This is Personal
Starting HabitAware has been a very personal journey. Here’s is part of the story. Over time, I will write more about how the idea to help one person evolved.
I started hair pulling in my teens, around the time my dad fell sick with leukemia. In my twenties I learned that my condition had a name – trichotillomania - and that I was not alone. But I still felt alone + ashamed, so I hid behind eyeliner and fake lashes.
Three years into our marriage, my husband, Sameer, finally caught me without my cover up make up on. I could not lie anymore, I could not hide anymore. And most importantly I didn’t want to live in shame anymore.
I showed him how I pulled when I was frustrated, stressed anxious, and even bored. I confided how I didn’t realize I was pulling until the hairs wound up between my fingers. Even as I watched them fall onto my keyboard or the floor, I would still keep pulling. I shared how difficult it was to stop, even once I knew it was happening.
As a tech lover, I told him how I wished I just had something to alert me when I was engaging in the behavior so I would know. I thought that if I knew I was doing it, then I would be able to stop.
With his love, support & desire to help me, Sameer & I set out to make a device to help me break the trance of pulling and become more aware. Because when I have the presence of mind to pause and reflect, I can choose not to pull.
HabitAware has already helped me so much in a few short months. I am convinced it has the power to help others that are ready to take a positive step forward. I hope you will join me on this journey of awareness.
— Aneela Idnani Kumar, Co-Founder