Your Personal Path to Embracing Self-Acceptance

When I was first diagnosed alopecia, the idea of self-acceptance felt like an impossible mountain to climb. There were no quick fixes or easy solutions. I didn't wake up one morning, glance at my bald reflection, and suddenly embrace it with unwavering courage. It took me years of struggling with my insecurities, facing my fears head-on, and gradually learning to love the person staring back at me in the mirror.

Avoiding my reflection would be easier but one day, I mustered the strength to stand there and truly see myself. It was a small step, but it marked the beginning of my journey towards self-acceptance. I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment when the shift occurred, but it was more like a slow, steady realization that I was tired of hiding who I really was.

I wanted to be authentic, to have the freedom to choose how I presented myself to the world. Whether it was wearing a wig, a scarf, or living my life as a bald woman, I wanted to make that choice for myself. It wasn't about conforming to societal expectations; it was about reclaiming my identity.

My journey towards self-acceptance wasn't a one-size-fits-all experience. It involved stepping out of my comfort zone in ways that felt right for me. It meant revealing my alopecia to my closest friends, experimenting with different fashion styles, and even sharing my story with others. Every small step I took, every choice I made, was a conscious effort to reclaim my sense of self and be myself.

Through this journey, I realized that self-acceptance isn't about reaching a destination; it's about embracing the process, the ups, and the downs, and allowing yourself the space to evolve and change. It's about understanding that you alopecia is just one part of who you are.

Your journey toward self-acceptance may not look like anyone else's, you need to make your decisions decide how you want to live your alopecia.  Keeping in mind that any decision you make, you have the freedom to change it at any time if you find it does not suit you. 

If you are in a place of self-acceptance, what advice can you give to others trying to get there?  And for those still navigating the path, what poses the greatest challenge to overcome?

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Comment by SabineTawni on October 25, 2023 at 1:24pm
I agree that your definition of self-acceptance is right on target! You're right in saying it is not about reaching a "destination". It is about navigating the ups and downs of our condition. It is learning to make our autoimmune disease a PART of our life, not the WHOLE of our life. The hardest part for me? Without hesitation, I will tell you it is dealing with the idiotic comments from other people who do not have this condition. Some examples: "It's only hair"; "Well, at least it's not life-threatening"; "You are so lucky--look at those poor people who have cancer"; "You should be grateful that you have your health", etc., etc. etc. Actually, in reference to the last remark, that kind of like the problem. I don't "have my health"; otherwise, I would not have an autoimmune disease (LOL!). Ironically, these comments are always made by people who have a full, thick head of hair, who spend thousands of dollars a year on hair products and services, and who cannot leave the house if they are having even a remotely bad hair day. I used to think that people who said these things were just trying to make me feel better. Now, I realize that they are often trying to make THEMSELVES feel better. After all, we are a vivid reminder to them of the fear of their own vulnerability, so they have a vested interest in downplaying our situation. Like many here, I have my "up" days and my "down" days, and just do the best I can. But I do wish sometimes that non-alopecians would just shut up (LOL!)
Comment by lake lady on October 25, 2023 at 3:33pm

I am soon to be 75 and got Alopicia Universalis 10 years ago and I am one strong woman. My husband is a Marine and he called me his Marine because of the way I took it, but that does not change the way I feel in the last 1/4 of my life (if I am lucky) because I hate it every day. It has changed my life in every way possible.  I don't care what anyone else says because I hate it so much, I just want my other self back, and I don't care how anyone tells me other wise. I am lucky to not have cancer, I realize that, but when I put on a scarf and see how everyone looks at me with sorrow in their eyes, I just don't like it and that is why I wear a wig everywhere, which makes me not comfortable in my own skin---I am just too old for this change in my life, but I admire everyone that does it with grace!


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