Living For Today

by admin on July 12, 2013

I sat down tonight, poured myself a glass of wine and remembered all the Friday nights (and Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights as well) I spent suffering in loneliness, fear, despair and bottomless depression. Whenever I could avoid the world I would, I made excuses for not making it to various functions and sought refuge on my couch, often times eating and drinking myself in a puffy sobbing, bloated mess. I felt sorry for myself ALL the time, and I simply could not process the future. What future? My hair was leaving at seemingly warp speed at times, and how could I ever live being a balding girl. How? My heart would sink at the mere mention of my fiancé talking about being able to wear a “hair addition.” What? That’s fake, that’s not real, that’s not me, never never never, not in a million years I would profess to him and then I’d leave the room (or cry) in frustration that he couldn’t really understand what I was going through. Not really anyways. I couldn’t compute and process any of this, so I sat paralyzed and living in a self imposed prison, bound by the shackles of hair loss.

I look back upon this, and I am quite saddened that I let my ENTIRE 20′s, and some of my 30′s pass by, as I sat still in the paralyzed fear of sadness, uncertainty and self loathing. This is time I will never get back. It was for all intents and purposes, very much like a prison sentence. Mind you, much of this time  I still had plenty of hair whilst it was falling out,  I still had hair that I could go out in and no one really would be clued into my hair loss issues, but that was of very small comfort. I hated myself for causing my hair loss. Yes I believed I did it to myself, after all I was the one that took the pill (Loestrin FE), that was my choice, had I not taken it in the first place all of this suffering may never have happened, so on top of everything else I had to deal with emotionally, I added blame to the mix — you know, just to spice things up in the self torture arena.

So why am I writing about this now? Because I want all you ladies to know that I get it, I get every gut wrenching aspect of it, I lived it day in and day out and after 14 years of hair loss, I’m confident in saying I know what it feels like to sit at the bottom of the darkest hole, wrought with agony and no way out of it. I get it. I understand everything you are going through, right down to every counted strand plastered to the shower wall (more self torture).  Looking back now, as I have reached a place of acceptance and wearing hair full time, I’m finding that I’m not mad at my hair, mad at the loss, I’m just irritated with myself for allowing it to take over my life, to steal my life. That part I did allow, and that was on me. I could have viewed things differently, enjoyed the day… you know carpe diem and all that jazz. I could have slapped myself across the face at any point in time and said, “Seriously Y ? This is how you are going to go out? Give up on life for your hair? Really? When you are on your death bed and having a reflection upon your life, how will you feel then for just sitting it out in a depressed stupor for decades missing out on really living, will it make sense then?” I could have done that, but I didn’t. I am forever grateful to whatever Angel shined upon me and made me change my way of thinking. That was my cure. I had to view what happened, my hair loss, wearing hair — all of it, differently. Perception adjustment.

We must be willing to change, to forgive ourselves, to move forward, and that means something different for everyone, but we have to desire and fight to take back what is rightfully ours — Our Life.

If you are thinking of giving up on today, or tomorrow – stop yourself, seriously… stop yourself. You deserve better. Please realize there is hope of peace and happiness in your life again, I know it with certainty because it has happened for me, and believe me, I know it’s not easy — none of it is, but we can work on it, little at a time.I accept my reality, I’ve made peace with it and for that I’ve won the golden prize… I got my life back, most of it anyways, after all I’m still on this hair loss journey, but I now refuse to allow my life to be dictated by my hair. I don’t cancel appointments and avoid people because of my hair, I do that now just because I feel like it ;) It’s now a choice.

For some women hair loss will be a passing thing, for others like myself it will be lifelong, but no matter you can choose to live for today.

Much Love To All !

XOXO

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Lina July 12, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Well my angel’s name is Y.

I understand all too well every painful word of your post, every tear, every syllable. You did not ask for this shit, this suffering, this journey but through every second of it, it made you the person you are, it made WHLP exist. Your suffering saved me and I know so many others. Is it fair. No. Why was it your burden? I don’t know. Life is wonderous, a kick in the cookie at times – oh yes but full of wonder (good and not so good).

I wish I had answers, some logic behind the WTF? I wonder if we all had Rapunzel hair and heard someone say “I’m not living my life because of my hair”, what our response would be. Surely we would have no idea, not one clue of the black abyss hair loss can be. Every single aspect of our selves questioned and shaken – for me at least.

Big sigh… I want my life back, I’m fighting every day to make that happen. For all you women who are struggling, have found resolve, are helping others… Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Y, you know how I feel about you and what you do – big hug.

Maybe we all needed to see “more”, maybe we needed to find strength, maybe we just needed eac other? I need every one of you.

