Mania or Making it Happen?

Tonight, I did something potentially crazy.

Let me preface this with an explanation. For two months now, I've been waiting patiently for my flatmate to cut my hair. We set time aside, and without fail, something happens. Someone gets sick, work needs something done sooner than now. Phone calls, emergencies. Life.

Two months is a long time to wait for a haircut. And before the obvious is pointed out: hairdressers are out for those same time constraints. I've cancelled enough appointments that I probably can't go back to the hairdresser any time soon. So I've waited, and gotten frustrated.

There's a deadline. I'm possibly road tripping on the weekend. I need my hair to be manageable. It hasn't been manageable in an eternity.

So, at 1am, when my flatmate was asleep, I put my hair in a ponytail, grabbed a pair of scissors, and hacked a large chunk of hair off.

Oddly, it doesn't look great. Ok, so it looks fine from what I can see, but I can feel empty airspace at the back that makes it obviously shorter than the sides. It needs work. Lots and lots of work.

But dammit, it's a start. Two months of skirting around, waiting for life to ease up a bit, and now I know it'll happen tomorrow. I have the day at home, and we have an hour between when she gets home from work and when we have to head out. There's our window, and because there's a hunk missing from my hair, I know it's going to happen. If I'm honest, there's also a part of me amused by the prospect of her reaction. I've left the three or so inches of evicted hair on the vanity where she'll see it first thing.

For me, it's an act of empowerment. I've accepted that life isn't going to slow down long enough to find time to get my hair done. I need to make time. And if I can't make time, then I need to make it impossible not to make time. By this time tomorrow, my hair will be done. No ifs, buts or maybes. Do I care that there will be uneven bits, that it'll be less than perfect?

No, I don't. I'd rather have it imperfect and done than wait for some never to be perfection.

The downside, of course, is that tomorrow my therapist will call this a manic episode. It's obvious I'm manic, after all, who in their right mind would cut a huge chunk out of their hair without giving it a thought? It seems sometimes that whenever I vary from what people expect, it's labelled 'manic'. What I see as putting long term contentment ahead of short term style is to my therapist a sign that my sanity isn't what it used to be. What she's never understood, what I doubt she'll understand this time, is that I'm relieved. I'm calm. With mania, I'm constantly in motion. Right now, I'm happy to sit and soak up the moment.

Three cheers for making it happen.


Grammy said...

I think it is great. It gets the job done. And sends a message to the other that you are important to. Like a wake up call. I cony tail cut my hair the last time it was cut and I happen to like it. it has grown longer now. But I felt it was the thing to do at that time. It was not perfectly straight. but it was the butchered look on the ends and that was how I felt at the time. It gave me a bit of this is how I like it. Only a hair stylist would notice or some one who needs perfect. I am thinking again about a hair cut. I am one who normally has long hair.

But I feel what you did was great and courageous. It is simply a decision and an illness. I am learning to not define who I am by my thought. As in I have depression but I am not depression. The more you allow words to define you the more you believe your are. And that keeps you from self healing.

phoenix said...

Thank you!

I try to embrace the knowledge that I have bipolar, but I am not bipolar. Sometimes, though, I really resent how anything I do that differs from what someone else would do gets called a manic episode.

My flatmate looked at me this morning and said 'you know when you're manic, you can wake me up, right?' I think it's so limiting to label anything random as a sign of mental illness. Imagine all the fun, spontaneous moments in life that would be bypassed if they were all called 'manic episodes' instead of 'fun'.

I know that people are speaking from fear: manic episodes have the ability to be dangerous, even life threatening, and since I'm unmedicated, everyone feels they need to be hypervigilant, just in case. Still, I'm looking forward to the day where I can be silly and random without it being a cause for concern.

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