The second Chelsie from You, Me and Emetophobia told me she had purple hair, I wanted to hear the story. Thus this guest post was born. Dying your hair a radical color requires courage and the dedication to live a bold, colorful life. It requires the courage to be true to yourself no matter what other people say or think. And that, my friends, is what recovering from mental illness is all about.
Here’s the story, in Chelsie’s words:
2016 was my year to break boundaries. I wanted to do things I had never done before, accomplish goals I had been saying for years but never finished. I wanted to make a bold statement, tell the world that this year I was going to be unstoppable.
So you know what I did? I dyed my hair purple. Yup, purple. Bright, neon, indigo purple with hot pink underlights.
For those who know me, I don’t think the purple would come as a surprise. I’m a pretty loud, happy person, so obviously deciding to dye my hair my favorite color made sense. But I think it came as a shock to me. Even though I’m a happy, outgoing person, I’m actually also pretty shy.
Drawing attention to myself makes me uncomfortable, so why in the world would I decide to do something like this? Well, instead of just telling you, let’s recap the important moments leading up and following this life changing decision:
Three Months Prior To Dye Day
I was casually browsing hair colors on Google when I decided to get daring: “purple hair.” Woah, I know, you’re probably thinking slow down there crazy lady, but hang with me.
So I mention to my husband that I’d love to do purple hair at some point, because I’ve never seen someone with purple hair (or any bold color for that matter) who isn’t super confident and radiant and wonderful. At this point, the strangest thing I’d ever done with my hair was dye it a kool-aid red at a pity party in high school. It was dreadful, my mom was pissed…You know, the whole nine yards.
When I looked at my husband and mentioned it might be cool to do that he replied: “Sure why not? I bet it’d look nice.”
I walked into the salon, excited and nervous. I had pictures ready to show my stylist, and we went to work. We bleached my hair out to this disgusting yellow blonde, then went on with the color. I told my stylist I wanted it to be a surprise.
Inside, throughout the entire process I was screaming a variety of things…
WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE IT?! WHAT IF IT TURNS OUT BRIGHTER THAN I WANTED?! WHAT IF MY HUSBAND DOESN’T LIKE IT?! WHAT IF I LOSE MY JOB?! OR WORSE, I CAN NEVER GET ANOTHER JOB?! WHAT AM I DOING, WHY DID I DO THIS?!
Then, the reveal. Boom. There it was, in all it’s glory. This brightly colored new me staring at back in the mirror. I was flooded with compliments from other stylists, and I was in shock. Who was that person staring at me in the mirror? Was it really me? I guess it is. Holy crap, I look fabulous #purplehairdon’tcare
Day One with Purple Hair
I was self conscious. So self conscious. I wanted to wear a hat, I would sneak into the office building where I worked, hoping not to draw attention to myself (hah – yeah right!), and I would just hold myself less confidently.
Occasionally someone would say, “Oh my gosh, I love your hair!” And that would help. I would, for a moment, be like yes, this was the right decisions. I started questioning why I did it, seeing how my social anxiety was through the roof. I felt like everyone and their grandma was staring at me for the wrong reasons, and I felt like the comments of “wow, you dyed your hair! It’s interesting!” Was actually “wow, look at your hair, it’s horrible. Why would you do that?”
Day Three with Purple Hair
The new person in the mirror is still startling me. I forget that the person who shows up is actually me, despite it looking like a completely different person. My confidence has gone up, despite my constant doubting in the form of questions: “Are you sure you like it? Why don’t other people seem to like it? Do you think I made the right choice? Should it be less bright? What if…”
Ah, anxiety at it’s finest.
I was battling with not being entirely confident in the hair color still, the general anxiety of thinking people were always saying something negative about me, and the quizzical stares of my peers as I explained my hair choice.
Day Fifteen with Purple Hair
I don’t know when it happened but I got comfortable with it. I stopped caring if other people were staring, because chances are they were maybe seeing me like I saw all colorful beings prior to this. I was hoping they saw me as confident, bold and unique. I hope that they saw me and realized that they could do it too. Now that is a good feeling.
Today with Purple Hair
I honestly think I’ve got a problem now. A hair dye addiction if you will. I’ve decided that the next time I dye my hair I’m getting rainbow underlights. Besides purple, my favorite color is rainbow. Yes, it’s a color. Besides all of that, I’m confident and I usually forget my hair is purple.
My social anxiety about having a bold color has subsided. Which I guess is in part to the fact that about a month ago I went from Indigo to Violet, and I feel less like a fluorescent sign and a little more like a regal queen.
My decision to dye my hair, while spontaneous, was also something I dwelled on for months. I knew I wanted to do it, but I was being held back by what ifs and I knew this year I wasn’t going to let what if’s hold me back. Heck, my husband and I had just committed to a cross country move for a job that was riddled with what ifs and I took that head on. So why should I let something as simple as hair color (that could always be changed again, mind you) be the door stopper to my “What if?” free year.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: if you always let the what if’s stop you, you will never know what could have been. And to me, I’d rather have done it and realized it wasn’t a good idea than to live with wondering what could have been.
Also, if you’re like me and you’ve never done anything crazy with your style before give it a week or two before you decide you don’t like it. Chances are you’ll probably be uncomfortable and unsure, since it’s so new and so different, but if by the end of two weeks you still aren’t feeling it, go back and change it. At least you tried it!
So that, my friends, was the epic saga of dying my hair, abridged for your reading pleasure. Go forth this year, make a change, do something you’ve always wanted too, and be proud of who you are.
Go Chelsie!! Check out her other guest posts on my blog here:
A Journey Through Self Harm
My Introduction to Emetophobia
If you would like to email Chelsie, you can send any questions, concerns, comments or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. She says, “I will do my best to respond to you within 48 hours, but if for some reason I cannot get back to you in that time frame, I promise I will always respond as soon as possible. Also, feel free to join our Emetophobia Support Group on Facebook. It is a closed, by request only group to help facilitate sharing and support by all members. It is also private, meaning that the posts you and others make will not show up publicly in your newsfeed.”
If you are interested in guest posting on The Wishing Well, leave me a comment and we’ll touch base. I can’t promise I’ll take every submission, but I am dedicated to sharing stories of recovering from mental illness with honesty, humor and heart.♥︎