Monday, January 9, 2012
A couple of winters ago, I was very sick with a stomach virus, honestly, I didn't know what was wrong. I was sick at my stomach constantly with nausea and burning. That I could deal with, I mean, that was not the worse of it. I began to lose my hair one day and it continued for 3 months, coming out in handfuls in the shower, coming out all day long in fact. My hair was everywhere, all over the house, and in the sink. I had no idea what was happening, but it was happening and happening fast. My scalp crawled as the follicles popped and released each hair, my skin crawled as the hair hung on my arms and body. I screamed at the sky. I cried. I'm certain there was an inner neurological madness occuring as well as a psychological madness. I felt like I was going to go mad. I thought of shaving it, but waited. Finally, after 3 months, it stopped, not just like that, but less and less fell out and eventually I was back to normal, minus 1/3 of my hair or more.....it seems like more to me. I bought hats and discovered that letting go and accepting was the only way I was going to survive this. Just let go. Easy to say, let go, let the hair fall, mourn it if you want, but let it go, and accept that what has happened, like most awful things, could not be stopped by any action I carried out. I went to doctors and had several thousand dollars worth of lab tests completed. I had an upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy. Yes, finally, something came back abnormal. I had a case of severe gastritis and my poor stomach was so inflamed I was not absorbing nutrients. It's been a while since this all happened to me. I was embarrased by it. You see I am, unlike Sinead O'Connor, very attached to my hair. Imagine that, of course I am, and therein is the lesson of letting go. Can you? It has been a challenge, one that I am not through struggling with. My hair has grown back. Yay! It has come back totally silver. It could be gorgeous, but letting it come in is not easy. Stigmatism and social rules are so invasive. I want to be free of what folks expect from my appearance and from what I expect as well. I want to look in the mirror and love the gal looking back, love the silver. I am working on letting go still, not coloring it, letting it be a flash of light and hoping it jives with my inner light. Intermingle on and in me. Now, when I hear the urging of my psyche to head for the bottle of hair color, I practice, with great effort just letting go and letting it come in silver. I've always been amazed at the shimmering beauty of Emmylou Harris' locks.