In moments of stress our bodies react. Materially, physically even, they signal growth or deterioration. Sixth grade was an extremely stressful year for me. Among other things, my classmates shoved me into lockers because I was small. The stress that year caused my alopecia areata (AA) to flare up. AA is an autoimmune disease in which hair is lost, usually from the scalp, due to the body’s failure to recognize “self.” The body destroys its own tissue as if it were an invader. My hair began to fall out, and my peers made fun of me. They brought patches and glue to class.