“It’s been eleven years, why now?”
“Why not in a years time?”
“Why not never?”
These are questions I’ve wrestled with over the past few months. I still wonder if now, rather than other is a good time to speak out. I liken it to a kettle on a stove. What starts with a slow boil as temperature rises, until the temperature is too much and water breaks surface bubbling with anger splattering every which way.
I’ve become that kettle of water. Bubbling along happy to help those with mental illness, promoting we all have mental health. Yet underneath the temperature has been growing. That temperature of feeling- of feeling un-represented, feeling alone in my struggles, and feeling shame.
My kettle boiled-over a few weeks back at TEDxDalhousieU. TEDx Speaker, and Mental Health Advocate Lee Thomas, mentioned Trichotillomania (Trich) and I nearly fell off my chair. It was a quick mention, just a word, as they explained their struggles to the audience. Things changed after that, for it was the final spike to make me feel a need for change. I’ve heard mental health talks, read articles, and videos over the past few years- not once have I heard the mention of Trichotillomania, or any Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviour (BFRBs). I left the theatre not with a sense of hope as I usually do, but one of slight anger and overwhelming determination act…
My brain has been racing of ways to react ever since. Finally I feel the need to put my own shame about my illness aside. It’s scary, but for the first time it feels necessary. I’m tired of being unrepresented, but mostly I’m tired of allowing myself to feel that way.
A film called “Trichster“, a documentary on Trichotillomania, and the first of it’s kind is launching April 18th on iTunes. It is my plan to blog daily until it’s release. If anything it will have been an experiment in my own resolve to share my story. Yet my hope is that some may listen and learn. Sharing one’s illness is not easy and thats okay. May those who are affected by BFRBs feel the need to speak out when they feel ready- as I do.
7 days, 168 hours, and an aim to tackle shame- just me and my computer.