Start of Something New.
To clear the air from the very beginning, this is in no way meant to be some chauvinistic attempt at a quarter-life memoir. In reality, this is a way for me to get my story out; I’ve done such a thing once prior and had decent results. So here we are to try it again.
You see, the last time I ventured to share my story was my junior year in high school, when I wrote a personal ethnography piece as a part of an English class I was taking at the time. “Something personal,” my teacher would chirp, “of a time you learned about yourself and the world around you.” Now, I am a white, upper-middle-class Catholic woman and have very little discriminatory experience. I am privileged and have had no hiccups with the world around me that would cause me to learn ‘the hard way’ about the world I was living in. So while the rest of my class (who were, for the most part, in the same boat I was) wrote about their trips to Italy or their issues with modern-day feminism, I decided to delve into entirely uncharted territories for a seventeen year old.
So I wrote about the day when I was in fourth grade and had to get my hair all chopped off and was completely stigmatized by my stylist. Sounds petty, right? But for a fourth grader it was scarring, particularly as to why I was so isolated in the first place. You see, I really didn’t have any thick patches of hair on my head. I had, and continue to have, a disorder called trichotillomania; I would compulsively pull my hair out. I had bald spots littering my head of varying sizes and degrees of baldness. Trichotillomania, benevolently referred to as trich, is a subset of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which I would find later in life that I had a moderate case of as well.
But back to the haircut.
I didn’t have much hair to speak of, so I cut it all off to hide it. Knowing full well that I would continue to pull it out, of course. This blossomed into a lifelong problem and gave me a platform to speak critically of the stigmas of mental illness in American society, as well as others a medium through which they didn’t have to feel alone.
Which is, in all honesty, this entire purpose of this blog. I do not pretend to be a writer, nor do I pretend to have my act together. But I’ve gone through some things in which maybe a fragment will resonate with you. If it does, excellent. Please tell me. But for now, I’m here to tell you about my OCD, my trich, and perhaps a smattering of my life along the way. Check in, follow along, stay a while. Whichever you prefer. But have an awesome day regardless.