Started At The Bottom

Somedays I post on my Baldie Boo Instagram and get comments from people telling me they wish they could be as brave as me. It is the best to receive compliments like that, but when I read them, I feel like that puzzled giphy. You know the one. Where the girl is standing there confused as math problems swirl around her head. Brave is never a word I’ve associated with myself. Except on days where I’m having an anxiety attack and I repeatedly tell myself to be brave over and over again. Which just happened to happen today while I was driving to a friend’s wedding shower. Do any of you get driving anxiety? I do and it can be THE WORST. I spent a solid 30 min telling myself to be brave while trying to convince my brain that a semi was not going to plow through my car on my way up North. It is like I am an American Ninja Warrior and everyday my brain is giving me a new warped wall to scale.

Anywho, it got me thinking about my alopecia journey. How did I go from the girl who would have rather eaten fried worms than appear in public bald, to the girl who now has a social media dedicated to her bald head and just went to work wig free?!? I came up with a list of things that helped me get to this point and I thought I’d dig deeper into each one in the coming weeks.


This week’s contender—attitude of gratitude! Raise your hand if your life completely changed after watching ‘The Secret’ and you’ve spent every day since waiting for checks in the mail! *Raises Hand* Seriously though, I know some people think it is all a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but I swear it’s a real thing! The more things in life you can be grateful for, the happier and more fulfilling life becomes. I’m not completely unrealistic about. I know I could write “I am so grateful and thankful for my beautiful hair” 84 trillion times a day, and my head will stay as bald as can be (said from personal experience because you know I tried!). I get it. BUT I find that journaling things I’m grateful has helped me heal over the years. When I am not actively seeking out things to be grateful for, my brain has a tendency to dip into the emo side of life. You know how it goes—


“UGH I don’t have hair wahhh”
“Why is my life always so hard wahhh”
“Nothing ever works out in my favor wahhhh”
*Turns on early 2000 Avirl Lavigne and sits in a corner and sulks*

When I seek out things to be grateful for, I feel lighter. It makes me feel like I am a hop, skip, and a jump away from finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Which is why I love to write in a gratitude journal every night.

Putting those uplifting words to paper helps them become engrained in my brain. It helps me feel strong when I’m not sure if I have strength. It makes me feel in control even on the days where alopecia feels like it has taken all control. It makes me feel refreshed and like a new woman ready to take on the world! The funny thing is, the more I find to be grateful for, the more positive I feel. The more positive I feel, the more pieces of my life start to fall together. The more pieces of my life start to fall to together, the more grateful I feel. And so, continues the circle of life!


So where do you begin? I suggest start small so it is not too daunting. Three things everyday that you are happy and grateful for. Annnd GO!

One of my favorites is “I am so happy and grateful I am 100% healed inside and out!” I’ve written this one for years, and I’m sure you’re thinking…ummm if you were 100% healed wouldn’t you have all of your hair and no anxiety?! Possibly, BUT I will tell you one thing, I have more confidence and happiness now than I ever did when I had hair. To me, that is far more healed than I have ever been in my entire life. Just give it a fighting shot and let it work for you too!


PS This week was extra exciting for me because one of my followers (@ishii_fishii) was inspired by my ‘don’t bring your wig to work day’ and followed suit! She stepped into her office minus wig, minus scarf, plus a boat load of amazing and supportive coworkers in their alopecia blue! I thought my heart was going to explode when I saw her coworkers celebrating her mental victory!! If you get a chance, stop by her Instagram page and give her a shout out. I am sooo proud to have been a very tiny part of her major win!

Looking back on my life like, “How in the world did I get here?!”

She Came, She Saw, She Conquered

A couple months ago I had this crazy ass thought. Go to work without my wig. Now granted, this thought has popped into my head before. Mostly on days where my wig is hot, itchy, pokey, or just plain annoying. However, on those days it was never a serious thought. More of a, “UGH I SHOULD JUST RIP THIS DUMB THING OFF” knowing very well I’d rather give up reality tv for life than show up at my work with my scalp exposed for the world to see. It was a shock, even to myself, when I started considering it seriously. It’s honestly very possible I was abducted by aliens and the normal scaredy cat Supriya is locked in a space ship while this alien Supriya who has a tiny smidge more of confidence has replaced me. The jury is still out.

