As many of you know I’ve struggled with alopecia for a large part of my adult life. Alowhat??? You ask. It’s in the family of autoimmune disease, that are prevalent in society today. It shows up in many forms, from thyroidism to diabetes and a long list in between. For me, and others with Alopecia the body attacks it’s own hair follicles causing them to stay in their resting state.
Over the past 10 years, I have had anywhere from a half of a head of hair, sometimes more, sometimes less. Sometimes just my head, sometime brows and other parts too. Sadly (or thankfully?) my pubic hair always stayed so I have had to maintain my waxing appointments, the only hair removal I pay for. Of course. You can read more about Alopecia here
Although I own my baldness by talking openly about it and move freely between wigs, caps and bald, I still have insecurities around it and it’s an emotional process every time it falls out. For me the cycles have been about every 2-3 years and always triggered by what I call the perfect storm. Likely pushing myself too hard with work or training coupled with a big emotional period. No matter how grounded I may feel at the time of shedding, my self-esteem always takes a hit. That said I become more resilient with each one and it reminds me that I’m slipping somewhere and its time to reassess and get back on track. I still wish it didn’t have to go that far and would like to find a balance point for good like many that are affected by auto-immune diseases.
Upon reflection and some big nuggets in my last years personal growth work (that kicked the shit out of me a bit, I must say) I have decided to work on how I speak to my body daily.
I feel that if the root of auto-immunity is the body attacking itself does it not make sense that it is listening to every thought you think? Even those fleeting ones that cross quickly through and over time, if it works anything like muscles we remember them after enough reps. Good or bad. All those moments I’ve had of “I’m not feminine as a baldie, cause society tells me so” or “this outfit just doesn’t work without hair” or my favorite that would come through to stab me in the heart every once in awhile “no one will ever love me like this” Ya. Let that one sink in. Imagine that, on repeat. Every time it would fall. Not so loving kindnessy, eh? Time to put that one to rest for good.
So this year, I’m working to change not only how I speak to my body but also to tune out the things I hear others say. The whispers I hear in my day to day as a baldie, some nice, some not so nice. They can take me from into a great day to a bad one in a hurry and I need to build resiliency around it. The only way I know how is to step into the fire.
That said I feel compelled to challenge myself to get over this whole insecurity around it – and will go bald for 30 days. No wigs (but hats are optional cause my head gets cold and they can sometimes make an outfit, one of my other struggles – feminine fashion for baldies, but I digress) I want to let go of what other people think of me once and for all. At the end of it I may (or may not) continue to wear wigs but I will have proved to myself that my hair, or lack thereof, truly doesn’t define or diminish my light and loveability in any way. I need to own me. Wish me luck!
I’m sharing my story 30 Days of Bald to release years of experience that I have harboured in the hopes it will provide comfort, understanding and appreciation on how we manage self-care. Perhaps it may inspire you to take a look at what lies beneath the surface (big or small) in your life. Or if there is a friend or family member that may relate or need this messaging, please feel compelled to share my story. I’m ready to tell it.
My 30 days will officially begin on January 15, 2018 and I will document my journey here, so should you desire to see my progress please check in. If this post inspires you in some way and you have something you’d like to share, reach out.