I have severely neglected my posting on my blog — however, I have several half-written posts that I am looking to beef up and release out to the world very soon. In the meantime, I just released a request on my facebook page for people to help me out on a memoir I have started working on. The details are here:
“Many of you know that I have been struggling for 15 years with trichotillomania – an impulse control disorder involving the compulsive urge to pull out hair (in my case, primarily eyelashes). Much of my life has been defined by my obsession with eyelashes, and I was always unabashedly open about my “eyelash thing” when I was growing up.
When I moved to Chicago for college and found myself opening up to new people, I would scramble for words and burst with stories and explanations that reached far beyond the confines of a friend’s casual question about my eyelashes. I often joked “Man, there is so much for me to say that I could write a book about this,” but it wasn’t until very recently during a yoga class when an inner nudge pointed out “… you COULD write a book about this… so why don’t you?”
So my first announcement is that I am writing a memoir about my experience. All compulsions and addictions come from that same universal sense of longing within us, that grappling with disconnection from the Whole, that desperation to fill a gaping need – and that tendency to fill it with neurotic behaviors. Even though most people don’t pull out their hair, I believe that anyone can relate to my story.
Additionally, every time I have casually tweeted about trich (@kelseynic), I have received responses from other strangers who pull out their hair – responses like “Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one.” That breaks my heart.
Announcement #2 is where you come in. The genre of memoir is unique because the author not only retells past events but reflects on them in the light of years gone past. I could write endlessly about my own experiences, my own demons, my own analyses, but that is only part of the whole story.
I want to see what my trichotillomania looked like from the outside – from the people who were intimately involved and the people who watched tentatively from afar. I want to understand the whole spectrum of this experience so deeply, from so many sides and perspectives, that an organic whole emerges.
So many people have been involved with my trich. I have talked to you about it, I have pulled out your eyelashes, and I have had panic attacks when you wouldn’t let me pull out your eyelashes. Maybe you lived with me and remember the eyelashes glittered along the bathroom sink. Maybe we were never the closest of friends, but you watched me messing with my eyelashes and eyebrows from across a classroom in 6th grade. Or 2nd grade. Or yesterday.
You bullied me over it, you supported me over it, you pulled out your own eyelashes to try and understand. You heard about it second or third hand and weren’t sure what to think. I know this. I want to hear absolutely everything.
Even if you made fun of me, I want to hear all about it from your unique perspective. I have released all resentment towards others when it comes to this issue, and my intention is not to seek vengeance or expose past wrongdoings. Sometimes we automatically fear what we don’t understand, and I am just as guilty of this as everybody else – I am not out to tarnish anyone, and all identities will be severely protected as desired
Part of the reason I am writing this is that in the past few months, I have pulled out more eyelashes than I did in the previous several years combined. I am twenty two years old and I can’t even wear contacts or mascara anymore because there are no lashes to grab onto. In writing this book, I hope to unapologetically seek out my own healing.
If you have memories, stories, or snippets of the past that you think would be relevant to this project, please send them along! Even if we hardly know each other, your words are so important to me. Nothing about these conversations will be awkward or uncomfortable – I just want to listen. No memory is too small.
Your words will not be used verbatim, and if you are worried about any other privacy concerns we can talk about that on an individual level. The point is to twirl the prism around and expose this life experience from all ends — not to intrude on people’s lives who are trying to help me out.
You can facebook message your stories to me, e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or even comment here if your heart really desires. We can get together and talk about these memories, we can set up a phone call, a Skype date, meetings on other technologies I don’t even know about… you get the idea.
I have no idea how this book is going to end, but I am going to forge ahead with writing it and expect that a miraculous breakthrough emerges. Thank you in advance for all of your memories, guidance, and support, and I look forward to listening”
I hope you all have been listening to your souls and sparking through your day to day existence! More posts to come soon.