When Alopecia Awareness Month rolled around, I knew it was now or never. The first week of September I went on Amazon and ordered a couple alopecia shirts with the intention of having bald Friday occur on 9/6. The delivery dates had other ideas and my plans got pushed to 9/13. Friday the 13th, full moon, and my big bald head! I mean some would say that is the perfect trifecta. I told a few people knowing the more people I told, the less likely I could back out. On 9/12 I fully committed to the cause. I sent an email to my friends at work and told them my plans and to wear blue (alopecia blue to be exact) if they wanted to show support. I knew once I sent the email I was locked in. I pressed send and started shaking and sweating. This was it. It was happening.

Trying to keep my cool on the ride in. Emphasis on trying.

Friday morning my alarm went off and my nerves kicked in. Its funny because I can actually feel those same nerves now as I re-live that day. It is still all so surreal. I showered, threw on my nifty alopecia awareness ribbon shirt, slapped on some red lips (the perfect accessory to a bald head if you ask me), said a prayer I wouldn’t poop my pants in fear at work, and headed out the door. Many people asked me if I was going to keep my wig in the car, and the answer is no. I was ALL IN! Until I got into the parking garage that is. Then I was ALL NERVES. My heart was racing, the shakes were back, and I was so scared. What did I commit to?! I normally get to work pretty early so I was able to speed walk into the building without seeing many people. I sat down at my desk and waved hello to two of my teammates. They were in blue smiling excitedly at me. My heart was literally racing a mile a minute. I started to compose myself. “You can do this Supriya. You can do this” I kept telling myself over and over and over. All the meanwhile I was starting to sweat through my shirt, my hands were a quivering mess, and I was realizing just how cold office AC can be when you don’t have a wig on your head to keep you warm and toasty.

Then it started happening. The trickle of blue. Tameka, Dan, and Greg! High fives, hugs, photo op. They were so excited for me. The trickle quickly turned into a stream. Wyatt, Kanchan, Sujay, Casey, Taylor, Greg, Haley, Genna, Hosanna, Brandon, Marie, Wes, Melinda, Rachel, Ashleigh, Colleen, John, my entire team, and so many others were wearing blue in support! Then it turned into a river. Friends off site were sending me pictures (Venrick, Ashley, Tiph, Jordan, Zigs, Andrew), friends who used to work with me were sending me pictures (Kathryn, Eddie), friends who couldn’t be there that day were texting me. Everywhere I looked I saw more and more blue and my world was taken over by an army of support. At lunch time it was apparent that my river was a massive ocean. My friend Rachel arranged to have us meet outside for a group photo. I expected a handful of people to show up tops. I stood on the patio and waited. I had completely underestimated what was actually going to happen. I was in complete shock witnessing the number of friends pouring out of the door in support of me and alopecia!!!!! I looked to the left and saw Amy (who is on maternity leave!) walk in with a stroller and her new born Decker in his blue! I could not believe how many people were out there with me. I still cannot wrap my head around it. If I named everyone, this blog would turn into a never-ending list of names. While I stood on the photo with all of these amazing humans, I felt such an overwhelming sense of emotions. I’ve never known what it is like to receive this type of love and support. I can only imagine that this is what Taylor Swift feels like every single moment of her life. It is a moment that will be engrained in my memory forever!

My ocean of Alopecia BLUE!

As the day went on, I got to sit down and have conversations with people about what it is like to have alopecia. What the struggles feel like. What triumphs feel like. I’ve worked at my company for 8.5 years. 4.5 years with hair and 4 years without. For the first time, I was able to just relax and have open honest conversations about the things I’d spent so much of my career hiding. For the first time, I was able to be me. I didn’t whisper about my wig. I didn’t worry people would hear me say the word wig. I didn’t have to worry that people who didn’t know about my alopecia would realize I was wearing wig. For once, I didn’t feel embarrassed and ashamed to be the person in the office with alopecia. For the very first time, I felt empowered to be the person in the office with alopecia.

There are moments in life that will change your life forever. Full harvest moon and Friday the 13th of September 2019 is a day that completely changed my life. I’ve always loved the quote “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. It is safe to say my life began on Friday.

