wardrobe change.

Nobody will let me change.

In my teens, I started to notice I wasn’t as happy as my friends, and my wardrobe took a dark turn toward various shades of black (such as black, blacker, and blackest).

In my 20s, the color scheme of my wardrobe experienced a bit of a jolt (but nothing drastic), and I felt less like someone just killed my dog. (I haven’t had a dog since I was 11. Relevant? Probably not.)

In my 30s (I know, this part has to be fictional since I’m 29… in my mind), I regressed a bit with my wardrobe and my mood. Whatever fun and optimism I found in my 20s kind of… died. (I just realized that this coincides with something else in my life. I don’t think I realized the parallel until just now. I have no idea how I missed it.)

Throughout my life, I’ve tried to hide the extent of my psychological fucked-up-ness from my family. (In this context, I’m referring to my mom, sisters, and extended family.) I’ve been pretty successful with that. Not sure if that’s a good thing, but it doesn’t even matter. I was, and will forever be, seen as the dark, depressed one. The girl who’s never happy. The girl who would never consider wearing anything other than black, very dark grey, or when she’s feeling wild, navy blue.

Wardrobe concerns aside, I am fucking frustrated.

How can I make progress with my depression when everyone expects me to be depressed and sees me that way no matter how I feel? How can I make progress when my depression is largely dismissed as “normal for Sandra“?

There is nothing normal about feeling the way I do.

My depression is not a topic of conversation. It’s sort of swept aside. No one wants to talk about it because they don’t know how to deal with it. It makes them uncomfortable. Yet they associate it so closely with me that it’s the equivalent of a running joke.

Depression is no joke. And it’s become impossible for me to dissociate myself from it.

I can’t seem to feel better around my family even if I feel better on my own because they assume Sandra and depression are synonymous. No wonder I feel like depression has become my entire identity! Is that really all people think when they think of me? If I’m feeling better, I hate that I have to fight to convince my family of that. In fact, I don’t bother.

I have an illness, and it feels like my family doesn’t want me to get better. I know (hope) that’s not true, but that’s how it feels. Do they not realize that their constant association of me with depression is making me worse? That it’s making me feel like I *have to* be depressed? Do they not pay attention to anything else about me? Why not associate me with reading or writing or designing or just generally being really smart and funny? I mean, they do associate me with those things a little, but nothing like they do with depression.

And when they do tie me so closely to my depression, they don’t use that association for good. They don’t ask me how I’m doing. They don’t offer to talk if I need to talk. (Well, my mom has.) Instead, they look at me with what appears to be pity, and they avoid the topic like the plague. They treat it like something forbidden. They make me feel like it’s something to be ashamed of.

Why, you may wonder, don’t I talk to them about this? Oh, because I know (without a shred of doubt) exactly how that conversation would go. “You’re being ridiculous.” “We don’t think that.” “You’re imagining things.” “We don’t treat you that way.” “It’s all in your head.

I wonder if it will matter if I get better. Everyone will always see me as the dark, depressed one anyway.

Maybe I need to start wearing pink.

• • • • •

My boys will love me no matter what I wear. Or don’t wear.

p.s. — Black really is my favorite color.

p.p.s. — At this point in my life, I don’t know how to wear anything lighter or brighter than medium grey. I look fucking weird. I tried on something in a brighter shade of blue last week. It matched my eyes. It was very pretty. And I looked like a clown. If I can’t get over it, how could anyone else? I cannot even imagine wearing something pink. I think pigs would fly. At least I’d match them.

©2021 what sandra thinks

About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Italy, but she would settle for a non-oceanfront home in Italy, too. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
This entry was posted in anxiety, depression, life, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to wardrobe change.

  1. Carol anne says:

    I’m sorry your family only sees you as depressed, its very hard to make progress when you are seen in that light, by everyone who is around you daily. I think your a great writer, and you really know how to get feelings across in your posts, I admire that about you. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gigglingfattie says:

    Aw Sandra I’m sorry you are feeling this way. All the hugs!! I know that doesnt fix things but know I’m here if you need to talk. Cant offer much advice but I can always listen 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What you wear has no bearing on your mental state. So what that you like black? For most of my life, I have as well. But in terms of what you believe your family does, are you certain they do it? I know in my depressed, anxiety-riddled days I often begin to think those things too. I’ve often questioned why my husband ever wanted to stay with me when my issues reared their heads. Every time, though, I begin to see things through his eyes. He does care, and he tries to help however he can. Maybe, just maybe your husband cares, and maybe, he just doesn’t know how to tell you. All that aside, I know you’re depressed right now and have been for some time. That’s okay. You are allowed to feel however you feel. But that doesn’t mean I associate you with depression. You’re a writer. A creative at heart. And you care. So much. You’re more than your depression.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not certain about my family. I could be wrong. There have been occasional comments, though, that lead me to believe this. But again, I don’t know for sure.

      When it comes to my husband, I think I’m the one who doesn’t care. That’s kind of a different issue that I won’t get into at the moment. But I do know that he doesn’t know how to deal with things.

      Thank you for all the kind things you said about me. It means so much to me that you see me that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My recommendation would be to start wearing red socks (or better still just one red sock) and stick with traditional black for everything else. That way people will assume that there is suddenly something wrong with you or something right with you but will not be sure which …. either way they will think there is ‘something’ with you and be forced to ponder it. You might enjoy the uncomfortable reaction.
    I know this idea sounds a bit trite …. but any change is a positive change from some positions

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Danny Watts says:

    You can pick the colors you want or follow the trend – I’m not a herd person so lots of black and greys in my wardrobe. Society has an issue with its emotions, especially the members closest to you who should be “concerned,” supportive,” engaging…. Unfortunately, I totally understand what you are saying. Our son dropped dead in front of us (he was a couple of yrs younger than you) from a brain bleed. There was nothing anyone could do. The family totally did not handle this well. I like to think they are a textbook on how not to be family. We have lost friends because no one mentions his name – they are uncomfortable, are you @#$% kidding me. All I can say is like your wardrobe and F the rest of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like my blacks and greys. But sometimes I want to throw something else in there. With the way I’ve dressed for so long, it looks weird. Maybe I’ll get over the weirdness…. Maybe I won’t.

      I’m sorry for what you went through. People can be horrible when they don’t know how to deal with something. They just run from it — the exact thing they should NOT do.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ogden Fahey says:

    Some folks are more aware of this stuff than others XX

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Simon says:

    Of course it will matter… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mic says:

    🤗Life brings a lot of obstacles. And one seems to be worse than the other. But if it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t value happy moments (really just moments). Happiness would become commonplace for us. I wish you a wonderful day🌻☀️🌹


  9. mydangblog says:

    I wear whatever I want–I prefer black to anything else, and I hate bright colours!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mydangblog says:

    Sorry, hit enter too quickly…so do whatever makes you feel comfortable:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jeff Cann says:

    Cut and paste this into an email. At the end, say that after they have time to think about it, you’d like to talk. Then send it to the people who matter. Depressed people need a support system. It sounds like you’re close to your family, it’s time they help you out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly don’t know that I’d have the courage to do that no matter how much I need their support.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Cann says:

        I know how you feel. I blogged anonymously for three years about my mental illness, substance abuse and tourette syndrome. Then I published the freaking thing in a book. I felt like I would die when people read it, but I didn’t. And five years later, I’m 100% happy I did it. Painful but worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am not feeling particularly strong right now. I’ve only recently begun to realize that I am just not working hard enough to improve my life. And I don’t feel like I have the strength to do better. And right now — this comment I’m typing — is exactly my problem. I’m always fighting myself.

          Liked by 1 person

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