Life, Love and Alopecia

love-life-alopeciaEvery girl dreams about the day she will get engaged. I pictured it many times! I pictured a handsome man on one knee, with a big shinny ring asking if he could spend the rest of his life with me. I pictured myself standing there with one hand over my mouth and tears of joy in my eyes. But I never pictured myself wearing a wig.

Diagnosed with Alopecia
Four months ago I was diagnosed with Alopecia. Within weeks it progressed to Alopecia Universalis- an advanced form of Alopecia that affects the entire body. The last few months have been a whirlwind of doctors appointments, depression and fear. I felt that I had been robbed of my confidence and happiness. To be honest, it was difficult for me to imagine going forward with my life.

Got married
But thanks to a very special guy, things have started to change. Three months after I was diagnosed, he asked me to marry him. I realized that if he loved me just as much today as he did a few months ago, then maybe alopecia hasn’t stolen anything important from me at all. I stopped checking the mirror every hour for signs of growth. I stopped obsessing over medical studies and alopecia forums. And I started living my life!

My perspective
As crazy as this sounds, the world looks much different to me now than it did four months ago. I have realized how lucky I am to have a great family, friends, a roof over my head, air in my lungs and an amazing person to hold my hand through it all. Next to these things, hair just seems insignificant.

For anyone going through this- there is no standard operating procedure. Everyone is different. But what I can tell you is that one day it will click. One day you will realize it is just hair. Hair does not change who you are or what you can become. You will realize you only get one life, and why waste it being upset over silly hair?

If you aren’t going through this- at some point in your life you will probably meet someone who is struggling with Alopecia or some other medical condition. You have the ability to make them feel like their situation has not changed the way you feel about them, and trust me, that is a powerful thing.

I still don’t have hair, and I don’t know if I ever will again. But I do have my smile back, and I now see that is all that really matters.