I don’t often talk about this subject. It is very personal and just the sheer thought it sends me into tears… I don’t want a pity party…. I just feel it’s time to talk about this Taboo subject that I hold closely to my heart.
ALOFUCKINGPECIA also known as ALOPECIA
If you don’t know what that is just google it and I’m sure you would be horrified if this was happening to you!
Well it did happen to me, aged 13. Just starting high school, I vaguely remember it starting as it just happened so quickly. One minute I’m excited about starting high school and the next minute all I could think about just how ugly I am. Becoming a teenager is awkward enough but starting a high school with hardly anyone knowing who you are let alone trying to hide this secret.
I have always been a shy person from memory. But when this evil started happening I was totally an introvert. I couldn’t look anyone in the eyes. I have vague memories of it starting but when it did become so bad and it was starting to become noticeable I had to tell a few of my friends in my group. They balled their eyes out. I was gutted. I didn’t want to be different. I just wanted to fit in and now I was carrying this secret around all the time. When I go back to those early days my heart truly breaks. It was an awful awful time. I hated myself. Every time I looked in the mirror thoughts came up “you don’t deserve friends” “no one will truly love you” “if you just had hair then you would be happy”.
My self-esteem was fucked. At this point I had lost half of my hair (year 8) and was having to wear a bandana or thick headband to cover up the massive bold patches at the back of my head. I couldn’t join in the conversations when people spoke about their hair or go to slumber parties people were having because I was petrified someone was going to find out. I hated life. I had a few close friends at the time who knew about it so they understood why I declined to go these parties and made a 1000 excuses why I couldn’t come. People thought I was a snob but they didn’t know deep down that I just wanted to be accepted.
Year 9 – my hair started to grow back but was falling out at the same time. I started to get more confidence and met some really lovely friends who didn’t care if I had hair on my head. I was a pro at hiding it by now. I would attend to parties and get drunk as you do at age 15 lol. Heck I even had a boyfriend. I don’t think he knew about it but if he did he sure was polite and never told me to my face. I had camp that year. I didn’t DARE jump in the swimming pool. I missed out on having fun with friends.
Year 10 – My hair was pretty good then. I don’t have much bad memories except this one time in youth group when this dickhead decided to be funny and pull my beanie off my head and reveal to a whole room of people that I was missing half my head of hair. It was my fault really I was dying to put my hair in pigtails and I thought I could hide the massive bold patches at the back of my head by wearing a beanie. I died a little bit more inside that day. and I believe in Karma and I hope it gets you one day!
Year 11/12 and onwards – My hair was excellent! and when I say this I mean I only had a few bold patches here and there. Life was good. I was happy! I still couldn’t tie my hair up. But at least I looked semi normal – right? I partied and danced I had a good time. Depression was always lingering but I was invincible.
My early 20’s – this is when shit really hit the fan. I remember getting my hair dyed blonde and the hair dresser noticing a few spots in my head. “what the fuck you talking about?’ I was so angry. I thought I had beat this shitty shitty disease. But no being alopecia it is unpredictable and can strike at any time! the hairdresser tried to convince me not to do anything to my hair. she was probably shit scared I was going to sue her. Whatever bitch peroxide the shit out of my hair. I did this 3 times and finally achieved that white blonde look I wanted. Blondes have more fun right? well I was until these few bald patches decided to rapidly grow bigger and bigger and with no sign of hair returning. Oh it will come back I said to myself, it always does. You can hide it. WRONG! so so soooooo wrong!
At the age of 22 I was completely bald. two years later it decided to take my eyebrows and lashes. anything else asshole? take my fucking self-esteem as well and my life whole you’re at it. I quit my job and hid for a year. Lost contact with most people and decided that crying my eyes out every chance I had grieving the loss of my hair and my life completely. Who am I? Who is this weird looking alien staring at me in the mirror? Lucky for me I had a really supportive boyfriend and slowly but surely he got me to “accept” my condition and get on with life.
Well clearly I have. I’m now 28 married with two little boys. It hasn’t stopped me from making a life. Not sure what quality of life I truly have but it’s something.
The thing about Alopecia you can’t really hide it! Its right out there in the open for the whole public to see. Unless you are a hermit then that’s how you can hide from it. when someone knocks on my door I sprint to my room and grab my hat/scarf/beanie. I will never let anyone see me unless it’s my family. Not many people have seen me without my hair on. People do know. I’m open about it if people ask but how do you bring it up when you met someone new. “hi im rhonda and I have alopecia” righto! you don’t so people just don’t talk about it in front me (probably behind my back) and forever think oh she has CANCER!
I can never just leave the house and tie my hair up. It’s a process I got to put my wig on then comb it to make sure it’s acceptable looking. Pencil in my eyebrows because I don’t have any and pop some eyeliner on to make sure I look human. After all, how many times a day do you see someone with no hair? Most likely NEVER. it is not NORMAL. And I will never lead a NORMAL life.
I have had this condition for 15 years now… when is it going to stop? it is torture to my soul. And just when I think I’m okay something triggers off my anxiety/depression and I’m back to that scared little 13 year old girl. I am fragile but I am strong!
The next time you see a mum of two walking her children around without a wig on please don’t judge me. I surely don’t judge you. I just want to fit in and be like the other mums. Maybe one day I will wear nothing but myself (not naked self).
No scarf No Wig Just Me.