The Realization

Living on my own was really lonely so I just worked as much as possible to take my mind off of my life situation. Then one day after I was drinking I past out at my younger sisters place and she found a bald spot on my head. I remember this really clear, I said “your joking right” and she said “No, Tyra there is a bald spot” and she took my fingers and guided them the the spot. I did not know what to think, I went to the doctors to see what was happening to me. All that was said was I had alopecia ariata and I may stop losing my hair or it could continue.

During the next months I had lost so much hair that I asked my manager at work if I could wear a cap to work to cover the areas, she said it was ok. This caused distention in the unit as it was not part of our uniform, I had to deal with people asking why I was wearing a cap and that just seemed as painful to relive it over and over again. The manager of the unit attempted to rep remand me for wearing the hat at the time until I took it off and then she apologized for the error in judgement.

The hair loss continued for the next months and I had lost 3/4 of my hair and decided to shave my head as it just was not looking nice, all straggly and whispy. I was so vain of my hair that while I was losing it I had a container on the toilet cover that I would put my hair into, why I did this I still do not know. It gave me comfort I think as it was still in my presence, and could see it no matter what.

Nursing is a stressful field and it may have been the stress of my job or it could have been the life changes that I was supposed to make. That is like asking did the egg come before the chicken. When I was told that it was probably because of stress I just said “my life was full of stress and it did not affect me like this”, the doctor did not know what to say to my statement, but “in my experience it has a lot to do with the disease and you need to lesten the stress you are under”. During the same time I was on steroids to see if it would help with the inflammation in the follicles but it did not it just continued to fall out at an alarming rate. I just thought thank goodness I am bald so it really did not matter anymore.

This one day I was looking in the mirror and noticed that I could see my cheek bones, it made my day as I was losing some weight. Then I realized that from taking the steroids i had developed a moon face from it. I was in shock as I did not see it when I looked in the mirror. I just said to my co-workers “did I have a moon face” they said with a sigh “yes you did but we did not have the heart to tell you, you were going through so much already, you did not need to deal with that too”. I just chuckled under my breath and said “thanks for not telling me I do not think it would have made me too happy”, with a giggle.

The day came where I wanted to see if I could wear a wig. So I went shopping with my younger sister and tried some of them on, I just could not see myself in one of them. the roughness of them on my bald head was too much to bare. I left the store with tears running down my face, my sister tried to comfort me, but there just was nothing that she could say to me to make me feel better. I drove back to my sisters place with the tears continuing down my cheek, I just could not find a way to make myself feel better.

During this time I begun drinking on my days off. It seemed like it was more often then not. I did not realize what I was doing, just thought that it was fun. Then this one day I can remember clearly is I got the shakes from coming down from being drunk, and went and drank again and the shakes left me. I knew at this point either I was going to continue to drink all the time to drown my s0rrows or I would quit drinking and have a productive life. That feeling I felt when my mom would get drunk and I would say to myself “I don’t want to be like that when I am older” came to my mind. I took a good look at myself and what I was doing and decided that it was time to make a move. This is when I decided that I had to move from the city or I would be in trouble, addiction was in my genes and I did not want to go that route in life.

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