As part of Alopecia Awareness Month, I have reached out to other folk with alopecia and asked them to share their stories. The idea behind is, is to bring together people with different experiences from across the globe to shine a light on alopecia and their acceptance of it. Wherever you are on your hairloss journey, I hope these inspire you.
My Alopecia Story
It was 2 weeks before my 50th birthday, just like any other “normal” day. I was under a tremendous amount of stress at work (big demands, short timeframes), walking 20 miles per day (treadmill desk), and on a strict diet (800 calories per day, high protein, low carbohydrates). You know, a normal day.
Maybe it was just due to stress
While getting ready for work on that normal day, I noticed a handful of hair coming out when I brushed my hair. I thought it was odd, maybe it was due to the diet I was on. Maybe this was one more “joy” of menopause. Maybe it was just due to stress from the job.
By the end of the first week, most of the hair on my head was gone. I decided it was time to call the doctor. I was afraid of the “c” word. I didn’t dare say it, as I didn’t want to claim it. I had a teenage son, 2 older children and grandchildren. I wasn’t ready for anything as drastic as the “c” word. I was very frightened, so scared to go to the doctors.
I went to the doctors, with tears in my eyes. She told me I had Alopecia. She claimed she had never seen a case as bad as mine. She held me while I cried. Tears of loss, tears of thankfulness that I didn’t have the “c” word, and tears of confusion, fear, anxiety.
During the process of losing my hair, I felt tremendous loss. With each strand that came out, the loss was so heavy. It was so weird, it wasn’t the loss of my hair per say … just loss in general. It brought up all the loss I had over the course of my lifetime. Especially the death of my twin sister at the age of 27.
I felt like an alien, no hair on my head, no eye lashes, and no eyebrows. I felt ugly! A grieving puddle of ugliness.
In the depths of my pity, I had to make a change. I couldn’t take feeling the loss one more day. What little dead strands I had left on my head, I had my husband shave them off. I didn’t want my body to choose when to have the remaining sprigs fall out. I needed to take control.
When my husband finished shaving my head, I felt relief. No more pain of losing my hair. At that moment, I decided to turn lemons into lemonade.
I purchased several wigs, all kinds, long, short, blond, black, brown, cheap, expensive, etc. I was a different person each day. Hair become an accessory, like a scarf or a pair of earrings. And on some days, when I was feeling confident and courageous, I would go bald. I figured if no one knew I didn’t have hair, how could I ever minister to others.
It’s been three years now and still no hair. My heart is to help others in similar situation. I want to help others turn their lemons into lemonade. That’s why I opened my own wig boutique and online store (www.Loris- Lemonade-Stand.com). I want to help others walk in confidence, feel beautiful, be all they were born to be.
Thank you Lori for such an inspiring post. One of the wonderful things I have come to realise about accepting alopecia is how, as a community, we can help other women with hairloss.
One of the reasons Scribble Sparkle Shine exists is to help other people. It is reading stories like Lori’s and seeing the difference that it makes to those starting out on their alopecia journey that makes this worthwhile.
If you would like to share your story, please get in touch below. I will be sharing stories very soon at a new site called www.myalopeciastory.com
Share your story below: