living authentic with alopecia

Francois Rebelais- he was a poet. and his last words were:

I go to seek a Great Perhaps

great perhaps.jpg

the pursuit of this Great Perhaps provides meaning to my life- a sense of purpose, some connection to a greater cause. i do not want to wait until i die to start seeking a Great Perhaps

i wake up every morning with a dreadful sense of FEAR in the pit of my stomach- the great and terrible WHAT IF looms like a storm cloud over my head, and i begin to FEAR:

what if my hair stops growing? what if i get another bald patch like i did in my nightmares? what if someone i love gets hurt today? what if i mess something up at work? what if i disappoint my family? what if i lose money, what if i don't make enough money? what if my coffee tastes like crap!? what if i get sick? what if no one actually cares about me? what if i lose my EYEBROWS? what if i stub my toe today [i hate that]? what if i never travel again? what if i don't work hard enough? what if i lose control over my emotions today? what if i forget to appreciate the life and blessings i have? what if i go BALD? what if i can't control my negative thought process...? WHAT IF I CAN'T EVEN HELP MYSELF AND I AM NOT A TRULY AUTHENTIC PERSON? WHAT IF I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM?

Fear can immobilize& disable. some days, i allow fear to take over. some days, i can't look at myself in the mirror. and some days, i sit in a corner and cry.

but hope remains.

hope ALWAYS remains, because there is MEANING to life.

when i acknowledge that there is nothing repulsive or shameful about myself, that there is something to LIVE for, it becomes easier to be that authentic person and feel like i am living a less performed life. and let's be real, this doesn't mean i genuinely acknowledge myself every day and exude sparkles and rainbows. it is difficult to embrace the parts of you that you resent or feel is unlovable- sometimes it feels virtually inconceivable that there is a reason for everything. 

but i try. i fight for myself, every day. 

i stick rainbow post-it notes in my calendar, my notebooks and in the small, dark corners of desk drawers that remind me to love all of myself, despite my "shortcomings" and "failures", despite all the "bad days". i kneel on my floor late at night and early in the morning when the world is asleep to pray, to acknowledge, to accept the patience required to carry my burdens. the authentic acknowledgement of SELF takes constant consistent practice  and more importantly, PATIENCE.
PATIENCE allows me to open my eyes every morning, realize my situation, and walk to my bathroom to look at the two large bald patches on my head. PATIENCE is what excites me when i look at the little brown fuzzies of growth on those bald spots and recognize the slow but sure success [although i desperately wish the hair on my head grew as fast as the hair on my legs]. PATIENCE is what helps me forge forward despite the roller-coaster trial and error experience of finding solutions to my disease. 

PATIENCE derives from my desire to seek the Great Perhaps first mentioned in this post.

MEANING makes patience of pain, gratitude of sorrow, cheerfulness of change.

yes, i have horrendous days. i FEAR, every day. i think we all do. but in those precious silent moments each morning, i remember that there is MEANING to all moments in this lifetime. we live lives filled with great and terrible moments, some that we cannot even imagine yet, and it is all a part of our journey, our story. 

now that i am over four months into my alopecia journey, i am beginning to overcome the WHAT IF and recognize that FEAR as part of my search for the Great Perhaps, a search for meaning, a reason for telling my story.

there is growth. this journey has taught me, transformed me. my hair has grown. i have grown.

keep living.

it is YOUR journey. YOUR story.

keep seeking the Great Perhaps. 

 

When every single second,
of your fragile little life
is a relentless mystery,
how will you know what’s coming?
This very day,
could surely be your very last.
what do you suppose could happen next?
all of this is just a Great Perhaps.



what if?
[...]

xo,

Clarisse