Just a Girl on mental health
If you asked my male friends to sum me up in two words they would use this as a description. Big hair. Nice arse. I have a sparkling personality, nice eyes and white teeth too but “Big hair” and “Nice arse” are the dealbreakers….
I stand out a mile because of these badboys. Which is something I didn’t think I’d ever be able to say again – Because my addiction took the lot.
I hated my hair as a child. I looked like Shirley Temple. A full on choir-girl ringlet affair. It was waaaay too angelic. Apart from my fringe. My fringe was fucked. Cut on a slant. I can only assume that my mum had been drinking when she attempted that particular manoeuvre… it was pretty grim.
Anyway. I hated it. It took hours to dry and was way too fiddly. So I saved up my money and took myself and my angelic hairdo down to the hair-dressers.
Only my hair is afro.
It turns out that you shouldn’t attempt to cut afro hair if you don’t know what you are doing. I came out looking like Micheal Jackson. And not in a good way. So the lot came off. At a different hairdressers – and then I looked like a boy.
I cried for days.
I swore that I would never mess with my hair again if it would only grow back. Which took years….
I needed my hair. It defined me. And it was also incredibly useful to hide behind, when I was shy, unsure or just having an off day. Which was most of the time. And it was finally back to exactly how it should be…
And then I got ill. And it all went to shit.
The anxiety started first. And whenever I got anxious or unsure I would fiddle with my hair. Only this time I wasn’t fiddling. I was pulling it out. Subconciously. By the time a friend took me to one side and pointed it out, I’d been doing it for weeks.
Plus my depression had kicked in after a world of headfuck had just landed in my lap, and I was drinking massive amounts of alcohol 24/7 to try and escape what was happening in my head. Which helped to wreck my thyroid gland. As I found out on my admission to detox.
Anyway. My hair was wrecked. And so was I.
My once beautiful curls were broken, patchy and dreadlocked. I couldn’t bear to look at my reflection. I wanted to shave it off but the nurses wouldn’t let me. A decision that i’m grateful for now. Because, bad as it was, having no hair at all would have left me feeling like Samson after Delialahs onslaught. Completely drained and powerless. And I couldn’t be feeling drained and powerless. Not if I was going to beat this fucker.
So yes, I felt raw and exposed, yes I looked and felt horrific, and no there was nothing I could do about it all, except give in or get well.
And so I gritted my teeth, my girl friends in detox combed out my dreadlocks and I started to wear a beanie.
And I did my detox. Then rehab. Four months of it.
And I took vitamins and minerals and medication for my thyroid. I ate properly, instead of starving myself as I had been previously. I tried not to stress, as I knew that worry was a massive contibutor to hair loss. Because you worry about losing your hair, so the worry causes stress and the stress results in even more hair loss. Which basically becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and one big vicious circle.
In a nutshell, I made sure I looked after myself by doing all of the things that I should have been doing right in the first place.
And now, a year down the line my beanie is a thing of the past. My hair is long and beautiful again.
I’m beautiful again.
Probably more so. Because I’m grateful to be alive. And so I appreciate what I’ve got. Barely twelve months ago I could have lost the lot.
Today my “Big hair” is having an off day. It’s currently a cross between “cavewoman” and “Beetlejuice”. Well today my hair can do whatever the fuck it wants. Because after the year I’ve just had I will never complain about my hair again. Big, small, wild, whatever. My hair is beautiful. It makes me “me”
I love it…. x
Just a Girl is our mental health columnist. Find her on Twitter