Mental Health and Job Interviews + A Hair Update.

It’s my first post of 2018, welcome back.

My first comeback post is something which I have been thinking a lot about since my most recent interview. So, you know how it is. You’re sat in a room with a person in front of you, who has a computer/tablet or maybe even a notebook in front of them, ready to note down any info they may need to remember about you. You are on your guard to not say the complete wrong thing and mess up your chance of grabbing your dream job. The topic comes up about what experience you have that can fit in the role. I note off all the experience I’ve had, ticking them off in my head and then mention something I have rarely, rarely mentioned in interviews before.

My blog. This little space on the internet. As soon as I said it, I gulped. HARD. My blog isn’t about the blogs I usually read. My blog isn’t a fashion blog or a beauty blog, sharing my latest finds and reviews. It did start out as that if you wanted to scroll down three years worth of posts, but not no more. My blog speaks MENTAL HEALTH.

Of course, when I mentioned I blogged about MH, they asked… so, how did that come about? I could feel myself sweating already and panicking. I know there is so much stigma around mental health issues when applying for jobs. Some job applications that I’ve applied for have asked: do you suffer from mental health? I mean… I may be wrong in this but, something in me tells me… surely this can deter you from getting a job. It shouldn’t do, but the stigma around mental health is STILL so strong. I have not once mentioned, apart from the internship/freelance position of social media/content creation I’ve been doing since August, that I suffer from Trichotillomania and Anxiety… quite strong with it too. 

So, after that question I could feel myself already sinking in the VERY plastic chair I was sat on trying to think of what I could say, until I literally blurted it out. “I pull my hair out and it has a name, Trichotillomania.” I was expecting the person to be like ???? I only expected this because I’ve had this reaction before. You pull your hair out? I was expecting the tens of questions after such as… Does it hurt? Why can’t you stop? You would know if you suffer with Trichotillomania the questions that can occur.

But no. This person, smiled and said… I’ve heard of it before. I’ve seen about it on a TV programme before. They also said, thank you so much for sharing with me so early on and being honest. I can’t tell you the amount of relief I felt. I was sweating waiting for their response. I honest to god thought I had messed the whole thing up. 

Ever since, however, I haven’t got it out of my mind. It made me feel quite weird and down when I got home. I still think that maybe I could of said it in a different way, but… I’m so proud of me, for telling a person I had only met 20 or so minutes ago, what was once my deepest and darkest secret. I’m not ashamed of having Trichotillomania. Believe me, a few years ago I was. I would never of dreamt of telling one person what it was and I would cry every night when I literally could NOT STOP PULLING. But now, I’ve accepted it as part of me. There is no cure for Trichotillomania. I will always have it for the rest of my life. It’s about time I accepted it as part of me? Don’t you think?

The biggest part of this is… I cannot help but think I’ve maybe broken some of the stigmajust a little bit? That has always been my dream. It is what I’m passionate about when it comes to MH. BREAKING THE STIGMA DOWN. 

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HAIR UPDATE:

As soon as I got home, I decided to do a little compare of my hair. I do this every couple of years, just to see how far I’ve come. If you have Trichotillomania you’re gonna know that it comes in waves. Sometimes it is horrendously bad other times you find yourself pulling a few times throughout the day. At the beginning of 2017 my hair was in a horrendous way and it just got worse and worse and worse all the way through the year until around, perhaps October time. It eased a little. I was so done with staying awake until 4AM pulling and pulling. Crying about why do I have this? Why me? 

My dream has always been to have my hair all one length. No matter the length, just to be one length and… I can proudly say… I’M ALMOST THERE. I have attached a collage of my most recently selfie at the top, compared to a graduation photo and my hair (ignore the awful blonde pic with my double chin… that is not OK, I only put it up because of my hair) from at the beginning of the year at the bottom.

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I can safely say, 2018 has to be the year I win more than Trichotillomania. 

Now, let’s hope I hear good news from this job… it’s my time now? Surely!

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Hairdressers are Trichy.

This post is one that I thought of, off the top of my head whilst walking to work. I wanted to write another Trichotillomania post. A post which gives whoever is reading this a sense of what it takes to be in a situation which is so easy and enjoyable for some yet not for others. I love getting pampered and I love getting my hair cut but I can tell you, it is one of the most stressful things to do whilst suffering with Trich.

I have touched on this in a post before, but 9/10 I go to the hairdressers in the first place to try and trick my mind into thinking that all the split ends which I endlessly search for and all the ‘hard’ feeling hairs have been cut out, and none remain. Before I go I really have to amp myself up. My own hair is much shorter at the sides compared to the rest of my hair from where I can snap them off. This gives me major self confidence issues as it is, let alone going to a place where they specifically look at your hair.

The usual conversation that goes whilst at the hairdressers is this: “The sides of your hair are very damaged, aren’t they?” which I then respond with the same old answer every time “I bleached my hair from red to blonde myself” This obviously would of damaged my hair a lot but… I did it around four years ago now. Surely all the sides of my hair would have grown back by now, in the eyes of the hairdresser.

I have to mentally prepare myself for the shame, especially now I see the same hair dresser every time for her to mention the broken off bits. I normally go in the hair dressers with my hair down – take it out before stepping in. Somehow this makes me think that if she sees my hair before like this, she won’t be shocked if I was to take it down and most of it is broken.

After the whole experience has happened, despite all the anxiety that goes with it waiting for my turn to go and trying my absolute hardest not to pull and if I did I would do it on the down low and hope no one sees, I feel good. It works for like a day to stop pulling but it also keeps my hair in good condition and helps it regrow. I normally go for shorter and if it is a bad time on the whole Trich front I usually cut my hair to a point which I can’t lift it up to look at, that way I won’t see if theres any split ends to pull – success. My goal however is to have my hair long, long long hair. I will get there one day.

I have researched into Trich friendly hairdressers and there are particular ones in America from old articles which say they are, yet I haven’t seen any in the UK yet. Maybe I’m just missing them but if you know of any in the UK I’d love to find out? I hope Trich gets so much more awareness in the future and all hair salons become Trich friendly.

I haven’t had my hair cut in around three months now, which isn’t long but my last experience wasn’t pleasant and I’ve sadly kind of been put it off. I need to get the courage and go. If you are nervous and scared as a Trich sufferer yourself and you don’t want to go alone, try and get a understanding friend to go with you.  I always see that as a massive help. You could always treat yourself for coffee and cake afterwards – a firm believer in ALL CELEBRATIONS OF VICTORY. Go you!!! Remember also, if you can’t, you are not alone. I’m always open for a chat. I believe you can do it.
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Photo: (instagram.com/mentalhealthdaily_)