After going from having small bald patches that would grow back over a few months, to losing 98% of my hair and half an eyebrow—the journey has been far from easy. I look back now, and cringe over how I would stress out when I discovered tiny little patches that were covered by the thick head of hair I once had.
How I would whinge because my hair was too thick, boring and normal when I was younger, along with other image issues.
How I would kid with my best friend whether he'd still love me if all my hair fell out—never giving a second thought that it might actually happen.
And then a really cruel thing happened. I finally was happy with myself and the way I looked, finally feeling good about my image and the way I presented myself. Finally, I felt like life was getting started. And then all of my hair fell out.
It fell out all over my shoulders throughout the day, clumps would come out tangled through my fingers in the shower, I would wake to find my pillow covered in hair. What else can I say? It was traumatic.
I wore a beanie everyday, bringing to the front what I had left of my lovely long brown/orange tinged hair, disguising my alopecia.
I went to hair clinics, dermatologists, doctors, hair specialists. All to tell me, that my hair may or may not grow back at all, and that I was the strangest case of Alopecia Areata they'd seen.
I suffered (and still to this day suffer) from chronic depression, panic attacks, and anxiety, not wanting to face the world, consumed in my hairloss and 'ugliness'.
Then I found Alopecia World, and everyone here; that felt the same as I did, and been through what I had been through. Suddenly I felt beautiful.I realised that my statements, and poetry inspired others here, and that there are so many of us struggling with this auto-immune disease.My personality and soul had been so smothered by sadness and grief from losing my hair, that I had forgot what it meant to be me.
After a long time of secrecy, and hiding one day I decided enough was enough. Here I am trying to inspire others, and only my closest friends and family even knew I was bald. So what did I do, you may ask.
I bought a long wig (drastically different to the short one I had been wearing for the past year), conjured up a little statement, took a photo and posted it on Facebook. This is what it read:
So after a year of hiding myself, I thought I ought to introduce myself proper like to ease some minds.
Hello, I'm Amy-Rose.
I have Alopecia Areata.
Incurable (so far) Auto immune disease.
I buy really expensive hair so I can look like you all.
Don't like it? I don't really care.
Want to know more? PM me.
Oh heeeey long hair.
All I received was love, support, and lovely compliments from everyone I know. It made me feel accepted, it made my heart glow.
Here I am today; bald, wearing wigs, turbans, hats, and drawing on eyebrows, I'm finally happy—and everyone knows it.
And for anyone struggling themselves, know that you are never alone.