How I Broke My Cycle of Negative Self-Talk
"You'll never have a full head of hair if you keep on pulling.
You'll never be beautiful with your trichotillomania.
No one will like you once they find out about your hair pulling."
For years, I was in a cycle of negative self-talk.
I wanted nothing more than to go cold turkey; I thought the only way I could be happy was to stop pulling out my hair. Days turned to months, months to years, and years to decade. I couldn't stop, so I wasn't happy.
I would beat myself up for every hair I pulled. With every hair, I would tell myself I wasn't good enough because of my trichotillomania.
We All Have a Cycle
This cycle of negative self-talk isn't unique to people with trichotillomania - we all have experienced some form of this. We do something we regret, look back on what just happened, and think to ourselves:
"I shouldn't have done that. I'm not happy with who I am now because of what I did. I wish I could go back to how things were before that happened - I was so much happier then."
Your cycle might be overeating (I wish I hadn't eaten that piece of cake), misspeaking (I wish I hadn't said that), or not speaking up for yourself (I wish I hadn't let that person mistreat me like that). Whatever the cause, we all find ourselves in a cycle of negative-self talk at some point in time.
Self-Deprecation Turns to Self-Loathing
What good do we do ourselves holding on to negativity?
When self-deprecation turns to self-laothing and you find yourself in a cycle of negative self-talk, don't hold on to the negative. Clamp onto what is good in your life; look at all you've done despite the dark days.
My negative self-talk was a huge problem for me for years. After speaking with a therapist, I was slowly able to chip away at all the negativity and hatred I had built up for myself.
The Race that Broke the Cycle
My therapist told me to visualize life as a race:
One racer is being beaten on their journey. They're constantly getting whipped on the back and told they're terrible. They're moving forward trying to be motivated by the negativity.
The other racer has cheerleaders in the distance. When they fall, their cheerleaders are telling them, "That's ok - we all stumble some times. Just get back up and keep going."
You choose how you're going to talk to yourself through life. Are you going to be the racer who is getting beaten on their journey or the racer who is being cheered on?
When you're looking at every hair pulled as a failure of your own doing, it's time to change the way that you speak to yourself. Stop blaming yourself for everything that's happened in the past; and instead, choose to look and move forward with life.
Whenever you find yourself cycling into negativity, just ask yourself: How are you going to talk to yourself through life?