I got my hair done today. Getting pampered all day at a salon and spa is one of my favorite things to do ever. I get to relax and sip on my latte while someone else makes my hair pretty. That someone else happens to be an old friend. I’ve been blessed to gain not only a fabulous hair stylist over the last 7 years, but a great friend. I am currently transforming my hair from jet black to a platinum/ashy blonde. It has taken over eight months and half a dozen Olaplex treatments to get my hair almost back to my more natural blonde shade. Hint: it isn’t naturally jet black. We are still working on this transformation.
My hair is thick and stubborn. It likes to hold onto warm red pigments which I do not like, so it’s been a long and challenging transition. It also gives me a good four hours a session to essentially be stuck in a chair. I don’t know what it is about sitting in that salon chair, but it just gets my little mind spinning. Typically, my stylist-Cori gets to hear all my rants, ideas and frustrations. We catch up and see what is new since our last session four weeks ago. Nothing is off limits and some of our years past conversations are evidence of that.
Today started off with me being rushed. It is the only day off from the hospital this week, so I took full advantage of not having to wake up at 4 AM this morning and slept until the very last minute. From the moment I hastily jumped out of bed, gabbed a yogurt smoothie and ran out the door, I was on edge. I started making to do list for the day and thinking of all the things I needed to do before work the rest of the week. This continued when I sat down in that salon chair. I was there, but I wasn’t present. I’m not sure what grabbed my attention, but I soon realized that something wasn’t ‘normal’ with my friend.
As we talked and started our normal banter, I just continued to feel like something was wrong. Cori began quietly telling me he was struggling from anxiety. He was telling me he wasn’t himself and was getting to a point where he was experiencing panic attacks. He felt like he didn’t know who to talk to because most of his friends wouldn’t understand. Because Cori has been through the last few years with me, he knows about all of my struggles. We spent a lot of time discussing what was going on, whether or not to het help and the possibility of taking medication.
After we talked about different options and suggestions, we smoothly shifted gears to lighter things. I could tell how much of a difference in Cori’s attitude after we talked about anxiety. Even though it is 2016, there is still such a stigma towards mental illness. We have been friends for a long time AND he knew I personally struggled with anxiety (among other things) and was still hesitant to admit he was wrestling with these feelings. We ended my appointment laughing about how silly boys were and making a wine night date.
Sometimes all it takes is a moment of courage for someone to admit to anyone they are struggling. Sometimes, you just need a latte and a friend to make things a little easier to breathe. Jennifer Elisabeth said, “I’ve grown up defined by this desperate, undeniable, ‘can’t breathe’ kind of space inside of myself and I’m afraid that the diagnosis is fatal.” I felt this was practically my whole life and it breaks my heart that people I love have similar feelings. I know firsthand, how hopeless and overwhelming anxiety can feel. I didn’t want to reach out to anyone or do anything, but sometimes that is exactly what you should do.
Today started out crazy, and while I wasn’t exactly anxious, I wasn’t peaceful either. Because of my conversation with Cori, and undoubtedly getting my hair played with for four hours, I walked out of the salon feeling like a different person. I have come a long way in my journey with anxiety, but it is still there most days. It doesn’t debilitate my life the way it used to, but anxiety likes to keep me company. I was reminded today that sometimes you have to slow down. Enjoy the little things (enjoy getting your hair done, sipping a latte, reading a good romance book), be present in the now. Be a good friend to yourself and others. Especially when they are struggling.
Also, side note. If you have never tried an Aveda color and products, you should. Because everything Aveda is bomb, along with Olaplex conditioning treatments. All these things allow your hair to be transformed from jet black to red to almost platinum blonde in a few months without hair falling out.