Good friends will pick you up when tough times knock you down 🙂

So, what is next? Will I quit wigs and embrace being an alien head going forward? Full time–Definitely not. I love my wigs and don’t plan on giving them up! Part time though, I’m not sure! This day was meant to be a challenge. To see if I could grow a pair big enough to accomplish the task at hand. Now that it is over and done with, I realize that I can do whatever I want and that is wonderfully freeing. I can wear my wig, I can go bald, I can wear different wigs, and everything in between! It is so wild that I can literally just LIVE and so LIVE is what I will do.

“The comeback is always greater than the setback” -Mike “The Situation” (Don’t judge my love for Jersey shore guys) 

Fear, Coasters, and Alopecia Awareness

September is Alopecia Awareness month. It is the month where us baldies shout from the rooftops and edumacate our hairy friends on what is like to have your immune system go haywire and sign you up for a Rock look alike contest. For me, alopecia and fear go hand in hand. Actually, if I’m being completely fear has ruled everything around me since birth. Probably since the womb. All alopecia has done is given me a boat load of new things to be afraid of. Last weekend, I got to erase one of those items off the list. Amusement parks. Not just any amusement park. Cedar Point. If you grew up anywhere near northeast Ohio, you know that Cedar Point is basically the best amusement park ever times 10. However, in my mind, wigs and roller coasters were never meant to go hand in hand. Unless you are trying to end up in a viral video where the whole world witnesses your wig flying off mid ride. This is why I put roller coasters on my list of things I “can’t” do (by can’t I mean won’t because I may poop my pants from fear). I LOVE roller coasters, but I had no idea how I would manage the logistics of it all. So, I just avoided it. Then I started dating a Colorado native who had never been to Cedar Point. Since it is an Ohio must, we made a decision in May that we would go back to Ohio in August to give him the full adrenaline experience. I had exactly 3 months to concoct a plan. Yet I was going back and forth and back and forth on what I was going to until the week of the trip.

Obviously, going wig-free would have been the easiest option and I did seriously consider it until my anxiety crept in and told me to consider something else. Next, I thought of wearing my Yaffa wig. It has an adjustable band and I can get it to sit pretty snugly on my dome. However, my Yaffa is a $3000 wig. I just couldn’t risk the chance of 3 grand literally flying off my head. So, I scoured my Amazon for days looking for a suitable synthetic. Buying cheap wigs on Amazon can be so hit or miss. You can end up with something surprisingly adorbs, or you could end up with something that looks like a straw mop. I must have had a wig angel that day because what I ordered was PERFECT!! A wig with an attached headband that I could wear in a HIGH PONY! You heard it folks. Momma rocked a high pony for the first time in FOUR YEARS!!! For added insurance, I used my Milano wigs wig-grip to keep that puppy in place. Finally, I found a tank top with a hood to add an extra, extra level of security. And guys let me tell you it was *chefs kiss* PERFECT! I think I would have been okay without the hood, but I took comfort in the fact that the hood would catch the wig if it fell off. I had SO MUCH fun! It was also entertaining to see the looks I got when tying up my hood before each ride. I will take those looks over the looks of people witnessing my wig flying off any day of the week. So, if you are an adrenaline junkie baldie who is missing the coaster life, you MUST try my method.

The next thing I’m going to erase off my fear list is a bit scarier. This Friday I am going to go to work for the very first time without a wig. My stomach is doing puke flips just thinking about it. Its happening friends. Stay tuned for that post!

I whip my wig back and forth

Drop It Like Its Hot

On Saturday I dedicated my evening to a wild night of sipping beers and washing wigs. Nothing says party like awkwardly sitting on the bathroom floor while washing an expensive pile of hair in a bucket. After 2 hours of air drying, I set up my normal drying station. Blow dryer, hair products, flat iron, brush, and ipad. I don’t fully understand why it takes me 78974545512 times more time to dry my wig hair than it did my bio hair, but this is just one of the many medical mysteries of alopecia. To help kill some time, I always throw on a bingey TV show. I am one of those weirdos who will binge watch the same show 1-2x a year for the rest of eternity. This week’s choice was Sex and the City. Do you guys remember the episode when Samantha and Carrie go wig shopping after Samantha lost her hair to chemo? It goes something like this: 

Wig shop owner: [places wig on Samantha] This is Candy. Shes very popular.

Samantha: I dont think you’re listening. I dont want to look like Candy, I just want to look like myself.

Wig shop owner: Ma’am, these are wigs. They’re not ever gonna look exactly like you. 

