Thursday, August 9, 2007

Afraid of my reflection

It's 10:20 and I know I should be in bed. I left work an hour early today after feeling so crappy and getting in trouble with my boss for taking a nap during my lunch hour (I was under the impression that my lunch hour was MINE and that I could do whatever I wanted during that hour but apparently that came with an asterick.) and came home only to crash onto my bed with a throbbing headache and a nauseated stomach. I just started to cry out in pain because I have no idea where this is all coming from. It took me forever to get to sleep but I finally passed out and woke up at about 6. So I slept for about two hours.

And then I went online to check my email. I had joined this alopecia areata online yahoo email group and really haven't been writing at all, just lurking and reading other people's posts. Reading some of those posts is worse than watching the Lifetime channel. I stopped reading them at lunchtime at work because I end up sitting there, tearing up and crying in my cubicle. All these stories from these people (mostly women) explaining their struggles with alopecia and the emotional struggles they have had to face over the years. How they found out that they had it - how it was to not have eyebrows or eyelashes or any sort of hair at all on their bodies. How just without the hair on their scalp it has been such a long emotionally tiring road for them - the posts with lists of medications that might trigger alopecia, the posts that hold confessions of being embarrassed, and humiliated, the same feelings that I have felt for the past few weeks while staring into the mirror every morning.

I read these posts, and I see so much of myself in these women. It comes with a comforting and frightening feeling at the same time. On one hand, I am comforted by the fact that I know that I am not alone and that there are so many people out there that deal with this day in and day out. On the other hand, I see the struggle even more through them, and hear all these stories of people who find steroids that work for them but come with other side effects - or that after their hair grows back ten times stronger that immediately it falls out again in less time than before. I read about other women who after so many years of dealing with the disease have given up the fight and decide to just shave off their hair and never look back. It makes me scared to think that I might be bald for the rest of my life. But why? I keep asking myself why I am so upset over this - because it is after all, just hair. It is just a vanity thing, right? Or is it more than that? Is it a psychological thing that goes deeper than just the hair on my head? I am not sure - but a part of me still feels a little silly for being so frightened over losing all of my hair. The thought of always having to wear a wig for the rest of my life. I guess because it was never anything that I ever thought I would have to think about.

Funny how things work out like that.


goosey said...

It's good to read about others' experiences. You can find out more about the condition. But be careful not to read too much, or find out too much. Becuz all u really need to know is how YOU'RE doing. The hair is either THERE or NOT THERE. If it's not there, you are one of the strongest girls I know. So I know you will have ur own way of dealing with it. Don't read too much about others' sad experiences & get dragged down. You might end up crying for others when u wouldn't have needed to cry yourself at all. XOXOXO

Blue Ryder said...

Keep perservering, E. As the title of your Blog implies, you have to and will be brave throughout all of this. I know its completely easy for me to say, and I won't even start to pretend that I know what you're going through, but for your own health you have to be strong and brave. Your feelings of vanity are not unheard of, hair is probably one of the most cherished part of our bodies. I know this because even when I just get my hair trimmed, I pine for the lost lockes of hair on the floor about to be swept away. It's human nature to feel the way you do...

Keep writing, keep busy, and try to be strong. And hopefully one day you'll be able to look back on this and realize that this whole damn thing just made you f*cking stronger!!! And that you'll be proud of who you became because of it.