This morning I woke up from a truly epic nightmare after only 4 wee hours of sleep. I was incredibly alert despite my sleep deprivation so I thought it would be nice to finish up a book I’ve been reading. Upon finishing the book, I had an itch that needed some assistance, you can imagine my shock and horror when I felt a bare patch of skin about an inch from my right ear. Throwing my book aside I ran to the mirror (or as fast as I could run 7 short feet in a cluttered and unkept room) and low and behold, the real nightmare was realized while I was awake. I have a bald spot on my head, roughly the size of an American 25¢ piece, aka, a quarter. I did what any half-deranged and panic-driven girl with “long-hair pride” would do, I ran to my mom, showing her this insane discovery, sat down in one of our living room’s chairs and cried my heart out. I couldn’t stop sobbing. I hyper-ventilated and cried some more until my mom calmed me down somewhat. In which case I answered her calming by opening up her laptop, logging in, double-clicking Google Chrome with much more force than was needed – and felt a rush of anger replace despair, smother any calm I was feeling, and I hastily typed in “I just noticed I have a bald spot on my head” and thousands of sites with information on Alopecia came to light. An un-curable disease with little to no treatment plans with less than promising success rates; essentially brought on by one of many factors, this disease describes only 3% or less of the population (equal between men and women) getting this disease. Essentially, your body’s immune system begins attacking your hair follicles, causing the patient or victim – depending on what side of this bogus fence you’re on – to lose hair in oval or round shaped spots. Some are isolated incidents of circular patches and the most extreme case being the loss of all of your hair from head to toe.
Needless to say, Web MD and my own doing put me into hysterics once again. I kept reading what could cause the Universe to start messing up one of main redeeming physical qualities – factors include: family history of having the illness and/or stress being the two main causes, apparently the emotional response is almost always the factor; there also were: too tight of hair styles, auto-immune diseases that have these side effects or if the skin is irritated and scaly a fungal infection thats easily treated – guess whose skin is NOT scaly and irritated? The one time I hope its the gross option, I’m wrong. Ugh.
Once I realized that this all happens incredibly sudden – I knew it wasn’t from a skull fracture from 2005 that I just went 9 years of not noticing – to my dismay, might I add – I realized that this is most likely a result of stress and poor habits. I’ve been dealing with an unknown and undiagnosed something in my ribs, shoulders, and chest area for some time, doctors are baffled, they just keep taking blood and doing nothing, so I self-diagnosed it as an extreme case of acid reflux disease, makes sense, I drink soda on a daily basis, I’m sure my esophagus hates me. I don’t drink water very often and my sleeping schedule is so out of whack it’s had me extremely nervous, before I was losing hair. My grandpa died in December of 2011 and for whatever reason it’s still an emotional subject for me, I wish grieving had a time limit, I’m starting to annoy myself; I graduated college in May 2013 and am still having difficulty finding a job, meaning I can’t pay my student loans, so collectors are calling me and I have nothing to show for that huge debt that I’m now responsible for, and lastly, my semi-estranged dad found out that he has a rare and almost always fatal type of lung cancer. Besides these big ones, I’ve been getting a lot of pressure to edit photos and host photo shoots – adding to my editing workload. There are also some other looming agents related to a few friends… I’m really feeling left out, unappreciated, and extremely judged – it may just be an internal thing… but there’s two sides to a coin, one can’t exist without the other.
I can’t imagine what in the world could be causing me to stress out in my life?
I’ve been researching in my free time today about ways to promote healthy hair follicles, ways to relieve stress, and steps to take to try and get proactive with this thing. No matter what I do now, I’ll have to deal with this potential disease – making a doctor appointment Monday morning – until its run its course.. this thing takes a few months to actually kick into high gear, and according to one of my blood relatives whose dealt with this before – it takes a few months to begin to grow back. Nothing will be fixed unless I change my lifestyle habits, de-stress my mind and my life, and start paying more attention to my body’s signs of disarray than trying to please people all the time in my personal life and in my professional one. One of the easiest ways I could start de-stressing my life was to write about what was actually stressing me out and how I feel, hence this post. If no one sees it, that’s fine by me, actually preferred I think.. but for my own sanity and full head of hair (for now) I need to vent and get it out there. My scalp has been tingling and itching all day, I’m really starting to understand this mind over matter concept. I’m afraid to touch my own head, I keep checking in the mirror, thinking it might not be there one of these times I give it a once-over.. to my dismay it hasn’t magically grown back to normal. I’m afraid. I’m terrified. It’s my hair. I thought the worst thing that could happen would be me finding out that I, like my dad and so many family members, have some sort of form of cancer as the hardest hurdle I would face would be losing my hair. Its vanity and it sounds petty, but my hair is directly tied to my self-image, I can see why people become agoraphobic, depressed, and why it’s common patients socially alienate their friends and family. It’s my hair.. it’s.. it’s sacred to me. I know I won’t lose friends, I know I won’t lose family, and I know I’ll be supported.. but trying to de-stress to prevent something that’s clearly happening to me here in the now, is hard as it’s stressing me out even more!
I’m making the decision, right here, right now, to take myself into consideration. I don’t have a job which means I have the freedom and time at the moment to focus on myself. Tell other people I can’t do this for them or I can’t be there for them because I need to focus on me. I need to be selfish and proactive. I’m beginning to accept that this is reality and if it continues I’ll lose more of my hair.. I don’t like it, but I’m over the initial shock of it all, and now I just want to meet it head-on and introduce it to Liz motherfucking Klein. I’m going to be canceling photoshoots, giving myself extended deadlines and telling my friends that I’m not going to be able to do everything they’re expecting me to do, I just can’t deal with it right now. As far as the grief-related stress.. I’m going to try and not concentrate on that, but put all of my concentrated focus on lifestyle changes. My head is too big, I’d make a very odd bald woman. Sorry in advance to anyone I end up disappointing, but… I’m not going to be bald for anyone, not you, not my family, and certainly not for me. Luckily, it’s not noticeable with careful styling, if I get more patches it’ll be tricky, but doable. Happy thoughts, positive vibes, and not going to take any annoyances from anyone, blunt Liz is happening, if you upset me, you’ll hear about it. Get ready.. a new era is approaching, I just hope I’ll have hair by the time it’s over..