Bullying VS Trich

The one thing I love about my blog is that I now have the confidence to share my experiences to help other people know they aren’t alone. That is what I hope to do with this post. In my first ever Trich post explaining an overall of my story and what Trich is I mentioned about bullying. Bullying was such a massive massive part of my schooling. I was bullied constantly for nine years. Right from year three through to year eleven. It was a huge part of my life. I’m not going to go into every single detail about how I was bullied in this post but I will give some examples. I think it so emotional and so upsetting thinking back to this time, how a groups of people can make someone feel that bad. I would still like to know what goes through a bullies mind to make them chose ways to mentally, emotionally and sadly sometimes physically destroy innocent people.

I will talk more of my high school experience of bullying as that is more prominent in my mind. I was bullied, believe it or not, for having a ‘square shaped head’ I know right, ridiculous? I had Spongebob Squarepants shouted, and I mean physically shouted at across classrooms, down corridors, around corners and even in the street. I would have the theme tune hummed as I walked by. I had square head shouted and drilled into my mind every single day whilst in high school that I began to believe I had one and there was something wrong with me. I had people walk by me making square gestures with their hands, a bit like big fish little fish cardboard box. These people were usually in groups which I still find funny now that if I saw them on their own they wouldn’t even think of doing it. You know perhaps showing off to their mates to look ‘cool’ but instead they were awful people and they were destroying someones self belief and worth.

Having words like these drilled in your head for years makes your self confidence and self worth plummet. I still to this day am not as confident as what I would like to be. I used to be so scared to put my hand up in class if I knew the answer, incase it was wrong and the class would abrupt into a laughter and shout horrible, horrible things to me. Now, looking back I shouldn’t of cared. I should of gone for it but they made me feel so so so bad. I have presentations at uni now, which I do almost every week to show how we develop our ideas I still feel sick, I still shake and I still have panic attacks about them now. I blame the bullies for this completely. 

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-11-38-05

Whilst they were shouting things at me in the classroom I had to have something which distracted me. I needed something which I could block out their voices and laughter. I needed something that showed them I didn’t care, although I cared so so much. I didn’t have the voice then to tell them to be quiet and go away. I didn’t have the confidence and I 100% didn’t have the power, especially when they were in groups.

That’s when Trich came in. I’ve mentioned before that when I go to pull my hair, most of the time I get into a trance state which I can’t get out of until Trich is satisfied. I barely know what’s going on around me and my hair took full focus. Back then, I used to blame the fact I was nervous onto why I pulled my hair as I had no idea what it was. I used to pull and snap away and away. I didn’t understand Trich at all back then. I didn’t even know what it was so I didn’t have near enough as much frustration with it then as I do now. I got angry because I couldn’t stop. I got told more and more and no one understood that I couldn’t and I was in fact using it as a coping mechanism to get past these awful bullies.

Although this was only one part of what bullies done, they also stopped me from coming out of school and in school on time because of waiting at the gate for when I left. I was so physically scared that I would go into registration late almost every morning and have a teacher walk me to the gate at the end of the day. That happened all the way up to year ten. They stopped me from ‘hanging’ around with my friends at lunchtime and made me be on my own many lunchtimes. They used to corner me in classrooms and in changing rooms and were just so nasty to me, saying awful things that weren’t true. I had rumours made up about me and I was basically the girl they could throw all this shit to and nothing happen because I was that scared. I did tell teachers but I still think to this day they were scared of them too and didn’t want to make a massive deal of it. It didn’t stop at school either, I had messages on Bebo remember them days? that would be nasty. They used to make me scared to log on to see what was in my inbox. I think their mission was to stop me from having any social time at all, in real life or on the internet. Screen Shot 2016-10-02 at 11.38.52.pngI’ve now sat and thought about it and now I’m grateful it happened like that at school. I wouldn’t know now how to stand up for myself without them tormenting me all the time. I wouldn’t know that I have this strength inside me to say enough is enough if it started up again. I would not let anyone, whoever they are, make me feel like that ever again. They may have ‘grown up’ and forgot about the way they treated people like me at school but I haven’t. They have mentally scarred my self confidence and self worth.

If you are being bullied then please please message me. On any of my social media or email. I know what you’re going through 100%. I’ve been there and I’ve done it but trust me it gets better. Please don’t let them take control of you. If you have a teacher you like at school then please go and tell them. You don’t have to put up with it. You shouldn’t put up with it. You can overcome them. You’re so much stronger than you think, trust me.

