Tag Archives: motivation

Persistence not Perfection

Trichy Insights

Let’s strengthen those weak muscles!  

Just persist until you are successful!

My solace tonight as I persist in my journey to recovery from trich comes from comments of some of the people on the Fairlight Bulletin Board posted on Amanda’s Trichotillomania Guide.

Definition of Success

I just wanted to add another observation to all that has been said about making a commitment to not pulling. Think of it as exercise. When I started walking a couple of months ago, I thought a mile was forever. Now that I’ve been walking regularly, my stamina has increased, and a mile goes by quickly. I can’t run a marathon (yet!), but I am stronger. In the same way, as we practice not pulling, we’re building “muscles” that make it easier not to pull. The first couple of weeks are horrible, but then it gets easier–if you persist. I’ve slipped a couple of times…

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Happy to be Alive

While you wake up today, someone is taking their last breathe. “Thank God for another day and don’t waste it!

As recommended by Joyce Meyer in my “prayer bootcamp” that I started April 1st, Every morning I wake and the first thing I say is, “I will rejoice for this is the day the Lord has made. ”

Just the fact that I woke up and I am alive is a miracle. On top of that, I have even more for which I am thankful. To name a few:my family (I love you all!!!), our health, our safety, love, a God sent home that is a perfect fit for our family, a ‘new’ van, and a camp where our children can go to see their grandparents almost any weekend that is an ‘instant vacation’. It is an amazingly peaceful campsite on the river. It is cut off from civilization and technology (if you can leave your smartphone in your pocket Chelsea…). This really helps me focus on God and my family, which are #1 and #2 in my life. I can’t wait for our first camping trip this Memorial Day weekend.

Long post, but I’m feeling thankful this morning. There are many more reasons that I am thankful, but I could sit hear all day and list them (which I plan to do in my ongoing conversation with God today). I never put an amen at the end because it’s like a text message that keeps going. Do you say bye each time you type something to your friend? No, not usually unless it’s ‘extra important’ ;). It’s the same idea here. ❤

Don’t Stop

Never give up, don’t stop trying.This is easier said than done, but very important in recovery.  Last night my eyelashes were really bothering me.  This agitation had been building for days.  There was one that was especially bad.  In a moment of weakness, I impulsively took off my band-aide and plucked out that pesky lash.  It was felt great for a second until reality caught up with me and I realized I gave in, again.  This seems to be the pattern of my life..do good for a bit and then it all comes tumbling down with one hair.   I stopped myself for a few minutes and went back to watching a movie. As usually is the case, I did not stop at one hair. In a growing frenzy, I quickly undid my 11 days of hard work and was left feeling a mix of relief and extreme disappointment.  I went to bed vowing to start fresh in the morning.  At least I had not touched my scalp so I had that to hold onto.

My daughter woke me up this next morning asking if we could go to church.  She loves church and is always my encouragement to go.  I love it once I’m there, but getting myself out the door always seems daunting.  It had been months since we last went to church.  My service offers an online version, which I often choose over actually going to church.  I hate going out in public, which is in large part due to my trich.  The worse my pulling, the more reluctant I am to go out.  I feel self conscious and hate the long process of hiding my pulling.

I get to church and find a new sermon series titled, “Don’t Stop” had started.   The main idea is that obstacles and trials will come and go, but one thing can always remain constant on your journey. Good things happen when we don’t stop trying, even when it seems like our efforts are getting us no where.  Each step matters in the scheme of recovery and each day you keep trying, keep fighting, is another day closer to the goal.  I will post the link for the sermon below.  I highly recommend taking some time to watch the message.  It put my struggle into perspective and was very inspiring.

Life Church-Don’t Stop Part 1

The finish line. The goal. What are you working toward? Obstacles and trials will come and go, but one thing can always remain constant on your journey. Keep your eyes on the prize because good things happen when you Don’t Stop.