Thank you Y, thank you my sisters.

And yes, how great is it to turn down an invite cuz we just want to crash in our pjs? Way better than hiding!

Live you all,
Xo

Molly July 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm

You are such a talented writer and express your emotions so well. The change In your postings over the last year show how far you come. I am so happy for you and for bringing all of us along on your journey.

Gls July 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Wow!! First of all, I think you are an amazing communicator and author!!
Next I must say that this post was the one that just pulled me up and out of my many years of suffering and dispair about my hair loss. I’ve been working on accepting it for probably 30 years now and your post just took me there. I am so grateful to you. I cannot find the words to express how much you have helped me and so many of us that are dealing with hair loss.
Thanks for the practical information about wearing hair also.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are an exceptional human being! Best Wishes always!

Alo Goddess July 12, 2013 at 7:22 pm

For me the sadness is not just the hair loss but getting your hair back and losing it again.
I think my hair loss has something to do with inflammation in the scalp because I can actually feel areas that are irritated, painful (like a bee sting) and see redness or thickening of the scalp. That is so depressing to have that feeling and know your hair loss cycle will begin. The irritation is so bad that you don’t want to leave the house..its like have a hive of bees stinging your scalp and if you could just get that one area maybe it would be better..
Believe it or not what actually makes me feel better is taking some time to pamper my hair and scalp..even if there is not much there. I try to style it as best I can. And chamomile essential oil really helps with the irritation. Sometimes it’s just washing my hair or wrapping it in a pretty scarf..or saying an affirmation or singing a silly song.
Just because your hair falls out doesn’t mean it’s lost.. as a woman my hair part of my image and identity…yea I have to accept its falling out and maybe do something about that…but in my alone time I also have a need to nurture and acknowledge that part of me that still longs for hair, and still sees my hair as a part of me. Afterall if you ankle was sprained you would wrap it and go easy on it. So why not the same with your hair?

Linda July 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Thank you for that post. Hair loss SUCKS!! It makes you feel ugly, feel like less of a person, feel like “why me”. But there comes a point when you realize there is nothing that will make it better. I cant even tell you how many doctors told me, “it is what it is”. That is the truth. All of those vitamins, medicines, etc, don’t do anything. We will never have our hair back, well at least I know I wont. I have given up on my bio hair.
Y, I felt just like you. Finally, one weekend I hit rock bottom. I looked in the mirror and it hit me. Oh my God, this is what I look like? I truly did not recognize the person I used to be. It looked nothing like me. I cried and cried. I didn’t want to leave the house. With three very young children how would that be possible? My son had a birthday party that weekend and I made my husband take him. I could not and would not leave my house looking like this. My mother had told me over and over again that I would probably need to get a wig. Every time I would yell and cry at her and tell her , “what?? I will never wear a wig. How could you say that to me!” I thought she was crazy and what did she know, she had more hair on her head than I ever had in my life. Well, that weekend I realized that my mother was right all along. A wig would be my only option. I went to a wig shop. I was crying the whole time but I did it. I got myself a wig. I was able to cover that disgusting, horrible mess on my head once and for all. That was 5 years ago. A day does not go by that I do not wish I didn’t have to wear a wig. I wish I could jump out of bed with a cute ponytail and run out of the house. I wish I could go to a hair salon and get my hair done the way I used to. I reminisce about those days when I would go get a haircut and my hair blown out and walk out of the salon feeling awesome. Now, I would not step foot in a salon, there is nothing for them to cut. I wonder what life would be like if I didn’t have to think about hair every day. I wonder how much of my life is focused on thinking or talking about hair. I hate that everything I do, every choice I made is revolved around my hair. But this is my reality. It is never going to go away so I have no choice but to face it. At this point I am thankful that I can at least do something about it and live my life the best I can.

Beth July 12, 2013 at 8:01 pm

For so many years, I have not only had to feel bad about losing my hair, but also had to feel bad about feeling bad — in other words, it’s only hair, what kind of a shallow person am I? I have bored everyone I know crying about it and have nearly driven my husband to divorce several times by the extent to which I am focused on my hair loss, but it is reassuring that I am not “mentally ill” and that other women are exactly as obsessed and devastated as I have been. Let’s face it — other than a few rock stars and very beautiful models, for us average looking women, being bald is just not cool in our society.
From time to time, I have looked and looked for real-life support groups and there is NOTHING unless you are a cancer patient (which thankfully I am not).
This forum is the ONLY place I can find others who understand. No one who has not experienced this can understand the depths of the despair hair loss causes and I am so grateful that at least I can come here.

Thank you to you, Y for what I think is your most motivational and honest post yet. You are definitely preaching to the choir. Amen!

