as the seasons change, so do we.
i had "grown out" of my synthetic wig, Jessi, and i was ready to make the investment in a human hair wig.
so there i was, back in the salon chair, enjoying the peaceful aura of Joanie herself & the welcoming warm presence of the salon. the wigs on the mannequin heads were no longer frightening, but hopeful to me. i sat in the styling chair with Ferrari in my arms as Joanie placed a beautiful dark haired human wig on my head.
but here's the thing- it didn't feel RIGHT.
this was something i hadn't experienced yet.something didn't feel quite right. i looked at myself in the mirror, and i didn't recognize ME.
and that scared me.
i began to envision myself as a mannequin head, and the panic began to bubble up inside.
one of the big devestations of alopecia is the absolute RANDOMNESS of the disease itself, and as i stared at this wig on my head, i felt that deep dark pit of despair grow larger and larger until i tasted metal in my mouth.
i sat in the salon chair with my mother by my side and sweet Joanie, quietly working on the hair saying "don't worry, sweet thing, there's just a 'hair' out of place".
Joanie worked for hours on the beautiful head of hair in an attempt to reshape the reality that i saw in the mirror infront of me. the real problem wasn't with the wig at all.
"i can't do this," i said.
i stood up and looked at the two most beautiful women in my life.
"i can't do this".
i started to cry.
when Joanie put that gorgeous wig on my head, i didn't have an issue with the hair at all. the hair was soft, bouncy, rich and long. it wasn't about the hair. it was more than that.
when i looked at myself in the mirror, i didn't SEE ME. i saw a girl who lost most of her hair. a girl who lost most of her energy due to illness. a girl who pushed herself to her limit every single day to retain her former cheerful, sunny persona.
i looked in the mirror, and didn't see myself anymore.
all i could do was cry.
the thing about alopecia is that it is AUTOIMMUNE. once the "door" is open for autoimmune diseases, it opens ALL the doors. throughout the last six months, i've been diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases, and this is very typical for people who develop alopecia- loss of hair is quite simply the only PHYSICAL sign of illness. in my case, i have a pretty hostile immune system that's ready to wage war on my body at the slightest hint of stress: rashes, thyroid problems, stomach issues, pituitary problems...YOU NAME IT.
i admit i lost an exceptional amount of (what is left of) my real hair when i sat in Joanie's salon with that wig on my head, tears streaming down my face- i didn't want to look in the mirror and face the reality of ME.
"i can't do this. i don't want this."
"I DON'T WANT THIS."
the two women in the room, Joanie and my mother, tried to comfort me, but knew there was nothing they could do or say in that moment. they could only just BE there.
and therein lies the true beauty of this story.
sometimes we need someone to simply BE there... not to fix anything or do anything in particular... but just remind us we are NOT ALONE.
just BEING THERE for someone can sometimes bring hope when all seems hopeless.
we sat there together for a while.
when i stood up, i still was not ready to face reality.
"i just can't do this."
Joanie nodded and told me to take the wig with me- wash her, style her...and PRAY. and so that is what i did.
i've been slowly facing my reality, wearing, washing, PRAYING.
i continue to defend my spirit against the war my body wages on itself & i take morning moments for thankfulness, because despite the particular battle i am facing, i know that i am not alone.
[my new, beautiful wig, that i am more than quite thankful for.]
some days are harder than others, but i am reminded that i have the strength to overcome them all. my strength comes from those who surround me with patience, kindness, compassion- these people inspire me to do the same for others.
"life is a hard battle anyway. if we laugh and sing a little as we fight the good fight, it makes it all go easier. i will not allow my life's light to be determined by the darkness around me"
remember: everyone you meet is fighting a battle you may know nothing about.