Youth is Wasted on the Young.

I have alopecia.  I've had it for over 20 years, and for the most part I've kept it hidden.
It started when I was in nursing school over 20 years ago.  I thought it was just stress.  It was a little spot on my eyebrow.

 Slowly I lost all of my body hair.  It was devastating - and I worry now about my daughter and if I will pass it on to her.  She has such long and beautiful hair, I just don't want to see her go through that.

I don't find that it limits my activities or abilities much, but the wigs are uncomfortable.  They're hot and they don't breathe.  As a nurse, when I'm moving around a lot, it definitely isn't comfortable.  If I'm in the pool, I just make sure I don't get my hair wet.  I've learned to adjust.

I recently went through a divorce, and this is the first time that I've dated in a very long time.  I haven't had to really think about talking to someone about it in a while, so that has brought a lot of the emotions tied to my alopecia back up to the surface.

I lost my mom in 2016.  It was the hardest year of my life.  I was sitting next to her when she passed away.  She was wearing this ring, and I get to keep it now. It's like I get to carry a piece of her with me.  Losing her has definitely shifted a lot of things into perspective in my life.

If I could, I would go back in time and tell my 20-something-year-old-self  that youth is wasted on the young.  I would tell myself not to wait so long to accept who I am and to love my body.  I would tell myself that hair doesn't matter as much as I let myself believe it did.

I would also tell myself how important it is that people know that you love them.  I would tell myself to never let a day pass without telling my loved ones how much I care about them, and how much they mean to me.

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