Newbie; relapse

Hi, I’ve just registered for this as I feel like such a failure. I’ve pulled for most of my life, started with eyelashes, then the little hairs that grow at the hairline on my forehead, then my eyebrows. I think I started when I was about 8 - so almost 30 years.

For the very first time ever I managed to stop pulling for MONTHS. I had a beautiful full set of lashes and my eyebrows were finally recovering. And then last night I got home after being at a wedding and I was drunk and I just pulled huge chunks from my eyebrows and almost all of the top row of lashes on both eyes. And now I feel awful. Thankfully I have an eyebrow pencil with me, and sunglasses. I’ve never used false eyelashes before but I am going to have to buy some. And though I’ve never used it before, at home I have ‘emergency’ Wunderbrow - which I’m going to have to use to try and look vaguely normal for work.

I am so, so angry with myself. So disappointed. I don’t even know why I did it. I wasn’t stressed or anxious, I was just drunk. But of course now I am super stressed, and very anxious about seeing my family, and going to work. I cannot believe I was so, so stupid.

I desperately want to have my eyebrows microbladed, but I can’t afford it. Hopefully I can afford to have some false lashes applied. But I’m worried that if I do the new ones won’t grow or will be damaged. Is that likely?
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Comments

  • Hi Millie. Welcome to the forum & well done for taking that first step, you did it so, fantastic!

    Try not to look for reasons “why” the pulling happened. I used to do that all the time & it will just make you feel crappy. You pulled, but your self worth is so much more about you as a whole person as appose to how much/how many hairs you have. If you can come on here and I talk then you SO can do this.

    I’ve been in therapy for about a year. My longest PF period was about 70 days. I’m currently at Day 14. When I’m at home, I make sure as much as possible, that my hands are constantly busy, and if in the past when the “urge” had come along, I do my best to move myself and talk gently to myself (we are allowed to be kind to ourselves EVEN after the incident.) There’s a great coaching team on the coaching.care and team that can support and guide you through.

    I used to use false lashes (I still have a packet which I keep in my recovery box, I see them and don’t want to have the hassle of putting them back on!) it keeps me focused. I’ve also started not touching my eyes. For example, if it feels like some dirt (or something) has gone in, I rub my arm along my eye ( fingers aren’t then tempted. One of the ladies on the forum gave me that technique, and for me, it works.

    Try and take some deep breaths, and remember, things are never as bad as we visualise them in our heads. You can do this Millie. Take care. Lisa 😊
  • Thanks. I started researching and planning to have like false lashes from a salon, and this made me so much calmer. But then this evening I’ve looked into it more, and you have to have lashes for them to stick to in the first place. So it looks like I’ll just have to use the ones you do at home. I’ve bought several sets today. Tomorrow I need to buy a better glue.

    I feel so, so ashamed. I am dreading going to work tomorrow night. People will ask me what’s happened to my lashes. Unless I can apply the false ones really well 😕

    I’ve been seeing a therapist for ages. I thought I was ‘over’ it. In fact I was just about to start talking about winding down from therapy with the aim of stopping.

    I’ve spent all day researching excuses as well. For why I look so ridiculous.

    I have worked out what triggered me - I have a cat (well, 2 at present as one is a friends) and the flat I live in, the people who own the building say no pets. But nobody has ever really cared about it. But on Thursday a neighbour was telling me I shouldn’t have them, and she seemed like she might report me. And having my cat again has been so therapeutic. She only came back to me about 2/3 months ago. And now I’m stressing so much about potentially losing her again. She has helped my mental health no end! So I’ve also spent a lot of today researching how to have her deemed an emotional support animal so they have to let her stay!

    Urgh, sorry, just getting things off my chest!
  • Hi Millie, please don’t apologise, you have nothing to be sorry for. The forum is for exactly that, and again, well done you for getting on and writing. I’m in therapy through this page, coaching.care. Is that the same for you?

    Have people asked you before about “why you don’t have lashes?” I only ask, as in all the time I did it, no-one ever said a word (I did it for nearly 25 years, and only wore fake lashes for a year.)

    Try not to focus on the triggers and try not to research if you can. We do it, because we have trichotillimania. I’m not sure you ever get over it, you just don’t let that little trich monster win, you make sure you do (and I believe in you and believe you can DO this.) 😉 I used to spend HOURS just reading stuff. It made me focus so much more on my hair and not living in the moment.

    Try and enjoy your cat and focus on her when you’re with her. You can’t control the outcome sadly, which ever way it goes. Your cat is with you in the here and now, so just try and enjoy the present moment with her.

    Take care Millie and big hugs being sent your way. x
  • Hi Millie

    I thought I’d jump in behind Lisa. And just let you know that I am here too (the more people the more powerful I guess!)
    I have pulled my eyelashes for about 15 years. I have also gone a month or so pull free but I ALWAYS go back.

    I have gone through a time where I’d wear falsies. But I’d picked off the glue.
    I also had eyelash extensions which made it 10x worse!!! I frantically one day covered my eyes in coconut oil trying to get them off!

    Things that have helped me are keeping my hands busy with squishy toys, fidget spinners, bubble wrap. An app called TrichStop where you can track urges. Also ALOT of self talk.
    I also sometimes have the wallpaper on my phone of some beautiful eyelashes from Pinterest as a form of motivation and inspiration when I look at my phone. I have tried cutting my nails super short and even tried acrylics so I couldn’t grip.

    What a frustrating and confusing thing to have. 😞 but your not alone! And we can get through this! I have been really bad the past few days but today I am positive, determined and worth the change!

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Katie x
  • Hi guys

    Well done for being brave enough to post for the first time, Millie. How are you doing now? Lisa, you are really inspiring and your advice really helps. You know you don't have to always go back, Katie. Keep trying because if you do keep trying, there may be a time when you don't go back but if you believe that thought then you DEFINITELY will keep going back.

    Easy to say, I know.

    Lets all cheer each other on.

  • Hi Carla
    Thanks for your message and motivation. You are so right. I WILL get past this!!!! Hey I better practice what I preach. ;)
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