No, this post isn’t an homage to Simon & Garfunkel, as lovely as they are. I’m merely borrowing lyrics to highlight my current mood. It’s getting darker – which is the inverse of my hair – which is getting lighter. By lighter I mean patchier. By patchier – I mean – the always lurking alopecia areata is making a comeback 😦
One year on
It’s been precisely a year since I started to grow my hair back in. I shouldn’t whine – I had a full head of regrowth for summer (no sweaty cap or burnt scalp for me) and for my sister’s wedding. In the back of my mind I always knew it would come back (or go – whichever way you look at it).
When people asked me or saw an old photo of me and were puzzled – I’d explain that I have Alopecia – not had. I would never trust them when they said “Really, I would never know”. Such is my paranoia when it comes my hair.
Never really went away
I never had full regrowth, below is a list of the stuff that didn’t properly grow back when my luscious mane did:
- My eyebrows never fully grew back to the Brooke Shields/Cara Delevigne caterpillars that they were – but at least I had some – even if it did look like I’d over-plucked
- A patch on my chest and trunk – which started when my head hair came back.
- I had one patch of (no) hair – above a newly returned grey spot which never came back in (see below)
What am I going to do this time?
You may remember last time I tried a few things? This time I don’t want to radically overhaul my diet (as I’ve been steadily eating healthier foods and upping my fitness levels for the past few months). I gave up smoking – in January and am drinking less alcohol than I ever have.
I seriously believe that my alopecia is either:
- a cyclical thing – that I have no control over
- it’s triggered by stress – which I do have control over
Point is, if I remove or react to stress better, it’s a win-win. I know how mini stressful episodes affect me – I get a racing mind, laboured breath and a tightness of muscle. Whether these mini episodes have contributed to my alopecia or not – I don’t want them. So…
This time, the only things I’m going to do are:
- Try (and I do mean try really hard) to calm the f*ck down
- Try not to stare at the ever increasing patches of pink skin
- Remember to breathe – seriously, I’m making a conscious effort to take big long lung-bucket-fulls of breath – it’s not only good for the soul – focussing on my breath will stop my mind racing about impending baldness
I just need to remember that I’ve been through all this shit before. The ‘worst’ that can happen is actually more of an inconvenience – having to shave my head, facial hair and patchy eyebrows off on a daily basis. It isn’t life threatening and lots of people are going through much worse than me.
I’m away to snort some oxygen and (not) look at my hair in the mirror!
Bugger. I’m sure you’re sick of people making helpful suggestions but have you tried mindfulness and meditation? Might help as a stress coping strategy. I went to Samye Ling for a weekend course and felt like a different person after it. Didn’t keep it up but that’s just me – a non completer. Xx
Hey Mason 🙂 I tried Mindfulness last time and even passed a diploma in Mindful Mentoring! 🙂 I try and listen to the wind and stare at leaves as much as I can 🙂
I have always fancied the Samye Ling thing – would you do it again? x
Hi. What a pig alopecia is. My alopecia tricks me into thinking it’s gone away for a while. I’m learning to cope, perhaps even learnt to cope. The lack of eyelashes and eyebrows are my biggest nemesis. I wear glasses I don’t need to disguise it a little. But they also help protect my eyes from dust etc as I’m a builder.
Keep the postings coming as it’s always nice to hear your ‘journey’. Like hearing from an old friend.
Good shout about the glasses. Thanks for your reply – it is a fecker isn’t it! I will try and post more this year 🙂