Do Clothes Make the Bipolar or Does the Bipolar Make the Clothes?   Leave a comment

Did you ever have a “bad outfit day?”  It’s like a bad hair day except your outfit is making you feel like you’re dressed for no success.  If you’re a guy, maybe your shirt is giving you  man breasts, your pants are showing just a little bit too much sock or your sport coat is bunching up in the back like you’re a marionette and someone is tugging at it with strings.  If you’re a woman your jeans might make your ass look flat as a frying pan, you’re not sure if your cow-neck sweater is back in fashion or belongs on a cow or your jewelry is reminiscent of a carnival.  Whatever it is, it will drive your Bipolar mind crazy all day long until you can scurry home and put on something to relieve the emotional stress of being laughed at every where you went… Or so you thought.

I had a bad outfit day today.  It hit me when I was low on clean clothes and needed a black shirt to match what I was wearing.  I ended up wearing a faded v-neck sweater that had seen better days.  When I was standing on the cable car on my way to work and caught a glimpse of myself in a store window, the bad outfit blues hit me like a Louisville Slugger right in the back of the head.  And, I was meeting friends after work.  I couldn’t let them see me like this.

I don’t know how bad the shirt really looked.  I’m sure people wouldn’t have paid it any mind.  But in my Bipolar psyche, all eyes are always on me.  Everyone could see the ragged sleeves and neck.  And the fading would for sure let the world know I was trying to stretch my wardrobe out one more season.  No, this was serious and something had to be done.  I felt like I was wearing a garbage bag with arm holes cut out.  I waited until 10 AM when the stores opened and then ran out of work to a Banana Republic, purchased a new shirt, threw out the embarrassment-special and was back in the office ten minutes later and $75 lighter.   And then my mind was free to ruminate on whether my jeans fit properly and if my boots needed a better shine.

My question is if a Bipolar person with these exaggerated intrusive thoughts starts out the day making absolutely sure they are satisfied with their ensemble no matter what mirror and lighting they apply, will they feel more confident during the day?  Or, does it not matter whether a Bipolar is wearing a Hugo Boss Suit or Channel Gown, they will still be a wardrobe misanthrope and the only way they can stop the obsession is to divert their attention?

There is a certain point where you have to say you look as good as you can and now it’s time to stop over-analyzing and interact with the planet?  Because, other than what your mind is telling you, the only way people will be staring at your pants is if you pee in them.  But as a dry parcel of clothing is doubtful anyone really cares if they are a little short, make your ass look flat or are an “off brand.”  And unlike your head, you can always take them off at the end of the day.

Consequently, I think it’s the Bipolar who makes the clothes.  Appear confident in what you are wearing, even if you are not, because acting like a fashion faux pas is only going to  add to the circus you’ve created in your mind.  Be confident.  It can only make you look better in your bad outfit.  And being Bipolar, you have to ask yourself, “Is my outfit really that bad?”  You know, we are prone to skewed impressions of ourselves.

So, take a play right out of the fictional Bipolar Survival Guide… Find someone wearing an outfit you think is even more hideous, and just be thankful you aren’t wearing that train wreck.   Remember, y0u can always find comfort in someone less fortunate than you to boost your self confidence.

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