Deeper Than the Hair -Moresa Robinson
Hirsutism has affected me in basically 6 of the major wellness categories- emotional, physical, relational, spiritual, mental, and financial. Each area has varying degrees of impact, but altogether having it and therefore feeling the need to "fix" or decrease the symptoms has been nothing short of draining.
1. Emotionally, hirsutism has evolved in deep feelings of depression, anger, and even jealousy towards women who barely have leg hair to shave. There are times when I just stare at the stubble on my chin or long wispy hairs on my jawline and automatically tears start to roll down. In these moments, I usually can't control my emotional reactions. To me, it's my brain alerting me that something is seriously wrong on both a physical level (my body is imbalanced) and on a mental level (this should not be a symptom of a woman).
2. Physically, hirsutism is an indication that my hormones are unbalanced. Therefore, I do experience other symptoms like acne and painful periods. So not only do I have to deal with the hairs, but I also have to figure out ways to fix the root issue which can be exhausting since there are so many voices out there. Additionally, on a physical level, hirsutism can become time-consuming and energy-sapping with all of the constant shaving, snipping, and other hair removal methods used all over my body and face.
3. Relationally, hirsutism has caused me to isolate myself at times because I feel like no one in my inner circle truly understand what I experience. Typically, when I have a breakdown, it's difficult for me to open up without feeling completely vulnerable and embarrassed. Hirsutism also affects me relationally, because many times in conversations I'm constantly wondering what that person thinks of me and if they can detect all of the hairs amid my already prominent acne and scars. Sometimes if I'm not careful, minor comments said by friends and family can be twisted and taken to heart-causing an unspoken tension to rise within me towards them.
4. Spiritually, hirsutism has caused and still causes distance between me and God. There's a distrust and doubt I often feel towards Him because I question why He made me this way or if He didn't, why He continues to let this be a part of my struggle. I often admit I'd rather go through something else than hirsutism. Hirsutism seems like more of an attack on my identity as a woman than let's say, cancer. So I tend to get frustrated at God because though hirsutism may be perceived as a minor issue compared to other conditions, its impacts are more personal. This distrust and doubt towards my spiritual Father tends to be an obstacle I constantly have to leap over.
5. Mentally, hirsutism has contributed to low self-esteem and this masculine-feminine complex. In comparison to other women, I often perceive myself as less feminine and therefore less attractive. Thoughts like, "what's wrong with me" or "why can't I be normal " roam around my mind at times. Furthermore, hirsutism has caused thoughts of defeat with the idea that a man I love and find attractive will ever think of me as beautiful.
6. Financially, hirsutism has eaten at my wallet. Between the excessive amount of razors, occasional shaving cream, scissors, wax strips, and other removal creams or sprays I have gotten, hirsutism has been an unwanted investment. I've considered laser hair removal or electrolysis, but those methods are quite expensive and I know at this time in my life I cannot afford to spend that much money on an unlikely permanent fix.
So there you have it-these are the ways hirsutism has impacted my life! It has been an unruly journey filled with constant downs (no ups really). However, I still do have faith. Even if I can't permanently remove the hairs, I believe someday hirsutism will not impact me on such a grand scale. I believe I'll become more confident in who I am and see hirsutism as an opportunity to positively impact others with lessons of self-acceptance, self-worth, and resilience.