It was in July 2013 when I was first diagnosed with alopecia. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that many people can’t make sense of, not even doctors, because it is incurable. It is a disease that causes your immune system to attack your hair follicles and causing them to fall off, though thankfully without physical pain of any sort. But this disease is no less crippling than others; it is my third year battling this monster and there still are days when I wake up filled with despondency and unable to see the good in this season.
I’m not sure how many people out there are struggling with the same disease. But I know somewhere out there, there are people too afraid to admit that the image reflected in the mirror scares them and they don’t know who to turn to. They will be trying ways and means to cover up their baldness, and they will find that despair becomes a very familiar visitor. They will be looking at their old photos and for some, they’ll be missing the simple joy of tying their hair. They will be sweeping off the fallen strands from their pillows every morning when they wake, chunks and chunks of them. They will be ridden with shame and indignity, as they find their self-esteem dissolving into nothingness. And even though they know that their families and friends love and care for them, they can’t help feeling that they will never understand how it truly feels.
I know this, because I’ve been there.
At this point in time, the existence of a support group locally is not known to me, and I really want to connect with people who have chosen to keep mum about their struggles and fears regarding alopecia. I really believe that there is strength when two or more come together to share our hopes and fears. I strongly believe that we don’t have to suffer in silence all alone, and the way to gain strength is to take that first step out of the negative space we trap ourselves in.
If you know of anyone who is fighting this battle, please help to bridge this gap between us so that we can support each other and know that we are not alone. I’m really uncomfortable with the idea of crowdsourcing, and as I’m typing this all my fears and doubts are clouding my thoughts, but you guys have shown me the power of social media can make incredible things happen. Just by clicking ‘share’, you can actually make a huge difference.
So internet, let’s make this happen.