thejessence

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


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The Public Perception

I saw this video shortly after it came out. My initial instinct was to share immediately on my blog, but I hesitated.

One of my biggest battles with alopecia is not only helping people to understand, but also their perception of what it’s like to not be able to grow hair and the loss of control that person feels as a result.

I have debated since I was diagnosed whether I should shave my head and rock the bald or opt for a wig. I continue to change my mind on almost a daily basis, but I know that at some point because there’s not a cure that I will ultimately reach for the clippers.

What do you think?

By the way, massive props to Buzzfeed’s Becky Harris for sharing her story.


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Shimmering Dresses and Comb Overs

WARNING: SOME IMAGES AND DESCRIPTIONS IN THIS POST MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME INDIVIDUALS.

It’s difficult for me to trust others. It is a long process in which I analyze a person to see which pieces of my life I can trust them to care for and handle.

Photo by: Hayden Photography

Photo by: Hayden Photography

I mean, I had a huge bald spot on my head, who could I possibly trust to tell and help me? Unfortunately, I had to suck it up and step outside of my comfort zone.

I hadn’t had a haircut in months. I wasn’t trying to grow my hair out, but part of me hoped that the length would somehow help me cover up the slick piece of scalp glaring at me in the mirror. Deep down I knew it wouldn’t, but I kept lying to myself.

Looking at Pinterest for wedding ideas was horrendous because there were so many hairstyle inspiration photos. I didn’t even pick a hairstyle because I wasn’t even sure what would even work at this point.

We set a practice date before the wedding with my bridesmaids. I had already informed everyone in the hopes that no one would be surprised when two face appeared before them, but it still made me nervous. I would be vulnerable to others and felt so hideous as the day approached.

I still remember sitting in that chair in my kitchen. I remember being asked what I had in mind. I didn’t know what could be done to save my face for my wedding. I didn’t know that anything could be done. I remember taking deep breaths to try and keep my eyes from watering as the other girls smiled, giggled and planned their perfect ‘do.

I found some styles on the internet quickly that could include my side part and comb over so that it wouldn’t take a lot of work to make me look presentable.

We made a practice run and it looked better than I could’ve hoped.

After everyone left I took another deep breath and let the tears fall. I had watched as the once tiny piece of scalp grew to almost the size of my fist in a few months time. I still had a couple of months to go, and I had to hope that I didn’t lose any more hair that would completely ruin my wedding day.

I dreaded the wedding.

I didn’t want a wig. I couldn’t get a haircut. I didn’t know what to do.

I needed to see a doctor. I knew I did, but I couldn’t mentally handle finding out a dreadful answer before I was supposed to marry the love of my life.

As the day approached, I decided I would make a doctor’s appointment after the wedding was over. I dreaded that day too.

The wedding day came and everything worked out exactly how it was planned. Everyone looks at my wedding photos and notices nothing, but when I look at them I see thinning hair covering a massive bald spot on the left side of my head.

Luckily I was able to forget about it after we combed my hair to the side and pinned it down. We hair sprayed it until it was crunchy so that it wouldn’t drift and reveal my secret.

But my secret couldn’t remain hidden for long.