Last week I had my hair cut. The last time I had my hair cut at the hairdressers was February 2015. A hairdressers is an anxious person’s nightmare because you’re stuck there. Obviously you’re not physically stuck there, no hairdressers (that I know of) superglue you to the seat. You could flee at any time, hair full of shampoo or halfway through getting a fringe cut in, but that’s not ideal – so the pressure of being ‘stuck’ is very real at the hairdressers. I have a lovely hairdresser who is kind and funny and very good at her job, it’s in a lovely place not too far from home, and still I had been putting it off for over a year.
To the more ‘normal’ of those amongst you, going to the hairdresser is the opposite of a big deal. You may not like the weather / holiday based small talk but it’s not something you have to consider taking medication to get to. But with a hen do coming up (at this point I was very much ‘paahhahahaha yer as IF I’m actually going to get to that hen do but I better get my hair cut to make it look like I’m intending to go’ type thing) I thought I needed to do something about the hair. It quite often has a Hermione vibe, but when it’s more Hagrid than Hermione it was time to confront the hairdressers issue.
My aunty booked the appointment without telling me (she knows) and took me there, dropping me off right outside at my request so I couldn’t then refuse to get out of the car. I’d also taken some diazepam (yes, I’m rolling my eyes at myself but the fear is real and so is the adrenaline). Then, as usual, it was actually fine. I love having my hair washed (who doesn’t? weird people that’s who) so that was fine, I then spent about 10 minutes pinching myself under the giant cape thing as a distraction from the simmering panic (I don’t recommend this), but my hairdresser is so funny and she soon occupied my attention. And then it was done; hair was cut, time to leave. And as ‘easy’ as that something that I’d been putting off for 15 months was done. Unfortunately, as is the nature of generalised anxiety, you don’t really get any relief. Yes I was pleased I’d done it, and pleased it was over, but the anxiety doesn’t go away; it just readjusts back to its usual but still unnecessarily life-controlling levels.
I’ve written 3 paragraphs about a haircut. I know that that’s silly. I guess the point is that nothing is simple anymore. Going somewhere, doing something, seeing someone; it’s an effort. Everything is an effort! Sometimes, randomly, it’s not. Sometimes it’s just fine and that’s one of the worst parts. You dread things, you worry about them, panic weeks in advance and then on the day it’s fine. It’s unpredictable how everything will turn out, but the anxiety is predictably there. Everyone deals with different things in different ways, but just because you find something easy doesn’t mean everyone else will. Even I struggle with this sometimes, empathy can be a hard thing to master! Especially when you can’t ever imagine having those feelings. I mean there are very few ‘logical’ reasons to be afraid of the hairdresser, unless they work on Fleet Street, and it may have all been an anxiety ‘trick’ (the bastard) but it doesn’t make me any less stressed about the whole haircutting situation. But I will try not to leave it another 15 months, or my hairdresser will tell me off.
This is my smug ‘I went to the hairdressers’ face