On December 31 – just barely a month ago now – Glei and I received a note from a young lady named Katie. As you’ll see, Katie has been battling trichotillomania since 4th grade. Now at the beginning of a brand new year, she tells us she’s made some powerful decisions about what she is going to allow – and absolutely DISallow from her life going forward. Here’s her moving story.
Hi, my name is Katie. I have had Trichotillomania since 4th grade (I’m now in 10th). It wasn’t so bad in 4th grade but it wasn’t good either. I only pulled a little at a time. Fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade I barely pulled at all, but come ninth and tenth grade it got worse due to more stress. I actually only found out four days ago that something was definitely wrong. I found out that I have a little bald spot on the top of my head. That scared the living daylights out of me. I knew at that moment that I HAD to stop pulling my hair. Since then I have not pulled my hair even though the temptation is there. I’m stubborn and scared enough not to.
I know a big part of solving this is trying to eliminate the stress. That will be a big problem for me since my stressor is my family. Still, I’m not going to give up because of that. I’m keeping journals in the places that I have pulled the most and, when I’m in those places, instead of pulling out my hair I’ve started to write down my feelings. That’s helped a lot. But i have more motivation than just that. I want to work at a camp called Camp Boggy Creek which is a camp for kids with medical challenges. I want to go there and help those kids. I myself have a heart defect and was a camper at Camp Boggy Creek. My camp counselors have helped me in so many ways. They’ve taught me to never give up, to see the beauty in everyone, and to share my gifts with the world. They’ve taught me that I can overcome anything. I want to teach the same things to my campers when I’m a counselor there. There’s just one problem; I can’t go there and tell those kids that they can overcome anything when I haven’t overcome my own problems. I would be a fake. But that is motivation. Maybe it’s not a typical reason to stop but it works for me.
We’re coming up upon a new year. 2014. This WILL be a year of healing. I WILL get over my Trichotillomania disorder. I just wanted to ask if there were any other ways to get over this. Thank you so much and God bless.
Now, how about THAT for the courage of a youngster who is only in the 10th grade?
I’ll tell you one thing – Glei and I PRAY for clients with this kind of courage, desire and commitment to a change. Give us a client like that, and our job – and theirs – is EASY.
In our next post, we’ll share with you our response to Katie.
QUESTION: This story offers some very powerful lessons to be learned for anyone who truly desires to be free of trichotillomania. What are some of the most meaningful lessons you’ve picked up from Katie’s story? Feel free to leave a comment below.