Coming Out!

Googled!

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! 😀

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Still scanty in some areas but still loving it! 🙂

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.

Cheers! 🙂

Finding Comfort In Another Alopecia Sister…

I actually thought I was a freak when in mid-2007 my hair started falling out. I thought to myself, “This only happens to men! I must be a hermaphrodite or something :(” … and then later that year it happened! I found out that two of my co-workers in the company I worked at the time were experiencing the same thing 😮

I kept my bald patch a secret for a year and finally shaved my head shortly before Christmas just a while after my colleagues had done the same  🙂

Along with the two ladies having the same issue, I got lots of psychological and emotional support from family, friends and other colleagues. For one thing, I worked for a South African company at the time, and so a bald headed black woman wasn’t such a big deal. People only thought I was South African (Lol!) and when I said I wasn’t, they would commented on how the look suited me :), but that wasn’t always the case. Not everyone is comfy around a completely bald woman 😀

Coming out with the truth about my condition filled me with a MAJOR sense of  relief. However, that didn’t stop the me from feeling less of a woman… My hair was gone and with it went my self-esteem …or so I thought. 😐

There were days when I cried bitterly, and others when I JUST HATED OTHER LADIES. I missed being able to put extensions in my hair TERRIBLY!, and the almost Asian look I had each time I packed my hair back into a tight ponytail.

In my search for answers about my condition, I did a lot of online research and by that I came across videos on Youtube.com of women like myself and sadly, even little girls who had summoned up the courage to voice-out about their condition. This REALLY encouraged me.

One particular link I subscribed to shortly after is Alopeciaworld’s Channel. They’ve got awesome stories on  girls and women alike. Some with even happy endings 😀

Here’s one of them :):

Once in a while I go to this site and others  alike, and I find strength in the different stories… I would encourage you to do the same. 🙂

Stay strong Sister! 😉 🙂

An ode to my hair

This was imported from my site on Blogger.com :):
Putting fingers to keyboard for the first time on blogger.com and my premier blog is dedicated to my hair… I have suffered from Alopecia for the past 3 years now…
Alopecia areata to be specific, is a hair disorder typified by patching hair loss or patchy bald areas. It may be autoimmune, but seems to have many possible triggers or risk factors including stress. (Read more at http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/a/alopecia_areata/intro.htm?ktrack=kcplink)

Don’t be fooled, A LOT of women in our society suffer from this problem along with other forms of Alopecia, but with the help of what we in 9ja now tag  “Brazilian” (wigs and weaves alike), most of us babes are saved. I however, grew tired of being safe and hiding the damage that had befallen my hair, and chose to cut off what was left. Luckily I’m told the bald look fits, although there are some that would beg to differ 😉 …

I still miss having locks on my head. For one thing, I won’t be hearing my man tell me how he loves running his fingers through my hair anytime soon….  (I’m still under going treatment).

In the bid to encourage me to grow my hair by those who are ignorant of my condition, I’m often reminded of the verse in the bible that says “a woman’s hair  is her glory” but is it really in today’s world?…. The truth is, a major population of “WOMAN” in our society hardly even wears the hair on her head with pride, and whatever substitute she has on her head has become her glory no longer, but her vanity. What was once seen as glory, that is woman’s natural hair is now seen as untidy, un-sexy, and just down right old age to some..No, MOST…. Even natural lashes are almost a sin!

I keep neither  natural hair nor “horses tail” as some may joke about wigs & weaves. I am “The African Queen” (Lol!)… and though sometimes I do miss being able to use the phrase “the feel of wind in my hair”, I’ve sort of become ac-costume to the feel of the wind on my scalp; Yes, I sometimes reminisce about packing an 8 to 12 inch on my head and the different styles that would come with it, but I am learning daily to be comfortable in my own skin and that is what is important.

I may not have hair on my head but in my heart I know I still have glory…

My God understands….. and I’m sure the Apostles would have too if they had known about Alopecia 😉

O! and don’t try commenting on how I should wear a wig… that is just a tool for disaster!
 You can imagine the different embarrassing scenarios one would have to avoid, e.g carrying an inquisitive baby; windy days, just to mention a few…. And I just HATE a life of inhibition!

OK, that’s gist for another blog…

Later!  🙂