Effluvium and other girl problems

Francis Bacon – one of the three studies for figures at the base of a crucifixion

I got off the pill over a month ago because I’ve been losing lots of hair for over a year. (The doctor called it Telogen Effluvium due to stress from travelling, but even a year after, my hair was still falling off whenever I was running my fingers through it.)

What can I say? It took my body about four weeks to register that I was no longer swallowing hormones. I still work out as much as before (5-6 times a week), but I’ve been going to hot yoga sculpt classes for a month (at least 2-3 times a week). I don’t think my body (or hormones) has entirely gone back to its normal cycle yet. I thought I noticed some PMS symptoms because I’ve become more of an emotional mess than ever; plus, I am an acne monster. I think I’ve also gone down in bust size. But on a brighter note, I managed to lose 1.5KG in less than two months. I have decreased my portion intake and make sure I consume foods with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

But what’s this all for? I don’t know. I’m still torn and trying not to fall apart. Everything I do is just a distraction – a necessary one. It’s not easy to make a change happen, especially if you don’t know whether you’re making plans for yourself. And when you’re in a job that makes you undermine all your abilities, it’s hard to stay strong.

As for my hair loss, it’s not as bad as before, but I’m still losing a lot. I no longer wear my hair down if there is no volume. I used to like wearing it down – others liked it, too. Now it all falls flat, and you see my scalp. This is how naked I feel. I never really had full hair, but my hair used to be pretty. I’m also not 21 anymore. I started the pill when I was nineteen, and it had always been terrific; I was almost two cup-sizes bigger than my mother or sister, or at least that’s what my mother said.

I didn’t have pimples, menstrual pain or anything. I used to get post-period pains and nausea, though, but not always. I don’t know if my body has any more side effects in store. I want it all over. It’s all about my hair; I’m not looking to get pregnant, I don’t even want pets anymore in future.

It doesn’t mean that I want to be alone – I want to belong like everybody else, but it doesn’t always feel right. In fact, it has felt wrong too many times. The last time it felt right was when I was dancing with slim, fat, gay, bi, cross-dressed people who embraced their individuality.

Unfortunately, I got lost in nostalgia and felt alone. Emotional loneliness is an individual struggle, and I try not to be too aware of it by creating distractions. I can’t describe it, but something really hurts and brings me to tears – perhaps a side effect. I try to think it’s not permanent and begin to meditate on it, but the stink of garbage outside makes it impossible. Not reacting to unpleasant distractions is difficult. What I can do is observe an itch on the nose and watch it dissolve without scratching it.

Side effects are evil, like when I stopped taking anti-depressants.

What does it feel like when you have your period? Imagine you’re about to make fried eggs; as you break the egg into the pan, your yolk breaks, too. To me, the world falls apart, but it’s not the hen’s fault that it wasn’t fed enough protein. Yes, I think of bleeding when my egg yolk breaks – it’s a painful sight.

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