Dear Trich – Part Three, A year on.

It’s been a year, one whole year since I wrote my first dear trich blogpost. It was one of the most liberating feeling talking directly to trich through the means of the internet, for some weird unknown reason. I then wrote a part two shortly after and both posts got a very good reaction. A year on I’ve decided to write to the beast that will always live with me.

Here we are again, Trich. Hi. A year ago I was angry, so angry with you. You were controlling my life. You were making me stay up hours and hours at night, making me not forget you were there and forced me to keep pulling my hair. I will never forget these times, never. 

No matter HOW hard I tried to stop, you would not let me. 

Fast forward a year and you are still here. To be honest, you’ll always be here. You still creep up on me day to day. I have now began to accept you will always be a part of me. 

A year ago, you were still my little secret, that only very few people knew about and now every one knows about you. Even to the point that I have now got myself a digital marketing and social media intern to help other people with hair loss, due to talking about you at the interview. I am not ashamed now, when I’m sat on the train, sat in the living room watching TV or even laying in bed to say, don’t mind me… it’s just trich reminding me, it’s still here. 

I have learnt that there are ways to help control it, although not all the time these work. I have learnt that now, if I put coconut oil on the ends of my hair, not only will it give my hair a conditioning treatment, it will help my fingers to slide down.  I also have to thank you actually, trich, for allowing me to have acrylics every month. My nails look sassy because of you. 

I recently went to my hair dressers to get it cut. Both you and I know that hairdressers are not the place to be. Especially when you are trying to explain those bald patches throughout your hair when they lift your hair up or that there are shorter parts at the side where I’ve snapped it off. I was so so nervous before. To the point I made myself late because I just couldn’t face going in. But… I went in. I gave myself right at that last moment after friends had insisted it would be OK before, that it will be OK. This was the time I decided not to hide you behind the excessive bleach use (that I don’t do no more, but only said it because it was easier) and instead spoke about what trichotillomania was. How it effects me and what triggers you and I came out feeling so much better and proud of myself for going in – something I would not of done a year ago. 

This past year you have made me a stronger person. It takes a lot of strength to deal with you everyday. Not only does it drain the life and soul out of you pulling your hair out every single day, but it does get you incredibly down. I feel so alone when I’m pulling my hair as it does make you zone out. But when I get the chance to talk about you, i.e. my interview before, it makes me feel less alone. Even though  my arm to have unbelievable aches every single day, to the point sometimes it feels like I have a dead arm. 

A year ago, I thought I’d never of got this far, a year later I have. You won’t beat me completely. I will keep fighting you day in day out. Maybe if one day you’re kind on me, I’ll be kind on you? 

Maybe see you in a year? Who knows. 

Charlotte.

 

Illustration by me:
ILLO

 

 

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Trich and 2017 plans

I haven’t blogged in a long, long time. This is because I thought, I was maybe taking it a little too seriously. I only started to write a blog to help people I know as well as people I didn’t know, understand what it is to live with such a debilitating illness that takes over your every little piece of being. I began to write to help people who are in the same shoes, know they are not alone. I started this blog to get people to understand, whether they have trich or not that it is an impulsive control disorder and even if you try and stop, it’s like an itch and you can’t… until that feeling has ‘passed’. Yet most times, the feeling never passes. I had a saying that if one person was to read this blog I would be happy. Suddenly, I was looking at numbers daily and seeing the drop in how many people was reading it, sadly got me down. I realised then, I needed a break. I was also wondering if what I was writing, pouring my heart and soul into and writing very very personally was a little… too much? I’m still not sure if I write too much into the personal side and if I’m comfortable sharing this with the whole world.

Since my last post, Trich has not been kind to me. Due to other things happening in my life and trying to deal with them day by day, trich has decided now is the time to show its presence. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling pretty weak mentally as well as getting every other cold under the sun at this time and it likes to take advantage. I have had numerous nights and days recently where I’ve just sat there and been SO angry that I could come right back to what feels like the beginning, again. This isn’t just something that I’ve just started dealing with either, 2017 marks around the 15 year mark of dealing with this. FIFTEEN YEARS out of twenty three I’ve lived.

It’s so sad to say, but it all feels way too familiar. The round and round in a circle feeling of the highs and most definite lows. The days and nights I sit there and think, can I even do this again? Can I even look in the mirror and think… my oh my why and how have you done this to yourself, which then changes my thoughts to I can’t go out to enjoy myself because of the way my hair looks. Can I even deal with the thought of people thinking (even though I’m sure they don’t, this is trich being irrational) that they can see a decline in the length of my hair and maybe even notice the very obvious to me, bald patches. Can I really and truly do this again?

That’s when I need to stop them thoughts, as hard as it is. In 2017 I’m going to try, again my hardest not to let the negative dwell on me and turn them into positives. Of course there will be times where I sit there and I will be in that zone of pulling and nothing or no one can get me out of it. Then five minutes later, I’ve managed to snap off yet another big chunk of hair. These times I won’t be able to turn them into positives. There are no positives. It’s just shame. The feeling of being ashamed and letting those people down who have been cheerleading me on. With these thoughts I need to let them be, then move on.

This then requires me to look back to the most positive time in 2016. In June/July 2016 my hair was ALMOST the same length and every time I looked in the mirror I felt HAPPY. I felt pretty and I felt like I could rock trich and show it where to stick it. I felt like I had so very closely BEAT it. Even if my hair stayed like that for a couple of months, I cherished it and still do. I still think back to them moments and cannot wait to get to that stage of looking in the mirror and feeling the best feeling there is.

