At the Trichotillomania Relief Specialists, we hear a lot of concern from folks about just how “curable” their case of trichotillomania may or may not be.
But it’s not always because of how much they pull, or how often. Often, we find that the longer one has struggled with trichotillomania, the greater their concern – or outright pessimism – about even the possibility of a cure.
But is this pessimism justified? Is it really true that the longer you’ve suffered with trichotillomania, the harder it must be – and the longer it must take – to resolve?
As you might imagine, we have our opinion. Let’s talk.
Coaching The Coach
Glei and I started work with 51-year-old Aubrey back in November of 2013. Believe it or not, it took Aubrey a full year and a half (!) from our first contact to finally decide to take a chance by registering for our flagship 90-Day Distance Personal Breakthrough Coaching Program™.
A corporate coach herself, Aubrey was a very busy woman. And as a breast cancer survivor, she had already proven herself to be one tough cookie – a woman who could conquer almost anything, once she’d set her mind to it.
But one thing she’d never been able to conquer was trichotillomania. You see, Aubrey had been pulling her eyelashes for a long, long time.
46 years, to be exact.
Aubrey desperately wanted to be free of trichotillomania. She told us it was the one thing she felt had been a skeleton in her closet for years… She said she felt like a “fake” on stage at corporate events, teaching the power of positive talk and positive thinking – all the while, knowing full well she had been unable to personally live out her teachings in her own life.
She felt powerless to take control of this behavior.
So what took Aubrey so long to finally make the decision to move forward with us?
You can probably guess. Despite our confidence in how we communicated to her what we thought we could do for her, it was the very understandable fear that even this wouldn’t work.
Because if this didn’t work, whatever would she do then?
And It’s Not Just Aubrey
Unfortunately, we know that Aubrey isn’t the only one in this kind of position – an older adult who worries that because of all the years in struggle with it, their case of trichotillomania is a case that’s now just too far gone.
Based on fears just like this, many older folks won’t even give themselves a chance to get better – they assume in advance that recovery at this late stage either isn’t possible – or even if it is, it has to be fraught with hard work and struggle. Some people decide they simply don’t have the energy for that anymore.
And then we come along with the bold claim that it’s possible for anyone – regardless of age – to experience nearly immediate relief from trichotillomania, no matter how long they’ve had it, or how hard they’ve struggled with it over the years.
Admittedly, this claim raises some eyebrows. But that’s only because of the limiting beliefs many people hold about what’s actually possible in terms of a “cure” for trichotillomania.
You see, beliefs are nothing more than a state of certainty about something. They do not at all necessarily represent objective truth.
Too Good to Be True – Or Is It?
So how exactly is it possible that one can have been pulling seemingly uncontrollably for 20, 30, 40 years or more – and then be able to dispense with it almost overnight?
Put simply, it’s because the “past” is over with now – no matter how long a past we’re talking about. All that’s “real” is the present – this specific moment in time.
The desire, urge or impetus to pull is a present-moment experience. Any such urge you may have here in the present is not any stronger, or any more irresistible now just because you’ve been pulling for 40 years than it would be if you’d been pulling for just, say, 2 years.
And if here in the present you can find any way at all to stop pulling (especially simply!) then does it really matter how long you’d been pulling before that?
Back to Aubrey’s Story
As you might guess, Aubrey’s story has a happy ending. With nothing more than a minor hiccup along the way, Aubrey reported she was now able to effectively exercise control of her eyelash-pulling activity. Perhaps more importantly, the seemingly overwhelming urges she used to have to work so hard to resist were now gone.
You see, here at the TRS, we don’t believe in “white knuckle” change. We believe it’s possible not only to take quick, relatively simple control of one’s hair-pulling activity, but to be able to do so in virtually struggle-free fashion.
We believe it because we’ve seen it; we’ve witnessed literally hundreds of clients live out this dream in their own lives.
Late in followup, with tears in her eyes, Aubrey related to Glei and I the story of how she had finally been able to look her partner in the eyes, finally permitting him to see the real “her” – the Aubrey free of her old false eyelashes – free to present herself as the real, true, authentic Aubrey.
She said it was a moment she will never forget.
Moments like that are why Glei and I do this work. 🙂
The Moral of The Story
It turns out that any concept you may have about having suffered with trichotillomania for an extended period of time – and especially to the extent you’ve been believing it means a big problem – in practice means nothing – except to someone who believes it actually does means something (which by now, I think you know does not include us – and it’s a good thing it doesn’t!).
Here at the Trichotillomania Relief Specialists, when we get together with a client who’s been suffering with trichotillomania-related behaviors for 20, 30, 40 years or more, it means only one thing – that Glei and I are about to join you in having a whole lot of fun knocking this thing out far more quickly and easily than you probably imagine possible.
Question: How long have you (or your loved one) been suffering with trichotillomania-related behaviors? What kind of beliefs do you have about how easy – or difficult – a cure has to be, based on how long you’ve been struggling with it? We encourage you to leave a comment or question below.