Trichotillomania: The Voices in My Head

By: Rawan Khalil

I do not know if it’s only me, but whenever I try to talk about something which I feel is slightly wrong with me I get extra defensive, but I normally get around to it and do it anyway. I probably do it in tears, in the dark, in the very corner of my bed. Well, it’s not an exaggeration to say that this is my exact status now, well aside from the fact that I have aching feet because I have been wearing heels for three days. I know no one asked, but I just thought I would let you know anyways, well mainly because I do not want to get into this right away.

I have been procrastinating writing this for almost two weeks now, it was absolutely my idea but it took me so much courage to actually do it. And, as you can clearly see I am procrastinating talking about the actual topic as I have shamelessly stated.

Here is the thing about mental disorders, they make you feel weird and alone even if you know that there are thousands of people out there who are like you, but you’re still certain they’re not exactly like you. That’s exactly how I feel about trichotillomania. I feel alone. But, I know I am not. After writing my first article about it, I got dm’s from all sorts of different people thanking me for speaking up, telling me their stories and their journeys. How they’re trying so hard to stop. How the people around them call them crazy. How they think they are crazy.

I was beyond tears hearing from different people. Listening to things that they went through that sounded way too familiar for my ears. These were all things that I went through and finally there were these other people who went through those things but we both had the reassurance that we are not paranoid, that this is not only us.

When people tell you things like that you cannot help but feel normal. I, for the first time ever was able to tell the voice eating me up to shut up. I told it to stop attacking me with all these accusations of crazy, psycho and pathetic. Words that my mind threw at me because it is too critical of me.

Pulling one’s hair for the first time, and then realising this isn’t stop. That realisation is the first battle. It’s when you start questioning your actions, why they don’t stop, why they repeat themselves. You question and you hide. But, then you get fed up and you are like what the actual fuck is wrong with me? So, you search up your symptoms in all hopes that this is something that will stop, that maybe it happens to everyone but they never talk about it but instead you find stories of other people ones that you will never meet who are possibly in worse conditions than yours and you start thinking you will end up in an asylum alone.

This is when it really hits you, or at least when it really hit me. I literally couldn’t stop crying and crying in the bathroom. I thought that I could not go up that there is no way I would get out of the black hole I was in. I will always be stuck in this terrible crater that I fell in- I thought.

Then you come to this stage were you start making promises to yourself: I am going to stop. I will control myself. I can do this.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Fuck I failed again.

I almost succeeded this time.

A constant battle of failure and success.

Having trichotillomania means having to go through constants arguments with your bain- internal silent arguments that no one could hear but that same brain. It’s asking itself to stop doing that, to stop sending those impulses which drive you to pull your hair, but for some reason you still do.

I promise you- you are not insane. I know you hate it I do to and I fight it every single day. I am at a much better place than I was 2 years ago, or even a year ago or 6 months ago. I am going up. I am battling my brain. I am fighting of the impulses. I am winning. I am not crazy and I have come to peace with that.

P.s feel free to text me at any time if you want someone to talk to. It means the world to me.

With Love,

Rawan

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