As you’ve probably realized by now, I have mental issues. I started out with depression and OCD, and the new diagnosis is bipolar disorder. I’ve spent years wearing two changes of identical clothing, not able to muster the energy or desire to wash myself and obsessively into playing video games and reading fan fiction to keep my mind occupied and off of the topic of my persistent misery, for which I could see no cure.
There is a cure. It’s cannabis and meditation. And possibly mood stabilizers. We’ll have to see how that goes.
The result of the cure is that I’ve opened up and started growing as a person again. One of the ways I’ve opened up is that I’ve started desiring pretty things. As my husband puts it, I’ve discovered my inner 12-year-old and she likes pink. (And peach and gold, and all things bright and jewel-toned.)
I started out on Polyvore (http://www.polyvore.com/), a site where you can pick things you like from all sorts of stores and price ranges and save your choices. Like Pinterest (My Sparkly Princess board) but in store format. I found a few things I liked and saved them. I had no intentions of buying them. It was simply a step I was taking — want nicer things in my life. Have dreams and desires, rather than confining myself to shapeless garments. (Not that there’s anything wrong with confining oneself to shapeless garments if you so choose. If that’s what you want, I’m all for you having it. But my husband dressed to a better standard and, if I admitted it to myself, I wanted to as well. I just didn’t see the point.) Now I’ve come back to life and I’m indulging the 12-year-old girl in me.
I also looked into hobbies which might help me pursue my interests, hopefully so I could partake in them without breaking the bank on lots of new things which I didn’t need. I tried some fashion design software, and found all of them to be too difficult to use. But I managed to draw (poorly), the perfect outfit for me. A dark red jacket with flared sleeves and a high collar, that hugs the torso and then flairs at the waist, covering a white shirt that also hugs the waist, over a pair of dark leggings. With boots. It’s the outfit my inner self puts on before she goes off to adventure.
The day before yesterday my mother found a coat for me for Christmas and asked me if I liked it before she bought it. It’s red, with flared sleeves, a high collar, hugs the torso and flairs at the waist. It’s the perfect jacket for my inner sparkly princess.
If I could have one piece of my dream outfit, then surely it would be possible to have the rest of it as well? I found all three pieces, and for under $100. I could add jewelry for $40. I immediately went and asked my husband if I could have it (as we live on a diminished income) and he was okay with it.
I get to be a sparkly princess! I’m so happy! It’s almost like being a real person!
I’m torn inside about the notion of spending money on myself. If two interchangeable outfits (with a sweater and gloves for winter) is enough, then why spend more? Surely the money could be used for better purposes. After all, the more you have, the more you want and the more you want, the more suffering you cause yourself. And the satisfaction of wanting and buying is much greater than the satisfaction of having, isn’t it? Better not to get anything.
And yet, there’s a hidden message that goes with those kind of beliefs. And it is, “I am not worth money being spent on me to help me feel good and attractive.” This is, I think, the real message I’ve been living with, not, “I will eschew worldly possessions so that others may have more.” For that reason, and because I’m into trying new things as part of my policy for curing my mental illness, I believe that it is all right to be selfish enough to want to look nice if it genuinely helps my self-esteem issues. It’s all right to want to be a sparkly princess. Just keep it affordable.