I wrote this poem amidst my breakdown, when I’d find myself spending significant periods of time in front of my bathroom mirror, hunting for a small hair to pull out and distract me from the tornado of thoughts swirling around in my mind. I wondered why I was doing it, and this rhyme came to me:
There was a lady whose chin,
Posed the persistent threat of a beard.
She plucked every hair,
So that things would be bare,
But it all ended up as she feared.
March 24, 2017
“Trichotillomania…is a hair-pulling disorder. It is a mental health condition that, as the Mayo Clinic website will tell you, involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, even if you try to stop.”
Sourced from an article by Manjiri Indurkar, her story tells us more about this common, but not-often-talked-about mental health condition.
Click to read “Tweezers underneath my pillow; grappling with trichotillomania“.
I wrote this poem during my breakdown, because, in my highest times of anxiety, I run to my tweezers.
I become obsessive about getting every single hair, not only that I can see, but that I can feel. If I don’t get it, I still hover around there, running my thumbnail over the pointy tip of the emerging hair until I can get to my tweezers.
The satisfaction of extracting that tiny, coarse hair – feeling it come out of your skin because you chose the right grip, the right angle, then looking at it like a prized Blue Marlin – is incredibly satisfying, but when you see what’s left in its wake – oil & dirt that causes pimples, scars from poorly placed tweezers pinches, redness and possible infection and the obsessive nature of having to scan and tend to the area constantly to halt any re-growth before it can see the light of day, it leaves me with feelings of regret, shame and sadness.
Will it ever end?
I hope to be able to stop one day…but then I wonder what will replace it.
If you think that you or a loved one has trichotillomania, it can be helped through CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and/or medications. For further info and helpful resources, click here to visit eMentalHealthCanada’s page about Trichotillomania.