Shaving My Head: About a Difficult Battle With An Unknown Hair Condition

 

Hello everyone; I must say I’m excited to be posting again.

Last Friday (May 25, 2018) was one of the more eventful days as of recently. Emotionally, I had (and still have) been feeling better than ever than in the past few weeks, even months. My emotional state on the positive side, I’ve been having much more motivation to do things and a lot more ideas, as well. Things are looking up, and I’m grateful. But there’s one issue that has been sort of an elephant in the room when talking about recent months. And that issue is: hair loss.

At 19 years old, that’s most certainly an unusual thing for me to be dealing with. But still, that’s the hand I’ve been dealt. The causes have been going on for probably about a year now, but it’s actually accelerated in the past 3 months or so. In fact, in early April, there was a point where I had lost more hair in 2 weeks than in the previous 2 or 3 months. Eventually, it got to the point where my hair was getting weird and patchy, and of course, a lot shorter than I would have liked. It soon got to the point where I was forced to make a decision: start all over again and take good care of my hair and the situations causing the hair loss, or force myself to deal with my uneven hair. I was hesitant at first, for I hadn’t had a haircut in over 2 years prior, but eventually I decided that the aesthetic benefits would be much more better if I chose the latter of those options. And that I did.

Now as I mentioned in the video, there are two reasons that this whole thing started. The first and the primary reason is a disorder known as trichotillomania. Now this can be difficult to talk about sometimes, but I’m gonna do this anyways. I feel like I should educate the public a little, and be more transparent with what’s going on. Trichotillomania is a condition that causes people to have an impulsive urge to pull out their own hair. It’s similar to OCD, given that the urges are sort of a tick, or an “addiction”, for a real lack of a better phrase. It’s not something you consciously do. It’s not like I think “Okay, haircut time!” and start pulling out my hair. It’s different than that. It’s unconscious. It’s comparable to how you can have a bowl of popcorn next to you while watching TV and the whole thing will be done before you know it. You don’t particularly desire the popcorn, but you just keep on eating it, just because. That’s basically the same feeling, really, but instead of popcorn it’s tugging on hairs or small clumps of hair until they come out. Shaving all hair is the best option for many trichotillomaniacs, because 1) you run out of stuff you can pull, and 2) it undoes much of the damage done by the condition.

That’s the main reason, but not the only one. Additionally, I’m on a medication known as Lithium Carbonate. It’s commonly and most often used to treat Bipolar Disorder, which I have regrettably been diagnosed with. Things were going well for the first few months I was taking it, things were pretty good. But then, after doing some more research on the effects of medications, and I read that lithium caused hair loss for a lot of people. I didn’t think about it a lot at first, but then I started being more observant. Whenever I’d wash or rub my hair, tons of it would just fall out without much effort at all. That scared me a lot, and I eventually consulted with my psychiatrist. She confirmed that it was a side effect, and that if the hair loss persisted–which it did–that she’d half the dosage and proceed from there. So although I’m taking a lot less of the medication, I still feel like that was a huge contribution to my decision to shave my head.

But things don’t just stop now that I’m almost bald. There’s a series of other things I will try to do in order to make sure my hair grows back better, stronger and longer, and that I don’t fall back and undo all of my progress. Here are what they are:

-Using a fidget toy, more specifically a fidget orb, in order to keep my hands busy and away from my head

-Using a multivitamin or a supplement such as biotin, as well as using a special shampoo, such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil, which I’ve heard highly of

-Not washing my hair every single day. Doing so would dry out the scalp, damaging hair and making it break easily. Only doing so every few days will preserve natural oils produced by the scalp, moisturizing and keeping things soft

-When it gets long, combing my hair regularly, and possibly keeping it braided. Not doing so would cause tangles that makes the hair less healthy and easier to pick.

After all this, I’m still very optimistic for the future. Besides this, I actually feel pretty good. I think the biggest issue with this will be dealing with self confidence/dysphoria issues. That’s just another in a long line of things I need to work on, though. Needless to say, I’m gonna keep on trying, and a year from now I’m most definitely going to make an update. Look out!

3/14 – a poem I’ve been working on

​Hello all! Here is a poem that I’m working on and will continue to update! I’ve been working really hard on this one, so I hope you like it! More info to come later.

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For a time, I hoped.

Magically to forget; those few, these emotions.


Happiness veiling isolation, fit to few, hardship ever waxing.


My spirit lays dim, but recovery? Now, my meaning satisfies

Happy Valentine’s Day from Likewise

Hello everyone! I hope this Valentine’s Day has been good for you all.

I was planning to release a short story today that had to do with love. Unfortunately, due to how life has been for me recently, that didn’t happen. It’s still a really good idea though, so I’ll continue working on it and post it here when I’m done.

I hope you have a great rest of your day though! Even if you don’t have a valentine, you’re still so beautiful and deserve the best! Don’t let one day define your entire self-worth. I hope you live happy and lovingly and find great things!

Petrarchan 21st – A poem I recently finished

Hello everyone! Here is a poem I’ve been working on for a few weeks, right before New Years on the 29th, and just finished right before midnight on Sunday.

