Usually, I don’t like standing in line for anything! I’ve always been impatient like that. I don’t even like being the first one in line!
Seems lately I’ve been standing in line waiting for yet another phase of my journey to accepting the fact that my type of alopecia is permanent. What? There’s another phase to this? I’ve accepted that my hair loss is permanent and also the way that I look without hair. It’s the unexpected things that seem to crop up with the type of alopecia I have that can get a little trying sometimes.
I’ve accepted so much since the beginning of my hair loss and have gotten through some rough times. That’s all I ever seem to talk about…acceptance, acceptance…acceptance. By nature, it’s what we do when we “hit a wall”, when we can’t go any further, when we have no other choice. What’s acceptance? Acceptance is the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable. That’s the dictionary’s explanation and for the most part, I think it’s a valid assessment. However, what that statement doesn’t address is all the work it takes to arrive at that “state of being”. I can tell you that my own experiences have proven that the road to acceptance was hard work and it’s a work in progress. You’ve got to stay on top of your game. Some days you come out swinging only to get knocked down to the ground but, you do get up.
And some days I get tired of having to accept the fact that I have alopecia. Some days I just feel content with “standing in line to surrender” to everything associated with having alopecia. Having alopecia can come with a lot of baggage such as the negative social stigmatisms, emotional and self-esteem issues and then there’s medical aspect of it all. And for some of us, we are not physically sick in the way most people make the association with diseases. I feel that puts us in a strange position sometimes. I’m finding out that there is no straight line to acceptance. There are peaks and valleys along the way. I realized that some days I’ am not going to feel good about my “acceptance” all the time. This is not a “woe is me” rant about how hard it is to have alopecia. I’m just keeping it real! I don’t feel good about the fact that I have alopecia everyday! I’m human!
I admire and respect all the men, woman and children I’ve met and spoken to who have had this disease all their lives. I think of all the different phases of their lives they’ve gone through and how they handled all those moments that their alopecia comes into question. Losing my hair at age 46, I’ve had to learn all those “little defense mechanisms” they’ve mastered in the course of their lives, all rolled up into one huge “crash course”! This is why I can’t beat up on myself for not “feeling good “about having to accept my hair loss every day. The point is that I do accept it, and with acceptance comes empowerment, education, sharing information, and this list can go on and on.
So for me, “standing in line to surrender” doesn’t mean “giving in” to alopecia.
I think it forces me to look at “what’s good about it” and focus on the positive, documenting, sharing information, working with medical researchers and most of all connecting with people like me who have real stories that I’ve become inspired and empowered by every day. The more we put our stories out there, the easier it will be for the next person who “googles” the word alopecia to put a face and head to this unpredictable disease alopecia.
Just this once…I don’t mind standing in line so much.