Author Topic: How I got over it...  (Read 30601 times)

Offline crazy.irish.celt

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How I got over it...
« on: July 18, 2009, 06:44:06 AM »
I finally managed to overcome my hair loss.  Just like that.  All it took was one phone call.  Not shaving.  Not getting buff.  Not a new girlfriend.  Not even the encouragement found within this forum.  (These are all great, but, for me at least, did not provide instant gratification)  In short, it didn't take a healthy dose of confidence or a new-found sense of normalcy.  All it took was a drastic change in perspective.  This isn't exactly a new concept around here, but , like so many others, I wasn't able to achieve it without extra persuasion. 

I'm a young guy (23).  My battle was always centered around my age, and how unfair it was that I was being denied a trait possessed by the vast majority of my age group.  I was convinced that if I'd started losing my hair ten years from now it wouldn't be such a big deal.  I felt like my youth was being stolen away from me.  I feared ridicule by my peers, rejection by women, and all the other things one could possibly dread as a result of MPB.  I was always depressed and overly self-conscious.  In short, my quality of life had become severely limited.

Then I got the phone call...  It was a female friend from college.  She called me at 4:30 this morning because she couldn't sleep and wanted to talk.  Long-story-short, she found out on Friday that she has breast cancer, she's going in for a mastectomy on Tuesday, then starting a round of Chemo shortly thereafter.  She didn't seem nearly as apprehensive as I would have anticipated, and she talked about the impending operation as though it were something minor like a tonsillectomy.  Was I hearing her right?  She's going to lose a breast!  Isn't that a big deal?  Worse, she might die from all of this!  She didn't once mention the fact that she is only 21 and thus much younger than the normal age for breast cancer.  The worst part to her was the fact that she was going to lose her hair...  She was sad because she's going to lose her long, gorgeous brown hair.  She said, more or less, that she wouldn't feel like a woman without it.   And that's when it hit me.

I am a man.  A MAN, DAMNIT!  And men go bald.  It is a simple fact of life.  People expect it.  It's not life-threatening.  The only drawback is the preventable, reversible, self-imposed psychological damage.  To society, the loss of my hair in no way lessens my masculinity.  On the other hand, society in general creates a huge association between breasts, long hair, and femininity. As a man, being dealt the bald card is no more substantial than being dealt a certain complexion, height, metabolism, eye color, etc. You are still perfectly capable of living a happy, normal life.  Feeling weak and tired all the time, wanting to throw up everything you eat, feeling disassociated from your gender...  those are IMO legitimate reasons to be unhappy. 

HOW did I ever manage to let something like hair loss put a damper on my happiness?  Oh... wait... now I remember.  Because I was/am some combination of shallow, selfish, and self-absorbed.  I'm not saying that I will walk the straight-and-narrow from here on out.  I'm sure I'll have my days.  But I know that, with my new-found perspective, I will never again be capable of self-pity regarding my hair, regardless of any comments, looks, or rejections.

I guess this post really goes out to all of you who might still be struggling (even deep down) with losing your hair.  I KNOW it's not easy.  I don't expect this story to affect as it did me, simply because it is so personal for me.  This wasn't designed to be some chain-letter guilt trip and nothing I've suggested is in any way ground-breaking.  I just wanted to share how I arrived at my conclusion.  So...

All summed up, it could be SO MUCH WORSE.  I know I sound really self-righteous, but this is what worked for me...  stop worrying about your hair, and start being a better friend/spouse/sibling.  Use the energy you put into worrying about your appearance to help solve an actual problem.  Life can take a lot of things from you, but the appropriate perspective will ensure that you don't live in fear of loss, making you a much happier person all-round. 



slyatlast

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2009, 07:27:18 AM »
You are wise beyond your years....

adam_r_todd

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2009, 08:24:11 AM »
Very well-told story.  Congratulations on your epiphany and thank you so much for sharing it.  Helps us all to keep things in perspective.  After all, we're men, damnit. 

Offline SBG Math Guy

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2009, 10:36:35 AM »
excellent story.
There are people ou there who only eat meat twice a year, or never.
I am sure they would love to be bald if that would get them meat.

Offline Paul

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2009, 02:18:58 PM »
Fantastic story, fantastic outlook.   Attitude is everything, whether it is hairloss or fighting cancer.   I am sorry to hear about your firend.  As someone who has had several family members and a girlfriend with breast cancer, I can state categorically that your being there for your friend and seeing and treating her as a woman will be key in supporting your friend when the operation and subsequent chemo begins. 
"...and I--I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."  Robert Frost

Offline Mikekoz13

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2009, 05:05:00 PM »
Celt -

Welcome!

That is one of the best posts I've ever read om SBG! Bully to you!

Please knoiw that your Friend will be in my Prayers this week.

Mike
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Offline zzaapp

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2009, 05:07:07 PM »
I wish the best for your friend.  

It is good that you have been able to put your feelings into perspective, and unfortunate the circumstances that allowed you to do it.



I think Tyler should make this a "sticky"

Offline sellitman

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2009, 06:39:47 PM »
Celt,

Last year my oldest son had  successful Brain surgery to remove a tumor the size of a small tangerine. I won't go into details but needless to say I too have a very different viewpoint today as to what really matters in life and you are correct. Hair loss is so far down the list of problems in my life as to be laughable. Welcome to the site. Your post was excellent and your friend is lucky to have you around.

I wish her a long life.

 YR*(k
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Offline herronm

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2009, 11:53:30 AM »
Celt, that is a great story.  The realism of what your friend is going through should help put everything in perspective.  Recently, we have had brothers go through very serious situations from death to family members to children hospitalized with life threatening illnesses. 

Those who agonize about thinning hair, comb overs and bald spots should stop and read your post.

I hope you continue to support your friend.  She seems to have her priorities in order.  You may even be surprised how much of a blessing she will be to you and others. 

I'm saying a prayer for her right now.  I know others will do the same.

Max
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Offline Stu

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2009, 05:05:11 PM »
Celt -

Welcome!

That is one of the best posts I've ever read om SBG! Bully to you!

Please knoiw that your Friend will be in my Prayers this week.

Mike

Absolutely agree with Koz!  Keep us updated on your friend.  You have learned a huge life lesson at an early age and will be the better for it.
How is that Hopey / Changey thing working for you?

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Offline Tyler

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2009, 05:24:16 PM »
Celt, I'm not sure how I missed this post over the last couple of days, but it was AWESOME!
People are not limited by the circumstance that they are born in. They are limited by the size of their dreams. Show them that their dreams can have no limits and in turn their accomplishments can be limitless.

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2009, 06:03:38 PM »
Very nice bro...very nice! O0

Offline crazy.irish.celt

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2009, 06:26:40 PM »
Just wanted to say thanks to those of you who offered prayers and encouragement.

Talked to my friend today.  She is doing great.  They removed the tumor and discovered that it did not in fact have blood vessels growing through it, so she will be spared the chemo for now.  Also, a relative offered to pay for reconstructive surgery (implants) if she felt it would help her self-image.  She is riding the fence over the decision, but is relieved that she has the option.  All in all, she is infinitely better than when I last spoke with her. 

Offline wpruitt

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2009, 06:54:50 PM »
Great post ... and all the best to your friend
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

Offline fcb2001

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Re: How I got over it...
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2009, 12:24:23 AM »
thanks for the good news, iam so glad that when i decided to go bald in 2004, that i donated my hair to locks of love, which is very good for the patients undergoing chemo



 



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