Losing my hair due to my chemotherapy treatments was certainly a traumatic experience associated with my cancer (although I did come around to accept the true sense of beauty it allowed me to feel).
This trauma is not in the least shocking to me.
I was expecting to feel unlike myself without hair, to cry upon seeing my hair fall to the ground and question my very identity at times - especially my identity as a woman.
What was unexpected was that growing my hair back would also end up being highly troublesome.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The one thing I spent months wishing for and that I wanted more than anything in this world - my long hair - has proved to be a nightmare goal to achieve.
What was the problem with my new hair?
I can't control the inevitable stages of its growth.
It is a constant reminder that going back to 'normal' life is not feasible.
And, shockingly, I have no idea how to deal with hair anymore.
I often find myself looking into the mirror paralyzed with... well... fear.
I was very comfortable doing my hair before I lost it to cancer.
I usually wore it long, though I did cut it shoulder length a few times as a teen.
Either way, I loved doing my hair, styling it in new ways and showing off my creations (sometimes crazy ones at that) to the world.
What frustrates me most is that, at some points in my life, I had hair about the length that it's have grown to now. And it worked for me!
So, how in the world have I lost the ability to work with it now?
I have already shared that my inability to work with and embrace my new post-chemo hair stems from a lot of fear. But the antidote to fear is, in my opinion, courage.
Which is what I have started practicing.
Taking all of the courage I have, I am attempting to embrace my post-cancer treatment hair.
I have even started playing around with my hair (sometimes for hours at a time!) trying to find new styles to rock at work, at home and out and about in the world.
This takes a lot from me emotionally, especially when it comes to leaving my bathroom (and even more so the apartment). Still, the rewards have been incredible.
I am more confident, I find the idea of growing my hair less emotionally taxing and I have gone back to putting in effort when it comes to my hair in the morning or before going out.
Basically, through action and perseverance, I have transformed a process that proved long and tedious into an undertaking I enjoy.
I have found that growing my hair after cancer, especially since it’s a process done alone, is unrecognizably difficult.
There are ways to break through the emotional barriers of the process to embrace the positive impact it can have on your life.
P.S.: Check out the style I tried in the picture above!