Four years ago today, I posted my first entry on this blog. I was 22, and at the time, I had no idea why I had excess body hair. My previous family doctor and the dermatologist he'd sent me to had both been discouraging. I'd spent far too much money on laser hair removal with no knowledge of what was really going on inside by body, and had seen little results. I'd done very little research myself up until my blog, terrified that the hair indicated something seriously wrong with me. I felt ashamed to even type it into the search box. Trying to read about it was depressing. I was in a state of defeat.
And yet, I wasn't. I was still going on, shaving every day, hiding behind long hair, high collars, thick tights. I wept and moped but I hadn't stopped. I wished there was somewhere that I could go to find people who were going through the same thing... and not just a one-off forum post somewhere out there in the ether that detailed the emotional and sometimes physical suffering and then gave no evidence of how the poster coped with it every day, but proof of someone who really did live with excess hair every day. How did people do that? I wanted to know. How many were there? Where were they? Why weren't they talking?
I had been thinking of finding a way to rant anonymously about the challenges of living with hirsutism for a long time. I was timid and taciturn but I needed an outlet. I didn't know where to do it. And eventually, I decided if I couldn't find anywhere to read the things I wanted to read, or post the things I wanted to post, well, I'd have to create place and populate it all myself. So I created a Blogger account and here we are.
Since that first post I've finally had the tests to put my mind at ease. I'm on a medication that seems to be helping. I've accepted that there is no cure, and more than that I'm starting to accept myself. Maybe I don't want to grow out my beard and dare the world to disapprove, but when I shave in the morning (now with a regimen more kindly to my face) I am not trampled by demoralizing feelings about myself. Some of that was probably just time and age. Some was research, and talking it out. And some was meeting a wealth of inspiring ladies who live with the same condition.
The progress has been incredible looking back. But I still had to take it one day at a time. I'll still have to. I have my days when I crack under the strain of being hirsute. So for those who are not there yet, hang in there. Don't give up. It will come, as long as you don't cut yourself off from the beauty in life or the love of your family, friends, and fellow fur-dusted maidens. Personally, I also found much solace in the Bible. I am so grateful that I got this far, but I certainly didn't do it alone. This blog wouldn't be any kind of success at all without each and every one of you reading this right now. Thank you for your support, your opinions, your voice.
So it's rather fitting that the new addition to this blog, in honor of being four years online, is going to be guest bloggers. It was one I honestly did not expect to see so much enthusiasm for, and that's just because it used to be so hard to find the personal expressions of bearded women online. I started to think very few wanted to talk about it, and after they did, they disappeared from the Internet as though they had never existed. However, nearly half the votes on the poll were in favor of hearing the stories of others. I think that's awesome, and I'm hoping that those who voted are rabid to express themselves further by compiling their own thoughts on living with hirsutism and sending them in to be posted here. I can't very well have a guest blogger feature without submissions!
Maybe some of you have something already written and ready to send! Until I construct a permanent bulletin in the side menu calling for contributions, you can email your stories to email@example.com. I'll be posting an entry soon with submission guidelines, but until then let me just say that I reserve the right to choose what appears on these pages, just like I approve all comments before they become public. I want this to continue to be a safe and upbuilding place for all ages.