I have 5 dreads.
As you can see but I used to have a whole head of them and I loved it.
Why am I telling you this? Because depression took them away from me. Not following? let me explain…
Over the course of a year my depression and social anxiety created some bad habits of me. One was excessively pulling apart my dreads and my hair. If I was uncomfortable I’d tug at them. If I was nervous I’d pick them. If I was scared I’d rip them apart and so on.
Until I realised I didn’t have any left.
Depression had robbed me of my dreads, something that was a significant part of me. A part of my personality. And it was gone.
It came as a shock to me even though over the course of the year people had asked me what I was doing with my hair. I’d vaguely answer oh I don’t know just seeing what happens, not wanting to admit I didn’t have a clue where my dreads where going or why.
When I realised, I was devastated but instead of letting it get all over me, and yes I did have a little break down over it, I decided it was what my body needed. I’d always wanted long dreads but I’d been too impatient.
This was my chance.
I look back now and see that depression didn’t entirely rob me of my dreads, as it hadn’t entirely robbed me of my life. I just had to see things differently.
As I’ve gone through my mental breakdowns, I found it hard to see what was happening and why. Only now that I am coming out the other side can I see my mental health was and is a wake up call. I was not happy, I was burnt out. I was not my true authentic self, I was a short cut of what I wanted to be. Going through depression, anxiety, suicide and other terrors has taught me that my mind and body where not invested in the real me. Over the course of my recovery, I have slowly become that authentic me. And part of that comes from my appearance… I grew my hair for two years.. I now have NINE dreads!! Instead of running head first and covering said hair with full dreads, I took a page from my own book about what I really wanted, my hair wasn’t as long as I wanted it to be so instead I added my own dread extensions, one by one. I do this every couple of months. It teaches me patience, that recovery is slow and linear at times, sometimes we have to wait for that time to excel. To evolve.
My mental health took my dreads away from me, but it also regranted me the confidence and strength to build them and my life back together.
It’s incredibly hard living with mental health, but I do feel it has awoken my soul, and for that I am grateful. I feel blessed to have gone through the transition I have, dreads or not.