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Using my Hair as a Comfort Blanket

Updated: Nov 3, 2019

"Long hair is a security blanket for me. I cut it short a few years ago and I really never want to do that again" ~ Alanis Morissette

Hair. We all have it (well, most of us anyway). Some people's hair is short. Some people's hair is long. Some people's hair is thin. Some people's hair is thick. But why do I see my hair as something so important to me?

As none of you have ever seen a picture of me (I hope), you will not know what my hair looks like. It is dyed quite a dark brown and is quite long and relatively thick (or at least I think so anyway). For me, this makes it perfect for me to hide behind whenever I feel the need to. If I get upset I can try and put some of it in front of my face so that nobody who is near me can see that I am crying. If I am walking through town and see someone I know but do not want to speak to them, I can keep my head down to the point where my hair starts covering my face so that person does not realise that they just walked past me, therefore avoiding an awkward conversation with them. Having long hair is just great for blocking out the world when I do not want anyone to see me and I honestly do not know what I would do without it.

Another thing I love about having long hair is that during anxiety-inducing situations, I am able to play with it and this acts as a real comfort blanket to me. For those of you who do not know, I have social anxiety and this often means that in situations that are completely normal to the majority of the population, I am left feeling breathless, like my chest is getting tighter and tighter, and very much in flight mode in a fight-or-flight situation.

I quite often play with my hair and feel like this is a natural thing for me to do. If I was to ever have my hair cut short (which is highly unlikely to happen), it would be completely weird for me to go to play with my hair only for it to not be there. This is why I get stressed out if my hair is in a ponytail or in a bun as, especially if it is in a bun, I cannot mess with it as a way to calm me down. For me, a natural reaction to me being in an anxiety-inducing situation is to reach for my hair so I can calm down, but even just having it tied-up creates more stress as I am reaching for something that is not there.

Not only that, but when I am upset I also play with my hair as it calms me down in those situations too. I feel like I can put my head down and play with my hair so that no one sees me cry. Not only this but it also, in a weird way, stops me from crying as it is like the stress that caused me to be crying in the first place disappears just by me messing with my hair. I have absolutely no idea why this stops me from crying, but if it works then I am going to continue to use it until the day I stop crying (which is probably going to be never, let's be honest).

According to some people, I need to get my hair cut shorter because I have had it this length for a number of years and need it to change. But why change something when you like it how it is and do not see a real need to change it? I get that change can be good but I know what works for me and what does not and I know that short hair really does not work for me. I had my hair cut really short when I was about eight and I absolutely hated it. Even as an eight year old I was so insecure about how it looked and could not wait for the day that it would eventually grow out and I could get back to being me and looking like me again.

I am so comfortable with my long hair. I know what looks good with it and what does not. I know how to style it and how not to style it. If I like my hair long then who cares if other people think I should cut it just because I have had it long for a while now. At the end of the day it is none of their business what I do/do not decide to do with my hair and if I decide that I want to keep it long then I should be allowed to keep it long. Does it affect their life? No. My hair is my hair at the end of the day and it should be my decision and my decision only on what I do with it.

Can you relate? Do you use your hair as a comfort blanket? Or do you use something else as a comfort blanket? Please let me know in the comments below what you use as a comfort blanket, why you use it as a comfort blanket (unless it is too personal for you to feel comfortable in sharing), and if other people have ever had an opinion on it, have they tried to get you to change it or do they keep their opinions to themselves? Please let me know and thank you ever so much for reading.

Love Beth xx

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