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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Life as a Graduate Part One.

So… here’s my little insight for you all into the world of a recent graduate. Twelve weeks ago today, I handed in my final major project at university. Crazy! I miss the work load strangely, I miss the knowing that I was working towards something great and I miss seeing my friends almost every day as well as living with some. I also miss the independence uni gave me and how everything was so much closer to me down at uni. Since the uni days, I just feel like every day that goes by I can slowly feel my creativity slip a way a little more, or so I think it is.

I am losing my mind every day applying for six – nine jobs whilst simultaneously getting emailed replies from other companies declining job applications. Some not even giving a few hours and instantly replying saying, no chance. (I once got an email that said I don’t think this role is worth your application – great, loved that.)

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(Pic by my good friend Aisha’s dad – woo graduation day!)

Right now, I am currently in that stage of looking for a graduate job whether that be an internship that pays for at least my travel and food expenses or a junior graphic designer job.

The only thing with this is, many jobs require experience. How am I meant to get real life experience if people don’t give you the chance? That phrase real life keeps coming up. I’m over it. I do, however, have a real big issue with internships that don’t pay and especially now I’ve graduated with a decent degree. I personally feel they exploit new creatives with fresh ideas to build their company up and for what? Many of them… nothing. I know that completing at least even a week of an internship will ultimately become part of your CV.  This way, it can count towards experience every company wants you to have, but internships could also be unpractical if you have no money – like myself. For example, for me to get to an internship in peak hours it would cost me £600 a month on travel only, for free work

I’ve found that the interviews I’ve been to so far have also bigged you up and make you believe you are suitable for a role and then, sadly, will see someone else for an interview and they have better experience than you. Even if that’s just a tiny bit and you’re back to square one. Who would of thought that sitting at a computer all day every day refreshing websites for potential jobs, going to interviews and then restarting the process can be mentally and of course physically exhausting.

I’m also aware that I haven’t finished uni that long ago and I also know that jobs take a while to get but I’m feeling frustrated in this job search and ultimately, lost. Let alone the massive pressure to get a job in the degree you studied the past three years and spent a fortune on. It feels like an endless cycle right now and no matter how hard I try and think… if I don’t get this job or I don’t get that reply, it’s not the right one for me… it is disheartening. I find myself feeling angry that maybe I’m not good enough for the career I want to go into and the constant declines are making me believe it more and more.

When I first got my few replies back about job interviews/phone call interviews I was excited that I posted on my social media and let those really close know. But with the constant not getting them, even though I’m trying my hardest… I’ve began not to let them know. That phrase… build your success silently is coming to my mind. Maybe if I don’t shout about these things, it will work in my favour? I don’t know… my brain is weird.

I have really and truly hit those graduate blues and I’m not sure how many more days I can sit on my sofa, refreshing job applications and watching Netflix I can take before going out my mind. I’m just so so nervous thinking I’m not good enough for my career I want to take. It’s becoming more and more believable the more I get jobs declined.

I just want a chance in this real world, I’m almost over it, already… before things have started.

 

 

 

Confidence VS Creativity

So, it’s got to the main crucial part in my whole degree… my FMP. An FMP is a final major project and it’s the last ever project I will do at university. You will then potentially show future employees after you leave. To me, that sounds scary.

I’ve been studying fashion graphics (which is basically fashion and graphic design combined) for three years now. I have enjoyed myself throughly on the course and I have definitely learned skills I never thought I had or could have. One of skills being digital illustration. My mum is very good at drawing and so is my uncle, so I’m guessing that’s where my creativity comes from. I love showing off the work I’ve created and proud of to people who follow me on social media, people I know and see day to day and professionals at interviews for work experience/freelance.

However, I am not that confident. To be honest it scares the living life out of me the need to be confident about ideas. I’ve never been that person in class that puts up their hand first to answer a question in a full class and I am definitely not that person who voices their opinions to a massive crowd. I have grown to be OK with that and accept it as part of me. This isn’t a blaming game but I do think school and the people who constantly used to tear me down and rip me apart have played a major role in shaping me to be this person. Of course, my anxiety isn’t exactly the biggest help either.

With my confidence not being the best, it effects the way I create for my degree and other pieces of work. I am never, ever confident with my ideas and every time I submit a piece of work I worry for hours and days about if it could of been better. I’m sure lots of people have this too but I will not rest about it. I always don’t think I’ve pushed myself to my full potential and this is probably the main reason why I feel this way. I want to ask for people’s opinions on things more and I want to ask for help if I’m stuck on something but my confidence just won’t let me.

