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Tuesday, June 14, 2011


The earliest memory I have is when I was about 11 and in the 6th grade.  I was sitting in Math class learning Sequential I, and I pulled out an eyelash and placed and saved it in the middle of the red book.  This probably was not the first time, and certainly it was not the last time.
I remember my friends asking what I was doing and I really had no answer.  From then on, they  found it intriguing, and I found myself doing it more.  Fast forward to 8th grade when I had no eyelashes, fast forward to high school when I had scars all over my legs, and fast forward to college where I had scars in places I I would have never thought.  People would see there was something off about my face but could never place it.  People asked how I got the scars on my legs and I would tell them I fell in a rose bush.  Did they really believe me?  My son just turned 4 yesterday and we were looking at pictures of his first year of birth.  There was a picture of me in the hospital, leg up, getting ready for the arrival of my baby and there I spotted all the scars on my legs.  Wow.  I was doing this up until at least 4 years ago, when I was 32.  Actually it was not until recently, the past year and a half, that I decided enough was enough and I needed my body in better condition.
We can ask why I started to do this and I could blame it on my parent's divorce, low self-esteem, peer pressure with boys, my studies, hereditary, etcetera.  And I don't think I really ever found it, however it was told to me that it had to do with my perfection issues.  I need to be perfect, so the eyelash that was out of place was fixed by taking it out, which in turn, made others out of place which made me want to take more out.  And the ingrown hairs on my legs, my bikini area, and my underarms, well I had to get those out as they didn't look good.  Like my scars looked any better? What was I thinking?
So about a year and half ago, I started to laser my hair which impeded the ingrown hairs which had made me stop picking.  My eyelashes are beautiful and long and what's better than throwing on mascara and lip gloss and running out of the house looking completed.  Now, I can't say that I stopped the picking because I have no ingrowns, or things are better in my life or because I spent so much money on the laser so why would I ruin that.  I think know it's still a struggle for me to pull my hand away from my leg while I am reading, bored or getting stressed or driving and applying my makeup and seeing that an eyelash or eyebrow is not not cooperating.
Years ago I learned that I was not the only one out there who did this.  There are many people who have some form of what I eventually learned was called Trichotillomania,  the obsessive pulling of hair. 
I am writing about this at this time for three reasons.  There are many reality shows out there showing people with "weird" habits, and I am not sure if they make people feel worse or better about certain conditions they have; I have become more aware that I might not be the only one in my family to have had this tendency; and I have become more aware of the occasional pulling of my eyelash and picking my scabs which brings back many too many hard feelings.  Hopefully by  writing this today, I will not stress over the imperfection of a scab or a pimple that I NEED to to touch and feel and pick at; and I hope that you might be able to help yourself or someone you know who might have a touch of a habit, an addiction, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
For more info on Trichotillomania check out

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea you were going through this. I am glad you are doing better. You have a beautiful son and so much to be happy about. Try to think of the good things.

    I also invested in some laser and it is so worth it.