I am, however, very very nervous for 2017 and I’m nervous for how my hair looks like this time next year BUT even on my bad days, I’m still as determined as that little girl who was dreaming for that all one length hair, to get there. Just now, I have a little help from my friends and family which I didn’t have this time last year, as it was still my own little secret.

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We can do this together, right? I promise I’ll make you (who cares) proud… even if it is a journey getting there.

#WorldMentalHealthDay 10th October

I’ve said in a post previously that I’m going to take time away from my blog to focus on my studies, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write a post about World Mental Health Day which takes place on October 10th. I’m quite the advocate of Mental Health especially now I have found a place where I can share my story to the world.

Although I feel that sharing my story with the world means I am putting myself in the firing line. I always worry that people will think I write on my blog about my experiences to gain attention. I’ve been suffering with Trichotillomania for over fourteen years now, which is a massive, massive part of my life I wouldn’t be writing my posts for attention. I post them for awareness. I worry that people will think that I ‘know it all’ which I really 100% don’t. I don’t even understand the depths of my own mental health illness. Let alone any of the others.

What I’m trying to say is, I write these posts to help at least one person. That is my aim, every time I pour my emotions into a post and quite frankly let the world into sometimes my deep and dark feelings. I write my blogposts to help raise awareness.

I think it’s so important that you shouldn’t be silenced because you suffer from a mental health illness. Suffering with a mental health illness is just as valid as suffering from a physical illness. Not everyone will understand what you’re feeling or going through, hell you might not understand what is happening with your feelings yourself, I myself feel this all the time. I never know how I’m going to feel when I wake up these days. I never know if I’m going to get a huge awful mood that covers my whole day like a massive storm cloud. I never know if Trich is going to worm its way into my day and make me pull half my hair out and make me feel worse than I already do. This is why it is SO important to speak out. To someone you know, to someone professional or in a journal/your own blog. Whichever makes you feel most comfortable.

It takes me a lot of energy and power to post the posts I do, but the support you receive from it helps you. It helps you know that you aren’t alone and you aren’t being silly or however you may feel. It helps not only you by getting these thoughts and feelings out but it helps other people understand too. I am so grateful that I started writing about my mental health journey and although there are times where I know it may not be everyone’s cup of tea or everyone would want to read it, it makes me happy when people do.

Please, if you ever get comments from people online, or from people you know try your best to ignore them. It makes them shallow and they’re clearly uneducated/misunderstanding. I just hope with everything I have they never feel the way we do most days. Just think of your blog/speaking out about how you feel as educating someone about how another human is feeling.

Do not ever feel silenced.

You’ve got this, 100%. 

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Homemade Tortilla Pizza

Recently I’ve made the decision that I am going to try and eat more healthy. I’ve realised I spend way too much money buying take out food and can cook alternative meals inspired by take out food at home for much less money. Theres also something about not being able to fit into any of my summer clothes from last year and having to spend money buying new ones this year that’s part of it as well.

I was reading a fellow creative blogger’s blog – Polly (you should check out her shop here and designs – so damn cool and so in love with them pins) about the healthy food that she had been eating in a week and was so inspired by the tortilla pizza idea. Believe me when I say its the quickest meal, thats healthy that I’ve ever made. I thought I’d share with you guys how I made the pizza my own and what toppings I used on here. You can change the veg up how you like it.

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You will need:

2 tortilla wraps, I used wholegrain ones as they taste gooood 

Low fat cream cheese

Tomato puree

Handful of spinach 

Handful of red onion

Cherry tomatoes

Mozzarella 

Paprika

Chilli Flakes

Jalepeno Peppers

(& I was naughty first time and used cheddar grated as well, got to love cheeeeeese)

How I made it

I heated the oven to around 170 degrees and placed my tomatoes, which I chopped tiny before hand on the tray and put them in the oven for around 10 minutes to roast. You could put them in longer I’m sure or not put them in at all, just chop them up and lay them on the pizza.

Whilst my tomatoes were  doing their thing I lay a tortilla wrap on a plate, grabbed a knife and spread the low fat soft cheese over it. I didn’t use a lot as I just wanted the two tortilla wraps to stick together better. I felt like one would be too thin, but there again you can change that how you like.

I then layered the second tortilla on top and spread enough tomato puree on.

I grabbed a hand full of spinach, washed it, then ripped it up and spread over the pizza.

I added a hand full of chopped red onion.

I then cut two slices of mozzerella and cut them into small pieces and placed them on the pizza.

I took out the cherry tomatoes and places them around the pizza and then grated enough cheese on top to make it look, more like a pizza.

I then added a couple of jalepeno peppers to the top  – spicy.

I added a good sprinkling of chilli flakes and paprika – again its all down to your own taste and placed in the oven. 

My oven is quite powerful and a fan oven so I only put mine in for around 5-7 minutes. I wait until around the edges are crispy. 

There you have it, the most gorgeous tasting tortilla pizza made at home. I genuinely think it tastes better than a take out pizza. It uses up any fresh veg you have and you could also shake it up by rolling it into a wrap as a lunch time meal.

Let me know if you enjoyed this post and if you’d like more like it. Thanks again to Polly for inspiring me to make this in the first place. Yay for pizza!