Start Of Something Good

Right Eye
Left Eye

We have forward progress in spite of several situations that would normally have me pulling like crazy.

I started not feeling well on Sunday the 12th, I had been super busy so I thought I was just run down and vowed to get more sleep. By Thursday the 9th I had been sleeping almost 12 hours at night and I was still exhausted!!! So I go to the doctor and was diagnosed with a UTI! I was never in any pain or ran a fever, but the Nurse Practitioner said it was pretty bad so I was lucky. 7 days of a super strong antibiotic later and I am finally feeling like myself again and managed not to pull at all while I was laid up!!!

In the midst of this my kiddo starts Middle School! The start of school is always a huge trigger for my anxiety, school means germs and germs mean illness. Illness is my number one anxiety trigger. I won’t get into details in this post, but later on I will explain where that comes from. I made it through the first week without a single urge to pull!

If I keep myself busy during the day I am tired enough by 9:30 or 10:00 pm at the latest to go to bed, so I am not sure staying up late, getting too far into my own head and pulling.

When I look at my eyes I can see that I have some regrowth starting. Not sure of everyone experiences itching with their eyelash regrowth, but I have had some and it can be irritating and almost made me want to pull just to make it stop. So I employed some cosmetic help from petroleum jelly. I apply a thin coating to my lids and it serves a dual purpose, it let’s me rub my eyelid to releave the itch plus it makes my lashes slippery so I cannot grip them.

I hope to start substituting soon, that really keeps my mind focused on something other than my own thoughts. Catch up with you later. 😉

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The Secret Is Out

Left Eye
Right Eye

I have a secret, but I am tired of it. At first glance, nothing seems out of the ordinary about my appearance. If I remove my glasses it’s easier to see. I have barely any eyelashes on the lower lids of both of my eyes and currently no lashes at all on my upper eyelids.

This is due to a condition called Trichotillomania https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichotillomania (Trick-o-till-o-mania) or Trich (Trick.) I have an impulse to pull out my hair, specifically in my case my eyelashes, but it can apply to any body hair.

I began pulling my eyelashes several years ago, exactly when I don’t remember, but it probably began when my son was diagnosed with anxiety at age 8. I also have anxiety along with depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD.) I am medicated, but you can only be so medicated and still function.

Most people see eyelashes as an accessory, but they do have a function. They protect the eye from foreign bodies. I wear glasses which help protect my eyes some, but they are not the same as actual eyelashes.

I do not like my appearance with out lashes and if I have to have any type of exam (dental or medical) I have to explain why I don’t have lashes so unnecessary tests are not ordered for disorders I do not have.

Does it hurt? Of course it does! I am ripping a hair out of it’s follicle. It is like finally scratching an itch after ignoring it, that feeling of relief is amazing!! So you keep doing it to have that same feeling, then before you know it, your eyelashes are gone.

Currently I have not pulled in 24 hours!! Before this last relapse I had not pulled since March, so most of my lashes had grown in. I say most since I have damaged several of the follicles permanently so the hair will not grow in that area.

I want this blog to be an outlet for me and a way to be accountable for my behavior. I have cut my nails short, they are the tools of my eyelash destruction. This usually helps me to not pull. I plan on making a couple of bracelets to serve as fidget items so my hands stay occupied. I know my punctuation is probably going to bother some people, but I am not going for the Pulitzer Prize, consider this blog more of a stream of consciousness than something more formal.