This Schizoaffective’s System for Washing Her Hair
My schizoaffective disorder used to make me afraid to wash my hair, so weeks would go by when I didn’t do it. I thought of it as occasionally washing my hair. Now I take a bath every day, and I take a shower and wash my hair once a week. I brush my hair in-between times and I now have a system that enables me to keep on a regular hair-washing cycle.
Finding a Way Around My Schizoaffective Disorder
My schizoaffective disorder still makes me terrified about washing my hair–I can’t even give you a reason for my fear. But I’m able to take on the task once a week with help from my husband, Tom, who offers motivating encouragement. I usually wash my hair on Saturday, when he gets home from work early. This weekend, I washed it Sunday–one of his days off.
Here’s the routine. I set out the clothes I want to wear and the towel I will use to wrap around my head in a turban after I get out of the shower. Then Tom gets the shower at exactly the right temperature. (I have trouble doing this and it’s a big stressor for me.) After I’ve checked the water temperature, I hop in the shower. Tom lies down in the bedroom, which is near the bathroom. I shout out to Tom everything I’m doing. “I’m washing my face,” I yell. “Yay clean face,” he yells back. And so on. And when I get out of the shower, Tom congratulates me. Throughout the whole process, he’s like a cheerleader. I need one–my hair is well past shoulder length.
I know this might sound lame, but it’s what I have to do to keep my schizoaffective anxiety in check. Of course, I wish I didn’t need Tom there just to take a shower. But I do. It’s self-care.
My Schizoaffective Anxiety Didn’t Used to Make Me Afraid to Wash My Hair
I used to be able to take a shower without Tom there for a period of time back in my running days. I took a shower and washed my hair every day after my morning run. But I used to do a lot of other things that, because of worsening schizoaffective anxiety, are so difficult for me now. I don’t know why this happened. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, or what. But schizoaffective anxiety has robbed me of so much. I can’t even be alone, largely because my anxiety makes it hard for me to concentrate on a book. This is a problem, because I’m home alone most of the day while Tom’s at work, though I often visit my family home a few blocks away.
Still, if I need Tom to help me get the shower temperature correct, that’s what I need. I’m so lucky to have his help. Maybe in the future, I’ll be able to get it on my own, even if I still need Tom in the apartment for the shower. It all takes little steps.