mental health, ryn

Why yes, I do cut my own hair!

If you look at me and wonder, “Good lord, does this girl cut her own hair, or does she just have reeeeeally bad bedhead?” The answer is usually both.

For a lot of people, this subject is probably weird for a Mental Health Monday post, but for me, it couldn’t be more relevant. Just bear with me, yeah?

When I was seventeen, I started growing out my hair. I had garbage self-esteem, but as my  hair got longer, I started getting compliments on it. I had always been a headband/ponytail sort of girl, but I began to gain confidence in wearing it loose and letting it do its thing.

Throughout early adulthood, my self-esteem had grown inextricably tied to my hair. One time when I was topless, a guy said I had “the perfect hair length” because it went below my nipples, which apparently fulfilled some Eve in the Garden of Eden fantasy or some bullshit. I loved how often people commented on my “mermaid hair”, or said I looked like a fairy. My best friend actually sarcastically called me a “woodland nymph” at a time when she wasn’t my biggest fan. It was undeniable, I had good hair.

But the fact is, my hair was the only thing I liked about myself. I kept it waist-length for years because I couldn’t handle what I might look like without it to hide behind.

So, fast forward to November of last year. I was sitting at work one day, and used my desk scissors to chop off about two feet of hair.

 

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It’s really difficult to explain this. I’m bipolar, and one of the symptoms of my disorder is extremely impulsive behavior. Honestly, the fact that I randomly cut more than half of my hair off is not all that surprising, but it isn’t as “random” as it may seem.

You see, at that time, we were preparing to move. My best friend whom I had lived with for four years was moving in with someone else, and Shila and I were getting our own house without her. I thought I’d live with Jenna forever, and it wasn’t my choice to split, so I was an emotional wreck. I felt totally out of control. This huge life step was happening to me, and I just had to deal with it. The only thing I felt I had control of was my own body, more specifically my own hair.

I was ready for a change. Over the past couple of years, I’ve learned how to love myself. Chopping it off was so freeing, almost as if it were the insecurity that I was throwing in the trash.

So, anyway, I cut my own hair. It looks pretty cute most of the time when I actually style my bangs, but I usually hide my bedhead under a hat.

You may think this was crazy. I think it was growth.

– Ryn

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