Samantha: That is not acceptable 

Wig shop owner: We could style the bangs. 

Samantha: Don’t touch my head. 

Wig shop owner: I’ve worked with many women with cancer. 

Samantha: I don’t have cancer. I have a premier and I don’t want some second rate wig named after a hooker. My hair is my thing. This [hands wig back] is bull shit. 

I just sat there and laughed. Holy relatable batman. “I just want to look like myself”. There came a point on my alopecia journey where I realized that no wig was ever going to make me look like my old self. No matter the price, no matter the brand. Sure they help me feel more like my old self, give me confidence, and hide my alopecia from the world. However there will never be a day where I slap a wig on my head and think, “Oh man that looks like 2014 Supriya! No doubt!” Yeeeeah that is just not a thing.

Speaking of, I had a moment of alopecia disdain on Friday. I was out on the town for my girl Alanna’s bachelorette party! We posed for a photo together and my eyebrow had the classic alopecia sheen. The one that comes hand in hand with having no actual hair growing from your brows. Yes, my brows have tats and makeup, but no matter what I do that sheen always remains. I looked at our pic and the first thing I noticed was the glimmering shine coming from my brow. Seriously, why is that?! There has got to be some makeup magic that fixes it and I am just too much of a newb to figure it out. To top that off, we were dancing our booties off and my head felt like a hot tub of sweat and heat. At one point I went into a bathroom stall, took off my wig, and used some TP to dry it off. Can’t a girl just drop it like its hot without having to worry about the aftermath to her wig?! Minus those two things, I had an amazing night out. Alopecia can work my nerves, piss me off, and make me embarrassed, but you better believe I am NOT going to let this shit ruin my nights out with my gals! 

Where Ya Been Baldie Boo?!

I just realized my last blog post was a full MONTH ago. July and early August have been so crazy that it feels like July didn’t even happen. The fact that it is August has got me SHOOK. To give you a quick play by play of end of June through now:

Bf and I helped move his bro move out of the bf’s condo and made the decision to replace the floors and update the paint in his condo (HGTV eat your heart out), packed up the bf’s place to prep for the contractors, spent endless hours ripping out flooring that was glued down to concrete (just call me sup the tool (wo)man surender), packed up my apartment (threw out allll the things), celebrated the bf’s bday (by celebrate I mean he updated the grout in his bathroom while I packed…talk about a parrrrrrtay), loaded up a moving truck and hauled my thangs to the bf’s (and now MY) place, did some SERIOUS unpacking, got a membership at a big kid gym (so far it is creeper free and meathead full), got myself a new car (I will miss you my sweet 12 year old Sonata), got a new dishwasher and learned it meant plumbers had to come out to fix some archaic pipes (#adulting), got interviewed and published on Voyage Denver (woot woot!!), and had a bf family emergency that has resulted in us spending many days in the hospital this week.

It has been a whirlwind of good stress, bad stress, excitement, anxiety, happiness, and exhaustion. In times like this I become very nervous that the stress will light a fire under my alopecia’s butt and take my eyelashes again. The only change I’ve noticed so far is that my nose hairs seem to be falling out again (gross I KNOW). Nothing like blowing your nose and seeing a bunch of hairs in your tissues. I’m actually gagging as I type it. My apologies if you are too. While we are on the topic of things that make me gag, I am having a psoriasis flare in my pits. BUT that seems to be the worst of it (*knocks on wood*). If it isn’t one autoimmune disease, it is another. Rude. The turnip growing on the top of my head continues to grow in length, but it seems localized to one spot. Its long enough for me to give it a little wash with shampoo and conditioner. I forgot how much I enjoyed the feeling of washing my hair. However, I think I am ready to shave it off. Having this random skosh of thick hair is not the luscious hair life I’m trying to live.


Other than that, life is truly good and I’m excited to  dedicate more time to this blog as life settles back down to its normal routine. xoxoxo love ya my little baldie boo crew! Thank you for being patient with me while I get back on track!

