When I was thirteen years old, I lost my first patch to Alopecia! I didn't know that's what it was at the time, but it was the size if a 50p piece right on my crown! I remember then that all I wanted was for it to grow back; if nothing else so I didn't have to spend half an hour perfecting a ponytail and living in fear of sitting at the front of the classroom and someone spotting it! Thankfully then it grew back and I made it to the grand old age of 21 before it hit again!
Now, having lived with the condition for nearly four years and having wept, argued, shouted and denied my way through it, I've come to accept it for what it is! In fact, odd as it may sound, in many ways I'm grateful to it! I am aware I may be alone in this sentiment too, but having Alopecia has pushed me out of my comfort zone, ensured I know my limits and most importantly has given me friends I treasure and experiences I wouldn't have had otherwise!
So I guess for me, I fear my hair coming back for two reasons...
First, it's the uncertainty! I have AU, so I KNOW I can't lose anymore! I'm stuck with my Alopecia, but at least this way I'm certain of what I need to deal with! Talking to a number of alopecia buddies with AA, one of the hardest things they tolerate is not knowing whether or not they'll have hair tomorrow! In that respect I'm lucky, I've had time to grieve, to acclimatise and to make my peace with it; and I guess it's that, that I fear the most; return to uncertainty, to a time when my inner peace will be shattered and I'll not know what to expect one day from the next!
Second, it's become a part of who I am! Again, this may sound really odd, but it's true! One thing I decided (which is personal choice folks) is that I would be open and honest about my Alopecia and that I would use it as a chance to educate and support others! As a result I own wigs in every style, I'll quite happily chat about it, I'm regularly bare-headed, and I welcome questions! Looking long and hard at myself I'll happily admit it's become part of who I am and mostly in a good way; it's helped me develop certain aspects of my personality, given me a charity I feel passionate about, prompted me to launch a business (Pretty Bald) for the purpose of fundraising and many other things besides! For me fear here comes from 'if not Alopecian, who am I' which is stupid and irrational, but nonetheless true!
It's really odd both writing and re-reading this, but as I've hopefully adequately explained Alopecia is part of me and the idea of changing that is pretty scary!
What about you guys? Am I alone in this? The answer is probably yes ;-)