I absolutely love seeing people do their best and do well. Nothing makes me happier and I am 100% routing for them. Yaaassss!!! But with everything I have, I just wish I could do the same for myself. Instead of sitting there for hours comparing myself to creatives I see/follow online and creatives I see on a daily basis, I wish I had the confidence to say “IM GOOD TOO!”

This lack of confidence is something I’m going to try my absolute best with in the last four months of uni – yikes!! I want to be able to leave my degree after being so proud of what I have achieved through my FMP and actually show my full potential and not hide back on ideas. Not to let my brain win when it tells me “don’t do that someone else would have done it better” or “your idea is rubbish, you share that everyone will laugh” I want to come out of this degree shouting my opinions around and not have those awful feelings after. After all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


At the end of the day, I am my own worst enemy. If it doesn’t change now, will it ever in the future? Will I get that dream job with no confidence? It’s time to make some changes

Follow my graphic design instagram if you’d like, it’ll be updated with my inspiration and development as well as personal projects along the way. Who knows, there could be more creative posts on here in the future!

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.

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.

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(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.

More about me.

Basically, I haven’t wrote a post for a long time and I haven’t really told any of my readers what kind of person I really am. I saw this post on one of my uni flatmates blogs and asked if I could steal it from hers to do on mine, which she kindly let me. You can find her blog here: https://mhairianne96.wordpress.com Anyhow here’s a few facts about me – enjoy!

Red or White wine? White with apple juice is gods creation, but my preferred wine choice has to be a fruity rose.

City or Countryside? City. I adore London as a city and always feel my happiest when I’m there. I now live in a city too, which is pretty awesome.

Cats or Dogs? Cats, always cats.
Sweet or Savoury? Depending on mood but more than likely my choice would be sweet.
Dresses or Jeans? Black ripped jeans preferably, although I haven’t ripped mine yet.
Heels or Flats? FLATS. Heels are the work of a devil, unless you’re going to an event where you will be sitting down for half the night.
Beyonce or Taylor Swift? Taylor Swift – she is a GODDESS.
Tea or Coffee? Coffee – particularly vanilla latte with a shot of caramel syrup.
Divergent or Hunger Games? Hunger Games – Gale. That is all.
Blogposts or Youtube videos? Blogposts.
Skincare or Makeup? Makeup – only just got into make up but love.
Night or Morning? Night. Depending on what time I wake up I will still somehow be awake all night.
Pizzas or Burgers? Pizzas. Pizza with chicken and sweetcorn.
Magazines or Books? Magazines. American and Aussie magazines are normally 9/10 better than UK magazines.
Facebook or Twitter? 100% Twitter!
Summer or Winter? Summer
Digital or Film photos? Digital.

What is your favourite…?
City? London
Books? I remember Hazel is the new nut at school was my favourite, now I would say any John Green books.
Movie? Any Hilary Duff film.
TV Shows? Friends or Casualty – Queen Beauchamp!
Perfume? Project D – Dannii Minogue, so sad its discontinued.
Nail Polish? Any black shade.
Skincare item? I don’t use skincare items.
Lipstick? At the moment I’m in love with my Birthday Suit – Sleek lip cream. You can find a review on my blog – click here
Foundation? Rimmel Match Perfection – the lightest shade
Food? I adore the rice and peas on the Caribbean store in town at the moment, so good!
Dessert? Cheesecake is so good, but so is all desserts.
Place to eat? Not a clue, I’m not really fussy as long as theres nice food.
Alcoholic drink? Rose. Always rose.
Non Alcoholic Drink? Ice cold pure orange juice.
Actor/Actress? Audrey Hepburn for being iconic. Amanda Mealing probably now.
Singer/Band? T SWIZZLE

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
The most proud accomplishment might be getting my three distinctions in college for my FMP for personal reasons and then getting into university doing the only course in the country. Thats pretty god damn good.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I’m not entirely sure. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to be something particular until I grew up and began to know myself more. I still don’t think its right that according to schools, by the age of sixteen you have to know what you want to do for the rest of your life, by either picking a college course or going to work. I had no idea what I wanted to do until I began my college course at 18 and then by the end I knew.

What are some things that scare you?

Spiders, feet, daddy long legs, PIRATES, life. Just a lot of things really.

What was life like growing up and in high school?

Well, high school I don’t even want to discuss. I was bullied all the way through school right up until year 11 which is probably why I have such low confidence and self esteem. If I had a chance to go back to my high school years I 100% wouldn’t.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

I think I’m a mix of both. I love to have days which I call ‘me time’ but then don’t always want that.

I hope you all learned a little more about me if you reached the bottom of this post. If you want to know more then you can always comment below and I’ll answer any questions.

Peace out!