This evening in one of my support groups, someone raised a very interesting question that I never thought to ask: is there anyone out there who doesn’t care about being pull free?
That idea was such a foreign concept to me, admittedly because I operated with the understanding that being pull free was the holy grail of all goals to achieve. Many equally interesting responses followed this question. To mention a couple: as long as their hair pulling doesn’t resolve in bald spots they don’t mind pulling some hairs daily, and pulling actually helps keep them sane amidst a stressful situation. I took to my other support groups to hear additional input on the thought. Among all the unique answers, I noticed one theme commonly shared among each and every one: acceptance.
One noted accepting her Trich helped rid of the guilt, shame, and the overwhelming pressure to be pull free, which is the closest thing to a “cure” she’ll ever achieve. Another said they accepted their Trich because “it is what it is”, and without the worry of being pull free for “X” amount of time they now look forward to the better days. This forced me to dig deeper into my experiences to which I discovered some irony, that in fact accepting Trich as a part of me is what’s kept me pull free.
For me, being pull free was (and still is) an important goal. Putting vanity issues aside, pulling my eyebrows was dangerously inefficient. It occupied so much mental space that it negatively affected other aspects of my life, work being one of them. I’d spend so much time pulling, then stressing about pulling, THEN researching ways to stop and grow my hair back that at least 2-3 hours had gone to waste. I knew if this continued my performance would suffer, that it’d impede on my ability to do my job and I’d eventually lose it. It even prevented me from enjoying the little things. I had focused so much on pulling and the stress that followed I couldn’t even enjoy something leisurely like watching a movie. I struggled not only with the physical damage but my inability to find happiness and joy in everyday life. I finally had to openly admit I had a problem and understand that it’ll be there forever, and that I had to be OK with this. It took that question tonight for me to exhume some of these painful moments I buried and reevaluate my progress this past year. I realize now, aside from the help of modern medicine and therapy, that accepting my Trich and everything it encompasses has made the most significant impact on my journey.
After my trip down memory lane, I curiously asked those who don’t mind pulling anymore what they considered to be their end game. One response stood out the most and summarized the lot: “Acceptance became my ultimate goal once I realized that after so many years of trying to stop via one form or another, I wasn’t able to. Acceptance has been hard work. It’s only in recent years that I’ve been open as I am about my Trich. All I ever wanted was to be happy and confident with my appearance, and now I am. It was a mistake (for me) to think that stopping pulling or long hair was the only way of achieving that.”
It’s a fact everyone’s experiences with Trich are different. It’s also true everyone wishes they didn’t have it. However, keeping in mind that there’s no cure, it was naïve of me to believe everyone’s ultimate goal is the exact same. I’m grateful to have heard a different perspective on this topic, and with that I learned a very valuable lesson tonight. It’s not always about the amount of days you’ve gone pull free or the length of hair restored, it’s how you embrace your Trich that will ultimately help you heal.
Until next time!