I Promise, It’s Not Vanity

I promise, it’s not vanity.

I know you’re probably wondering why I spend so much time in front of the mirror before I go anywhere. You probably wondering why I redo my hair over and over. Why I don’t just leave it down once in a while. Why I stare at myself, at my hair. Why it takes my almost 20 minutes just to end up with a simple ponytail. Why I always close the bathroom door just to fix my hair.

It’s because you can’t know.

It’s not because I’m vain. It’s because I’m afraid. Terrified. I have no confidence at all. I don’t want anyone to know. I don’t want anyone to see. To see what I do, to judge me, my appearance.

I work so hard on a simple ponytail because it has to cover so much.

It has to cover my insecurities. My bald spots. My new growth. If any hair is out of place, it could lead to disaster. Embarrassment. How do you explain something like this? How do you explain not being able to control yourself? How do you explain to others who have never even heard of this disorder?

That’s why I stand in front of the mirror for so long. That’s why I try so hard to make my hair look “perfect”. Because it’s been years since I’ve been happy with it. Because I have nothing to be proud of, but at least I can pretend.