Trichotillomania Taught Me to Love Myself

Trichotillomania is a god awful mental illness. If you haven’t heard of Trich, it’s something called a Body Focused Repetitive Behavior or BFRB where the person who has Trich will compulsively pull out their hair. They often do this to the point of giving themselves bald spots. Look it up. It’s wild.

I’ve had Trich for 12 years. I remember when I pulled out my first hair. I never thought I would and up where I am now. I have no eyebrows, no eyelashes. I have shaved my head. I have huge bald spots on my head and places where the hair will never grow the same. Yet here I am. I love myself more than I ever have, despite the human incarnation of a naked mole rat.

I won’t tell you that this was an easy place to get to. It took years and years for me to love myself. I won’t tell you that this isn’t something I struggle with every single day. I’d be lying to you if I did. But I have never loved myself more.

I think having Trich has put me in the position of self love. I have learned to appreciate my body and my brain for what it is. I’m a mess. But that’s okay. It’s okay to not have it together. Trich helped me learn that. I’ve learned to appreciate the other parts of me that aren’t physical. I’m trying my best to take the bad of my disorder and turn it around, to look at myself in the mirror after the pounds of make up and think “I am just as good without this. I am worthy of self love”.

I think Trich has helped me love others, too. I try my best to have enough self love to share. When I see a girl and I think she looks nice, I tell her. I think that comes from living with this disorder for so long. I used to resent other girls who were more beautiful than me. I try my best not to do that anymore. I am not in competition with these women. They deserve to value themselves just as much as I value myself. I complement them on their looks, their outfits, their successes and they are genuinely surprised and flattered.

So much love has come from such a nasty disorder. Without Trichotillomania, I would never have gotten to where I am. I would never have learned to love others. I would never have learned to value who I am for more than just how I look. I would never have learned to love who I am, no questions asked.