Alopecia – Emerging From Behind the Mask
Just the other day it hit me during spin class that as of my 52nd birthday last May it has been a solid 40 years since my first experience with alopecia. It is an anniversary of sorts. As my mind continued to wonder in that hour of intense cycling, the tears flowed behind the sweat beads. I realized immediately that I was having moment. The good news is that from the outside, sweat resembles tears so it was transparent that I had a breakdown. At that very second I decided that I’ve done nothing more than lived behind a mask for 40 long years sharing only half of who I am.
Turning over a new Leaf
As I enter into 2015, with the help of the village that has respected the mask I have hidden behind for many years, I must slowly and ever so gently peep out and help someone. What better time to start then the first day of a brand new year. I’m not boasting a new me; instead, presenting the other half of me you may not have had the pleasure of meeting.
My hope is to be an inspiration to someone or anyone who has suffered with hair loss. They must know that life goes on; that there can be relationships beyond alopecia; there is a community that empathizes with you; and that first and foremost, you are beautiful.
In preparation for this moment, I agreed to participate in a very special project due to be complete later this year and a photo shoot inspired by this undertaking. A sincere thank you to the amazing Kate Belle Photography and my dear friend and colleague Tania Dowdy. The photos above are samplings of a work in progress. (stay tuned for more details)
Wrapping Up 2014 in 7 Bold Statements
2014 has had it’s ups and downs. As I reflect back on the year in review I have made revelations; made decisions; made some plans; and I have so much to be grateful for.
- As I’ve moved a notch further into my fifties, I was suddenly reminded that retirement is only a footstep away and a bedroom upstairs may not be too senior citizen ready. As a result my husband and I have commenced to thinking about retrofitting our home with the future in mind and enjoy some brand new conveniences that we missed out on we didn’t have a pot to… or a window to… Ya’ll know the rest.
- After 40 years of hiding, it’s time to break out of my comfort zone and become an inspiration to another alopecian.
- In 2014 we planned a cruise to take later this year. While it is not our first, it will be our first Jazz cruise and we’re excited about it and look forward to rubbing elbows with some of our favorite musicians.
- Around in September 2014 I woke up one morning and decided that the car I purchased 21/2 years prior was not the one I really wanted. As frugal as I am, I closed my eyes and told myself, “you only live once”, I believe they call that a YOLO moment. With that, we traded Black Ice and made room for a new and improved sportier Black Ice. I feel blessed and young again.
- I’m so thankful that I work for a place affiliated with the hospital that made headlines and continues to make significant strides in conquering the Ebola virus. That would be Emory University. I feel honored.
- I experienced lavender fields in France. I love my job! A week later I beached in Aruba with hubby where we celebrated our 31st anniversary. I am blessed.
- My daughter may be on her way to total independence as she basks in her first job with bennies made possible in December. What this means for us parents is that we’re one step closer to hitting the delete key on that line item on the Stanfield spreadsheet. We are “truly” blessed! LAWD THANNNK YA!
The Best Is Yet to Come
Of course 2014 was not all a bed of roses. There were some hiccups as with any year but without the challenges you don’t have the opportunity to rise above and push forward. It’s a new day, another ordinary day in a not so ordinary life.
As I close the books on 2014, I’m looking forward to the challenges and experiences the new year holds.
I wish you a Happy New Year and I am hopeful that you will achieve all that you aspire to in 2015!
More to come!
What are you thankful for?
Photo Credit: Bruger:Hansjorn – Happy New Year