The energy of the mind is the essence of life. – Aristotle

The Monster Within


READER ADVISORY: Some photos and descriptions in this story might be disturbing to some individuals. Use discretion when choosing to continue. Previous blog posts leading up to this story are located at the bottom of this post. It is suggested that the previous posts be read first for a full understanding of this post.

I was sad. I was angry. I was dejected. I was stressed. I was scared. I was heartbroken. I was tired. I was anxious.

Photo by: Jessica McBride

Photo by: Jessica McBride

I was depressed.

My doctor’s appointment was in late October, early November of 2012. For once, I don’t remember the date.

As the date approached, I was hopeful that there was a cure. I told myself that this wasn’t a weird symptom to an unknown disease. I told myself that it wasn’t weird that I could grow more hair on my legs than I could in this bald spot on the top of my head that seemed to grow daily.

And then the darkness would creep in and remind me that this wasn’t normal. It reminded me that this spot was getting to me mentally and that I was starting to lose it. Forget a magical cure for a strange patch of scalp, I was a mess mentally.

Every time I would think about the fact that I had a doctor’s appointment the tears would flow. How would I bring up this oddity to a doctor without crying? How would I be able to convince the doctor that I didn’t need anxiety or depression drugs?

Those symptoms hurt most of all. I didn’t want to be a mental case. I just wanted to grow hair.

I couldn’t go outside of the house without creating my right part and using the hair that I had to cover up the monster on the left side. What was once slick and smooth was growing three albino white strands. I held onto those strands. I wouldn’t pluck them. I wouldn’t cut them. They were my hope to grow hair in the future. If I could get more then maybe I could look like Rogue from X-Men.

Who knew. Maybe I would develop mutant powers too.

I really did feel like a monster. A creature from the black lagoon to be banished to the darkest depths of the earth because I was incapable of one human function.

I prayed. I cried. I kept everything concealed so others wouldn’t know how I felt.

At my appointment, the girl took my temperature, weighed me and began asking my medical history. I was blind, never had braces and tried to remember to take a multi-vitamin every day. They had me fill out a form in the waiting room describing my symptoms, and I was completely honest because I thought it would make my condition easier to treat. I was brutally truthful about everything, the anxiety, the depression, the stress, the growing bald spot. I wrote down everything like a hypochondriac would.

She asked me the reason for my appointment and I explained that I had written everything on the paper. She told me to give her a summary to write on my chart. I was hesitant, but explained that I had an incredible amount of hair loss on my head. She looked at me and asked where exactly it was because she hadn’t noticed it. She wasn’t rude, just inquisitive.

I pulled the hair tie out of my hair and dragged my left hand backward from my forehead to the back of my head in one swift motion. Having curly hair, my fingers usually get tangled toward the end, but with the bald spot, there wasn’t any hair to get tangled.

Her eyes widened. “Oh, that’s a large patch.” I nodded. She seemed to brush off what she had seen and told me that the doctor would be with me. I re-created my part and pulled the hair back the left side of my face.

The doctor was kind. I opened up about my feelings and stress from work and the wedding.

She looked at the patch and touched it and the hair around it and then smiled.

“You’re stressed, my dear. You’re hair fell out because of stress.”

Well, that wasn’t the answer I expected nor necessarily wanted.

“It’ll grow back. You just need to relax.”

She said she could tell because I didn’t have any signs of infection and my Rogue strands were beginning to grow. She told me most likely the regrowth would be the same color.

I left the office surprised. I hadn’t anticipated any of that. She said to come back if I hadn’t seen any progress in 6 months to a year. That was a long time, but if it meant not being poked and prodded then I was on board.

I tried to remind myself of the doctors words. That would get me through this waiting period. I buried my emotions.

As Christmas neared, my husband asked what I wanted for Christmas. I remember that evening and am even tearing up as I retell it.

I cried. My response? “I just want my hair to come back. I just want to be able to grow hair.”

Such a simple request. What human couldn’t grow hair?

All my life, I’ve hated my curly, brown hair. I’ve hated the texture, I’ve hated everything about it even dying it a different color because everyone was brunette. I blamed my mother because she had the same type of hair, only black in color.

But I would’ve given anything just for it to grow back. I just wanted something to grow from the barrenness. I didn’t care if it was white. I could dye it. I could sport the Rogue streak. I just wanted hair.

That night I found it difficult to sleep, just like most nights. But I told myself that 6 months to a year really wasn’t that long of a time. I would do what I could to help it grow, and in time, I would be alright.

For clarity on the story above, please read the blog posts below.


Author: Jess

Texan by birth, Okie by current address. Journalist who caught the travel bug. I have a healthy dachshund obsession and spend endless hours reading about world history on Wikipedia.

12 thoughts on “The Monster Within

  1. At least now you have an answer. Sending good, positive thoughts your way.

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