South Sound Photo

South Sound Photo

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TLC Conference Chicago =)

WOW, my head is still spinning! The conference was wonderful; met a lot of amazing trichsters, trich supporters and trich researchers. It will take days for me to processes through everything I learned and all the emotions I felt. Very very thankful that TLC offers this type of event; it's so great to know that I am not alone.

I'll attempt to post the next few days:)

Peer Support = Courage

I have an obsession with TED talks. One completely changed the way I live my life when I watched it a year or so ago. It is about the power of vulnerability in humanity and how connection with others is the foundation of living a full life.

If you've got 20 minutes to feel better about your own life here is a link to her talk. It has 4.7 million views because it is just THAT awesome.

It got me to thinking about how much being a part of the South Sound Trichster has given me strength and courage. Brown talks about how shame and fear create barriers between people. How we have an internal voice that says "I'm not good enough, I'm not strong enough, I'm not _______ enough" and how that closes us off. The power of showing who you are, letting people in to your internal world and the courage it takes to be that vulnerable is the birthplace of love and joy.

Even though most of the time we just BS about life in general during our meetings, I feel a sense of comraderie with my fellow trichsters because of a shared understanding of our struggles with this disorder. I can be vulnerable with them. I can share what once were extremely shameful thoughts, especially the self hatred that comes along with not being able to 'just stop.'

Now, I can talk to colleagues, friends and family about my struggle without crying or calling myself crazy. My self talk has become more positive and I recover from bad episodes more quickly.

I am still scared to go swimming because I don't want my eyeliner to wash off but I still do it because I love it and eff it if people look.

I hate working out really hard because I sweat my eyebrows off... but now I just say out loud "Holy crap, I worked so hard I sweat my eyebrows off" and people laugh WITH me.

I habitually check any and all mirrors and worry something will be out of place and when people think I'm vain for it  -  I don't care.

There are so many instances every day in which those of us that suffer from this disorder are confronted with our secret and feel forced to hide. I feel the drive to hide less and less and my shame and secrecy are lessening.

I showed my exboyfriend a recently discovered SURPRISE bald spot. Never ever in my entire life would I have ever thought I would be strong enough to be that vulnerable.

Shame hurts us all but mostly it hurts you and your experience in the world. If nothing else, come hang out with us for a night for a true relief of this shame instead of just distracting yourself from it, as I do most of the time by staying busy.

Wednesday's at Taco Guaymas in Tacoma at 6:30pm for an hour. Email us for the address!

In solidarity,