It all started during a severe manic episode in September of 2016.
My housemate asked me, “Why do you have so many clothes?”
I paused for a second, observing the war zone my room had become; I hadn’t really noticed the mess up until she pointed it out.
I guess I was too distracted by the flight of ideas swirling in my head and the exciting projects I had recently begun.
I had no idea the “floordrobe” in my cave had expanded to such impressive heights.
With shock, and a subtle hint of pride, I realised my floor resembled more of a Himalayan mountain ridge than a bedroom.
The sea of clothes spilling over from one pile to another, merging both clean and dirty, formed such a mass it could rival the island of trash accumulating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The thought of cleaning up this natural disaster sent shivers down my spine. This clothes spill seemed to be more daunting than the very real possibility that I was losing my mind.
I wondered to myself how this possibly could have happened. I had a flashback to digging through my closet, trying to find something to wear that was even remotely agreeable.
Nothing felt right at the time. It was as if all the clothes were not mine -- as if I was raiding someone else’s wardrobe.
Then it hit me. I have so many different clothes because I have so many different personalities, each in need of their own wardrobe!
My outfits are an external expression of how I feel.
It is an extension of the mood state I am in.
It's almost like I could use each day’s outfit as a mood ring, sometimes changing dramatically from Tuesday to Wednesday.
But with each, I was reminded of the Barbie doll I had when I was a kid and how extensive her wardrobe was.
I suddenly empathized with her for not being able to pick her own outfits.
I decided not to just what she wore, but who she would be each day.
I felt sorry for Barbie.
I related to her in an entirely different way.
She had her default personas like Dr. Barbie, Roller Skating Barbie, Ballerina Barbie, Malibu Barbie, and a huge variety of other occupations and hobbies.
The more I thought about it, the more I realised I was a lot like her; but my personas were Manic Barbie, Suicidal Barbie, Anxious Barbie, Depressed Barbie, Borderline Barbie, Self-Harming Barbie, and any other combination of symptoms my mental illnesses decided to make me deal with each day.
I was literally a Bipolar Barbie doll. I had my outfits, and, like Barbie, I was being dressed by some other force I didn't quite understand.
I was at the will of my illness and it dressed me each day however it saw fit.
Sometimes I would rapidly change throughout the day and due to the limitations of my financial circumstances and wardrobe, I always seemed to be living a life I was never dressed appropriately for.
I was roller Skating Barbie at the banquet, Ballerina Barbie in the courtroom, Horse Riding Barbie getting married, Scuba Diving Barbie in the desert, and Sleeping Barbie under water.
It never felt right.
I was always a different version of myself.
Who was Naked Barbie anyway?
Unfortunately, unlike Barbie, I didn't get a new life each game.
I couldn't hit reset whenever I wanted.
I had all these different personas and had to live the same life, a life meant for one person in each body.
I had multiple people living within me and each of them had their own versions.
I was constantly swapping and changing that it’s no wonder I found it hard to maintain any form of stability.
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