Fear, Failure & Faith during Alopecia
Fear. It's a heavy burden. And normally when the unknown arises, such as hairloss, it's nerve wracking and yet, fear can stem from outside issues as well, not just with a new diagnosis. Today, we are experiencing fear of many sorts. I have some clients, that due to the fear in other circumstances in their lives, outside of alopecia, which has forced and driven their alopecia further, experiencing more loss at a rapid rate due to this fear amongst other factors. As I have mentioned before, its not just one thing or another, it's a whole host of multiple factors that brought them and others to this point.
Over the weekend, I too experienced fear, which then resulted in a fever. I'll spare you the details but while it lasted for less than 48 hrs, it was brought on by stress and also by me saying "I don't want this to happen"- THIS can stand for anything: ie: hairloss, or anything negative. I believe words have wings. And beliefs can be injected into your subconscious. Thoughts can become beliefs. So we need to be extra careful and mindful about how we approach our alopecia and the power we give it. What's more, we need to mindful about fear, because we can face those fears and overcome them systematically, however if you let them play over in your head and create scenarios of doom and gloom then that too will harm your immune system and your hair growth progress. (yes there's science research behind this)
Personally, I have not feared much of anything in my life. Including Alopecia. I grabbed that and life by the horns. It's not easy, there are moments of weakness, but you keep going as you know things will get better. However I do see that with everything around us going on in the world, fear can and has crept in many. Whether its the news we watch and read that inject fear of economies, policies, health and corona, it seems like its all getting worse day by day. I'm limiting the content I take in as that too can hinder my mental, emotional and effect my physical health too. Stress is real, and it has grave impact on our physical health.
I have studied this and actually speak professionally to companies, entrepreneurs, and associations about stress and work stress and how to mitigate and manage it. Burnout is not just a feeling... its an explosion, a tsunami of sorts, kinda like when you get an autoimmune disease. It's not just hair, there are numerous other symptoms and side effects to the condition.
Thankfully, many autoimmune diseases, including alopecia can be reversed as can burnout and stress too.
At times, when fear passes we feel like a failure, partly because fear doesn't allow you to make clear minded decisions, and it paralyzes you from many things that naturally you would be able to do normally. The feeling of failure is attributed from not getting the hoped results we wanted. The immediate, the now. Whether that is the hair growth or the toilet paper we are searching for. However in both cases, failure only truly comes once we stop looking and trying to achieve what we want. Read that again, you can only be considered a failure once you stop the process of achieving your goal.
Let's take toilet paper. Would you really stop at just one store? Would you use an alternative? Make do with a creative solution? Perhaps a shower after every bathroom use? How about paper towel?
Same with hairloss... I have to remind people that my "getting up and trying again" happened over and over and over again, over a course of more than 2 years. It's just that, keep going.... like the marathon trail... keep going until you hit the finish line. That's when its all worth it. Think about people in business, Olympians and others that have a sheer determination for getting things done, for doing things better and supporting their cause.
I would be no where without my faith. I don't talk much about faith because its taboo in a USA culture, much like politics. You learn early on to avoid these topics at work, with family and potentially with friends too. Living abroad and throughout my travels to more than 60+ countries - the culture is different, curiosity lingers and once they know you are American, politics, amongst other hot topics, come up right away.
I lived in countries where heads of state and government mention God freely and talk about their faith and love openly. The contrast of course is huge.
I too, am a firm believer and have faith. This is by no means me trying to convert you or your thoughts, but regardless of what you believe or do not believe, having faith in yourself is a MUST. Having faith and being optimistic that this too shall pass is a MUST. That any little nugget of encouragement that I could tell myself during dark times was what helped me get through it. That's where mental toughness comes in. That's where resilience comes in. That's where you need to learn to pick yourself off the floor, whether thats in your home, office or in the corner of the bathroom -- pick yourself up.
Many are waiting for others to do that for them.... spoiler alert--- they are not coming.
You need to do it on your own, and for those of you who have done so for years quietly, all by yourself, I SEE YOU. I recognize your strength and I know you are out there. For those that are still learning... keep going you got this. Hold on tight, you can get over this and much more!
Over the weekend I had a loss and the ripple of sadness poured through my family.... during the actual situation though, it was my faith, prayer and will to look at this 'bad' or 'negative' situation and turn it into a positive.
I did the same for alopecia over 4 years ago. I didn't ask myself "why me"- or think doom and gloom. I saw this and wondered, "what is this teaching me?" How can I learn from this situation, because obviously something is not right... so let's tackle this problem and get the solution to it. Yes, I think this way in all cases. I move beyond the problem and immediately think of creative solutions, a plan A, B, C and so on....
What I am trying to say, is that FEAR holds you back--- don't let it, have FAITH in yourself and that tomorrow will be a better day. If you need today or this afternoon to grieve, feel bad, recover, etc... do so, but get back on that horse and move forward. Staying in the same place will not garner any results or any momentum. Take failure with a grain of salt. Failure is actually needed so you can hone in your skills and create the perfect pitch, the perfect plan, the perfect program :)
We are here to thrive. We are here to be the healthiest possible. We are here to be the happiest possible. And it is all possible. However it all starts and stops with you. No one can force you to get back up, no one can do the work for you, no one can force you to practice so hard until you reach your goals.
I am sending everyone virtual hugs, and lots of love--- because this is something we all need more of! In 2000 or in 2020, no one knew ever what the future held or holds now... all we can do is have faith, continue to press on and continue to strive to do better. Just like Maya Angelou says, " When you know better, you do better"
Use every situation life gives you as a time to learn, reflect and grow from!