January 6, 2012

Part Three ... Feeling Fear

Posted by meli on Friday, January 06, 2012 in , , , , , , | 1 comment

As I said in part two ...
Trust really is amazing. I'm still in awe over how this journey played out for me when I opened myself up and embraced trust. There was no (*known*) fear that day. But I've been asked what kind of fear plagued me prior. There were quite a few things that stood in my way. Obstacles I needed to work through; trust in. 

The biggest by a long, long, LONG shot; the ever spreading rash (seborrheic dermatitis) on my face would be so much more visible with no hair to use as distraction. So pronounced. So defining. So UGLY. That alone paralyzed me. It was bad (in my eyes) before we moved to this area 7 short months ago. It's 2-3 times as bad now, and I've shed many a tear about it (ok, tear shmear ... they were all full blown hysterical crying fits; lots of them). Something about this place has a huge portion of my face+ flaring up big time. I'm now suspecting it may be the water; so I have a heavy duty filtration system in the mail. But the thing about this rash ... it doesn't ever go away. Atleast in the 16-17 years that I've been dealing with it; it hasn't. Once a new spot/sore/lesion appears; it's here to stay. I have hope that one day I'll find something that will work to "erase" them, but right now I'm still working to find something to stop the progression of them!

Sooo, I have this "thing" all over my face, in my hair line, and now creeping down my neck, too. Serious crippling fear over shedding my hair ... a huge deterrent from the ever expanding splotches ... and opening that whole area up. There would be nothing to hide it behind anymore. They'd be right there. BAM! They'd be all "hey look at me" ... all red, all dry, all flakey, all sickly looking.  

Since shaving; I've had good and bad days with this issue. I'm working through it. I haven't yet let it stop me from putting myself out there; though I've thought about it. The intensity of the flare ups have been pretty bad; very red, very itchy, very much ALL OVER; I'm pushing past it. I've spent so much of my life ashamed of it. Letting it dictate who I was; what I was. There was a time in my early 20's when I didn't leave my house for months because of it. Months! And when I look back at that time I only had a handful of lesions. Nothing, NOTHING compared to what it is now. When starting this post I felt strong and capable. Right now I'm feeling a little scared and weak again. It's ok. I trust I'll pull myself through this. It's a process. I haven't, not even for one second, regretted my decision to buzz it all off. Too busy beaming with excitement I suppose ;-).  I'm so deeply thankful for it. There's no more hiding. No more "putting it off". I'm sure there will be a lot more tears shed, but I'm standing at the plate ready to swing as many times as it takes.

That asterisk up there about having no fear on the day I shaved ... I learned that wasn't entirely true. While I didn't feel a sense of fear during the process; reflection afterward showed that there was some. Thoughts of letting myself down/not really finishing what I started began to flutter around in my mind. Nagging at me. I used a size 2 clipper sleeve instead of just buzzing away sleeve free; and it proved bothersome for me. I came SO far; and I felt like I "wimped" out in a sense. Fear, again. Fear to really get down to it; to fully expose it; scalp and all. What if I had more lesions on my scalp then I realized? Did I really want to expose them? (turns out there are more up there then I realized, btw!). I remedied it. Bare sleeved clippers be mine. Hair gone. Swing! Score!

Again, for me, exposing my face was by far the biggest fear that stood in my way. But I had others:

  • I was fearful of judgement. I want to travel! The idea traveling AND shaving my head just seemed too scary. It's one thing to be stationary. Eventually you'll run out of people in your town to shock, right? Eventually. But on the road, new places; new people at every turn ... the possibility of a never ending line of judgement. That fear definitely stopped me.
  • I was fearful of losing myself. My dreads had become so self-defining, as I said in part one ... who would I be without them? I was fearful of being lost. 
  • The pure vulnerability of stripping down to "bare bones" was super scary. 
  • I feared what my head shape would look like. Perhaps I'd have bumps and points all over, lol. 
  • I feared I wouldn't feel like a woman anymore. Stripped of my beauty; bare and ugly.

While I haven't regretted by decision to "buzz up"... my reflection has caught me off guard a few times. I've had to do several double takes in the last couple of days. Which is not a bad thing ... new reflection; new me!  Though on more then one occasion I have seen a similarity between myself and Freddy Krueger... which is really kind of freaking me out! lol! I've also noticed that it seems to be more difficult then it once was to get dressed. I feel I may be trying to over compensate in the "girly clothes/accessories" department. But then when I really think about it; I've always had more difficulty getting dressed in colder weather. I don't like cold weather clothes. I don't like to feel bundled up. Loose and free is what I'm after. So I may just be uninspired by my winter attire here in WI, and it's causing me to rip through all of my clothes each time I want to leave; rather then a real sense of "girly overcompensation". We'll see. I'm leaning into all of these feelings. Letting each one teach me a little more about myself. 

I do believe I'll dread up again one day (for those who have asked) ... but right now the freedom is unmatched. I mean, c'mon, I can shower and be out the door in 5 minutes flat! I can wash my head at night and not shiver until the next morning. I can roll around in the sand with carefree abandon. I can enjoy a scalp massage by my husband. I can wear hats again! And when we leave here in a month (yes, we're leaving) ... I will run to the ocean and feel alive as the waves crash over my free noggin! 

I am every bit a woman. 
I am beautiful. 
Vulnerability itself is beautiful. 
My dreads never did define me.
I define me. 
My choices.
My character.
My strength.
My truth.
My life defines me. 
And it's a beautiful life indeed! Maybe messy, but beautiful!

If that's not beautifully perfect enough ... it snowed that night!

Whatta way to start a brand new year!

1 comment:

  1. Meli, you are the bomb, and your words ring truth.