of someone who has beat eyelash pulling.
So when people ask me if their eyelashes will grow back, if they can ever stop pulling out their hair. I tell them that yes, their eyelashes will grow back, that yes, they can stop pulling out their hair. But the first step is to recognize and understand the condition and then approach it like that. Like how you would approach a medical condition.
Here are some of the things that I found helped me in my struggle with Trich.
My 7 top tips to get my hair and eyelash pulling under control:
1. recognize your hair pulling condition, read up, do some research, really understand what you are confronting
2. believe that it is possible to get your condition under control. Surround yourself with a positive support group and have faith.
3. get a systematized plan in place. You can’t just expect to stop pulling, and surely we all know that ‘willpower’ is just not the answer. So you need to put a very clear plan in place.
4. try different methods to see which one works for you. Every person is different, so methods will have differing results depending on the person. Try visualization, journaling, and mediation. All of these methods have their merits. The best option in my opinion is to have a mix of methods.
5. use something (natural) to stroke on the area. For me this was key because it helped me not only relieve the itch, but more importantly, it helped me rewire my brain and change the hair pulling action to a stroking action. I still find myself stroking or rubbing my eyelashes when I can feel an urge coming on. That is a heck of a lot better than pulling!
6. cut out chemicals in your diet (processed foods, sugars, etc) and in your cosmetics. And get as healthy as you can.
7. and finally, be KIND TO YOUR SELF. We all know that getting Trich under control is very difficult. So if you slip up, then give yourself a break, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again. Stopping is a gradual process, so be happy with any progress you have made and keep at it. Don’t get discouraged.
Good luck! Remember, it’s difficult to beat Trich, but it IS POSSIBLE.