Explorations of mind, paths, and life

I want to cut it all off…

Posted on June 30, 2010 - Filed Under Evelyn, fear, feelings, healing


I have lost another round of hair… and I am feeling completely defeated. I never imagined I would feel this kind of distress over my hair… Where did I get the idea that my hair makes me a woman? I notice every person with thinning hair and wonder what THEY are feeling about it. Are they as distressed and defeated as I am feeling?

I have all kinds of little inner critics and judges making a hot mess of my mind fairly regularly over the issue. I hear them tell me I shouldn’t worry over it, because it makes it worse. I hear them tell me that people who have Chemo lose their hair, so I should be grateful. I hear them whisper that everyone knows, everyone sees, EVERYONE looks at me in utterly maddening HORROR. I flipping HATE hair commercials, with faceless women throwing their hair around like it’s strands of confetti, while sensually running their fingers through it all with moans of pleasure. And as my tub fills up with fine strands of brown, I grieve every last one… every little hair I wish I could pick up and coax right back where it belongs.

Everyone has an opinion about what it is… too much stress, too little vegetables, not enough sleep, not enough vitamins, all of it considered and I try so hard to relieve. I fret over the chlorine in the water, I want to wear hats all the time, and I am distressed when I stand too far in front of the overhead projector for fear it will illuminate what I don’t have. If anyone looks higher than my eyeballs I get immediate anxiety, and none of it can be any healthier for what I have left. Every product I try makes my scalp raw, and my skin hurt… I’ve gone organic, I keep an eye out for sulfates… and yes, I have even tried Rogaine (which caused such an itchy reaction I lost hair over it!)

If I cut it all off, maybe I wouldn’t be so aware of all the patches of barren skin shining through thin fields of baby fine brown. I think my ongoing thoughts about cutting it all off when it gets like this is so symbolic of all the things I want to cut out of my life, all the cut offs I want to create… all the ways in which I want to disassociate with the things and people that illuminate what is falling apart. If I cut it off, I don’t have to see all the ways in which it is barren and patchy and painful.

I am grateful for dry hair, freshly washed, for the ways it looks fuller and hides my bare skin. I am grateful for hats, and days I get to stay home. And if you are thinking I should add to the list of things I am grateful for… like being able to see, and not being in a wheel chair, and all that other stuff people toss out there to “make me feel better”… keep it to yourself – because it doesn’t help me feel better… It brings up my guilt… the kind of guilt that exists because I am fussing over something as ridiculous as my hair, and then locks me in cavernous rooms of filing cabinets filled with things “I have no right to be feeling.” Yeah, I want to say F-U to that voice right there!


5 Responses to “I want to cut it all off…”

  1. Joshua Magro on July 1st, 2010 9:49 pm

    It sounds like my dear friend could use a little less stress in life. I don’t mean cutting back on work, loosening up that action-packed schedule, or even taking time for yourself. I’m sure you’re capable of all those things. However, I would suggest freeing yourself from any judgements you may have pertaining to your job, family, or physical appearance. It’s a vicious cycle of worrying about what’s happening, meanwhile creating more energy around that unwanted thing.

    When we let go of how things are “supposed” to look we free ourselves of any unrealistic expectations, not mention create a space for the universe to unfold graciously without bounds.

    Love you =)

  2. Emma Graham on July 1st, 2010 11:17 pm

    First off, I am so glad that you and Monica write. It makes me happy to no end to know that there are souls like yours out there.

    Second, I would feel the exact same way. While I was preggo, I didn’t shed hair (which I read is normal). Now that the baby is here, I feel as though I am losing double what I should.

    However, in my situation there is relief because I know the cause. If it were serious and mysterious like your case, I would be having those screaming inner critics, insecurities, grief, and guilts as well. Maybe knowing that someone else would feel the same way will relieve a little of all that bad-joojoo you’re experiencing?

    Maybe someone just needs to buy some chocolate to soothe you!

  3. Jennifer on July 2nd, 2010 12:10 pm

    Hi there,
    I lost all of my hair over the course of about 6 months in college. It was a traumatic experience. You can tell yourself other people’s traumas are bigger or more significant or smaller and less so, but the bottom line is it is your trauma. Right then. Right there in the shower, watching it go down the drain.
    I am so sorry Evelyn. I wish I could help.

  4. Evelyn on July 2nd, 2010 7:41 pm

    Josh – Thanks for the reminder… <3 and I know know the Universe will unfold as it will, but it helps to now put up so many borders.

    Emma, oh I remember those days. I loved how thick my hair got (acne matched it) but afterwards I was stunned... wish I understood better what is happening with me... I do know that everyone loves me regardless.

    Jennifer - Certainly the stress doesn't help. Thanks, it does feel traumatic... more because I just don't seem to have any control over it, nor can I fix it.

    Love you all for the encouragement and support!

  5. Steve Heselius on November 13th, 2010 6:24 am

    I know you posted this a long time ago…but I had to comment.

    I first started losing my hair in my early 20s…and it probably was for all the reason you listed: stress, no veggies, too much work etc etc. I was going to school, playing football, married (young), new baby and running several nightclubs…I don’t remember sleeping.

    Being bald was not cool in the late 80s. I had long (for me) hair…think Steven Segal…until I went into the Army and they cut it all off.

    After a couple years it just didn’t make sense…I was 28 and because of how short it had to be I felt like I looked 40 (nice judgment) with a “ceasar ring” so I shaved it all off. I figured and said it several times “God started it, I finished it.” It was me taking control of my life. HA! Little did I know that there was an Army regulation that said you had to have at least 1/8 an inch of hair and that shaving your head was against regulations…

    I was ordered to grow my hair…don’t laugh..I think I still have the written order somewhere. So I had to grow my hair until a few of the black soldiers spoke up against the order…they had been shaving their heads for years and no one challenged them. Was this an issue or form of racism? Long story short..the order was revoked and I shaved my head…

    and have been for several years… every time it gets long (1/4″) I see that I have even less to shave on top and all those judgments reappear. So should I grow it and deal with my self judgment? Maybe but right now I have enough to work on…and Deb likes the shaved head.

    Love you