Bipolar 2 From Inside and Out

A Closet of Disguises

I have a business meeting to go to this week, and as it nears, my anxiety is building.

This used to be a thing I did all the time. I used to go to business conventions and work the booth and have business lunches and dinners and meet and greet and travel and wear suits and hose and give speeches.

But that was quite a few years ago. Before my brain broke (this last time). Since then I have worked at home when I’m able to, in front of my computer, in my pajamas. Now I have to remember how to do the other thing.

It’s not even what I would call a really intimidating function. 45-minute drive. Four hours long. Biz cazh. (I think. I hope.) Billable. Free lunch, maybe someplace nice.

However. I want to look and act sane and articulate and relatively social skillful. That could be an uphill climb. And it’s been icy lately. (Literally as well as figuratively.)

A long time back I heard of a technique of imagining you had a closet of disguises for all the things you needed to be. When you needed them, you could reach into the closet and take out your Respectable Married Lady disguise or your Sophisticated World Traveler disguise or your Competent Business Woman disguise and put it on. (Sometimes literally as well as figuratively.)

But I fear the Competent Business Woman outfit is in tatters, eaten by moths, and hopelessly outdated. I’m not sure it will even fit.

So I have to do the best I can in cobbling together a literal disguise, in hopes that it will trigger the figurative one. I will get my hair done (even though I can’t afford it). I will try to pull together a decent casual outfit (nice jeans and a nice sweater and ballet flats?) instead of my usual look, which I invented and call Vintage Boho Hobo. I will see if I still have a coat that fits that isn’t someone’s cast-off army jacket. I will borrow my husband’s car because mine had a flat and is still making do with the rubber doughnut spare. I will renew my driver’s license (after I get my hair done). I will put some Ativan in my purse (do I still have one that isn’t shaped like an armadillo?). Probably some Lomotil or Immodium too, in case  I need to placate my irritable bowel. And several kinds of breath mints. Perhaps I should take my cane so my balance problems don’t make me look like a first-time ice skater or land me on my ass or all fours. And OMG, what can I do about make-up?  I always stab myself in the eye with a mascara wand, so that’s out. I’m sure that any make-up I have has expired and I really don’t want to spend the money on new after the hair expense.

All this to get through four hours out in public meeting people other than teens behind the drive-through window. I don’t even want to look glamourous. Just not hopeless. Or homeless.

I would really rather Skype, since then I would just have to the hair and the top half of an outfit.

I’m afraid that by the time I pull myself together, I’ll be too tired to go.

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