Annette July 13, 2013 at 9:56 am

Y ~

GREAT GREAT blog…. So inspiring to all of us. Do you realize though – you ARE OUR ANGEL?? You have helped us all either find ways to cope, find solutions or just BE there for us…. I don’t know why this happens to us – it’s awful and YES – the only word I can think of is “debilitating” … truly….. But, you are the glue that holds us all together in this awful mess and you have helped us deal with it… THANK YOU for being our friend … God’s Blessings to you….. xo

admin July 13, 2013 at 10:50 am

OMG, first I have to say a million thank you’s for the amazing, incredible comments that have literally brought tears to my eyes! I got home last night and read them and was just so touched by everything you gals had to say. Thank you!!

@Lina – Your words and sharings mean so much to me and so many other women here. It’s true my suffering planted the seeds for this site and support network, and that has been of comfort to me over the years, it made it seem like my hair loss wasn’t all in vain. I’m grateful to be able to communicate with this amazing group of women and share in each others highs, lows and in betweens :) You are getting your life back and you are a warrior, I even think I see you in your warrior outfit right now, shield and all! Wait is that a shield or a wine glass? You lost 25 years, and then carved out a future for yourself of hope and new beginnings all in one very important swish – super inspiring and awesome. Thank you

@Molly – Thank you so much!

@Gls – You have no idea how exciting and touching it is for me to read that something I wrote or said, helps another gal pull out of a low state or make a change for themselves for the better — there are really no words for me to express how that moves me… often times it moves me to tears, happy tears of course. Thank you and cheers to moving forward and reclaiming our lives.

@Alo Goddess – I can imagine the frustration of knowing a hair loss cycle will begin or feeling it. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. I’m so glad you nurture and pamper your hair and scalp and are active in caring for what you do have on your head today, that’s wonderful, and positive affirmations are always important!

@Linda – Thank you for sharing your story. As you already know, I’ve given up on my bio hair too. I had to, it was holding me back from healing. I think we all really know when we’ve passed the point of no return, but we don’t want to believe it or face it. Sometimes women think that by wearing hair all of a sudden there life will be back to where it was and all will be well, and often times that isn’t the case, not immediately anyways, it does take time to get into the swing of it, or shall I say the “swish” of it, and depending not the woman it can be a real struggle. Like anything else in life, some take to it like a duck to water and others struggle more with it. There are so many emotional hurdles to face and work through, new situations and environments, it’s a process, but one that I very much welcome with open arms, because today… right now, I know I can leave the house feeling uh-mazing, with hair that any woman would be proud of, this I know. All the rest I take in stride and figure out along the way and I’m learning and figuring out myself too, even feeling comfortable with my situation that I can tell someone randomly if the moment arises. It’s liberating and empowering.

@Beth – Thank you for your super kind words. You are so right… we feel bad about feeling bad. Ughhh.. More self torture, it’s a vicious cycle for sure. I’m so glad you found us and discovered you weren’t alone in this and you’re definitely NOT mentally ill, though hair loss can make us do some strange things that would have even the best psychiatrists scratching their heads, but once you start talking to other women who are going through this you find, it’s all very normal :)

@Annette – Thank you! Your words and everyone else’s mean SO much to me, truly, and I’m feeling super blessed today!

XOXO

Erin July 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Y – each day is a challenge for me at this point. Sometimes the challenge seems surmountable, sometimes I’m drowining in hopelessness. My good days are tied directly to how my hair looks to me. I hate that I can’t just wash my hair, let it dry, then go out. I hate that nothing feels normal for me anymore. I have been called ‘shallow ‘ by the people who are supposed to love me the most. I often fear my own family members avoid me because of my obsession with my hair loss. It has been such a blessing to be able to share and find comfort and, above all, VALIDATION, from the women I have met on the network. I look forward to feeling better and getting on with my life. I don’t know what I’d do or where I would be if not for the love and support I’ve received from the ladies of WHLP. Thanks for posting and thanks for…everything…xoxo

Angie T July 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I love, love, LOVE the picture you posted here. Your happiness and beauty just literally *exudes* from you. Your words give us all hope. Thank you so much for all you do for us!

Could I make a suggestion? If you ever decide to change the “My Story, How Did I Get Here” post, I think this one would be perfect. Just sayin!

Much love! xoxo

NMarie July 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm

You have really been a blessing.

