Hair and beauty · Healthy living

A hairy situation

One of the things I’ve dealt with in recovery from ED is learning not to hide myself. I’ve never been the life of the party, or the outgoing, popular girl. I’ve always preferred to keep myself quiet and hidden.

For years, I’ve used not caring about how I look as a defense mechanism to keep you from noticing me. I’ve spent the last decade buried underneath sweatshirts, long hair and no makeup.

This was me before entering treatment for ED.

Hidden behind a wall of hair.

As I’ve gotten more comfortable with my body, I’ve started to shed the hair. The first step was to cut my hair from my waist to my armpits. Then, I got a little braver, and went just below my shoulders.

Still, I usually wore my hair up, or in a messy cascade to hide my face. I felt like if I didn’t try to look good, I had an excuse when I got rejected. Never mind that I wasn’t portraying any confidence; it was my hair’s fault!

Today, I decided no more. No more excuses. No more hiding.

I’ve been in love with the Katie Holmes bob since she got the cut way back when, but I’ve always been too scared to try a bob because I was convinced it would look heinous on me.

Well, today I let that fly out the window.

Oh, hey short hair! I went for it today. It’s not quite as short as the picture makes it seem, but it’s certainly chin length or slightly shorter.

On my way home from the salon, I almost cried. I had lost my security blanket. I can’t just throw my hair up in a ponytail or a bun. I have to actually make some effort. With a cut like this, I have to own it.

As I’ve looked in the mirror (and I’ve been doing a lot of that today), I’ve realized that I really like the cut. My sweet roommates have both boosted me up by telling me they love it.

It’s terrifying to go without my curtain of hair to hide behind. I’m used to it. It’s my comfort zone. But recovery is partially about breaking out of those comfort zones and challenging myself. Nine months ago, I would never have felt okay rocking a bob, but today, I feel pretty. I feel free. I feel like I’ve made a huge step in my recovery from ED.

And all this from a haircut.

What security blanket do you hide behind?

What is your comfort zone, and how can you break out of it?

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