Home Sweet Home

You want to know what is wild? I am moving in with my boyfriend in a couple weeks. I moved into my current apartment almost one year ago exactly. It was July of 2018 when I left behind an apartment that filled with hurt and tough times. My old apartment is where I simmered in pain from the aftermath of being in a terrible relationship with the wrong person for three years. It is where I sat single for 5 years feeling palpable level of loneliness combined with paralyzing fear of putting myself out there again. Fear that somehow I would end up in a relationship worse than the last. It is where I made the decision that I’d rather feel the pain of being lonely than feel the pain of another human tearing me down piece by piece. It is the place I spent days and nights overtaken by depression and anxiety. I’d stare out those windows and contemplate if today was the day that I was going to choose to end it all. I was in that apartment the day I lost my first handful of hair. I cried on those floors the day my hair left me for good. I stared in those mirrors when my eyebrows started to leave me and then my eyelashes. I laid in that bed and screamed in excruciating pain from what I later learned was a pulmonary embolism. It is where I gave my cat Jasper his final kisses and snuggles before sending him over the rainbow bridge.

When I left that apartment a year ago, I wasn’t expecting things to change, but boy oh boy was I wrong. My current apartment is where I healed. I don’t look in these mirrors and shed tears over my hair loss. I stare in these mirrors and think of ways to help others who are struggling with alopecian pain. It is these floors that I sit on when I’m laughing at my new kitten Neville and all of his silly antics. It is this bedroom that I sit in when I read all the amazing messages from my fellow alopecia brothers and sisters. Messages of encouragement, messages of emotion, messages of courage. It is here where my days of being single came to an end. It is this apartment that I learned what being in a good relationship is. This apartment taught me that there are good, kind, loving, accepting, supportive men in the world, and it taught me how to found one who is the perfect match for me. These hallways are where I see a man who looks at me exactly the same no matter if I am dressed up to the nines or without hair, brows, and makeup. Here is where I raised the bar for myself. Here is where I learned to live again.

Now I am about to leave this amazing apartment for a new adventure in a new place with my new little family. If you had told me a year ago that this is where my life would be now, I would have never believed it. Yet somehow, some way the pieces of my life found a way to fall back into place again. Thank you little apartment. You brought me my happiness back. You helped me find a part of me that I thought I had lost forever. You showed me how to live my best life and not settle for less. I can’t wait to take all of that with me to my wonderful new home. xoxoxo

Hair Dreamin

I had a weird dream this week. A friend was showing me old photos and I saw one of me when I still had hair. I just stared at it because I didn’t think it looked like me. Like I was a different person now and the person in the picture was a distant memory…a stranger even.


I normally have crazy dreams so it’s not unusual for me to wake up and be bothered by them for a few hours. This one got me thinking because it has been a thought in the back of my head for a while. Do I still look like myself? Sometimes I see old pictures and think yes, some days I think no. I mean I look so different now. People used to ALWAYS tell me I looked just like my mom. Since alopecia, I’ve noticed that has changed. I rarely hear that anymore. I think it’s because I lost some of those common features. The way her hair grows on her face. The way her eyebrows are shaped.


I suppose I can’t expect to look exactly the same. A wig will never look the same as my hair. I’ll never have those weird short hairs on my forehead that used to drive me mad, but also were such a part of me. A wig will never part the way my hair parted and will never sit the way my hair sat. I’ll never have those same eyebrows. Microblading will never create the same face I had when I had my own brows.


So, I suppose it’s true. The girl I was is now just a distant memory…



Wig hair, tattoo brows, alopecia life

Adventures In Food And Workouts

2015 started with a full head of hair. My life was consumed with crossfit, running ½ marathons, and eating paleo. I was miserable. I felt like I was doing everything right. The crossfit community was filled with women who rocked 6 pack abs and put in the same amount of work as me. Yet my body felt like a pile of fluff. I hated eating paleo. I thought shifting focus from calories to eating some caveman style fatty foods would make my food guilt issues way better, but all it did was make them a bazillion times worse. I developed a fear or carbs, wheat, gluten, dairy, legumes, soy, processed foods, low fat foods, restaurant foods, sugar, sandwiches, oats…the list goes on and on. What if I went to a restaurant and the only options contained gluten?!?!?!? THE HORROR! My body is not even the tiniest bit celiac. There was no medical reason for me to act like eating gluten was the same as eating asbestos. On top of that, my body was completely wrecked from lifting too heavy and running too much. Every day I was in extreme pain, but kept pushing through because I had my eye on the prize. I mean if I ate like the Instagram crossfitters and worked out like the Instagram crossfitters, I should look like the Instagram crossfitters?! Right?? WRONG.

