Frustration

I've had trich since I was about 8 years old. I'd went through a few difficult situations. By the age of 14 I was taken into care.

I'm nearly 21 and I've been struggling to stop pulling my hair out. Over the first lockdown I managed to stop enough to grow a full head of hair back to a decent length.

It didn't last long, now I've got a massive bald patch at the top of my head and smaller ones dotted about.

I'm really just needing some support and some more ideas of how to stop again, and how to keep it up once I've stopped.

It was gutting losing all my progress and I'm really disappointed in myself. I'd done so well to get it back to a decent length after 12 years of pulling out every single day without fail.

It's so frustrating and I guess I just need some reassurance and support.

Comments

  • Heyyy I've got you DW I'll blurt ideas here:
    - wearing a hat, tucking all the hair in and not taking it off unless you take a shower or exercise for atleast 3 weeks.
    - wearing gloves when you're chilling and or sleeping / always having it available to you where you most pull.
    - using fidgety things like the toys or rings on your hand to play with (kinda stylish too) or a scarf that has strands that can be braided.
    - puting post it notes in the places that trigger you that tell you to go do something else ( eg note on where you would be able to see your hair in the mirror saying don't look)
    - exercising to start your day can boost your will to refuse to pull and give you dopamine that replaces the dopamine you get when you pull.
    - Journal ALOT after you pull or any time and focus on when you pull , why and where and see which methods didn't work and try to find the holes in those methods to work on it more.
    - get yourself a back massager, clean it and use it as a scalp massager if one of your triggers is the feeling of itchiness. Or just get a scalp massager from eBay.
    - make sure to not leave your hair unwashed for more than 4 days because then it gets oily and the urges get harder to resist.
    - make sure to keep using the methods for 1 month even if you feel like you have got the hang of it.
    - aaaaand lastly update here and if you press on the different posts you'll see alot more methods to stop pulling, just be aware that it's not just the methods to use it's also your mindset and willpower.

    Good luck I hope that helped,
    ~Yuri
  • This is honestly so good Yuri, thank you. I think finding here and being able to talk openly about it will help me so much.

    I will try all of this!

    One of my triggers is itchiness! The itching doesn't go away until I pull and it's sooooo hard to ignore it. I love the idea of a back scratcher.

    Right. I'm gonna do this! We can do this!
  • edited January 25
    Yayy @anch0r33 I'm glad I helped just for the back scratcher if you try it make sure the back scratcher is with you at all times literally everywhere. And whenever it itches itch it with the scratcher and you'll find it feels so much better. :3 good luck keep updating!!!
  • Hi anchor! Welcome to the forum. Have you tried keeping a journal before? You record the times when you're pulling, the times when the urge to pull is strong, times of day and who you're with, how you feel etc.

    You should also record the same for times when you DON'T want to pull. This may help you to see some patterns. It may appear that you tend to pull after work when tired, but only when you're sat down to watch tv and are "idle". You can use this information to change your routine to try to break the habit. Avoid idle time and make sure you're getting enough sleep. Instead of going straight home, go for a walk, or have something booked in for the evening.

    Similarly, you may notice that you never pull when certain people are around, or when you're engaged in a particular activity. Do that activity/have those people around as much as you can!

    I mention this technique because whatever you did last time, worked. Do that again. But to stay pull-free, you need to be aware of risks to your recovery. Relapse doesn't happen with the first hair pulled, it usually starts some time before. It's a process, not an event.

    A build up of stress; dwindling self-care; subconsciously giving yourself excuses or the green light to pull; false thoughts like "I'll be able to control it this time" and "it helps me relax". No you won't and no it doesn't. Each time we have a setback, we have an opportunity to learn what tripped us up, and a journal can help us to identify our triggers and helpers.

    Best of luck and keep coming here for support :)

  • Ooh I didn't think of it like that before. The relapse happening before the first pull. Hmm. That's interesting!

    I really struggle to keep diaries. I'm not sure if it's because I struggle to commit to them but every time I try, I can never keep up with it.

    I haven't pulled any today, I've worn a hat most of the day and was on shift with my volunteer position. I'm keeping myself busy because I find when I have lots of time to myself I'll start pulling.

    I'm really determined to stop pulling and I did it before so I know I can do it again. It's just so difficult, it's like once you pull one hair out the floodgates open.

    Often I'll be aware of it and tell myself "just one last one" but it's never just one last one, is it? It's frustrating.

    I think most of the time I'm aware that I'm doing it, but I'm not in control of it, if that makes sense?

    I saw a tip that said to name your hairs and tell them they've done a good job growing so far. I want to just ignore that they exist, because if they aren't there then I can't pull them. Well that's the logic anyway.

    Last time I washed my hair daily with cold water. It helped control the overwhelming itchiness. Obviously I didn't shampoo or anything every day but the cold water helped soothe my scalp.

    I also have betnovate scalp application prescribed to me which also has really helped.

    Again talking on here really drives me to get back to no pull streaks.

