Winter Break Blues

In a previous post or two, I mentioned that I live with my grandmother and my great grandfather. I also believe I mentioned that my great grandfather had not been doing well. That was a difficult time for me at the end of the summer and all of last semester. Everything happened so quickly, I wasn’t sure how to process it all, then suddenly the semester started and my classes were difficult and I felt like I had no one to turn to. I felt completely alone and depressed, useless and helpless. I didn’t know what to do; I felt stuck. Last semester was definitely the worst semester I’ve had in my entire school career.

My trich also wasn’t doing too well. I haven’t been formally diagnosed with depression, but at this point I was more and more certain that I have it. I had no motivation. At the very end of the semester, my great grandpa got really sick, and no one thought he would make it much longer. He battled with pneumonia for a little while, but amazingly pulled through somehow. Unfortunately, after two healthy weeks with him, he did pass, but quietly and peacefully. It was in the middle of my finals week. I had just finished a final and was in my friend’s dorm room, and a bunch of us were just having fun and coloring and not thinking about all the other finals we had coming up. I got a phone call from my dad, which never happens. He asked me when he needed to pick me up and where, things I had already talked to him about. Then he just sprung it on me out of nowhere; “Grandpa died. Granny just told us. We don’t know about the funeral or anything yet.” I had to do everything in my power not to break down right then and there in front of all of my friends. I calmly told them I had to leave and went straight to my apartment, which was thankfully empty. I didn’t know what to do. I needed to talk to someone, but the only person I had any desire to talk to was my boyfriend, who couldn’t talk at the time. So I just sat down at my desk and cried.

The wake was the day after I got home and the funeral was the next day. It wasn’t exactly the greatest start to winter break, but I got to see a lot of family members I don’t usually get to see. After that, I moved back in with my grandma. That was hard because she insisted I stay in my grandpa’s old room and because I had to help her go through all of his stuff; paperwork, clothes, etc. I wasn’t quite ready for that, but I had to stay strong for her.

Break did get better after that. I got to spend a lot of time with my wonderful boyfriend. Christmas was good and we had a small New Year’s Eve party with his family, which was a lot of fun. He also got me a beautiful record player for Christmas, and I am loving it.

I am determined to make this semester a better one. I am considering transferring to a school closer to home next year, so that is part of why I want to make the best out of this semester. It might be the last one I have here with the few friends I do have here. I still haven’t decided what will be best for me, but hopefully God will show me the way soon.

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Hair Change!

As those of you that follow me and have read my other blog posts know, I have a condition called trichotillomania. For those of you who have never read a single post I have ever written, hi, my name is Julia, and I have trichotillomania. There is no simple answer to what trichotillomania is, but an attempt at one is that it is a mental condition called an impulse control disorder, and it causes me to impulsively pull my hair out. There also isn’t a simple reason why, so I’m not even going to go there in this post.

This post is about a recent change I’ve made to my hair. For me, it was quite a big deal. So, most people that have trich have pretty thin hair. Many wear wigs or hair pieces to hide bald spots or particularly thin patches. For a while I wore hair pieces. I eventually cut my hair really short and got highlights to help blend in with the thin spots (my aunt is a hairdresser, which actually helps a lot). Ever since that moment I have been trying to grow my hair back out and I have been coloring my hair, as a way to appear more confident in it than I really am. I don’t know if it gave off that impression at all, but that’s what I was going for.

For most of high school, my hair was pretty much the same length, save the bald spots and such. I kept my hair around shoulder length and strategically styled it to hide anything that would give away my missing hair (although that was sometimes almost ridiculous because my mom would tell people I was losing my hair (everyone in my family thinks I have alopecia because I don’t know how to tell anyone that I have trich)). Towards the end of high school I started trying to grow my hair out even longer. My main problem spot is the top of my head (the crown). It eventually got to the point where the rest of my hair was long and thick enough that I could hide it by wearing my hair up, which I still do to this day. I’ve gotten slightly more creative with the ways I wear my hair, but nothing too fancy. Up until January 2nd, 2015, I had been growing my hair out. Most of it was down to my waist, and I was almost confident about it, but I knew it was really unhealthy and needed to be cut, because it hadn’t been and the dye had pretty much ruined it.

I told my aunt I wanted my hair cut. I went in. I had my hair cut. Almost 8 inches. 8 INCHES. When she was done, I couldn’t believe it. My hair. It was short. It still goes past my shoulders and is what most people would consider medium to long, but IT’S SHORT. It feels so different. I was so nervous about it because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to style just right. I was afraid losing the length would somehow make it impossible to hide everything. Well, it’s not. And my hair feels SO HEALTHY. I can’t even remember a time it has felt so soft and healthy and easy to comb.

My next goal is to grow out the hair at the back of my crown. You know, that part where your hair swirls or whatever. That is one of my problem spots, but I’ve been getting better. I think if I can make my problem area as small as possible, I won’t have to work so hard on hiding, and I can feel more confident in general. I also think I am going to dye my hair less, maybe stop all together, for the sake of it’s health. But I have to say, I will really miss the purples and pinks.

Do you have any tips or tricks for hiding your problems spots? Do you have problem spots? What is your favorite hair style? What are your favorite hair products? I will probably make a post later about the products I use and what products I think are great for people with trich. Thanks for reading!

New Semester

The spring semester is officially on! I am actually kind of looking forward to this semester, now that I have attended each of my classes. I was absolutely dreading it from the moment last semester ended up until my first classes yesterday and this morning.

So far very little hair pulling! I can’t even pinpoint an exact moment in my memory. No long sessions, no stress, no depression. So far, so good! Hopefully this will continue.

I am considering transferring to a school back home, so that might be part of why I am feeling better about it. I am not sure where God is calling me right now. Last semester was definitely my worst and I don’t want to go through all of that again. I never want to feel that low again. Hopefully this new year and new semester will bring new opportunities, new highs, and new happiness.