a big trigger for alopecia is STRESS.
i feel comfortable enough now to share what i believe was the trigger for June bald spot (which promptly filled in): i made it to the final round of TEDx talks in Buffalo, and was waiting for the results.
if you've never heard of TED TALKS, i urge you to take some time to visit their YouTube page- under the slogan, "ideas worth spreading," TED TALKS are influential talks that are recorded infront of audiences that seek a deeper understanding of the world. i made it to the final round, and i lost.
a bummer yes, i put a lot of myself into my audition, with a focus on my own alopecia story and how i cope with the disease, how i found so many positives and learned others' stories, how i learned to LOVE myself again... i lost the TED TALK, but i had this really amazing experience in the midst of my submission and auditions-
i auditioned while wearing one of my wigs.
putting my wig back on was a cathartic experience- it brought back a lot of pain, memories, and at last, it brought me relief- not because i think i'll never have to wear my wigs again (they're awesome), but because i know i will never be in the same state of unwellness that i was in two years ago.
so i'm going to get real with you right now- and i mean REALLY real with you, right now.
i've mentioned in many posts how i've suffered from poor self esteem, body image... many women (men, girls and boys) do...so here's me getting REALLY real with you:
my former "coping mechanism" took its' form in the shape of a monster.
an eating disorder.
i suffered from an eating disorder for years- there were ebs and flows to the monster's influence in my life, but it was there, and it's still difficult for me to talk about it with other people, it's difficult for me to write about it now.
the monster hid under my bed at night, and stood behind me in bathroom mirrors, telling me that i will never be good enough for anything, for anyone.
i'm going to share with you a small piece of my personal journal, i wrote about a year and a half ago:
[this was a hard segment of my old writing for me to post, but there it is.]
you see, the monster took my confidence, my self-esteem. the monster tricked me into believing that my value depended on others' opinions of me. the monster convinced me that i didn't know who i was, that i lost the unique beauty and energy that made me, ME.
the monster's presence became stronger and stronger as the years went by...
until i lost my hair.
until i lost my health.
it took losing my hair to turn around and face the monster that whispered words of hate in my ear. it took doctors telling me in tiny white rooms as i slipped off my wig that my health was declining, that my STRESS LEVELS mirrored that of someone in a car accident, that if i did not face the monster head on, that my body would eventually (slowly and painfully) shut down.
the monster was never alopecia- my diagnosis was a gift, my diagnosis forced me to look in the mirror at the monster behind me,
the monster was the voice that told me i wasn't enough.
When i slipped my wig on for my TED audition, i looked in the mirror.
and i smiled.
i remembered. and then, i took a deep breath and let go.
if i were to audition again for TED TALKS, i think i'd tell a little less of my story, and spend more time urging my audience to PLEASE, please, don't listen to the monster, no matter what form it is taking in your life. it will steal your joy, and diminish your self worth.
i am enough.
i am more than enough- i am unique, i am special.
I AM LOVED.
whether my hair falls out again or not, i will never be the girl wondering why she spirals infront of food, why she can't appreciate beauty in others... in herself. there is only one me, there is only one YOU. how amazing is that?
dad and i sat by the fire on the Fourth of July and laughed with my brothers. i sat with my mom and our dogs the following morning with a big cup of coffee and we just talked and talked... and it was just beautiful.
i make it a point to wake up early every morning, to get outside and see the tremendous, incredible sun rise. what a glorious gift.
what a privilege it is to be alive.