And finally, to them bullies… THANK YOU for making me the strong person I am today. You may have made my life hell for nine years but now I’m stronger than you could imagine. You didn’t win, I DID, I WON.

Here are some organisations which can help you if you’re getting bullied, they’re there to listen to you also and give the best advice they can… Please don’t be afraid to get in contact if you need them:

I hate you Trich.

Today marks the beginning of BFRB awareness week and I feel like I can really share some of my stories, tips and how I’m feeling throughout this week. I didn’t want my second post for this week to be negative but, I had a really bad Trich night last night which I think sharing the reasons why I HATE Trich will help people who have Trich relate and realise their thoughts aren’t bad or wrong and in fact they aren’t alone.

Recently, I’m going to be honest, Trich hasn’t been fulfront of my mind. This week I just went back to university and a whole lot of work thrown in front of my face and third year is becoming more and more real by the second. As well as other things that are happening I haven’t felt like Trich has really been there. It probably was but I didn’t know about it, that happens a lot too. In the past two days I have had my hair down the WHOLE day. Major major deal guys. I went to an event with my blog which was so lovely to see other bloggers at and I also went to London. The journey to London is twice as long from Southampton as it is from home and Trich does not like long long journeys. When I went to London on the way there I had the horrible horrible constant thoughts of ‘you should pull’ ‘why aren’t you pulling’ ‘you’re doing nothing with your time right now – bingo easy time to pull’ ‘you have neglected me for so long why haven’t you pulled’ and I managed to push past them, try and quiet that voice and managed to beat it. That was until I was ONE… Just one stop away from home and I began pulling. It must of been around 9PM I started and was still pulling and snapping at midnight. It sounds so silly but I had straightened my hair yesterday because I wanted it to look nice, and pretty for once. Straighteners make my hair coarse and it is such a huge huge trigger for me. It was like my mind thought, hellllllll no we are not letting her forget she straightened her hair, she will get them urges to pull and she will pull. I tell you, Trich tries its absolute hardest to ruin any positive thoughts I have with my hair and 90% of the time I let it win… I’m so silly, I know.

Whilst I was lying awake pulling and pulling all these thoughts came to me as to why I HATE Trich. Hate is a really really strong word but I would not wish Trich on my worst enemy. Here are the thoughts that came to me last night:

  • TIME CONSUMING. Holy hell. It wouldn’t even matter if I was at work, if I had to be somewhere Trich will ALWAYS stop me from doing that AND make me spend hours on pulling. When I sit down to do uni work, get ready or something as simple and brushing my hair 50% of the time I’m sat there waiting for it to pass so I can actually do what I was meant to do.
  • Embarrassing. I felt this more on the train yesterday. You know that feeling where it’s busy and you sit there pulling and pulling and pulling and can SEE PEOPLE STARING. I don’t think people realise how sad, upset and little it makes you feel. I wish people minded their own business more.
  • People thinking its ‘weird’. ‘Why do you pull you’re hair out?’ ‘Doesn’t it hurt?’ ‘It’s so weird you do that’ I’ll tell you now, if I could miraculously stop pulling I would. I would stop as soon as. I’ve been suffering from this for years and years. In fact I worked out it was around when I was 8 it began which means I’ve been suffering with this for a good fourteen years. If I could stop wouldn’t you think I had done by now?
  • If I don’t want to get in a photo, or I’m fussing over my hair that’s because I feel so insecure. If my hair is broken at the sides I’m going to make it look less like that. I’m going to want to spend time sorting my hair out, maybe more than other people. I’m not doing it because I’m vain, it’s because I feel so rubbish if I don’t.
  • Self confidence is down the pan. From last night I feel this more. I feel like I’ve taken 100 steps back after my 200 forward. I’m not going to lie I’m frightened my hair will look like it did at the beginning of the year. I’m frightened if one step back will make it go further and further back and I will be back at step one. It’s happened so many times it is possible. I’m frightened.

 

There are many other reasons I hate it, most because I try so hard to get people to understand and it’s hard. I don’t understand it myself and trying to get other people to understand is so much harder than I thought. This week I will be sharing some experiences I’ve had whilst having Trich, some reasons to what I think has caused it and some tips.

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-13-57-39

(Photo credit – Instagram)

I’m sorry again this is quite a negative post, but it isn’t always sunshine living with this and where it is sunshine I like to celebrate it, hard.

