thejessence

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

Beauty and the Beast

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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 couldn’t do it anymore.

My hair was not only falling, but starting to thin. I had to make a doctor’s appointment. I was backed into a corner and had no other option.

I did everything I could to take my mind off of things. I was out of options, but it would be ok.

On a shopping trip to the outlet stores in Oklahoma City, I discovered a wide set head band in the Oakley store. $15 is an expensive headband, but it conveniently covered everything I needed it to. So, I bought it.

I was actually quite excited. This was a small victory in the world of losing your hair in your 20s. I could put my hair in a high pony tail like my cheer days. I could wear my hair down again. I could wrap it in a bun. I could have a normal hairstyle with the head band. It was more freedom than I had experienced in two years.

I styled my hair curly with mousse and tousled it around. I let it dry a bit, and then strategically maneuvered the headband to cover the beast. It was the happiest day for my hair in two years.

Photo by: Jessica McBride July 8, 2014 After being criticized for my new headband to cover my balding head, I spent my lunch crying in my car reminiscent of being called names by a high school bully. Every time I look at this picture I can see the tears in my eyes that I was trying to hide with a smile.

Photo by: Jessica McBride
July 8, 2014 After being criticized for my new headband to cover my balding head, I spent my lunch crying in my car reminiscent of being called names by a high school bully.
Every time I look at this picture I can see the tears in my eyes that I was trying to hide with a smile.

For two years I was stuck parting it and wearing a low pony tail or clipping it to the back of my head. I was victorious in this purchase. I had beaten the beast.

At one of my meetings that day my heart sunk. Correction. My heart was ripped from my chest and brutally stomped on.

Who could ever learn to love a beast?

A couple of comments from the peanut gallery related my new style to that of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. It took all I had not to cry instantly. I dropped my head and tried not to say anything the entire meeting. When it was over, I hid myself in my office with the door shut.

People can be so inconsiderate and so mean. I didn’t ask for a compliment. I just wanted acceptance.

No one knew my struggle. No one knew how bad it hurt to not be a normal woman with luscious locks of hair. No one knew that I was ashamed to go to a hair stylist because of this awful thing that had happened to me. No one knew I hadn’t had a haircut in two years and the only pair of scissors my curls had seen was held with my own hands to trim off split ends.

For once it might have been great to just have someone understand.

No one knew the pain of having one small victory ripped away. Going to the salon or styling your hair a different way is a typical part of being a woman, but not for a woman losing her hair.

I went out to my car during my lunch break. I wasn’t hungry. All I could think was that what I thought was a brilliant idea made me even more of a target for the people around me.

I’m a very self-conscious person. I’m always so anxious about food in my teeth, about my eye brows being brushed into funky positions, about mismatching socks, about mixing black and brown clothing, about my bald spot showing.

I cried for at least 30 minutes straight. I was completely broken. I told myself that I was letting the comments get the best of me and that they would just have to deal with my disorder. I had to deal with it, so they did too.

A doctor’s visit was inevitable. I could no longer deal with this on my own and my anxiousness of having something terribly wrong with me was eating away at what dignity I had left.

Photo by: Jessica McBride July 8, 2014 That same day I decided I needed to start facing the fact that this was something that would be around for the rest of my life. The small battle turned into an all out war, which I was determined to win.

Photo by: Jessica McBride
July 8, 2014 That same day I decided I needed to start facing the fact that this was something that would be around for the rest of my life.
The small battle turned into an all out war, which I was determined to win.

I had to face myself in the mirror every day, yet all I was doing was covering up the problem and not dealing with it.

I hadn’t documented my journey. It was difficult, but the beast needed to be released.

I took a deep breath and pulled off the $15 Oakley headband. I pulled my hair away from the bald area so that there was no mask or camouflage.

I raised my hands which grasped my phone above my head, and I snapped what would be the most monstrous and repulsive photo of me.

I forced myself to look at it, and in turn forced myself to understand that this wasn’t me. Though it wasn’t beauty on the outside, I needed to remember to love myself and not let this tragedy define me.

Don’t be deceived, for true beauty is found within. And that’s something I knew I had to realize to make any of this better.

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

https://thejessence.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/word-vomit/

https://thejessence.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/and-then-it-appeared/

https://thejessence.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/radius-diameter-and-the-curious-spread/

https://thejessence.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/shimmering-dresses-and-comb-overs/

https://thejessence.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/the-monster-within/

https://thejessence.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/peach-fuzz-but-not-peachy-keen/

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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.

8 thoughts on “Beauty and the Beast

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