How I know what you're going through.
I had been hair-pulling for over 40 years.
I’d been pulling out my eyebrows and eyelashes since I was 11 years old, until the age of 51 - a lifetime. For the first 20 years, I just lived with it, I didn’t know it was a ‘thing’. I was hair-pulling while watching TV, reading, whenever I worked on the computer. People around me noticed and made comments about it, and my family didn’t understand. Nor did anyone offer help, save my best friend’s mother who noticed it and gently advised me to stop or they wouldn’t grow back in. But, really, I think I would have been mortified if my Mom had tried to talk to me about it.
I didn’t know it was ok to not be perfect.
Growing up in Michigan, I felt like an outsider, even in my family. I don’t know why I felt that way. I wasn’t mistreated. But I was a highly sensitive child and a perfectionist. A fish out of water in most situations. Not sure why I felt that why. I didn’t feel like I had the freedom to talk about my feelings. Or I didn’t know how to. I don’t remember talking about my feelings as a child at all, or knowing how to express my feelings, or feeling it was safe. Any of that.
Maybe I had invented a really clever way to get my feelings ‘out’.
Only during my healing process did I realize that not having the safety to express my feelings, I shoved them down - and then pull them out. Literally.
I pulled out my feelings. And that’s how hair-pulling, or trichotillomania, or trich, as we 'trichsters' call it, became my companion and best friend.
For so long I wanted to get rid of it, I was tired of being a slave to it, of not having control over it and knowing it was fueled by stress I couldn’t identify. But, it was also my best friend. And who wants to lose their best friend?
I felt like I had tried everything.
I’m living proof that you won’t just ‘grow out of it’, I can also tell you will power doesn’t work - that does nothing for The Urge. Because the urge is still there, the tension is still there, there is still the focus on the resistance. Even if you have mittens on your hands, you’re still fighting this urge that’s in your body. It’s occupying your mind space.
I realized that I hadn’t tried everything until I found the thing that works.
Then one day I had this powerful insight, that in healing the hair pulling I would heal the underlying causes of it.
I tell this story that trichotillomania is like a pot of water on a gas stove, the flames are all the stressors under the pot of water keeping it boiling. I used to think “if only I could put out the fire, there would be no more trich.”
It’s not about eliminating the trich per se, but the stressors fueling the trich; and the trich goes away.
That day I realized, instead of trying to deal with the fire under the pot, if I simply took the pot off the stove there would be no need for the flames - and everything else would flow from there.
In healing the hair pulling I would heal everything else, and I knew I would transform in the process; whatever stuff in the past was weighing me down would just go away.
If I wired my brain to engage in hair pulling, maybe I could rewire my brain to not pull hair out.
There is actually science that supports my intuitive theory. It’s the science of brain plasticity. “What fires together, wires together.” When an action is paired with a thought and this is repeated over and over again, neural pathways are created.
As hair-pullers, we know how these cycles go:
The "Self-induced Trance" Scenario
reading/computer work → pulling hair → relief → stress about creating bald patches/feeling out of control → more pulling
The "I-Just-Gotta-Pull" Scenario
Undefined stress leading to the urge to pull → resisting → tension building up around the need to pull hair out that can only be relieved by → pulling hair out
I created my hair-pulling, now I’m ready to un-create it.
I realized that I had created my hair-pulling as a really clever coping mechanism when I was a child, but now as an adult, it was time to rewire, and take on new coping strategies.
I sought out an EFT practitioner with experience helping people with trich.
With this one huge, deceptively simple, insight I saw this vision of the future for myself, and the transformation that I wanted for myself. Then I discovered EFT tapping as a super-effective, easy-to-learn technique that supported it, and today I have control over trich - most days it doesn’t show up, and I can even forget about it.
But it’s my best friend - how do I say ‘goodbye’?
There were times when I was afraid to let it go, as crazy as it sounds. Who would I be without trich? Well, I am a warrior who won, and knowing I can do this means I know I can do anything.
With EFT as my new best friend, I feel whole and in control.
Most of all, I have a sense of wholeness, a sense of self and I am stepping into who I really am, who I am supposed to be. I am on my way to uncovering the real Esti.
I want this for you.
Are you ready to transform how you deal with stress?
Are you willing to give it up? To transform from being a person who pulls her hair to a being person with confidence around people? To finally get past the urge, and to where the urges aren’t coming up and you don’t have to fight them anymore?
Are you ready to be rid of the shame and frustration?
Do you want to go from just wishing you could stop to no longer feeling the shame the frustration, and the guilt; no longer having to be afraid people will notice, and learn an easy technique that really works, that’s not pharmaceutical or simply a distraction?
Are you ready to start having a sense of wholeness, and step into who you are supposed to be?
I will support you in your transformation, and teach you a way of thinking and how to use EFT as your own fire extinguisher that you will have for the rest of your life - let’s take that pot off the fire.
If you’re here, you’re ready.