dear ladies,

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
― Chuck PalahniukFight Club

i don’t want to spend too much time on this post trying to make it artsy, well written or whatever. i just want to tell my story and hopefully save someone from having to go through any of this.

being a young lady with some traveling tendencies and aspirations for a successful future i wanted to make sure and be protected from growing one of those little human things unexpectedly so I got an IUD at age 19. for those of you unaware – an IUD is an intrauterine device AKA a baby blocker. i was in a 7 year relationship at the time and felt it was the best method of birth control since it was hormone free and long term. after that i had some issues with my skin and the doctor recommended i use hormonal birth control in addition to help balance my hormones. i figured why not? then i’ll just be doubled up on my baby blocking capabilities, saweet! plus I was desperate to try something to help chill out my moods and clear up my skin. win win.

so like many other ladies that listen to doctors orders, i tried some different methods and switched around from ortho tri-cyclen to ortho evra to the ring. some helped with my skin, others just seemed to make me more insane.

so anyway, after about three years i got the non hormonal iud removed since i found out it wasn’t even in right to begin with (planned parenthood 4 L1Fe) and stayed on some of the milder birth control pills.

when i was getting ready to take off on another potentially long adventure overseas i knew i needed a more long term method since hypothetically I would not have access to health care for an undetermined amount of time.

so being the responsible, realistic lady i am (better label than “satanic slut” i guess) i decided to try one more method that would hopefully give me some of those low dose hormones to balance my skin / mood along with the long term baby prevention benefits. insert: the Mirena! (literally) http://www.mirena-us.com/index.php <—– evil

I was at the doctors office two days before my flight (procrastination pro) explaining that I wanted something long term because I wouldn’t be able to refill prescriptions abroad ect. ect…

all the sweet nurse practitioners at the University of Washington said they were using this hormonal IUD form of birth control and loved it. after flip flopping back in forth in the office for a bit, I finally decided to try the Mirena.

With out giving too many horrifying details the insertion was the most excruciating thing I have ever experienced. It was triple times worse (is that even English?) than the first time I got the non-hormonal ParaGuard. They had some sort of trouble fitting it correctly into my heart shaped cervix (what a good song title) and after the absolutely traumatic, dizzying, nauseating, excruciating procedure that felt like being blinded with pain and punishment – they informed me that “it was probably in right, and might not even work.” WTF!!?!?

I am an incredibly tough female and felt like the temporary, although torturous/demonic insertion was somewhat worth it if it meant I would have the peace of mind of not having any unplanned munchkins anytime within the next 5 years. not that i was planning to come skank around europe but you know what they say – it is always better to be safe than pregnant.

so so so so, lets get to the good stuff.

the docs take another look just before i left (like day of) and said i should be good to go sleep around with as metrosexual europeans as i like – just kidding, jesus! (humor heals shitty situations right?) so then i get over to foreign land thinking i have one less thing to worry about until something started happening… my hair started falling out.

during my time back in the states, I was going through a lot of emotional distress and thought maybe it was just temporary/stress induced or that it was part of my recovery from my battle with an eating disorder (another lame story for a different rainy day) but then it just kept getting worse and I found all this exciting info:

MIRENA HAIR LOSS GOOGLE

now if you have ever known me in human format, you might know that i never really had all that much hair to begin with. which was already something I was pretty bummed about since my mom kept all the pamela anderson-esque-ness for herself. essentially, i didn’t really have a whole lot to lose. i became incredibly scared when “the shedding” continued. I did research and some people (my doctor from UW included) said it was probably just from switching methods and would most likely stop at some point. I invested in some extensions and did my best not to think about it.

when i came back over to Europa I had the intention of finding some of the solid footing that i had lost when i made the rash decision to return to L.A. in 2012 to begin moving around like a crazy woman trying to find “home”. I was pretty much just running from my own inner demons blah, blah, blah so none of the moves ended up being very successful. go figure. when i finally took the big jump to give it a shot over here once more, the last thing i needed was the added stress of… hair loss!?!?

but it just kept falling out.

i could barely take a shower and get ready without having an almost emotional breakdown. i started avoiding the friends, activities and places that i had sold everything to come back over for in the first place. my self esteem, already incredibly fragile, pretty much shattered and I felt like all there was no fight left within me. the hardest part was being in a foreign country with no easy access to health care. finland is known for its great health care system (for finns) but when you go in as a foreigner on a travel visa they don’t really know what to do with you. “you have emergency? you lose hair? here is a butter fish sandwich.”

