What Alopecia Has Taught Me, Two Months Away From 19 – Taylor’s Update

by admin on April 3, 2009

In September of 2007 Taylor shared her story with the Women’s Hair Loss Project. She has now written to share her update with us.
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As of June 08 I began to be able to stand and walk, after beginning a new treatment that was made available to treat the nerve damage I had in my legs and back from my accident. Now, almost a year later I’m up as if nothing ever had gone wrong. I’m still getting a hang of the whole running thing though, it’s quite the sight. All my health issues completely disappeared, but alopecia decided to come back and pay me a visit.

My hair began to fall out in late November, just before I graduated from college. At first it was just a little more then usual when I was washing my hair. I reasoned that it was because I hadn’t brushed it for a few days so all the hair that fell out naturally had not yet been removed. It became more and more noticeable until there was just no convincing myself that I wasn’t relapsing. I was devastated because I felt that for once my life had been going right, and for the first time in so long I had the opportunity to just be a normal girl and fit in with everyone else. I felt like I was being punished, as ridiculous as it may sound.

One night in the early hours of the morning I came back to the Women’s Hair Loss Project to read what I wrote about my first experience with Alopecia. I felt like a hypocrite, talking about how inner beauty matters the most and there I was falling to pieces because I was losing my hair again. But I had to laugh at how much times had changed since re-reading what I wrote (especially about my ex!). This time around I was very lucky to have such a good support system; my amazing friends Jess and Matt who were there to pick me up off the floor and knock some sense into me. I really don’t know what I would’ve done without them. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt since Alopecia’s… graceful return is that what makes us different, makes us beautiful. Our hardships in life really define who we are as a person, and without them we wouldn’t learn and we wouldn’t grow. Alopecia makes me look unique, which is something I’ve come to embrace. I know so many people who look and act like clones, being a carbon copy of someone else would be a nightmare to me.

It’s been about 5 months since my hair began to fall out, and it’s still going. There’s more of it down the drains and on all the surfaces in the house then there is on my head. One night after spotting a single strand of hair on my dresser table it dawned on me how mundane it is to think that the amount of beauty someone is considered to have is measured by how many hundreds of thousands of these insignificant strands you have attached to your head. A quote from Morgan Freeman comes to mind, which has since completely changed my outlook on life. He said

If someone prays to God for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous?

I think being courageous means to take a bad situation head on and not run and hide, which is something I had to learn to do when I met a new group of people this year that I’d be spending a lot of time with. I felt the need that they should know about my hair loss, so I had the option of not wearing my wig if I chose to. I remember the look on their faces as I could see them trying to picture me without hair. I knew they didn’t quite know what to say or do out of concern of upsetting me, so I thought that if they could see I was comfortable with it then they would be as well. I think that jokes are a good way to make light of a tough situation, but unfortunately I really didn’t plan on needing one so it was rather impromptu. It got the laughs I was after, but in hindsight I really wish I had put some more thought into it. I stood up and said: “No worries, I look way better then Dr. Phil!”.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

admin April 3, 2009 at 10:27 am

Dear Elle,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your update with everyone. I am so happy you are able to WALK again!! Your story literally brings tears to my eyes and touches me deeply. My fiance remembers your story from back in 2007, and when I told him that you underwent treatment for nerve damage and could walk again, he was just floored, amazed and so happy for you as well.

You are an incredible inspiration to myself and many many other women and you are beautiful, both outside and inside. I love the quote you wrote from Morgan Freeman. I read it over several times so my brain could fully absorb and understand the true meaning, and to keep that with me at all times.

Thank you again for sharing your update.

XOXO

anita April 3, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Hi Elle,
Just read your blog and i can not thank you enough for enlightening us with your update. I am so happy that you have regained your mobility and wish you all the best for your future.
I was glad to see that i was not the only one who was changed by that quote from the movie Evan Almighty from Morgan Freeman. I can not tell you how often i think about it.
I have to agree, you are very beautiful and are waaay prettier than
Dr. Phil.LOL
Cheers :)

linda April 3, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I too am so glad you have recovered , but I want to tell you for such a young woman you have been a wonderful inspiration to me.

Best wishes to you, and thank you. You have a lot of wisdom and courage for such a young woman. I love that quote, it’s a keeper!

Linda April 3, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Hi.
I am glad you can walk again what a blessing. I was touched by your story.I
55yr been bald for 12yr .

lisa likeness April 3, 2009 at 5:33 pm

hi elle:

i am 58 and have worn a wig since 18 wow so many years and still going strong.

anytime you want to talk to an old timer like myself just email me

lisa

Kat April 3, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Elle,
I feel inspired by what you wrote.. your honesty, courage and wisdom. You’re also a lovely writer.
Thank you,
xxKat

Sarah C April 3, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Thank you so much for your story. Im not sure if I have read anybald stories yet on here. Im 35 & have had alopecia for 26 years. I have to ask if you do not mind do you still have your eyebrows & eyelashes? This is the only part of the disease I have a REAL hard time with. I have waited many years & Im trying to decided if I’m going to do some tatoo eyebrows. Wondering if you have any pointers for me. You do bald well girl!!!!!!
Or anyone else reading this with info bring it on:)

Kim April 4, 2009 at 6:00 am

Thanks for your great story and courageous attitude. It’s difficult to go through hairloss not only because of the cosmetic effects but the self-evaluations we go through. I’m finding that this battle has tested me, making me determine if I am a winner or a loser in how I work through this. At the moment, I’m kind of in the denial stage, hiding it. I wish that for once in my life, I could stand for something instead of falling to pieces when problems come. You’re an inspiration. Thanks for showing us your great approach to this.

Bonnie April 4, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Elle, you are walking amazing!!! This is really amazing. You are very pretty with and without hair. Good luck and thanks for the heart warming updates.

Elle April 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Thank you everyone for your kind comments.

Sarah, I do have my eyebrows and eyelashes but know of a site that sells fake ones. I live in Australia so it is an Australian site but I’m sure they ship internationally. The link is: http://www.feelgoodlookgood.com.au/

Hope that helps!

Abuff April 7, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Wow..YOu truly are beautiful!

Christy June 11, 2009 at 6:05 pm

I love this blog! Thank you so much for sharing. I have been dealing with hair loss for 15 years now. It hasn’t been easy, but I learned some valuable lessons along the way. Unfortunately, it took me about 10 years or more to get to where you are after two. You’re an inspiration and a role model. Best of luck to you.

susan October 21, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Dear all,
I am a 57 year old breast cancer survivor of 6 years. I have noticed scalp itching the last 3 years, recently I have noticed hair loss. The biopsy at the Dermatologist reveals Androgenic Alopecia . My hair is thin but not balding in any particular area. What should I do? What is the next best thing to do? I am using Nioxin products that seem to help, but what truly helps at this stage to stop or produce new hair growth . OR is this something I should just give in to!
SUSAN

annie Winner August 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm

You are a true inspiration!

Linda August 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm

I’m hurt I’m losing this battle with the thing I love the most”my hair”

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