• Kristina Cherep

Why The Red Hair?

The past year, before my hospitalization, I had been growing out my hair so it could be all my natural color. I have always loved my natural hair color and by the time of our wedding it was completely so. When my depression and anxiety were at an all time low, I would look in the mirror as I would cry my eyes out. I would look and not feel anything. I would look and believe that I shouldn't keep living. After multiple times of looking at myself in the mirror crying, I finally avoided looking at myself. I didn't care how I looked anymore because what was the point? I didn't use my camera once, didn't open snap chat... nothing. I felt like a zombie and I felt like my head weighed 500 pounds. I didn't even look up when I walked. I just looked down at the ground.

I wanted it to all be over. My mind was so sure that I didn't belong anymore and I was worth nothing. It's crazy how your own mind can be your biggest enemy! My first two weeks of outpatient program, I just sat there and didn't say anything unless I had to. I didn't see the point of improving myself because I didn't like myself. I couldn't even look at myself.

Then one night I told Kirk that I was going to dye my hair red. For me, dying my hair red was so unexpected because I hate change and I love my natural hair color. I told him, "If I want to start feeling better on the inside then I need to change something on the outside because I can't even look at myself" I needed a reason to want to look at myself and so I dyed my hair red. It sounds crazy how that changed some of my thoughts... who knew a $10 hair dye box had so much power? It didn't instantly fix everything because now that would be crazy, but I was able to start looking at myself in the mirror again. It even motivated me to want to shower because I wanted my hair to look good.

People say 'it's more important what's on the inside than what's on the outside' and I'm a full believer of that saying. However, in this situation I mentally needed to change my physical appearance. I'm not saying you need to go dye your hair red to make you feel better on the inside. I'm sharing what I did and why I did it. Dying my hair red was one of the few thoughts of mine I'm so glad I listened to during my darkest moments.