No Shoulds

no shoulds

Part 1 of 2. When I got sick and lost the ability to do basic self-care without severe consequences, my hair became one of my biggest battles.

There were days when, if I managed to shower at all, the act of lifting my arms to wash my hair would trigger pain, shortness of breath, feeling like I was going to black out, and it would often result in me being bedridden for the rest of the day. ⁣ ⁣

Can you imagine?⁣ ⁣

Can you imagine what it would be like if washing your hair was the only thing you managed to do in a day? ⁣ ⁣

I struggled with my sense of dignity when I reached the point of needing to be showered by someone else. I struggled with knowing that it had been ten days since I had last washed my body and feeling like I was curling up inside, shielding myself, not wanting anyone to come near me in my perceived state of filth. ⁣ ⁣

I felt lesser. I knew the hair needed to go. ⁣ ⁣

But I resisted. It had taken so many years after a horrendous haircut years prior to grow it long again. I loved it long. I didn't want this illness dictating yet another part of my life and robbing me of something else I wanted. ⁣ ⁣

And truthfully, there was a part of me that couldn't shut out the twisted beauty standards of our society and this belief that I would no longer be perceived as beautiful or attractive by anyone, but most importantly, my husband, if I lost it all. ⁣ ⁣

Many times I was told, "You should cut it all off". I knew it came from a place of love, concern, and wanting things to be easier for me. But it hadn't come from me. Not yet, at least.