Monday, April 19, 2010

It's been a long time since I've posted but all for good reason. I've been working on me, and preparing to head for a month-long exchange program in Jamaica. I feel that I am right on the cusp of freeing myself from wigs forever! I know the key lies in my trip to Jamaica. Despite having my story published and talking about it more publicly, I've still been pulling but the good thing is that I feel that it's the last phase and can actually see myself with a natural, new look - very soon.

There'll be more to come as I begin this new chapter in the journey to the big 4-0 this summer so I'll keep you posted. I am finally stepping into my purpose and my destiny as an entrepreneur so the lightness I feel is a reflection of the joy that comes from living your dreams and not holding back because you're expected to do something else.
Good night!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

When will it end?

I haven't been back to write in a couple weeks but the urge really hit me today. For the first time in a while I was struck by the fear of having to reveal my hair pulling to a man. Not that I've met one, well, maybe for the time being; but the point is that regardless of the depth of the relationship, if you decide to move beyond friendship, the 'why do you wear a wig' question will always come up.

It's one that I tend to dread and avoid for as long as possible because I have felt the rejection and the "horror" from some very shallow folks. It's not like I'm bald, but I guess when a man meets you with a certain look and then behind the scenes that 'look' is altered, it's a tough pill to swallow. So where does one go from here? How do I keep myself looking appealing while I work through this thing, yet be "real" enough that men don't run away?

I know, I know, if they're real men they won't go anywhere, but it's so scary to have to find out. I'm not getting any younger, and sometimes I find myself just wanting a 'right now' relationship, but who the hell wants to open up so a temporary somebody when it takes so much courage to just share your secret? I've learned not to question God anymore about why this is the lot I've been given, however, I do know that I am soooo ready for the pulling to end... I miss having hair to comb and style, so why can't that be enough for me to just stop cold turkey? This #ish is challenging but I want it to be an effortless transition. I'm typing and putting my hands in my hair. How bad is that? Father, can you hear me? Make it stop....I'd like to wake up tomorrow and not remember what it was like to even play in my hair. can you do that for me? Please?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A cycle to be broken

Today, and for the past few days it's been a real struggle for me. I've been pulling with such an intensity that it makes me stop to ask is there something deeper going on? I thought that the urges would decrease as I came closer to living out my purpose, but it's actually accelerated -- enough so to make me wonder if I am in the middle of a spiritual war.

You know, for some it might sound crazy but I do believe that the more we realize God's purpose for us and walk in that path, the more the devil turns up the heat...literally, causing you to engage in destructive behavior or thinking that throws you off your game.

I never used to think that, but everytime I deepen my spiritual walk distractions come about that could make a weak person crumble.

I woke up with the urge to write because I have been struggling to go to sleep all week, and my pulling has been at the worst in many years. However, in this week I also had some powerful realizations about my life and the direction in which it should go. Hence, my conclusion that there is a bigger force trying to muck it all up.

At any rate, I am determined that I will one day comb my hair in all its splendor and perhaps not return to the way it used to be, but with a new appreciation for the look of today.

This journey has forced me to take a very close look at myself and learn to really love me --- for exactly who I am. It's been a painful and insightful process and yes, while I might have preferred an easier way to discover the beauty I have within, it's been worth it.

We're so bombarded with the popular beliefs about beauty and I think that right now we're in an obsessive overdrive about our physical looks. It's so damaging to the psyche, especially for little girls. All this talk about the big reveal and how to make everything better with a pill, a nip, a's enough to make you scream, "enough already!!!" It's like they're trying to bring Barbie to life but in reality there are dangerous consequences.

I think about how I used to hate my hair because it wasn't long, and it wasn't 'soft enough' or 'good enough.' But when I reflect on all the times colleagues wished their hair had the versatility of my soft, curly locks, I know that what I had was special. It's just that somewhere along the line, my self hatred for my natural hair evolved into this seemingly uncontrollable animal called Trichotillomania. Now I don't accept the mania part, because it's not so much about feeling crazy as it is a vice or a learned response to what is going on in my life. Unfortunately there's no patch to fix this, and the pills...I'm not even sure they really treat the problem.

It's so tough sometimes to explain and even tougher to understand why this is my cross to bear. In the past I bargained with God to make it go away but intuitively I know that this was part of the lesson to get me to stop comparing myself to others for what they were born with and love every strand that God has given to me.

A new day is on the horizon and I will leave this long, tiresome era in the past. I know God will bring me through this...he has to...he promised.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"I am NOT my hair..."

What's our obsession with this thing called hair anyway? Men shave it off on purpose and it always grows back, but let a woman start to lose hers and she sometimes has to pray that it returns in all its splendor.

Such small strands, soooo much drama! Hair, or the lack thereof, can ruin relationships, wreck self esteem, create panic, and clog a drain. can make you a star (a la Farrah Fawcett and Jennifer Aniston), and send the opposite sex in a tailspin with just one toss of the head. But you know day it can all disappear, *snap.* You can lose it due to illness, stress, or a bad hair cut...heck, you could have had a bad perm. Whatever the reason, there comes a time when you realize that your attachment to hair is truly not WHO you are.

So what's a girl to do then? How does one get past the stigma of knowing that her hair loss is not caused by any of these seemingly acceptable experiences. What happens when someone with a healthy head of hair methodically pulls strand, after strand, after strand...sometimes ignoring the pain in the fingertips because they're in a trance. What happens when they start to loathe the very action, knowing all the while that they will hate their reflection when they snap out of it? What happens when they have to answer to their still small voice, which they purposefully ignored just to get that teeny tiny moment of release...of satisfaction?

As we journey through this blog, hopefully the answers will come clearly, succinctly, proficiently. For this has been a long and painful journey, through the darkness, to a positive realization. It's like coming through the fog by following the light ahead, but not being quite able to see where you're headed - you only know that you're heading in the right direction, at the right time, in the right place. "It's been a long, long time coming, but I know my change gon' come..." 061609

What do you mean you pull your hair???

I've got this that makes me feel as though I'm living two lives. To the rest of the world I'm so well put together but once I close the door behind me, the struggle begins. Such is the life of a person with Trichotillomania - Trich for short. Trich is an impulse control disorder or form of self-injury characterized by the repeated urge to pull out [bodily hair - from the scalp, lashes and other areas], sometimes resulting in noticeable bald patches (Source: Wikipedia).

Why do I do this? If I knew that answer I'd have a full head of hair right now. See, it started as a result of wearing braids too tight, then stress, then it morphed into a strange way of responding to my stress. Today I'm hiding my inner self behind wigs -- cute though they are--- afraid to reveal the real me for fear of rejection.

Don't get me wrong....this is not a pity party...but a way to explain this dreaded action that I would not wish on my worst enemy. There's no patch, no pill, no step program for this vice...all you get is "find something else to do with your hands," or "wear gloves," or "why don't you just stop???" That's my favorite...if it was that easy would so many people struggle with Trich every day? I'm praying for a cure, or at the very least to one day wake up and find that the urge to pull is gone for good! That would be divine.

In the meantime, I have to continue loving myself, knowing that this is not a barrier to finding love. In fact, it's opened my eyes to how important SELF love is before one can share in a loving relationship. This is my journey...this is part of my spiritual path...this is my hair story...and so as I close this inaugural chapter, I pray that by writing I will slowly shed the last shackles of trich that keep me pulling, keep me hiding, keep me from truly, fully being ME. 061609