Finally, I realized I was being ridiculous, and a life of being scared of sandwiches was no longer a life I wanted. After some careful Instagram fitspo research, I decided to do the polar opposite of paleo and start macro counting. I saw pictures of women with perfect bodies who were eating cookies, pop tarts, pizza, oreos, and loaded froyo!! What could go wrong?! If it fit my macros, I could eat it and I would have a bangin bod in no time! I reached out to an IG influencer for a plan. She set me up with workouts and macros to follow. My first red flag should have been the day my WARMUP was 100 lunges. Regardless, I decided to give it a shot. As you may have guessed, my body did not change and I was the heaviest I’ve been in my entire life. I guess daily pop tarts and insane 2 hour/day lifting plans with no cardio weren’t going to give me the body of my dreams.


Now a days I say SCREW ALL OF THAT. I’ve made a conscious decision to STOP associating guilt with food. If I want it, I eat it. I know the foods my body responds well to and I stick with that. I eat gluten, dairy, sugar, carbs, lean meats, occasional red meat, any veggie I want (legumes included!), fast food, and home cooked food. I stopped forcing down foods that gross me out because the internet told me to. I stopped avoiding foods because the internet told me not to eat it. I’ve stopped doing workouts that make me unhappy. I used to leave crossfit in tears because I didn’t PR. I used to come home pissed about a run because I wasn’t fast enough. I’ve realized that WORKOUTS SHOULD NOT MAKE ME CRY!!!! Life is hard enough as it is! Am I right?! Now I go to the gym and LOVE IT! My BFF gives me workout programs that kick my butt without killing me. I feel happy and bad ass even though most of my workouts include weights that are less than 30 lbs. There ain’t nothing wrong with some tiny weights! Since living this way I’ve found that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with my body. Sure, I’d be happier with hair too, BUT I no longer dread non-workout clothes and the dressing room and I have reconciled our friendship.


I want to make this super clear…I’m not saying crossfit, paleo, endurance running, or macro counting is bad. I am saying that if the foods you eat or the workouts you do make you miserable, then maybe you should consider doing something that makes you happy! The internet is a cesspool of people telling you their way is the best way and any other way is wrong AF. I’m here to tell you that the best way is the way that works for you! There is no wrong way. If it works for you, then it works and that is all that matters! If you’re a keto guido, rock on! If you’re living your best vegan life, yas queen! If you slow walk on the treadmill, keep killin it! If you’ve never followed a fad diet and never will, heck yeah! If you PR the shit out of every crossfit workout, high five to you and your sweat angel! Just go out there and do you! If Instagram tells you that’s not good enough, then delete that person and keep it moving! Every person’s body is so different and responds so differently. Find the thing that is the right fit for you, and your body will show its thanks back! xoxoxo


The Anxiety Chronicles

Can we talk about anxiety for a second? By second, I mean the length of time it takes you to read this post lol. Anxiety is something I have dealt with for most of my life. My first memory of it dates all the way back to 1st grade. I entered the building for the first day of school and FREAKED out. Why I freaked out is beyond me. Going to kindergarten and preschool was easy peasy. Yet here I was breaking down so badly that I puked my guts out. Right there on the classroom floor. Puke-a-roo. Quite the way to make an impression for myself don’t ya think? This ritual continued for about a week. My anxiety pukes became business as usual. So much so that my teacher put a garbage can next to my desk. Likely to give the janitor a break from cleaning daily floor vomit. Yes ladies and gentleman, I was that girl. To this day I do not know why I would go into a complete fight or flight mode when I walked into that room, but eventually I worked through it and enjoyed the rest of my elementary school days.

The next occurrence happened in 8th grade. Once again, it seemingly came out of nowhere. My middle school moved into a new building mid-year and all of a sudden, my anxiety made a return appearance. I would enter a state of panic that told me not to go to school. Not in that normal, I’m a pre-teen who ain’t feeling that classroom life kinda way, but in that omg I’m going to pass out, or die, or something awful is surely going to happen kinda way. I started making myself throw up so my parents would have a reason to keep me home. Puke is apparently a common theme of this blog. I even rubbed my mom’s lipsticks into my cheeks in hopes that I’d look red and ill to pull off the act. I probably just looked like bozo the clown honestly. Quickly my parents realized I wasn’t actually sick and forced me to go to school. I bet you are wondering if I was bullied. My parents were wondering the same thing. Was I being picked on? Was something bad happening? The answer is nope. Literally, nothing bad was happening. I had a great life and this paralyzing fear was a result of nothing more than my brain taking extra steps to scare the shit out of me.
As I’ve gotten older, the gamut of things that make me anxious has steadily grown, and my experiences with it have changed. I’ve learned that I am EXTREMELY sensitive to other people’s emotions. When I am around someone who is high strung, overly worried, or trying to be over protective of me, my anxiety shoots through the roof. It feels like I start to absorb their stressors and I become suffocated by it.

