Between school, ASB, sports, and other extra curriculums I do, life can get a bit stressful. I realized I was over stressing myself on a certain Wednesday morning when I was only in the 7th grade. I was straightening my naturally wavy hair in the mirror like I do every morning when I realized that I had a drastically more hair on one side then the other. A quick panic ran over my face but I began to examine my hair. I lifted one chunk of my badly damaged hair and realized on my scalp there was a huge piece of hair missing in a circular shape. I was terrified and just stared at the mirror, in the matter of seconds I bursted into tears wondering what was happening to myself. I eventually realized that I had to continue getting ready and went to school. The entire school day I was waiting for the last bell to ring so I can go talk to my best friend in the after school program. I told my teacher that it was urgent and we went outside and I told her what happened that morning. Until that moment I haven’t thought about that a few weeks back as my friend was braiding my hair she said I had pieces of hair missing but I just ignored it and didn't think anything of it. I didn't want to tell anyone for awhile.
A year passed, and still only that one person knew. I decided to tell my favorite teacher who was my ASB and Avid teacher at the time because she asked me to put my hair up so it would be out of my face to work on a project, but I couldn't because the entire bottom half of my hair was gone and I was ashamed. I started to cry before I even got the words out so i lifted up my hair so she can see the missing pieces. She gave me a hug and comforted me as she asked quoetions . She said I should go to a doctor or at least to tell my parents so that same week I brought myself to tell my parents. I went to a dermatologist who diagnosed me with alopecia which is when someone has a lot of stress so patches of their hair falls out in a circular shape. They gave me a three options which all of them scared me. One was to do nothing besides to take a break from everything so I didn't have as much stress and wait to see if hair will grow back. The second was to get injections into my scalp every month to help hair grow back. The third was just to cut all my hair and leave it like that or to wear a wig. I went with the second option and got the injections that same day which terrified me since I wasn't the biggest fan of needles
Today I can now look at myself and my hair in the mirror, not feel like something is wrong with me. Alopecia is a part of me now and i'm realizing that i shouldn't be ashamed of that. I can put my hair up even when you see spots and all I do when people stare is smile. My doctor said I will most likely have it for the rest of my life since stress is common in my life and i'm only a teenager so will always randomly find new spots on my scalp but I no longer cry when I find them. I still go get injections every month and one thing I can say that most people can't is that I have gotten 22 shots in my scalp in one day which I think is pretty. People ask me if I wished I haven't had it but my answer is always no. Having alopecia has actually helped me realize that even when I have a million things to do, just taking a breath or having a day just to myself is always important. Alopecia has helped me embrace myself and has helped me control my stress better than i did before.