I am linking to a blog post written at the Canadian BFRB page about the topic of Trich acceptance vs the recovery (pull-free) model. This topic has really been bugging me lately but I couldn’t figure out where to start. This post gives it some words: http://www.canadianbfrb.org/2014/01/10/pull-free-vs-pick-free/
I’m not involved in the dermotillomania community because my skin picking has never been significant enough to be more than an occasional bother. I don’t understand it the way I do hair pulling and don’t feel like I can support them in the same way. However, I have lately found myself stepping back from Trich support as well. Nearly everyone seems big into resisting and becoming pull-free, and that just isn’t my philosophy anymore. Sure, if there was a magic, side-effect free, pill that could make me stop, I’d try it. I would love to be pull free just because it is time consuming and creates a lot of wear & tear on my body. But I have come to a place in my life where it doesn’t matter to me if I pull or not, because it doesn’t define me anymore. Yes, it is uncomfortable to try & explain to new people why I wear a bandana all the time and what Trich is. But more uncomfortable to me was buying into the fact that giving into pulling urges made me less of a person. I just won’t do it anymore. WE ARE FINE. WE ARE GOOD PEOPLE. WE DESERVE TO LIVE A FULL LIFE (One not dictated by counting pulls and scolding ourselves for being weak.). We just don’t have all of our hair. IT IS OKAY.
Every day, more kids & teens are discovering that Trich is a part of their life journey. Do you remember how SCARY that was? I feel like we’re doing them a disservice by promoting that pull-free is the only way to go. If their first experience with the disorder is even us “lifers” saying it is horrible, miserable, and must be beat or else you’re a failure, then we set them up for constant self doubt, self criticism, and hopelessness. Depression and anxiety take hold and steal our joy. I lived there a lot of years.
But: Life can be good. It can be fulfilling. You will find friends who will accept you. They’re the good ones anyway. You’ll figure out how to navigate the world. Can we please share that!?
I like this quote from the blog post:
“One comment I received and that I really think addresses this accurately is, “I have come to look at it as I do my blue eyes—it’s just how my DNA came together; it’s simply a part of who I am.” There is evidence and speculation that we are born with these disorders—we don’t have to like them, but if we’re born with the possibility of them developing, then it’s just a part of our makeup.”
As a side note, for those friends and family who read this far down ;-) and accept me as I accept myself, thanks. You make my world a better place.