Depression. Such a heavy word. Such a heavy disease.
Depression affects so many people in the world at varying levels. Many have their own personal ways to deal with it that may or may not provide them with an ounce of hope for the day. I’ve tried to hold onto so many things to get me through the week, the day, the hour.
After a year of learning more about myself, I’ve found the one thing that never fails to lift me out of whatever dark hole I’ve nestled into: color.
Colors make me feel, and I didn’t realize how vital that was. Depression robbed me of my love for the little things. Color brought it back.
I’ve always been risky with my hair (as risky as my family/school allowed me to be). I’m always aching to put some sort of color into it, and I often don’t hesitate to switch it up. Last summer, during the grayest days of my life, I discovered Good Dye Young/ Immediately, I decided that I was going to skip over the small strands of color and instead color my entire head with Blue Ruin. Maybe it was my love of eccentric hair that caused me to make an impulsive decision, or maybe it was the eagerness to escape my mind for a few hours. Maybe it was a combination of the two. My hair transformed into the most beautiful shade of blue, and I began transforming into my most beautiful self. Having blue hair did not make me beautiful- being confident did. Making such a drastic change to my appearance allowed me to grow comfortable in my own skin and stand up for my decision. In a world where self-expression is frowned upon in the workplace, I pursued it anyway and defended myself against any opposing view. After all, it’s just hair.
Expressing myself became one of my coping mechanisms in my battle with depression. Rather than admiring color with my eyes, I paid it tribute with my hair. Having blue hair did a lot for my self-esteem, which in turn did a lot for my mental health. Self-expression should be valued more than it is. Hair color didn’t affect my ability to perform. If anything, it enhanced it. I can’t speak for everyone, but being able to color my hair gives me that sliver of hope that I long for.
Find what makes your life colorful and hold onto it.
Written by Tori Teague
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