The Last Post of This Kind

Well, here I am writing this again. These types of blogs are my least favorite to write. The ones where I have to report the not so pleasant side effects of the path I chose to take the past 6 months. The ones where I have to admit the damage I did, what needs to be undone, where I found myself after promising I never would stumble into that territory again.

My hair has been falling out. Strand by strand it is leaving my body, not being given enough life to hold on any longer. Every strand is followed by a tear. Because this hair…this hair has become what I am known for. This hair has always been my sign of life.

I know external pieces of us should not matter but this does. It always has. There are only two things I could say I truly ever loved about myself and my hair was one of them. Any ounce of confidence I have in me comes from that hair, from my “mane,” from that great gift God gave me. And yet I continuously make choices in which I sacrifice it.

I thought I could make it out this time unscathed. I thought my body would be more resilient. I thought maybe this time it could have adapted. Seventeen years would had to of taught it some sort of lesson. Would it not? Apparently I am losing more than hair. I lost logic too with that thinking.

It does not matter how much time is spent in the disorder for a body without nutrients is going to act the same. Hair is the final thing on the list for the body to save. But yet on my list it is top priority. The two falling on different ends of the spectrum make for a very painful, disheartening battle.

It is hard to watch it happen, to witness your own decline, to watch what you claimed as part of your identity to be shed. I can handle a lot in the disorder and somehow have been able to show it a lot of grace through the years but when it comes to my hair…well it receives no mercy from me.

How dare it strip this from me?! How dare it take away what is most precious to me, the one thing of hope I have on this body to give me a chance at self love?! How dare it rob me of the joy it gives?! But…

How dare I let it?

It could be so easy to sit here and blame the disorder but it is not making my choices for me. It did not force me to make the decisions I did that put me on that path of relapse. I opted to walk it knowing the consequences, knowing this was a possibility, and continued to move my feet on it as I began to see the signs of it happening. It was I who put myself in a place of denial and let Disordered Jenna appease her desire of wanting to look a certain instead of allow the voice of Authentic Jenna to shut down what was happening. So yes, the hair loss may be an effect but as painful as it can be to admit, I was the cause.

But that also means I can be the solution. And I am doing just that. Day by day nourishing this body and treating it with compassion. Hard? Yes. Easier than watching my head lose all its hair again? Absolutely.

At one point I would not have been able to say that, but where I stand today, my heart is more equipped with truth and that truth being that chasing after a body that will never be enough is far less rewarding than running after a dream of a life where I live in my joys. The disorder can never give me a sure thing about my future, but life in recovery can. The disorder is full of empty promises and false hopes. Recovery is overflowing with impossibilities that become possible and fantasies that become reality. My eyes can see that now when once they were blinded to it.

It is that which I hold onto as I continue to move out of this season of my life. Even though I have been feeding this body again, there is still the hair in my hand every time I run my fingers through it. And to be honest, there are moments where I throw an inner temper tantrum screaming that is not fair. Here I am doing exactly what is required of me and yet the body is still betraying me. Should this not get better? I want my immediate satisfaction! The great pull towards the disorder is that very outcome; knowing I can get the relief in an instant. So to be patient and be trusting is a battle within for me. It is important to remember the hair is months behind real time. Its healing and restoration is not overnight. I must not see it as a failure or that what I am doing every day is pointless. I will bear the fruit in a few months as long I do not give up tending and watering and nurturing this ground.

The peace I find in this all is knowing that this is the last post of this kind I will ever have to write. My soul has committed to life, to love, to a future where no chapters are being rewritten. Everything will be new and only ever walking towards a greater purpose I know God has perfectly planned.

Soon I will get my hair back and with it will come so much more...

J.L.