What I Learnt about myself and others after a year of wearing wigs!
In 2017 I wore a wig almost everyday!
Because I suffer from a condition called Trichotillomania which means I compulsively pull my own hair out, and this leaves my natural hair in a bad way.
In 2016/2017 I had done a lot of hard work on my mental health as I had only been diagnosed with bipolar in 2013 and the realities of managing this condition took some time. I had been living very dysfunctionally for such a long time I had decades of bad habits to address.
Though I had been doing all this mental work, physically I had gone to wrack and ruin! I had pulled a lot of hair and felt so low when I saw myself in the mirror. The only way I was going to be able to look respectable enough (in my eyes) to even leave the house was to wear a wig. Something I’d done a few times in my life though mainly on stage as an opera singer.
Though I felt more confident with a wig on, once I was out of the house I then had to deal with other people’s reactions.
I had to deal with colleagues asking questions...
Why I was wearing a wig when I had hair (I hid the patches well).
Why did I keep changing my look?
Constantly having people doing double takes when they saw me.
Some people definitely thought I was attention seeking?
The answer was absolutely not.
I had become good an confidently laughing off the comments but inside I was crying with shame for having to hide the damage I had been causing myself. I was sad that this was something I had done to myself.
Mentally it was a tough time. Looking in the mirror, even though it was more bearable, was tough. I felt like a fake person. Wigs are really decent quality nowadays but I was acutely aware that everyone could tell it wasn’t natural.
What did I learn?
- I learnt that people judge others very easily. That it’s easy to think that someone is attention seeking because they look different. Always consider that that person may be just doing what they need to to keep going. Many people have body image issues or hidden disorders. I have learnt to judge less and feel more empathy.
- I learnt that I had to have confidence in my decisions. If I had worn the wigs apologetically (even though I felt that way inside) I would not have been able to wear them and give my hair the rest it needed from a constant barrage of pulling. I was willing to live with the questions and attention it seemed to draw just so I could do the right thing for my health.
- I learnt to make sure I didn’t skirt around the real issue when people asked. I got used to smiling and telling people it was a wig because I had a hair condition. This disarmed people and the vulnerability helped me get the message out there that people don’t always look different by choice!
- I learnt that I was strong and proud of what I was doing and that I wanted to give others with similar issues the confidence to wear whatever made them feel better about themselves because we have to live with that person in the mirror!
A lot of women and men struggle with self image issues because of hair loss problems! More than you think!
#confidence #hairloss #trichotillomania #trich #wig #mentalhealth #bipolar #youdoyou #meologylife #selfcare #fun #love #followfriday