I pull out my eyelashes when I'm stressed, and now I know others who do, too.

I started pulling when I was in middle school. I don't know what persuaded me to do it; I just remember laying in bed or sitting in front of the TV and pulling my eyelashes out. Eventually, of course, I'd have a big gap, and this was before I wore make-up. It was embarrassing, but I couldn't stop. It was like a reflex.

When they'd start growing back, they were sharp and pointy and I couldn't stop squinting. I remember the kids in line for a Friday night social at school would squint at me when I walked past, and this just stressed me out to pull more.

Needless to say, I've been pulling ever since. And I didn't find out what it's called until about 13 years ago - it's called trichotillomania. How did I find out about it?

THE INTERNET. God bless it. For all of the horrible things it perpetuates, sometimes, it can be wildly helpful.

I found out that other people pull, too. Some pull their eyebrows, some pull the hair right out of their head. But they're all JUST LIKE ME. And it's comforting.

I don't feel like a weirdo anymore. I don't feel alone. I can talk about it with like-minded people. Nobody tells me that I'm wrong or strange.

With that being said, not all online support groups are created equally. 

I joined an online support group for people recovering from eating disorders. After posting on it twice, I had people snap back at me, saying that "nobody here cares about eating healthy." Turns out, it was a "support group" for people who WANTED to binge and purge. They'd share tips about foods that went down...and came up easily.

I left that group and haven't yet found one to replace it.

But lemme tell ya, once you find a support group that suits you, it's life-changing. You can post your own story and get feedback, or you can just creep and read everybody else's stuff. There are no requirements. Share, or don't. As long as it MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER - that's all that matters.

Nothing is off-limits. The weirder, the better. Go find people like you. Let your freak flag fly.

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