Writing this poem was a roller coaster. I started it then planned to post it on New year’s Eve, then decided against it. Then I tried to finish it but it was a lot harder than I expected. I felt like I had to get everything right, and I ended up changing the rhyme words several times throughout. I kept changing little things until I decided to settle with myself, and say “no poem can be 100% perfect”. And after 2 weeks, there became what you see below.

I hope you enjoy as I worked really hard on it. I think this is a good one and it’s one that I’ll look back on a lot for the effort it took.

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Quiet world, wake up and give way to me

My quietness has done harm and shaken 

Asleep in that which yet hasn’t taken

Laying in a place where my mind’s set free
Whence is where my life’s work has come to be

A dream from which I shall not awaken

Lucid, a notion to be mistaken

For what’s in that place is a sight to see
Weary remains the feet across my path

Bramble-laden with a rose at the end

I, resilient and tenfold bettered

Shall still persist through pinnacle or strath

And shall all else become untimely rend

The dream rose will still remain unfettered

2018 Predictions 

Today’s the 1st of January, the first of the hundreds of days in the year 2018. A whole new year of brand new events, songs, movies, trends, and memes.

There’s often a lot of thought about how the next year is going to go. It’s something I think about every year around New Year’s. I also look back on the previous year and think about the ups and the downs, and all of the new things that happened.

So I’ve gotten an interesting idea. What I’m gonna do is make this post detailing a few things I think or want to happen in the rest of 2018. At the end of the year, I’m gonna look back at this post and look at what I got right and what I got wrong. 

Predictions

I was planning to do this last year, but unfortunately, I never got around to it. But looking back on 2017 and comparing it to what I thought 2017 would be like, they’re really quite different. I expected it to be stagnant, not expecting many interesting things to happen. That was probably just cause of the overwhelming year 2016 was, but I was really wrong. I sort of feel the same way for 2018, not knowing what the year will bring, but still being very curious.

It might be a big year in music. I feel like a big artist that hasn’t released anything in a while is going to come out with a really big hit that’ll be all over the radio, like what happened to Adele with “Hello”. I know a few popular artists are releasing new albums this year. Arctic Monkeys, Fallout Boy, Nicki Minaj, and Bastille are some of the ones I’m thinking about.

Movies won’t be too eventful, I don’t think. There’s the highly anticipated Incredibles 2, but besides that, I don’t expect much more than a bunch of sequels and add-ons to additional franchises, like the new Avengers movie due this Spring. But I’m hopeful, because recently I’ve been getting more into watching movies; I want another “Get Out”, one that I can get real excited about.

Celebrity deaths will happen, I’m sure, but I don’t know who exactly. My brother has made the prediction that Jerry Seinfeld will die, but I’m not sure about that one. I’m thinking it may still be an older celebrity though, someone like Bill Cosby or even Betty White. Whoever it is, I know it’s gonna make me upset.

Politics, at least in America, will be somewhat eventful. Although I like to avoid weighing in on political issue when I can, because this isn’t a political blog, and politics are generally something that people are really finnicky about who talks about politics. I think that Donald Trump will continue to dominate the headlines, as he has countless times since he took office. I think he might do something big that’ll cause a lot of controversy–a lot more than there normally is, that is. I don’t think he will get impeached, though; I’d say there’s a 20-30% chance of it happening. I do think though that Democrats have a good chance at taking Congress, or at the very least just the House. 

I’m thinking a lot about what might dominate 2018 when looking back on it. The Winter Olympics will obviously dominate a little bit, but other than that, I’m not sure. I have a feeling that stuff will happen at around March and/or June/July. I also have a feeling that something big will happen that none of us will be expecting, and it’ll be the defining moment of 2018 for sure. I’m sensing it will be with someone in the African American community for some reason, but I’m not certain at all about that. I also think that there will be some cool new memes, and that overall, some interesting things will happen in pop culture.

Personally, with my own life, I’m curious as well. What I think is gonna happen is usually confused with what I want to happen. But I predict that this year I’ll make some good progress. I think I’ll publish at least 1 new book by the end of the year. I’m still getting things straightened out with my medication, my depression, and my family, but I expect that to be solved by March/April. I hope to become financially sound enough to do my own thing. I don’t know if I’ll be living in the same place, but I’m getting a sense that I will still be living here by the time the year ends. New habits will be picked up, and I think I’ll be and look quite different. My transition might also begin, but I don’t think it’ll take a noticeable effect by year’s end. All in all, I’m sensing that I’ll actually like this year.

Lastly there’s two things. One, I’m doing the 365 day  selfie challenge, and we’ll see how that goes too. Second, there is my resolution, which I don’t usually make. I want to write more a d try to get myself financially sound, and overall just increase my life’s quality overall. I hope dearly that this happens, as it’s all I’ve ever wanted for myself. 

But, we’ll just have to wait till next January to reevaluate. The clock starts now.

Likewise.blog now back up

Hello all. Some of you probably already know this, but from Dec. 2, 2017 to Dec. 13, 2017 (that’s today), Likewise.blog was down and was unable to be accessed. I’m back up now, though, and again you’re able to access all of my delicious writing. If net neutrality is struck down then I’ll surely lose a lot of viewers, but for now, look out for more of my work to come soon! I actually have a few things planned, that I should be talking about more later.