Today I am here with that I think is a funny post. I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day, and I was listing out things I know use daily that I never thought I would need until I’m much older. I suppose law school stress has affected the chemical makeup of my body or changed me in ways I can no longer reverse without a little help. One of my best college friends, who is in law school in California, sent me a meme one day about how sometimes you look in the mirror and think “wow I look tired,” and then all the sudden you find yourself looking into the mirror, almost daily, and think “oh, this is just my face now.”
At the beginning of my second year of law school, I noticed that my forehead was starting to have lines… wrinkles if you will. I thought maybe it was from sleeping… but then I realized I don’t sleep on my face. So, I ordered an anti-wrinkle serum to apply nightly. I followed a recommendation of another blogger and ordered the Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate. I apply it nightly before bed, along with a moisturizer. It’s helping reduce the appearance of the lines, but they remain. Honestly, at 23, I never thought anti-wrinkle anything would be part of my beauty routine.
Then, the last time my sister did my hair, she commented on its thickness… or should I say thinness? She described it as almost menopausal, as I’d lost more than half my thickness. I’d noticed that my hair was falling out, but thought it was just stress and moved on. But then my sister encouraged me to ask my doctor because the level of loss was really abnormal. We still don’t know the exact cause of my hair loss, but I’ve started a daily multi-vitamin with biotin to help foster hair growth. I also loaded up on various hair thickening products. I’ve always been a bit unhappy with the thickness of my hair, but this reached a new level. I have these baby hairs around my face I never had two years ago, and I feel like my hair looks so thin when I try to style it. It’s something I’m very insecure about and makes me hate styling my hair because I just don’t feel good about it. I’m also trying to get back to eating healthier and living a healthier lifestyle, as when I was eating really well my hair looked the best it ever did. Still, I never thought hair loss would be something I was dealing with at 23.
When I visited my dentist last, he mentioned that I’m grinding my teeth. This I knew. I could feel it in my jaw after sleeping and knew my teeth were getting more and more sensitive. So, he fitted me for a night guard. Both my parents have night guards, but I never really thought I would need one this young. I guess grinding teeth is more stress related than age-specific, but still… add it to the list of things I never thought I’d need at 23.
Something I’ve often alluded to in blog posts was my struggle to adjust to living in Virginia and the stress of law school. I had health issues for months when I first moved. I never felt good, I often felt like I had the flu, and my stomach hurt every time I ate. So, I didn’t really eat anything but soup. Then I went to a gastrointestinal specialist, who said he thought I either had Chron’s or something else and said we could start with medication and go from there. So, two years later, I’m on a stomach medication that I take with meals. I don’t love taking medication, I’m the person who stubbornly avoids cold medicine and allergy medication. But, without my stomach medication, I have severe cramping when I eat. I love to eat, so obviously, this isn’t ideal. Did I think, two years ago when I was doing great and feeling great, that I’d need daily stomach medication? No. Has it become normal to me? Yes. This might be TMI, sharing this, but I think sometimes we struggle with things alone that other people may also be dealing with. I also think it’s easy to only share the positives, and ignore the negatives, which creates a distorted picture of who we are.
I’ve always struggled with anxiety. While I’m not overly vocal about it on my blog, I think I’ve been transparent that I’m an anxious person. One of my friends, who also has a lot of anxieties, recently said “we have a lot of the same anxieties. I thought I was the only one.” Having anxiety is really hard and can feel so isolating. Some people don’t have the patience or simply don’t know how to handle people with anxiety, and that can feel like they don’t care about you enough to try. One of the reasons I started reading Carly the Prepster was because she voiced so many truths about anxiety that resonated with me. I didn’t feel so alone about it. Even when we feel alone, we often aren’t, which we would realize if we’re brave enough to talk about our struggles with others.
So, I wanted to share that I use or have issues with all of this simply because some of you might be dealing with similar problems or similar stresses and thinking your body is reacting abnormally. If you read this and thought, “wow she’s got problems,” you’re not wrong, but I hope this post shed light that we all deal with things that aren’t visible on the surface and that people are good at hiding when they want to, so have empathy and don’t make assumptions!