I have trichotillomania. That means that I pull out my hair without even realizing it as a way to deal with stressors. I pull from my eyebrows which usually means that I have bald patches in my eyebrows. I always thought I was crazy because I did not know there was a name for what I did. It was not until I learned about trich that I realized that there was a reason behind my madness. I learned that pulling often happens when a person is bored or doing something like reading or talking on the phone.
I do pull when I talk on the phone. It has gotten so that when I am planning on talking on the phone, I hold on to a stress ball so that I will not pull. Of course, the other night, I got tired of holding on to the ball and my hand started heading to my eyebrows.
Lately, I have noticed that I pull when I am grading students’ assignments. The bald spots are getting worse. I have wondered if I should bring the stress ball to school to hold when I am grading. But at the same time, the custodian is in the room and she will be sure to ask questions. Plus, other teachers frequently pop in to ask me something. Nobody has ever pointed out that I have odd eyebrows but they would be sure to talk about the stress ball which would then lead to questions about my eyebrows.
What is more embarrassing: Bald patches in my eyebrows or holding on to a stress ball which will mean questions about my disorder? I know I have probably mentioned before that I am all about raising awareness for mental illness and telling people about Jesus at the same time but I actually do that through fictional writing and my blog posts. I am not ready to do it in person.