    Thank you so much for the support :)
  • @anch0r33 I can see that the hat works for you, that's great! Just make sure you do other methods alongside the hat because there will be times where you are so vulnerable that you slip your hands through or when you take it off before shower there's that gap of time in between where you're not wearing it. You need to be prepared through all those holes of using a hat. Before I used to rely on the hat all the time and it didn't work out :( just keep trying things and don't dismiss any method thinking it won't work, I thought a scalp massager would never work and now it's a method I use alongside the hat! Hope you're doing better.

    ~Yuri
  • Thanks again Yuri. Yeah it's a process isn't it, it's such an awful thing that's so misunderstood :/

    I'll be sure to make a routine and fit in lots of different methods and work through it.

    So far today we're doing okay. I'll be keeping busy until 6 so that's a great thing for me. After that will be tough because I'll be tired. I think I'll go for a bath and give my hair a wash.

    The itchiness gets unbearable at times so I agree, the scratcher is a must for me.
  • Hey @Anch0r33

    Welcome to the forum! Indeed this is a great place to vent and get advice cuz we're all in it together. I'm so glad you've joined us!!

    You are putting great effort in and wishing you much success on this journey!!

    A quick idea that helped me - I had a jar and marbles and each day I managed to resist pulling I'd pop a marble in the jar. It was visual and I was able to see my progress which really stopped me from pulling, as I didn't wanna empty the jar. But before you get there it's about taking small steps to have your surroundings safe from pulling, like having those fidgets around, or putting plasters on your fingertips - that worked well for me too!

    You can do this!!

    Lot's of love and PF vibes, xxx

  • How's everything going now @anch0r33 ? :3
  • Hello there & welcome @anch0r33 !!

    I've just been catching up with all the new posts and new members. I just had to comment on something @Michelle Harper wrote earlier in this thread..... "Relapse doesn't start with the first hair pulled, it starts some time before"..... I never thought of my Trich in this light before 🤔
    I've always tried to overanalyze that very MOMENT when I was relapsing, losing control and pulling out that first hair again. I never realized that there was probably a lot of stress/anxiety leading up to that point. It makes so much sense now. Basically it builds until you are in a weak enough mental state that you can't fight the urge anymore and you finally give in. It was such a profound statement. Thank you so much Michelle for shedding some new light on an old problem.
    Everyone is so supportive and helpful on this forum. It's so reassuring to see how positive and encouraging all the posts are. If someone is feeling down, then someone else jumps in to bring them back up.

    Sending all the members as much Pull Free Power as I can spare 😉

    Currently I am on a pull-free streak of 4 days, 22 hours and counting. I'm in a good spot right now, but my plan is to be more watchful for the BUILDING stress that always seems to cause my inevitable failures.

    Best of luck to you anchor33! Keep posting & journaling. I truly believe that sharing your ups & downs with others is one of the keys to success.

    Stay strong & talk soon!

    SleepySloth
  • JoyJoy
    edited February 4

    Hey @SleepySloth

    Indeed what @Michelle Harper, has brought up is so valuable! It's resonated with me too. Thank you, Michelle!

    Well done for coming this far Sloth!!! That's such great work, you've got this!
    Let us know how you do.

    Lots of love and good vibes, xxxx

  • Hey everyone! It's so important to understand the process of relapsing otherwise you do analyse that moment when you pulled and you don't get any answers because you're looking in the wrong place. I'm really glad that's helped :) . Hope everyone's doing well.

  • Thanks Michelle for this insight of yours, it does make a lot of sense! It's not just that one moment it's a build up that leads to that moment of relapse.

    Also, wanted to share with you guys that I am a little over a month pull free! I didn't pull the whole entire month of March and I don't know how I got through it but I did. For sure coaching makes a real difference having the support that I need vs. trying to tackle recovery on my own. What really helped me get through is just staying in the moment when I feel like pulling and reminding myself that all I have to do is resist for this one moment. Of course among other helpful things like band aids on my fingers. I hope everyone is doing well.
    xxx
  • Congratulations @R2021 on your month+ pull free streak! Keep going and don't give up!
    Some day I hope to be where you are. But right now, I can only manage a few days at a time, usually around 3 or 4. Just messed up a 5 day streak tonight when I dropped my new fidget toy and was too lazy to pick it up 🤦

    Not gonna let that get me down though. Every minute/hour/day that I make it pull free is saving one more hair on my head. Hopefully these small successes will eventually add up and merge together for one big long giant streak of pull free days. One can only hope 🤞
    Until then, I just keep moving forward, ever so sloooowly. (Hence the nickname). Hope everyone is having more success than me. I kinda fell off grid for a couple weeks, but I see everyone else did too. I hope that means your lockdowns are being lifted and everyone is starting to get back to 'normal'.
    Hopefully everyone is just too busy now to post (or pull!) Sending positive thoughts and strength to anyone who may need it!

    Take care & talk soon!

    SleepySloth ♥️
  • Hi, SleepySloth. I am still pushing through this. Over 6 weeks now :) I'm happy to hear that you're not giving up even if it's 3,4 or 5 days at a time. That shows such strength - every moment, every hour, every day, even just one week of fighting, of pushing through. It matters and it still counts even though we may feel like giving up when it gets tough. Every urge we resist makes us stronger!!!
    Keep going, you can do this
    Sending you strength and pull free vibes 💕
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