Hi! I'm Holly. I've had trichotillomania for over 20 years, but I didn't fully understand it or how to stop it until a couple of years ago. I started pulling my eyelashes (and sometimes eyebrows) when I was a freshman in high school.
As trich goes, there were times in my life that were better than others for my pulling behavior. It seemed like the more I tried to stop, the harder it became. I was stuck in a cycle of shame and hiding that caused social anxiety for me. I was always afraid someone was going to find out that something was wrong with me.
Besides the constant shame, I also experienced feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, self-loathing, anxiety, and general discontentment. (Sound familiar, anyone?) This deeply affected my relationship with myself and others.
Feeling so out of control led me to consider many alternatives for help: medication, therapy, hypnosis, eyelash transplants, to name a few. Finally at my breaking point and being so tired of the fight, I picked what I thought would be the fastest fix. But after filling two different prescriptions for anxiety and never taking them because I just felt meds weren't the right path for me, I finally reached out to a therapist. Eight months later with little progress made, I changed lanes and tried an eight week online program for trich. I temporarily saw some improvement but nothing that was lasting until I found my saving grace: the tools for mental and emotional health through life coaching.
You know that feeling you get when you just know something is really working? That is how I felt when I started learning and applying these tools in my life. It was a total life transformation and I have never looked back.
When I found recovery, I knew I had to share these tools with others like me. There is too much suffering in our trich community and it is completely unnecessary. Change is available. Stopping pulling is possible. In the early stages, when I finally decided to reach out to a therapist, it was painstaking. I probably read every therapist's profile in my entire city at least three times. I was looking for a therapist who would understand trich. Someone who was specialized in the tools that I would need. The nearest therapist trained in trich was 2 states away from me. Help was very limited for trichsters like me. The other option was an intensive in-patient therapy center located on either side of the country that you check into for a week or longer. It just wasn't what I was looking for or very feasible for me. I was frustrated with the lack of options for help, and wanted to be part of the solution. So I spent a year becoming a Certified Life Coach to teach and share all the tools that helped me find healing and recovery. Now I can help anyone in the world from the privacy of their own home. Being a recovered trichster helps me relate to my clients. I know how trich works, I know how it feels, and I can be an example of what is possible for recovery.