I’ve been debating typing out this post. I haven’t really talked about it much either, because I feel like I’ll be seen as vain. If not that, maybe that falsely stereotypical perception of people with eating disorders – that we’re all obsessed with our looks in a way that’s self-absorbed. Yet here I am, writing it anyways. My blog is a place of authenticity and vulnerability. I think it’s important that I stretch myself and share how I’m feeling. Maybe it will even help connect to someone else.
The main part of my appearance that I’ve ever liked is my hair. I love how long it has been for the last 7 or 8 years. Mine is unique in my family since it’s much lighter than my parents and brother. It has a nice wave to it. I don’t think it’s the most fabulous hair ever or even close. I certainly don’t like some aspects, like how it won’t hold a curl. I pretty much have no clue how to style it. I still get caught in the comparison game, just like many other aspects of myself and appearance. This is simply one of the few parts I can look in the mirror and feel okay about. That’s changed now.
I want to cry every time I go to put my hair up or brush through it with my fingers. Looking in the mirror is hard for a whole new reason now. My hair is falling out more than it has in my entire time battling an eating disorder. In the mirror I see the thinnest hair. When I make a bun it’s incredibly small considering my hair comes halfway down my back. If I put it up, I watch it separate apart some so you can see my scalp. All of this has truly brought me sorrow lately.
I know my hair can and will grow back over time; however, it’s not going to happen until I provide my body with enough nourishment. No amount of biotin or special shampoo is going to fix it. I’ve tried to do damage control this way but it just isn’t working anymore.
This isn’t some easy fix. Replenishing my body could happen in a short amount of time (like in residential), but I won’t see any change for a long while after that. I can’t just eat well for one week and expect it to make this better. That’s terrifying.
Oddly enough, this is a reason to recover. I want to feel good about how I look in one small way. Feeling more disgusted than usual when I look in the mirror is only hurting me. It’s also the one way to like my reflection in the mirror that comes from recovery, not staying in the ED.
Thinking about this situation has given some insight. I tend to ignore many of the physical symptoms most likely associated with the eating disorder, but my hair is not one I can escape. It is proof every single time I see my reflection. It is a reminder that things seriously need to change. I want to be disgusted by it because that means I’ll have motivation to change. Hair may seem trivial compared to everything else I need in recovery, but it counts. At this point, any way possible I can get inspired to fight the ED is a good one.