Drawing for BFRB awareness week

This week beginning Saturday 1st October to Friday 7th signifies BFRB awareness week. BFRB stands for Body Focused Repetitive Behavour and Trichotillmania is segmented under that. If you don’t know what Trichotillomania is then a quick overall from what I’ve dealt with is that it’s a compulsive urge to pull out your hair. For me it’s my hair on my head but can be hair from anywhere on the body. It makes you feel so small and weak. It ruins your self confidence. It ruins relationships. You can read more of my story on my blog and I’m hoping to share some stories off the side for this week. 

For me one of the ways, when things are getting pretty bad is I like to distract myself through art. I study a degree in graphic design, fashion graphics and it involves a lot of creativity. I like to draw illustrations then ‘destroy’ them with colours that represent how I’m feeling. This week I’ve found things pretty hard and have been so upset, so one evening I made use of drawing. 

I thought I’d let you in on the thought process for this drawing. The girl I drew is just a random person that developed as I drew. I added splashes of red over her eyes to signify how the bad times take over whilst I’m experiencing it. I used blue as a calm colour to say that although it’s there now it won’t be forever. There’s only a little blue as at the moment I don’t 100% believe that, it will change though. I put rainbow sploges in the background as a reminder that things will be OK. We go through the rainbow of emotions when we’re feeling like this and even though it hurts now we will move onto the next colour. I put the black over the mouth to signify that although the majority of the time I want to speak out, most times I don’t because of fear. I’m sure some of you will relate. The eyes and mouth had a drop shadow behind them to show they are the parts that show the pain more. 


What kind of things do you guys do I would love to hear. Keep a look out for my post throughout the week on BFRB awareness week! 

Just a little note…

University started again this week and I feel like it’s given me a massive smack around the face. Finally going into the final stretch of my university life and head first into third year is so daunting. Suddenly everything feels so real. It’s now all about getting them grades that will help get me my future after. I have so many anxieties about this such as if I actually have the skills I need to be able to do this in the first place. In fact I think this worries me more than it should. Damn you brain

Sadly it means that I’m going to have to step down a little from my blog. I want to try and post every week but I’m not sure it’s going to happen. I’m going to be trying to juggle university with a job and can already feel the stress. I really hope you all understand. 

 I’ve had the most incredible support over the summer from this blog… it is so crazy that five months ago no one apart from myself knew I had Trichotillomania. I kept it as my own little secret away from the world. I was so ashamed of it and I thought even if I went to try and explain to people they would not understand. I mean, hell even I don’t understand it. It’s a difficult thing to understand if you’re suffering from it yourself, let alone someone who hasn’t. Thank you to every single person has got in contact with me after my posts of Trichotillomania. If you suffer from Trich yourself or know someone who has it then please, if you need someone to talk to… I’ll be here always. 

I’m so proud that through my little space on the internet I was able to reach out to people about this awful illness and try and bring understanding and awareness to people literally all over the world. 

Another thing I’m incredibly proud of is THIS. The first picture is my hair two years ago compared to one of my latest selfies (I take way too many!) HOW HAS THIS HAPPENED!!! I’m not going to lie to you all, I teared up seeing this. I’ve always always dreamed of having hair all the same length, ever since Trich took over and… I’M ALMOST THERE. Almost


Hope to speak to you guys soon. 1st October – 7th October is BFRB (body focussed repetitive behaviour) awareness week and Trich falls underneath this. I’m hoping to post through this week. Thank you with everything I have for supporting this blog and I hope you all continue to, even if I may be a little quiet. MUCH LOVE and remember I’m always here if you’re struggling. Don’t fight it alone. You’ve got this.

Happy two years Southampton

Grab yourself a cuppa, this one is going to be long. Today marks exactly two years ago I made one of the biggest decisions and done the biggest thing I’ve ever done; move over 100 miles away from my family and friends. 100 miles away from home.

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-19-51-46I still remember the run up to going away. I remember every time I went to go and visit my nan. She would have added an essential thing you needed to have when living on your own which I would never of thought of. You know things like medicine – of course you’ll need that at some point unless you’re supernatural and immune to all illnesses, if thats the case please give me your secret. My nan still does that to this day, tops me up with the stuff that I will need but may not already gone out to buy it or wouldn’t necessary bought with a food shop – thank you nan! I really appreciate it.

I also remember my going away meal. The meal where my family got together for a little goodbye to uni and I bought my good friend Shannon along. It was the weekend before I went and I remember then it kicking in that my family won’t just be down the road. That if I needed eggs to bake cakes I wasn’t able to just run to my nan and steal two eggs and instead have to go to the shop and grab six eggs and waste four because I don’t like eating eggs on their own.