Reflections: Struggles

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain. ~ Vivian Greene

Struggle is an innate aspect of the human experience.  Difficult situations happen every day, whether related to the stressors of daily life, or to particular struggles such as skin picking or hair pulling.  If you suffer from Dermatillomania or Trichotillomania you are no stranger to difficulties.  But how you respond to any challenging situation is a choice.

People often tell themselves things like, “Life is so stressful all the time.  I can’t possibly work on changing my behavior until things calm down.”  But the simple truth is that life will continue to endlessly bring you more challenges, and if you are waiting for life to calm down before you make changes, you will likely have a very long wait.  Ultimately, telling yourself that you need to wait before making an effort to change is the same as saying “I can’t”.  This kind of negative self-talk only increases feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and feeds into “the storm”.

Struggles are all around us, and suffering with Skin Picking Disorder or Trichotillomania certainly adds an extra layer of difficulty to life.  Given this truth, you are better served by accepting the existence of all of the difficulties that life presents to you, and choosing more effective ways of responding to them.  For many, the mere idea of being willing to accept the unwanted difficulties that arise in life seems like resignation or surrender.  But to deny these struggles is to deny reality.

Everyone responds to difficulties and stressors differently.  While some learn to “dance in the rain”, others may respond with compulsive coping behaviors such as disordered eating, sex addiction, abusing drugs or alcohol…or skin picking and hair pulling.  In the short term, these and other self-destructive behaviors may serve as effective ways to avoid coping with the inevitable struggles of life.  But in the long-term, these behaviors are maladaptive, and will slowly destroy your self-image, your relationships, and your joy.

So how does one learn to “dance in the rain”?  The first step is to accept, even embrace, the storm.  It’s not going to stop, so you may as well accept its presence!   And an essential aspect of acceptance is accepting all of yourself as you are, including the existence of your unwanted urges to pick or pull.  Then your goal is to find different ways of responding to the storm – ways that include tolerating the temporary discomfort of your picking and pulling urges, without capitulating to them.

While it is certainly difficult to give up an action that initially provides comfort, gratification, and relief, doing so will better serve you in the long run.  With commitment and practice, you will gradually learn that you are capable of making these difficult changes, and you will then be dancing in the rain.

1. In what ways do you overtly or covertly tell yourself “I can’t” when faced with life’s struggles?

2. What self-destructive actions do you do when life becomes difficult?

3. What could you do differently when face with these struggles?

Tip of the week: This week, notice when you are telling yourself “I can’t”.   Challenge this self-defeating thought by gently reminding yourself that change is a process, and telling yourself “I am willing to accept that life is difficult right now, and I am doing my best.” While these may seem like minor changes, they will open you up to more acceptance, and improve your ability to change how you respond during stressful times.

Written by
Kelley Franke, BA and Tom Corboy, MFT
© 2014 OCD Center of Los Angeles


I am halfway to my first goal.  My goal to have one month with more good days than bad days in regards to my hair pulling.  This goal, which first sounded impossible, now seems doable, easy even.  Next month, I will have to raise the bar.

I have gone 15 days without pulling from my scalp and of those 15 day I have had only 3 ‘bad’ days of pulling my lashes and/or eyebrows.  Now when I look back at those ‘bad’ days I don’t see them as failures, just reminders of why I need to stay strong, aware, and focused on my recovery.  I know that I need to follow the rules I have given myself and use the strategies I know that help.

I cannot become complacent with good enough progress, this has been my downfall in the past.  It is these hiccups along the way, that keep me focused and determined.  Over time, I know they will be less and less, but I do see the purpose and I will not loose hope or become discouraged.  Rather I choose to look at these slips as days to refocus my energy and remind myself why I am working so hard.  I know I will break free, but it will be a process.

Retrain Your Brain

From HERE, we have an infinite number of possible futures, and our choices made now will determine our brain structure and chemical format tomorrow.

The question you ask now, and the action you take as a result, determines whether your brain responds with a good chemical response, or a bad chemical reaction.

Ask not? Why am I still pulling my hair out?? but “What haven’t I tried yet, to help me enter a new stage of Growth?” “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” Decouvertes