since i had just had the hardest year of my life and had given up a lot to come back – i wasn’t ready to let this seemingly “minor” issue scare me into flying home and destroy everything i was fighting for.

luckily during my struggles in the states, i had discovered that boxing and the gym were my “church” and best resource to keep from falling into depression / self-destructive behaviors (wine and music are other favorite / less constructive escapes). at one point i gave up, “what is the point of trying to be in expensive europa if I am so self conscious about looking like a hyena that I completely isolate myself anyway?”. I had a flight booked but went to a body combat class with an inspirational friend that was also going through panic attacks/struggles; a kick ass sword fight/game of thrones style song or two later and i went and canceled my flight. American Airlines has most definitely black listed me by now.

the daily battle continued. I tried to take my mind off of the piles of hair on the bathroom floor (sad but true) and tried to focus on continuing my self-development and search for meaning/purpose.

I found exactly what I was searching for in working with international children thanks to another amazing friend that let me shadow her (kids are the best beings ever and don’t give a crap about looks).

when I got offered the perfect job as a kindergarten assistant, I knew I needed to stay and overcome this hairy (hairless?) situation. i’ve turned to other methods of healing: nature walks, forest runs, self help tapes, positive affirmations, NLP, meditation, yoga of all kinds and they have all helped me to cope with this oddly symbolic loss. yes, walking around saying “I love myself and do everything I can to allow my hair to be healthy, rich and full!” may sound crazy but it is what held me together – that and incredible friends. ❤

i found a new ways to cope with stress and have completely changed my thought patterns. by beginning to look inside and change the things that I needed to in order to better handle challenges and work toward becoming a better me. A year and a half of letting negative thoughts and behaviors control my life and then THIS was just enough to piss me off to the point of positivity.

it amazing what happens when you look within yourself and what you can accomplish with a little (or more ideally – a lot of) self-love.

it has been a bit over two and a ½ months and I swear I have lost about ½ – 3/4 of my hair – which is absolutely tragic for any girl, especially one that had unbelievably low self-esteem to begin with. on the positive side I have gained well over 3/4 of my sanity, inner-peace, focus and self-love back! I have a clearer understanding what I have been doing to dim my own light, the importance of letting go of control and fear. hair loss, fear and control are inextricably linked which makes sense with how much chaos I have brought into my life through moving around, changing my mind, quitting jobs, self-hate and self-induced poverty.

since ive been healing the inner issues that could be connected to this ailment (there usually always are) I am going to stop waiting for it to “probably stop” and take the step to get this evil (“blessing in disguise” if we are trying to frame it positively) birth control / hair loss machine – out of my body – because one can only do so much meditation and yoga. sure, it is going to cost a lot as a foreigner / be incredibly scary to go to finn doctors / might not even be the actual source – but I am not willing to let anything else control the outcome my life anymore… except for my own goals and dreams of course.

the even scarier part is that right after getting it out, other girls have reported the hair loss getting worse before it gets better! honestly, I don’t even know if it could get any worse at this point – but I feel like I can handle it since (i will have to) and I have this new found inner strength, trees and lakes, unbelievable friends and happy little munchkins to work with.

oh! on top of all that I am about to pay the last of my travel savings to submit for a work permit that might not even get approved. in which case, I will be stranded in dark winter/jobless-land and most likely very cold since I won’t have any hair to keep myself warm.

but at some point we just have to let go, surrender to the rocking perfect universe, give it our all and hope for the best.

so instead of traveling / festival-ing around next month like i would normally / irresponsibly want to; i’m going with the less stressful/cheaper route of focusing on long term goals and keeping this spiritual development / healing going. i’m headed to a farm in the middle of nowhere to hang out with some positive people, kids, sheep, chickens, horses and mosquitos. i may even learn how to grow a carrot! 🙂 and hey, maybe i’ll even come back in with a cool new wig made out of hay!?

also, my apologies if this was too much information, seemingly narcissistic, dramatic or if it shattered some false views that all is perfect in la la land but it is incredibly important to me to be real, vulnerable, in my truth and understood to potentially save someone else from having to walk the same path.

with infinite amounts of love of strength,

carissa

p.s.

moral of the story:

please don’t get a mirena.