2017 was my first experience with a panic attack. I was driving to work and about to turn onto the highway. Suddenly, I felt this crazy sensation like I was going to pass out. I became light headed, my face became extremely hot, and my entire body began sweating. I spent the entire drive talking myself down and blasting the AC in my face. At the time, I was still extremely depressed and overwhelmed by my alopecia, and I was on anxiety overload because I was recovering from a pulmonary embolism. I continued to have panic attacks daily. They would strike whenever they pleased—driving, walking through the grocery store, at work, at dinner with friends, in the airport. The only time they didn’t happen was when I was in the comfort of my apartment.

I’ve always been open with my friends and family about having anxiety, but I’ve never really opened up about my panic attacks. I was so good at maintaining a smile on the outside while mentally losing it on the inside. Since starting this blog, my panic attacks have significantly decreased. I’m by no means “recovered”, but I’ve gotten to a much better mental state. I’ve come to terms with the fact that anxiety has been and always will be a part of me. Much like alopecia, learning to own it and cope with it is what has helped me the most. It doesn’t change the fact that it is a pain in the ass. It doesn’t change the fact that my brain is CONSTANTLY trying to scare me out of doing the smallest things—driving, leaving the house, applying for new jobs, etc. It doesn’t change the fact that every second of the day my brain is telling me “no you can’t do that” and I have to tell it “screw you, yes I can!” However, it does mean that no matter how hard anxiety tries to win, I still get to tell it, “not today brah, not today.”

Roomies and Baldies

This past week I traveled to Utah for work. Landed in Sat Lake, and headed to Provo to take care of business. My company has a unique travel policy that requires employees to share a room. I recently joined a new team and not everyone was aware of the no hair situation I have going on up top. Truthfully, when I learned I was going to have to share a room, I panicked. Yes, I am comfortable sharing my baldness on the interwebs, but hair is such a key component to my professional look. Not saying that bald is unprofessional. Just saying that for me, I’m never in the office sans wig. It was most certainly going to catch my new coworker off guard to witness me transform from fab hair to nothing but scalp in a matter of seconds. Sleeping in a wig is not an option for me. I’ve tried it and it was the most uncomfortable night of sleep of my life. I need to be bare head on pillow to sleep like the angel I’m trying to be. Therefore, I knew I had to tell my roomie.

Beautiful Provo

When I saw the email confirming the travel accommodations, my stomach sank and panic set in. I sat at my desk feeling a smidge pukey with a dash of pitting, and some low-grade shakes. I decided to handle this in typical Supriya fashion and make a joke out of it. No one can sense your panic on the inside when you are all smiles and laughs on the outside. Am I right?! My email went something like this “Just a heads up, I have alopecia and look like a normal person by day, but look like a bald alien creature by night.” I then processed to use a yellow emoji face to paint the full picture.

Next, I IMd my roomie to be and let her know that I would give her fair warning before the wig came off. I shouldn’t have been surprised when she was totally cool with everything. The room sharing was not a big deal at all. Yes, I was nervous, but my roommate was so chill and awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better stranger to be bunkies with!

I don’t know why I always feel so scared of people’s reaction to my alopecia when it is up close and personal. I assume they will be uncomfortable or offended by my scalp. Yet that’s all it is. Just a plain jane run of the mill scalp. It’s not like I’m hiding a tattoo of Tweetie bird and Taz making obscene gestures (throwback to every 90s baby who once rocked a Looney Tunes temporary tattoo). Also, I have no control over it. This is just part of me now and I need to find a way to accept the fact that other people are totally fine with it too. Yes, jokes and making fun of myself before someone can make fun of me will always be my self defense tactic. However, I need to convince myself that people aren’t going to stop, drop, and roll when they see my head. Hopefully, that day will come soon, but for now I remain a forever work in progress…