I posted about my experience so far with Alopecia Areata on Instagram and said I would share it here too for anyone going through similar.
The reason I’m posting the above photo is that I want to show why self-care is important. If you don’t look after your physical and mental health the effects will start to show, in my case; #AlopeciaAreata
How did it start?
Around the middle of last year 2019 I was very run down, stressed and overwhelmed by life in general. I was grieving the loss of my sons friend (it really shocked me and the whole community to our core and has changed my view on life in general but it’s been hard to wrap our heads around. Over the summer holidays I was so sick and run down on top of 4 kids to mind with no help while OH was at work and I trying so hard to be the “perfect do everything mom” because I seen how quick life can shatter.
I put so much, too much pressure on myself to the point I burnt out! I was emotional, physically sick, run-down, tired, and suffering anxiety bad again. And Christmas was coming up which I find very triggering and emotional. I then ended up losing friends who decided to not bother to invite me or the kids to meet them anymore to our regular meetups and started ignoring me because I was sick and going through this bad patch with my mental health. Honestly, that really hurt and caused more stress but I realise now they aren’t friends to do that even when they knew what I was going through, #bekind they say . No one has to keep “friends” like that and I’m much happier now even though it hurt at the time, I see now that they were not my people esp when “get over it” and “middle finger emoji” was sent when I told them how much it hurt and what I was going through. Eyes were really opened then I tell you.
Wake Up Call
My partner kept telling me I needed to try slow down and stop worrying myself into a tizzy, of course I didn’t listen as I’m stubborn but it was all a huge wake-up call when noticed a bald patch the size of a €2 coin in November. My first thought was “omg I have a brain tumour” yes I’m aware that sounds uber dramatic, haha but that’s what always preparing yourself for the worst does, hello anxiety! So I went to the doc the next day or so to put my mind at ease and she said I had Alopecia Areata as I suspected. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease with no real exact cause or cure, it’s often genetic but I do think for me it was triggered being run down and stressed and not looking after myself . The penny dropped. I had to start putting myself first and take care of me before trying to be super mam, what good are we for others if we’re not well ourselves ?
What Now? Self Care, that’s what!
So since then, I’ve joined a gym, I pay to have personal training once a week, I’m trying to eat better and take my vitamins. I was low on Vit D when my GP did blood work so I’m taking my multivitamins now, am saying no to people and not doing more favours than I need to. Although I feel bad saying no I have to do what I need to do to be well for my family. I’m trying to have a more “take things as they come” “everyday is a blessing” kind of approach, if we don’t get time to make dinner that day no biggie sandwiches or waffles and beans will do. So what I’m losing my hair? I’m still well and alive so I’m not that upset or stressed about it.
I do find having some sort of a routine and structure helps me hugely though. I’m reading more to switch off my brain and going to bed a bit earlier and keep my phone away so I can fully unwind my body and mental state. All these little things add to the bigger picture of wholeness and wellbeing.
So the point I really want to bring home here is a remember to look after you! My alopecia areata parch has gotten bigger but I feel better because of the self-care steps I take everyday BEFORE I burn out.
I know there are salons and products that specialise in this but honestly from my research, it seems to me that if it’s going to grow back it will when it’s ready. So for now I’m not going to spend a load of money when my hairs could still be in the ‘resting’ (telogen) phase. Obviously scalp care is important for new hair to grow so I’m just focusing on that with making sure not to over or under wash my hair. I’m actually using Alpecin, a caffeine shampoo that’s not too hatch on the pocket. It claims to stimulate hair growth. I didn’t notice much at the start but there are a few fluffy baby hairs now which honestly could be a coincidence.
Also, I’ve cut my hair short to make me feel like the hair has less catching up to do. It felt too thin and craggy for long hair anyway so it’s grand.
Stay well, self-care. Any questions please feel free to ask in the comments of you can find me on Instagram here > www.instagram.com/yasminoconnor.blog/
PS. I wrote this BEFORE all this Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. As of now in Ireland, we are all practising social distancing; the kid’s schools are all losed down, as are the gyms and the likes so it’s a tough time for us all now. Taking it day by day. Here’s hoping we all get through this, hair, health and sanity intact <3