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Giving myself the freedom to pull

When I say that I give myself freedom to pull I don't mean I sit around all day and pull for hours. If anything, I am pulling much less than I used to. I just mean that sometimes pulling is the answer.

You may already be familiar with my story but if not I will quickly summarize it for you (you can read my memoir, The Trichster Diaries, if you want allllll of the details) I began pulling out my hair at ten years old and my only goal was to stop. After trying everything and having nothing work I decided to change my goal. Instead of trying to stop pulling I would now allow myself to pull. Instead of beating myself up after I pulled I would be kind. You might be thinking, What the heck? and that's fair.

Trichotillomania is a complicated disorder that scientists are still researching. I was diagnosed twenty-two years ago and within those twenty-two years my trichotillomania was thought to be a form of self-harm, then OCD, then eventually given its own category: body-focused repetitive behaviors. Things are constantly changing - in a good way. What hasn't changed is that for many, trichotillomania lasts a lifetime.

I have a ton of management tools in my "trich toolkit" and I use them all the time. I keep my hands busy with crafts, keep my hair up and out of my face, shower when my hair is the slightest bit dirty, wear the Keen2 bracelet, host support groups, and much more. I know my triggers and I know how to manage them, most times. Other times, pulling is the only thing I need. If that wasn't the case, wouldn't trichotillomania cease to exist because everyone could manage it 100% perfectly 100% of the time?

Trichotillomania once controlled all of my thoughts, giving myself the freedom to pull has given me freedom from trichotillomania in my mind.

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