When you start with a title like that you really do have to go big or go home. If not then it would just seem that I turned into the type of writer to put big headlines just to pull in the readers (Buzzfeed anyone?).
This is actually one of the harder posts that I have ever written, not because I have somehow lost the use of my fingers or am trying to type it on a phone, but because of the thinking and decisions that have lead me to this point.
OK, so I will stop being overdramatic now and get to the point (although I do reserve the right to be dramatic later). I am not going to stop writing or disappear off the face of the earth… but I am going to cut my hair. We are not talking about a trim or a casual shorten. We are talking completely shaved off. Like shaved shaved. Like “with a razor”, super smooth, gone forever type of shaved.
It is a decision that I have not taken lightly and has actually been a few years in the making but I have now gotten to a point where it is annoying me so much that I just cant deal with it anymore.
“Thought you were leaving out the drama” is what I am sure most of you are thinking right about now as you read this, however that isn’t me being dramatic for a change. It is something that has been upsetting me and getting me down and something I need to take action on. With a little bit of back story I am sure it will all makes a bit more sense so please bare with me as I am sure this is all coming out in the wrong order but I just need to get it all down.
The Back Story
So about 2 years ago some of my hair started falling out. This was not a bit of middle aged thinning on my crown or something, it was waking up one morning to notice a coin sized piece of hair just missing overnight. That was a bit of a shock and at the time I put it down to stress at work and various other factors in my life that could be causing it and just tried to ignore it. By tying my hair back in a certain way it wasn’t noticable and so I just got on with things and tried not to think about it. Over time, rather than getting better things got worse. More hair started to fall out in the same area and eventually I dragged myself in to see the doctor to see if they could do anything about it. A few blood tests later and I got my fun diagnosis that didn’t exactly make things better but at least let me know why things were going a bit pear shaped.
The blood tests showed that I have something called Hypothyroidism, also known as an under-active thyroid gland, which was causing me the problems with my hair and also explained some other little things that I didnt associate at the time as issues. Now is time to break it down to the technical talk:
What is Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland isn’t producing enough of the hormones needed to run the body correctly. The main purpose of the Thyroid gland is to control the bodies metabolism so with this screwed a whole lot of things tend to go out of whack!
What are the Symptoms
Some of the symptoms are noticeable whereas other only come into light when you are aware of them. For example, my hair falling out was caused by my bodies autoimmune response to not knowing what to do about the broken thyroid. Essentially my body decided to kill off the hair as an alien invader rather than just be chill about it.
Other things include tiredness (which I always was but just thought this was life) and weight gain caused by the fact that my body doesn’t burn off as much as it should. In the olden days this would maybe have been a good thing as I could have survived for ages with low food supplies, but in today’s day and age this just means that I ended up putting on loads of weight that was really hard to shift.
What is the cure
The “cure” is to take a little tablet each day that contains the relevant hormones that are supposed to do its job and level things out. The fact of the matter is though that this doesn’t really sort everything out and most of the symptoms have stayed the same. Who knows, maybe without the meds things would have gotten worse but for now, they don’t seem to be giving me any improvements.
What has this got to do with you shaving your head?!
Over the last few months, things with my hair has got worse again with some growing back but other parts going and to be honest, it is just pissing me off now. I want to get back into Juijitsu over here but I havnt yet gotten around to it. Part of the reason has been time but another factor is that I don’t want to roll about on the floor with my hair tied back when it will just come out of the hair bobble and then be obvious that it looks stupid and there is hair missing. That thinking has lead me to wear hats all the time (which I don’t mine) however it has now gotten to a point where I am very conscious that I always NEED a hat rather than just wanting to wear one which is a state I don’t like being in.
I think the worry about the hair added to the stress which may have been also making it fall out so all in all what a great cycle to be in!
It is with all that in mind that I decided that I need to just bite the bullet and cut it all off. It has taken a lot of thinking and made me quite nervous as I have had long hair for a long time and due to the way it is currently growing, once I do cut it there is not really any going back so it’s taken a while to psyche myself up to it. It is also annoying as once my head is shaved for the first few weeks my head is going to be a different colour to my face before it gets any sun on it. Yet another reason I have put it off until a time I can be away for work for a while and just let it sort its self out and come to terms with it myself without added work pressure.
I have been known by friends and family as Afrodan, Afro or Fro for the majority of my life now. My hair has, in one sense, been something that defined me which then also made it really hard for me to make such a drastic change. After I cut it all off I will literally have the opposite to an Afro so how can I continue to go by that name? This is the dilemma that I have had because the change is a permanent one and kind of changes who the person is that I define myself as. I know it can seem stupid to most but when you are known as the guy with the afro and you rock up with a skinhead it kind of seems a bit weird!
I talked to Padd a few days ago about my dilemma and the internal struggle and this is what he had to say:
This reminds me of the Ironman 3 subtext. How can he be Ironman without the suit?
How can Afrodan be Afrodan without the hairdo?
The thing is, the suit wasn’t Ironman, Tony Stark was. Just like the hair isn’t Afrodan, Daniel Rollins is.
So long as there is a Daniel Rollins, there will be an Afrodan.
I guess that sums it up really. I am still me and always will be no matter what happens. So with that, I have now booked in to get my hair cut off on Monday morning at 10.30am.
When I started writing this post it was titled “Afrodan is no more”. I know that seems a little over the top but it was how I was feeling. After the chat with Padd though it changed to “End of an era. Chapter 2 begins.” as it is now.
Everything will work out ok in the end. If it’s not ok its not the end!