I came across this picture and was reminded of a time when I could barely stand the woman on the other side of the looking lass. One look in the mirror and tears would begin to fall at the sight of my own reflection or worse, I would feel this incredible urge to break the frame into a million pieces- This started when my hair had begun to thin out .
Feelings of shame and disgust for my reflection had already begun to develop before the BIG CHOP- Luckily for me I was able to devise a temporary solution to the problem … kindly note the adjective “temporary”. Staring at my reflection I would be extremely disassociated from the woman looking back at me. It worked for a while, but what I would later realise was that although I had taken the bold step of going totally bald, I was still in a major state of denial and very much ashamed of the woman who stared back at me.
I would stand in front of the mirror, but never for too long in order to avoid eye contact with myself, my head was scraped clean so I just ignored that part of my body anyway. Besides, people often mistook me for a model, so that’s who I saw each time I looked in the mirror and not some chick suffering from Alopecia. However, there were those days, which I would now like to call “Unfortunate days“.
In front of my mirror I would come face to face with this very sad lady- Reality dealing me heavy blows as the feelings of panic, shame and disgust, just to mention a few, would overwhelm me once again. The art of disassociation slowly became ineffective as my unfortunate days became more frequent, and in the end I was flung into a season of depression. I had thought that scrapping my head and declaring to the world that I had Alopecia was my way of “Coming Out“, but far from it.
The first step towards true recovery would come only after I had accepted myself for who I was. This I accomplished by spending time on a daily looking deep into the eyes of my mirror image and telling her what a gorgeous thing she was… and still is of course 😉
Initially a very painful and emotional exercise, but overtime I began to believe in her and finally in me too. I also found that talking about my illness with people and writing about it made me associate better with the person I had become- At some point I could even joke about the predicament. The final step was seeking medical advice.
I happen to HATE hospitals, so even back then I was more inclined to online doctors (covering my face in shame :P). Once I started recovering psychologically, I mustered up the guts to consult and meet personally with a Dermatologist – He confirmed that it was A.A and prescribed what he could, and also told me all I had heard or read up before…
Miss Otaru, there is a possibility that hair may never grow again in those areas… bla bla bla! 😀
Well here I am today, pills, lotions, liquid solutions and herbal remedies after 🙂 … By accepting myself back then, I am able NOW to love myself come what may.
I realise that there is a possibility that I may have to go back to being bald someday, but whatever the case may be, in the end that lady on the other side of the looking glass will ALWAYS be gorgeous to me 😉
Moral of Today’s post: When “Coming Out” – no matter the situation, PLEASE be sure to take your reflection with you… Its the key to your self-esteem.