Where acceptance is all there is
I think I answered this question in the physical discussion, but of course the two are linked. My emotional approach to having alopecia is the same as my emotional approach to life, as I do not see my lack of hair as any different than any other challenge or experience that has come my way. I like to think of a trilogy of body, mind, and spirit (or heart), in how I live, but also a very conscious sense of what I control, and what I not. In this regard, alopecia is a particular challenge because there is something I do not control, going on in my body, and it has the potential to affect how I live my life.
First, I do not consider myself to be sick. That is paramount. Second, I have had alopecia for a long time, so this speaks to my specific journey in terms of perspective. Third, I am someone who chooses to dive into all elements of life to see what they are, most fully . . . To attempt some form of interplay between what is offered to me and what I choose. Fourth, like all elements of my life, my feelings and perspectives about being a bald woman will only stop evolving when I stop breathing.
So what works well for me emotionally? To feel the full range of what is possible and makes itself apparent to me, everyday, about what it means to live my life with alopecia, not despite this reality.
Wooh! Thanks Tanya, for coordinating this opportunity for expression. May my words inspire, as I know I will be inspired by others.
Louise Hay: You can heal Your Life
I strongly believe in overall health, in the way we live, eat and think. I found this video on Utube, I really think that its important to feel good inside in order to help the body begin to heal itself. Please, watch "Louis Hay:You Can Heal your life". At first I thought it was flaky and cheesy but for some reason I decided to try it... I stood in front of the mirror and read positive affirmations.." I love myself, therefore, I behave in a loving way to all people for I know that which I give out returns to me multiplied, "I love myself, therefore I forgive and totally release the past and all past experiences and I am free".I read only two of the affirmations out of 10, I couldn't finished reading.. I started crying so bad that my eye lids were swollen the next day. I realized that myself worth was very low. I decided to keep reading affirmations till I could read all the affirmation without crying..It took me three months.
I would like you to be open and stand in front of the mirror and read the affirmations to yourself and see what happens.
(Affirmation must be read in front of the mirror**)
There are a lot of alopecian tweeters. This one has a great blog, which of course is one way of caring for yourself emotionally, alopecia or otherwise. http://www.panuelogirl.blogspot.com/
And this fella offers a unique perspective too: http://www.toasted.biz/alopecia/
What works best for me emotionally is getting together with everyone at the alopecia meetups! It's hard to explain why, aside from everyone being great and the environment we meet at is very comfortable and private so we can really be at ease. I always feel so refreshed after our meetups. I think we also share a deeper bond because of alopecia.
I don't do yoga regularly (I should) and I don't meditate (not yet), but I plan to get those two into my life :) Affirmation I think it's quite amazing. Just started it after Cati intro'd us to it.
Depending on the person this may or may not be the advice: I find that getting a good wig helps me tremendously emotionally. It allows me to stop thinking about alopecia everyday.
Alopecia is very visual - it draws attention right away. Speaking only for myself, I want to control my image and first impressions so that they represent my personality. I think big wild hair looks best on me right now, and it reflects my personality, so that's how I choose to style myself. If bold is not your look, no need to force it. But if you can rock it well, embrace it!
It also helps me emotionally to tell people about my alopecia. Usually they are people who I have gotten to know and like. I tell them to show that I trust them and their response is often one that makes me feel good about. Going forward, I want to help more alopecians gain support. And along with that, it helps me feel good emotionally.
What works well for me and many others is seeing / hearing about people who do well with their alopecia.
Two great resources here:
1) Amazing book by Deeann, containing 75 inspiring stories with stunning photos. Deeann interviewed over 500 people before compiling this book!
2) Alopecia Channel - videos by me. I interviewed Deeann in one of the vids!