Thursday, October 01, 2015

I'm Pulling My Hair Out. Literally.


Have you ever wondered why my hair looks like it does? And I don't mean blonde (Garnier Nutrisse, number 98, if you must know), or straight (flat iron turned WAY up every day). I mean, why do I have uneven hair in some places and why do I wear a strategically placed hair clip most of the time?

Well, there's this thing that I do. It has a name and it's pretty weird. It's called Trichotillomania and it is classified as a Body Focused Repetitive Behaviour (BFRB).



There, I said it. It's out and I can't take it back. This post is definitely the hardest I've ever written; even harder than when my Dad died and I wrote my heart out. That was easy, the words just flowed. I've been contemplating “coming out” with this post for a long time – years even. I have just been so afraid of what people's reactions might be and the questions I might be asked. I have no answers. 

So why fess up now? October 1st-7th is BFRB awareness week and I thought it was time to come clean and to maybe inspire anyone else who is suffering with this to talk about it.  Heck, even some VERY well known celebs have been diagnosed with trichotillomania (I'm looking at you, JT. I KNEW we were soulmates...).

I remember when my Trich (as they call it...) started. It was in university and I began by seeking out hairs with split ends. It progressed from there. It comes and goes and I do it more when I am stressed. I have gone through periods where I have had bald spots underneath my hair and I have had periods where I don't pull anything out for months and months. Right now it's probably the worst it's ever been and I'm so embarrassed by it. I've had a pretty stressful year with big changes and my hair pulling is directly related to the stress level in my life.

So why don't I stop, you ask? I wish I knew. It's not as simple as just stopping cold turkey. Why do people bite their nails, smoke cigarettes, or partake in other “bad habits”? The human brain is a complex machine and there really is no explanation for why I do this and why I can't stop. Trust me, my immediate family (who are the ONLY ones that know about this) nag and nag and nag and nag me to stop, but it doesn't work. Most of the time I'm not even aware that I'm doing it.

To all of those I've lied to about my hair when you've asked, I'm sorry. No, it wasn't from my flat iron or because I've coloured it too many times. This is why. You have no idea how difficult it has been for me to cover this up and most of all to find a hairdresser that understands. I hope that the wonderful Susana never stops cutting hair because I may just become Lady Godiva if she does. She gets it, she doesn't judge me AND she's a freakin' miracle worker when it comes to my hair.

So there you have it. I'm flawed in many ways, and this is a big one. We all are, I suppose. 

I'd like to ask that you please don't talk to me about this or ask any questions, just show your support by understanding my flaw and knowing how difficult this was for me. Thank you :)  


14 comments :

  1. Oh Jennifer, we are all flawed in one way or another, my list alone is very long indeed. Thank you though for sharing your flaw, I'm sure it will help others. By the way, I would have never known because you are beautiful, regardless that you wear your hair the same way. I have for years, only deviating just recently, and what a mistake that was! Thanks again for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Catherine :)

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    2. Anonymous3:24 PM

      I'm flawed and she's flawed and he's flawed. I'm learning to live with it and even wear the badge. It's harder to be perfect!

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  2. I'm so proud of you for sharing your story. I know how difficult this is for you.
    Mom xo

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  3. Elle, first of all, thank you for sharing and second, you are far from flawed. I can understand your anxiety and want to tell you that you are not alone. You are very brave. Your mechanism is Trich and mine is junk food. There, I said it. Much love my dear friend. K.

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    1. Thank you, Kattie xo

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  4. You are wonderful !! And we all have things we do or don't do I call them isms. But it's nice to let other people know they are not alone. Very good to write about it, and do what this week is intended to do, bring awareness understanding and knowledge. good for you friend .

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  5. It takes a lot of courage to share so kudos to you for helping others who are reading this right now and are struggling as well.

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  6. JenJen You aren't flawed. Just human. Love you for having the courage to share your journey. * Hugs.* LD

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    1. Thanks Ms FancyPants.... aka LynnLynn :)

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