Post Head Shave Thoughts: No Hiding Now

Photo by  Ali Denney

Photo by Ali Denney

I knew it wouldn't be the silver bullet. I knew that everything wouldn't turn around right away. I knew it would be a big change and take some getting used to. 

It's weird looking in the mirror. So much more prominent are my cheekbones, my eyes and my dark eyebrows. I never before noticed the subtle wrinkles in my forehead. Here I am, imperfections and all. No hiding now. 

Each bald spot feels like a glaring failure. Why couldn't I handle this? There are tons of other people in the world that are worse off than me. Why can't I cut it? Why can't I figure it out? Why can't I heal myself? These questions are hauntingly familiar. As It turns out the roots run much deeper. Why couldn't I save my mom? Why couldn't I figure it out? Why couldn't I heal her?

It's obvious I'm not all better. I'm just out in the open now. It's plain to see that the causes are not purely physiological. My hair loss was my body's last ditch cry for help. It screamed, "I'M NOT OK! I'M DEALING WITH SOME SHIT!" But without some sort of visible, physical manifestation, no one would believe me otherwise, myself included. Everyone has always depended on me to be strong. I've set too high of expectations for myself and now I (and everyone else) expects me to live up to them.

I've dabbled in asking for help, but I'm not good at it. I'm not forceful enough, so people don't take it seriously. 'Could you please help me with this if it's not too much trouble? Oh, it will be a slight inconvenience for you? Oh, no, don't worry about it. I can figure it out."  I don't look sick so it's easy for me and others to brush these things aside. Well, as it turns out my body told me to fuck off and get some real help and if I wouldn't do it myself, it would make me by showing everyone that I was not ok. 

But I still find it hard to ask for help. I don't even know what to ask for. I so appreciate the offers but what am I supposed to say? Yes, please come over and clean my house and do my laundry? I am exhausted. But I keep pushing myself. And for what? To prove to myself that I can still do everything? That I can plan a month's worth of events pertaining to women's issues at The Nest on top of the other things I already have going on? Why can I still not just leave some dirty dishes in the goddamn sink? How am I supposed to expect others to give me grace if I can't even do it for myself? 

I want to be able to be kind to myself and know that like the ocean I have an ebb and flow too, and that is ok.

Tomorrow I will look in the mirror and try again.