However, it meant that I was about to start to gain my own independence and that was exciting. I was about to have all the freedom I possibly could have, not that I didn’t have that before but even more so now. It meant that I had to grow up, quickly. Hell did it smack me round the face as soon as I got there. Once I had grabbed my fob (I was staying in student halls first year, as many people do) and unloaded the car of way too much of my belongings into my room I’ll be living in for the next ten months, grabbed a food shop and saw my dad off which was hands down one of the worst times – ever, I headed back to my room and sat on my bed thinking, what now with tears down my face. Even now when I say bye I always cry, there’s something about your family leaving you down away that is just so so sad.

In my first year I’m not going to lie I got homesick a lot. To the point I wouldn’t leave my room and just lay in bed feeling sad. I missed the whole different lifestyle I had at home which I didn’t realise I had until I moved away. I would call any family member as many times as I could just to talk to them. I didn’t even meet the people I’m currently living now, who lived down my hallway until a few weeks in. Not every one has an experience like that but because I feel like I’m such a family girl, it hit me hard. Looking back on that to now I don’t get it nearly as much. I’ve finally got round to thinking in my head, I’m only a three hour train ride home, it’s not that bad. Besides, it’s so much nicer to go home and see my family after a long while, it feels more… special?

It’s no secret if you’ve read my blog before that I have a mental health illness which is triggered majorly by anxiety and depression. It was life changing moving away from home and battling with that. It’s made me more aware of how to look after myself more and it literally is just me here, to look after myself. If I’m sick and I don’t have medicine in, I have to go out and buy it and still make my dinner and get through the day. This is probably one of the biggest thing’s I’ve learnt. I have had an overwhelming amount of support for this, however. Last year, just after I had started my second year I went to seek help with dealing with anxiety and the way it was making me feel from the uni after advice. It helped me a lot. I’ve wrote about it in a blog post here.

All in all I have learnt a lot about myself. I have a stable job here now, I’ve been passing my university projects and now going into third year and I have my own little uni family. I know more than two people now, I know all the great coffee shops and take aways and I now have people down here who look out for me. I have no idea, how I’ve made it this far without going home… especially after them first few weeks, but I battled through it and still going now. It’s been an adventure for sure. I still haven’t left Southampton and gone anywhere else down the south coast, that is still on my list to do, as well as go the Isle of Wight.

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-19-54-22

A massive special thank you to the family and friends who listen to my rants constantly. Who listen when I have something I’m finding difficult and just need to speak it out. Those who give the most invaluable advice and those who check up on me to see how I’m doing. Those who call me for hours and hours because I’m feeling alone and those who text me to make sure I’m OK. I appreciate it so much, so so much. Genuinely. If you have just moved to uni and feeling alone, down, don’t really know what to do.. please please do message me. I would so love to help you and give you tips.

I’m lucky now that I can call Southampton my second home and I’m proud of myself.

Damn you, Trich.

The majority of my Mental Health (MH) posts are positive. If I can and where I can I like to be positive and certainly spread positivity on my blog when I can – if you can do that with MH. I like to have this motto that if someone is feeling the way they do, whilst going through what I am similarly, I like to let them know they’re not alone. Although I like to keep my posts positive there are down days, or in my case a down week on the MH front.

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-12-57-00

(Photo credit Instagram – my fav Trich one)

It started on Sunday night and probably sounds so pathetic to people if they don’t already know, but my thumb nail (I have falsies) flinged off, literally. Before I decided to have them done on my birthday as a birthday treat in April my thumb nails had left dents in my index finger on both hands and dry skin from where I would constantly press the same spot whilst pulling and make split ends in my hair ready to pull. It got to a point a few times where that area would bleed. It’d be so painful, but it had to be done to satisfy Trichotillomania (Trich).

In April, having my nails done, it completely changed the whole pulling game. It suddenly became so much more difficult to pull my hair with having a great big nail stuck to my thumb nails. You may be thinking it would be easier, but the thickness to an acrylic nail compared to your natural nail is so much more. As you could imagine I now had this natural nail underneath, which some snapped with the acrylic but there was still some there.

It took around thirty minutes/an hour for my Trich to realise and I began pulling. It was like the old days before. It was horrendous. It went on for hours and hours. I couldn’t sleep because of it, it literally just took over and no matter how hard I tried to stop myself I could not. I tried hiding my hands under the pillow, I tried to tie my hair up into little ponytails, I mean I was just in bed so no one would see, so why not? I tried absolutely every option I could think off to try and keep my hands busy and I just couldn’t.

