It seemed like such a violation to go from long hair to literally none, so I cut it short first. That style felt very alien, and not like me at all. But it was a strange time as I knew I had about a week before it was all going anyway. And I had bigger things to worry about...
Then when the bandages came off after surgery I was so glad it was over that I really didn't mind about the lack of hair. It looked ok at that stage too, and the plasters were still on - hiding the scar.
Recently I've been struggling more. Olly shaves his head every few weeks, and has done for as long as I've known him. Sometimes I do it for him. He takes for granted the fact that his hair grows normally. He has a normal hairline, his hair grows evenly over his head with no thin or thick patches, and nowhere can it be seen grown horizontally along his head clumping in an unnerving manner. Also, he doesn't have bald bits around a crusty red bumpy scar.
I've struggled with the dilemma of what to do when someone knocks on the door. It's not a pretty sight, and really quite scary I imagine. When I'm in the house I generally walk around with the scar out, so the air can get to it. When someone arrives, the choices are to manically pull on a headscarf (which isn't an easy or quick job) whilst shouting at visitor to wait... not ideal, or just brave it naked-headed.
After an episode with the man from British Gas, who couldn't stop staring at the scar in the manner of teenage boy (or pervy grown man) who talks to your chest instead of your face, I try to make sure I have a scarf by the door. Sometimes though, I just can't be arsed or there isn't enough time, or I can't find a scarf. Nobody has actually said anything or seemed uncomfortable. Except me, I am horribly self conscious.
It's quite depressing having to just accept that you look strange - to yourself. I don't look like me, and that is a really weird and horrible feeling. And if I think that what must everyone else think?
Yesterday, for the first time, I caught sight of myself in the mirror and didn't recoil in shock. I've become quite good at just blocking that feeling out, "who the fuck is that in the mirror...? oh god, it's me". I just push it aside as there isn't anything I can do about it. For the first time though that didn't happen, and again this morning after brushing my teeth.
I've thought about it and it could be for any of the following reasons:
- I've just got used to it, so it's no longer a shock;
- My hair has grown back long enough (in some places) to balance out the massive cheeks. I've been used to seeing my head with a certain volume around it in the form of hair (oh how many hours I used to spend working on that volume), and without it the ratio is off. My cheeks are way too big in comparison;
- My cheeks have shrunk. Mum thinks that the steroids made me puffy (not moon-faced, shudder) and that effect may have finally gone.
Anyway, something has changed and even if it's only my perception then it's a good thing.