Ellarae July 14, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Thank you for your stories. Yes, hair loss even one of several years can find it to be challenging and bring on depression at times. Even wearing a wig can seem not totally liberating because it only temporarily hides a secret. Wig companies are not mailing their magazines confidentially and I say what the heck am I hiding for; why not be bold and bald and perhaps that would be the most courageous and liberating event one could ever excel to and truly be accepting of oneself. I never could seem to be liberated at wearing any style or color I desired. I am jealous of Dolly Parton and some of the wonderful black women who have made it public knowledge that they wear wigs maybe that is liberation.
Wigs are great at hiding the truth and then when I want to bake I would have to take it off and find a comfy cool scarf to bake if people are around. I have spent many years covering a secret that I have problems believing being free and bald would ultimately be the right choice of liberation. Is there any one out there who can share what it was like to face this predicament? Are there full time bald and beautiful women out there? Is there a story to recommend me to read? I have trouble accepting people to visit me or live with me because I would not be free to be wigless around the house.
You know, there will be so many incidents that will come our way that will involve the hair on our heads and often times there is the unavoidable. I remember a day I visited my endocrinologist concerning many issues and on that day it was the first time I boldly took off my wig and showed her I was not making up anything I said. I suppose I shocked her but I felt humiliated and knew I wouldn’t do it again. I could think of many kind of such humiliation which is why I can’t forget wondering will being bald and beautiful solve it all? Please help with appreciation.

Ciella July 16, 2013 at 5:02 am

Y, thank you SO MUCH for this wonderful post and for this WHOLE community that you started here for us! I too have been following your journey through this website for many years and you were SUCH A HUGE INSPIRATION and source of strength for me. Even just FINDING this website made me realize I was not alone and I no longer felt trapped in my little world of isolation and sadness…I too had given up on LIVING and enjoying OUR LIFE. At the beginning of last year I had started looking into supplemental hair and went thru SO MUCH trial and error…and then somehow when you blogged about SUCCESS with your new helper hair (back in May last year was it?) that just gave me SO MUCH inspiration and courage and soon after I took the leap and started wearing hair. And I am SO GRATEFUL for feeling like I have my life back!
And then all the love and support from all the ladies on our network…and just seeing the goodness and inner (and outer!) beauty that shines from everyone there…is so incredibly wonderful to watch and experience. Thank you from the bottom of my heart too for bringing us all together….it is so wonderful to be able to lean on eachother for strength, support and friendship.

HUGS to you and may God bless you! I wish you so very many days of happiness!!

Eliza July 16, 2013 at 8:21 am

Thanks for your words. I needed something to give me strength now knowing that this journey is going to be long one. I’m not sure if I’m ready for it. I still have hair, but by the rate it’s falling out it’s only a matter of time. The fear I feel is that my options are limited. Financially, I don’t have the money to invest in a decent wig. I’ve started to collect hats, but I’m not a hat person. I try not to dwell on it and hopefully it won’t consume my life, but I’m scared that it will….thanks for sharing!

A July 16, 2013 at 8:22 am

Amazing as always. Love you!

katrina July 17, 2013 at 2:27 am

hi! I am wonder if any of you ,,tried” the metaphysical method of self healing by Evelyn Monahan(find it in internet) for example, or visualization like Morris Goodman did?! At this point of my hair loss I stopped belive on any medications,doctors etc. Couse maybe the power of our minds is the one what could help!I dont know…..I am reading the books like ,,secret”, ,,You can heal your life” by Louise L.Hay and maybe thats true:change way of our thinking may cure us…?Has anyone some experiens with that???? Do you believe a visualization of what we want may bring it to us? Notice:we all concentrate on what we DONT WANT:on hair loss.maybe thats a deal!Maybe we should start ,,dream” and focus on heads full of hair and then….it will come…one day…..

katrina July 17, 2013 at 7:21 am

p.s. I mean a full head of bio hair of course,not a wigs…:) My english is not as good but hope you understood what I wanted to say;) I really believe( except-its hard to be done in reality),that,like someone at those books said ,,what you put your attension on,grows”. The power of mind is still a mystery…And maybe thats true that ,,if something is called incurable that means is curable from inside”. Not everyone is able to focus and fully concentrate on health(hair growth for example)while really there is an illness or problem like a hair loss.But those who did that and trusted,will heal,forgot about a problem they have,often were called,like mirris goodman ,,miracle people”.Medicine doesnt know many answer couse its taking care of just a body.And I think,sometimes mind healing is nessesery.I am gonna try that way.which is not easy on bad shedding days,like today;(

Lucinda August 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm

I have read this piece a thousand times and read it again whenever I am feeling hopeless and hideous. It is my inspiration and I hope to reach this place of acceptance too before I waste more of my 30′s and this precious life I have worked so hard to build for myself. I’m not there yet but I will get there. Thank you Y x

imintheresomewhere August 14, 2013 at 6:52 am

Well I will certainly be reading this several times and often! Thank you so much! xoxoxo Sonia

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