This time last year I was sitting here feeling sick, wondering if I should hit the ‘publish’ button. I was about to tell the world (ok, not the world, but a heap of friends and quite a few people I don’t know) that I had trichotillomania (a compulsion to pull out my hair), had got to the end of my tether, had shaved off what hair I had left and bought a wig. Called Bradley, obviously.
My new years resolution was to stop. Sounds simple, but I’d not managed more than a few months of stopping before, so a whole year…and the possibility of having a full head of hair at the end of it seemed ridiculously hopeful.
I looked like this:
Then I looked like this:
Then, with Bradley, like this:
And now? Now I look like this:
YES! I have done a whole year without pulling one single hair from my head! And there is absolutely no way I could have done it without my brilliant family, colleagues, friends and all of you. I’ve had calls, e-mails, cards, hugs and they have meant so much. I’ve also had quite a few people, some who I know and others who I don’t, tell me that they have done or do the same. Or their friend / brother /daughter does or did. Thank you to every single one of you for your support and for reminding me that I wasn’t the only one with this particular weirdness.
It’s been one of the more difficult things I have done. I still have the urge to remove ‘naughty’ hairs, or get rid of the very physical itch on my scalp by pulling, but a combination of crochet, smoking (cigarettes. Sorry, but it has helped) and giving myself a good talking to has worked so far. I am very lucky that apart from two thinner patches, my hair has all seen fit to return. Not so lucky that the patches where I attacked it most have decided to return grey and upside down (the hair actually grows the wrong way.) To stop myself looking like a crazed badger I now have dyed hair, courtesy of Sister 2, and a decent pair of straighteners that I cannot leave the house without using.
I’ve learned a few things too:
- I have a plus sized head. I know this as apparently I was the only one to ever call the wig shop up to ask how to stretch a wig.
- There are times it’s best not to whip off a wig. Tesco and pubs are two I can think of off the top of my head.
- It’s possible to put a wig on sideways and have a conversation with a bemused postman without realising.
- If you don’t think about it too much, you can be really brave. This time last year I would never have imagined I’d have gone on a date wearing a wig. Disastrous it might have been, but that wasn’t the wig’s fault.
- On the first day of not wearing a wig, it is a good idea not to use your work laptop to post a picture of proof to your friends on facebook. Especially if you will then be using that laptop to share your desktop later with around 3,000 people.
- Sometimes it’s better to talk (write?) than to hide something tricky to deal with.
I have fantabulous friends, colleagues and family who (with only one exception) have supported me every single step of the last year. Thank you. I hope I have done you proud.
Happy New Year, lovely people. Make that resolution that you’re not sure you can achieve. I did it last year, and it turns out sometimes you can achieve more than you thought.
Now I just have to think of a challenge for 2014 :o)