As you could imagine it made me so upset. So, so upset. I felt like I had just gone back to five months ago in just a minute. I felt like everything I had worked on, all the no pulling days, all the hair I had managed to grow longer which was so much shorted five months ago had been taken away from me. I also had the feeling of shame and guilt as well as feeling alone. It was possibly one of the worst nights I’ve had.

The next morning however I had made a nail appointment and was willing to wait and pay as much money as I needed to, to get them sorted. I could not go through another night like that and I managed to have them done at around midday, which meant I didn’t have to go through the whole day pulling.

This has also effected me since. Since Sunday night where my Trich thought it was a good idea to just destroy my hair by endlessly pulling on it making split ends, even if I weren’t to pull them out now, it was like it wanted me to have some for other days. Ever since then I have pulled a whole lot more. So much more than I have for five months because I’m almost certain there are hairs in there that need to be pulled. I’m trying my hardest to explain to you how it feels and to understand it. It is debilitating and although I don’t think I’ve gone completely back to square one I have gone back a whole entire jump.

What is good about this is, I have learnt a lot in the last five months which I can take along redoing this part of the journey. I have also got a lot more people to talk to about this now since five months ago and they have a lot more understanding about it now, and I am so so thankful and grateful for these people – both family and friends. Let’s hope it doesn’t effect my anxiety and make me feel even worse than I already do.

I can do this – again.

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-12-56-05

(Photo credit – Instagram)

University – Top five tips

It’s already September – how? Although this does mean Autumn, i.e- cosy jumpers, drinking hot chocolate with lots of cream and marshmallows and not getting weird looks, PUMPKIN SPICED LATTES, cute over the knee socks – you get the idea. It also means for some people a stressful time of moving away from home to a whole new city, where they may not know anyone and it can be scary. I’m about to go into my third year at university and now quite used to the lifestyle that comes with moving away.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 18.17.32

(Photo credit: Instagram – positiveheadspace)

I have some of my top tips which I have learnt after moving away. It’s all so exciting moving away and I can tell you it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve gained so much independence and learnt life things which I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t move away.

I’ve piled some into a list for you here and I hope they help you in one way, or another:

– BUY EARPLUGS. Oh christ I wish I knew this before I moved to university. I didn’t use them in first year and just put up with the noise. Only recently have I bought some as next door have parties regularly and they are the best investment. You might not need them every night but it’s so good to have them there incase you do. They will become your best friend. 

–  If you can, get a group together to do a food shop and get it delivered to your halls/house. It’s so much easier than trailing across town with bags and bags of food. If you split the cost of delivery and pay your own share, its lifesaving. Seriously.

– If you’re moving into halls getting a lock for your cupboard stops people getting in your cupboard and stealing food. Although you can only control it in the fridge if you buy yourself a mini fridge for your room (I did, best £30 spent! Who doesn’t want milk in your room for a late night cuppa without leaving your room?) 

Keep on top of washing up. There is nothing more frustrating for other flatmates/housemates than someone in the kitchen who doesn’t clean their own plates up. There is also a hygiene issue with this too. Not ok. Just keep on top of everything in general. If you stick post-it notes over your room and it helps – do it. If you’re someone who like to keep a diary and write stuff down like me – buy one. It will help you so much and you will feel so much more productive. 

– If you are missing home or have other issues then please, please go and speak to someone within the university. There will be a student support centre within your uni who are there for you. It’s there job to look out for people. Don’t ever feel like you are being too silly or a burden  I did feel this before I went to talk to them and they’re so helpful. They offer services for all sorts of issues including money, homesickness and mental health to name a few. Best thing I done was talk to them. Honestly.

– Keep track of your assignments and work. It goes without saying really. I only decided to discover the library at the end of second year – yep. It is the perfect place for work to get peace and quiet. Sometimes your house/halls can be too loud to get some work done. Also, if you don’t do anything whilst there, it still feels productive because you’re at the library. If you struggle with writing/reading there will be people at the library who can help you too. Win/win.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 18.13.25

(Photo credit: Instagram – positiveheadspace)

Make sure you have the best time. Although at some points it may get too much just remember why and how you got there. You can do it. You will get through that ever ending to do list. You will get that assignment thats kept you up for months done and you will get used to being away from home.  Remember if you ever do have any issues, especially homesickness message me any time. You can do it and it will be the best years of your life, honestly!