Stress.

My hair is falling out again.  Bummer.  And even though I was told by my doctor that this might (and probably would) happen, I was kind of hoping that maybe I’d just have one little round of bald-rockstarness, then I’d go back to my good ol’ days of long hair.

No such luck.  Out it comes.

But really, I’m okay with it.  It’s not nearly as difficult as it was last time, because this time I know what to expect.  I know what I’ll look like with a shaved head, and I don’t mind it.  I know that it’s just hair.  So other than the fact that I kind of miss my long hair, it’s not that big of a deal this time around.

But I’ve been told (and I’ve read) that when an adult gets alopecia areata, it is sometimes triggered by some onset of stress.  So this is twice now that I’ve had my hair start falling out, and I’ve realized that both instances have been at some sort of stressful time in my life.   But I didn’t realize it until after it started happening.

I’ve been that way my whole life, I think.   My back goes out, or I get migraines, or I have crazy muscular issues, only to be told by a doctor, “I think you’re internalizing your stress and it’s manifesting itself physically.”   At which point, I analyze my life, realize I have a mountain of things going on that would cause stress in the average person’s life, and start to think, “Hmmmm. Maybe I am stressed.”

Isn’t that backwards??  Shouldn’t I start to pick up on the stress in my life long before it gets to the point that my back breaks in half or my hair falls out?

So that’s where I stand right now.  I look at a list of things going on for the Bonhams, and I think, “Yep. That’s alot of stuff. That’s enough to stress anyone out.”  But I don’t feel it.  I don’t feel stressed or overwhelmed.  I don’t lose sleep over it or have anxiety.   I’m not antsy or frustrated or on edge.  My mood doesn’t feel any different.

Instead, my hair falls out.   It’s like my stress is bypassing my emotions and going straight to the rest of me.

I don’t think this is normal.

So, while I’m thankful that I don’t turn into a crazy basket case when my plate gets full of important, time-sensitive, life-changing things (like, say, raising support, getting my house ready for the market, selling all my stuff, and preparing to move to another country, all with two 16-month-olds in tow)…I think it might be a good idea to learn how to recognize when its happening and handle it from the outset, rather than after I go bald.

Then again, maybe it’s not stress.  Maybe my hair’s falling out because God has better things in store for me than hair.  Either way, a little objective self-evaluation is probably a good thing, and a little overdue.

Any tips on pinpointing the stress in your life?  On handling it in a healthy, God-honoring way?  On keeping your hair firmly attached to your head?  I’d love to hear it (:

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