Alopecia Areata: It’s still here, but that’s okay!
Posted June 5, 2009on:
I have been trying to decide whether or not to delete my blog. On one hand, a neglected blog is anything but pretty. Yet, at the same time, I still get some amazing comments now and then which encourage me to keep it alive. So, for now, it will remain intact.
As would be expected, many, many things have changed since I started this blog two years ago. These are changes I would really like to put out there and share with you. Feedback is so helpful. And, the encouragement… One can’t find much better encouragement than in the blogosphere (well, at least in the circles I run in ; – )
So, here I am inspired to share my latest change: I’m bald.
Yes, you read it right! I am completely bald now, and, you know what? It’s not so bad!
First let me post some photos showing the progression of my alopecia areata.
As you can see, my balding pattern was slowly progressing into a “snake-like” pattern with two large bald areas over each ear and one large bald area in the back.
Here are some photos a reader named Pearl sent me a while ago. She also has ophiasis pattern alopecia. Thank you, Pearl, for sharing your photos with us!
I got fed up with trying to “hide” my bald spots. I became a master of head movement, able to change head position with just the slightest breeze. God forbid if the wind exposed my bald spots!
I bought hats – lots of hats. Swimming was the tough one though. Or yoga. Or hiking. Any activity that made me sweat made trying to cover my bald spots even more of a hellacious task.
Then, I found a support group called Alopecia World. What an eye opener! I was thrilled to come across a support group on Alopecia World called “Sisterhood of the Women Who Shaved Their Heads.” What an awesome group of women!
They talked about finally getting sick and tired of hiding their baldness. They talked of the freedom and the empowerment they felt once they gained the strength to just shave off the remaining bits of hair.
They talked of sexiness. Ooh! How sexy and feminine one really feels after taking the plunge and shaving.
I was more than inspired. I was ready to take the razor to my head and tell the world, “Hey look! I am bald and I am beautiful!”
On February 2, 2009, I shaved the last remaining bits of hair off my head.
I was crying with joy. I was free. I felt like a sexual goddess. Really, I am not kidding!
My husband told me he would have encouraged me sooner to shave had he known how empowered I would feel.
He has been so kind, so supportive. I am grateful for him every day.
Of course, I also was fitted for a cute little wig, too. It’s really pretty, but super itchy and uncomfortable. I will wear it from time to time. Sometimes I wear bandana-type things, too. Or a hat. I like hats, too.
But, NOTHING feels better than being totally natural. I can move in the wind without worrying; I can hike without apprehension; I can swim without self-consciousness.
I am free.
It’s ironic that someone with Social Phobia, Panic Disorder, and Agoraphobia would be so willing to “stand out” in a crowd, isn’t it? This, I cannot explain. But, I feel like me again. I’ve suffered since I was 12 years old with alopecia. It took me until I was 41 to take charge of it.
Better late than never! Just to be clear, there are moments (of course) where I feel shocked and pitiful. I wish I could have a full head of hair, but I don’t. If it grows back completely, I will be thrilled! But, alas, I am not convinced this time it will. And, that’s okay. It’s even okay if I choose to only wear wigs some day. Maybe I will. But, for now, I love the option of being bald, being free. Or even wearing a wig like a hat. I don’t try to hide the fact I’m bald. My wig is just another hat.
My alopecia has gotten worse, but I am a 1,000 times more positive about it.
If you have alopecia, please don’t despair. There is some amazing power in being bald. I wish I could bottle the feeling. I’d be a millionaire!
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