08

The end of the world (not!)

Within six months, I lost my job, my home, my hair and one of my best friends. And guess what: I survived it all.

Before my hair loss started my life was GREAT. I worked at a really cool, young company and lived with one of my best friends in the middle of De Pijp in Amsterdam. On a perfectly normal morning, I woke up with quite a bit of hair on my pillow. When I ran my fingers through my hair, I had whole strands of hair in my hands. ‘Oh, it’ll be alright’, my colleagues and I said to each other. But in the following days, my hair fell out faster and faster. At the end of the workday there was about half a wig in the bin under my desk. Three weeks later, I was completely bald. I thought that my world was coming to an end, it was awful!

My colleagues were really sweet and understanding, and thanks to them I quickly dared to walk around the office without a wig on. I only put on my wig or a scarf when a client came to the office. I tried to act as normal as possible and did my best to work hard, but it didn’t work. I could only think about my bald head and spent about half the day outside smoking and panicking. At the weekend, I’d party really hard to forget about my misery. Which didn’t work, obviously!

When I had been bald for two months, I got an email from my roommate/friend from abroad, where she was studying at the time. In a business tone, she reported that she wanted to rent the house to expats. I had a choice: either pay 300€ extra every month, or leave. Could I please let her know within a week? It came as a shock. I was in the middle of mourning my hair loss (because that’s exactly what it is if you lose your hair) and now this on top of it? I wasn’t too happy about it, to say the least…

The next day, I met up with another friend in the park. I wouldn’t let them get me down, I kept telling everyone, but she understood how I really felt and dared to say something about it. Very carefully - I was still slightly flammable - she advised me to end my lease for some time and go live with my parents again. To catch my breath. She was right. Three days later, I was standing back on my parents’ doorstep with all my stuff.

‘To all the women that also struggle with hair loss and think life will never be good again, let me say this: YOU’LL  BE FINE!’

Back in the old nest, things slowly got better. I only drank on the weekend, was eating a bit healthier again, slept a lot more and started to get a bit more used to my bald head. Just as I thought that everything was more or less back on track, I had a contract discussion with my boss. It hit hard when he said that my contract wouldn’t be extended. I was freaking out inside: ‘NOOO, not my job too! I can’t handle this! Within six months, I’ve lost my hair, my job, my home and one of my best friends… There’s no way I’ll survive this!’ And so on, and so on. Almost right after that, I decided: I’m just going to look after myself now. I gave myself three months to recover, to get used to my new head, and to think about what I want to do with my life. And that is exactly what I did: lie on the couch, watch Netflix, meet up with friends and look at myself in the mirror a thousand times a day. That’s how I found myself again.

And look at me now! I’m honestly proud of my new look, I still have enough lovely friends, I live by myself again in the heart of Utrecht, and I’ve even turned my bald head into my job. To all the girls and women that also struggle with hair loss and/or other difficulties and think that life will never be good again, let me say this: YOU WILL BE FINE! I lost almost everything that mattered to me within six months, and it wasn’t the end of the world after all. It was just the beginning of something new. Something even better!