7/4/2015 2 Comments
Why are you BALD?Being bald was one of the worst and best experiences that has ever happened to me. I went bald about a year and a half ago right before my senior year started, I was diagnosed with alopecia universalis. I went from a full head of hair to none in less than a week! I was mortified, and of the course when it rains it pours, because I started school in two weeks! I quickly tried to find a wig and I ended up with a nice synthetic one that I named "Shelly". As my senior year continued on, I tried to tell my friends and some other people about the disease. I went to doctors and tried to find support groups, but there are only a few people in my state that had the same disease (I never was able to find out who they were) and the closest support group was 9 hours away. There was no cure for it, and I had no one to talk to that truly knew how I felt...my school didn't help either, I had people pull on my wig to try and find out if It was real or not in class, I was called ugly, hideous, and some people even stopped talking to me after they found out. I felt so out of place and ashamed of myself, luckily my family and boyfriend were there for support, they helped more than I could imagine and I can't thank them enough for their support. As the year progressed on, so did my shyness about my disease. I wouldn't take my wig off during sleepovers, and I avoided telling people about it because I thought they'd like me more with hair. Now I realize it was silly of me to think that, but at the time it felt like it was true.
When did you realize that Hair didn't determine your beauty? I didn't gain some confidence in being bald until about the end of senior year, for the first time ever I came to school without my hair on. I only made it through one class because people called me ugly and stared, I got so uncomfortable I left school completely. To me it was progress though, and I knew it could only get better from there. After high school ended, I got more comfortable with going out without my wig, id take it off and go to the gym or walk around the store for the day and I found out that most people I told about my disease were nicer about it than my classmates were. It wasn't until one day at my work that my whole view really changed. I had a bald lady come into my work and I smiled and gladly took her order. I asked why she was and she told me she had just gotten done with some chemo but that she was okay and cancer free. I told her that she was beautiful without It and told her I didn't have hair either, confused she pointed to my long blonde wig I had on. I explained it was a wig and even lifted a little piece of it off my head, I told her about the alopecia and she smiled at me. The next few sentences she said completely changed my perspective. She said "I used to wear wigs too but finally I got tired of how itchy they were. Sure people stare and point at me now when I walk by them in stores, and I even get comments made about me. It's who I am though and I can't change it, if someone can't except me for who I am then you don't need them in your life, I am who I am for a reason and god made me this way." For some reason these few sentences made me feel so much better...after feeling so alone and frustrated for so long, I finally felt like someone understood. After that I started telling everyone I met and hung out with about the disease and I even started talking long distance to a few girls that had the same disease. I go a few days here and there without my wig now, and it does still bother me, but then I remember that lady. Of course it will take a long time to be completely confident in my bald little head, but I have nothing but time, and I am so ready for the years of non wig wearing that are ahead of me!!! I hope I can inspire someone the way that lady inspired me that day in my store!
What words of encouragement would you share with someone who isn't confident with themselves as you are? Being yourself is hard, but pretending to be someone you're not is even harder! You are beautiful exactly the way you are, and no one should have control over the way you feel about yourself except you. If I wouldn't have lost my hair I never would have gained the confidence I have now. Being bald really is a reality changer, and it also brings an entire new meaning to the word beautiful.