Updated: Jul 31, 2019
As of recently I have been reaching out to others with chronic conditions that have altered their appearance and/or transformed their lives in various ways. The intention of this is to create an open dialogue about these conditions, some of which are often overlooked or forgotten about. Repeatedly people such as myself and millions of others suffering from these underdiscussed illnesses can feel isolated -which is what I am aiming to change. By reaching out and sharing the stories of people suffering from chronic conditions we can raise awareness, help others who have just been diagnosed see how someone with the same conditon has coped all the while creating a possitive space and supportive network.
Whilst on my quest I discovered the Instagram account of the lovely Supriya or her Instagram handle @baldieboo back in February. Supriya has alopecia which to over simplify is hair loss. I immediately contacted Supriya after scrolling through her feed and reading her posts. The unapologetic way in which she shares her condition with others is exactly what we need more of in the world. She is a positive, funny and beautiful woman. Thankfully she agreed to answer my many many questions which brings us to this post. I hope you enjoy this story and maybe learn something you didn’t previously know.
Supriya's Story | Skindeeply
Tell us about yourself! What is your story? What do you? What do you enjoy? What defines your badass self?
"My name is Supriya. I’m a Cleveland, Ohio gal who has spent the last 8 years living in Denver, Colorado. I love my cat, the gym, my friends, my family, brunch, and weekends filled with reality tv show binges. My 8 years in Denver have been the hardest of my life. I was in a relationship and it was bad…really bad. We broke up (thank goodness) but the aftermath was worse. I was at rock bottom and then I lost all of my hair to alopecia. I somehow found a layer below rock bottom and settled there. Then somewhere along the way, I said F ALL OF THIS and started crawling out of my deep dark hole. It took a ton of a work, an amazing network of friends and family, lots of laughs (Gilmore Girls reruns? Yes please!), and a little drive inside my body (that I didn’t even realize I had) to do better, to do more, and to go out in this world and live my best freaking life!"
What is the name of your condition? How long you have had it? What does it do to your body physically? How did you feel when you first got it? and how has it impacted your life?
"I have alopecia. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that causes you to lose some or (in my case) all of your hair. Your immune system views your hair as the bad guy and goes on the attack taking out hair left and right and stopping it from growing back."
"If my immune system was Ariana Grande, it would be singing ‘Thank U, Next’ to all of my hair follicles."
"Alopecia hit me in two phases. In 2013, it showed up as a few small bald patches on the back of my head. The spots were easy to cover, making it easy to forget anything was wrong.
May of 2015 is when EVERYTHING changed. While styling my hair one morning, I wound up with a pile of hair in my hands. From that day forward, it fell out by the handful and didn’t stop until it was all gone 3 months later. I was completely crushed. I have fought against anxiety and depression for many years and within the first week of this loss, my mental health had completely spiraled. I felt like my body had turned against me, jumped ship, and taken my physical identity and femininity with it."
How have you "wrestled the beast" that is Alop