Cinderella In The Red Dress

Nobody tells you, at 22 years old; bi-polar can be your reflection in the mirror. That it can gnaw your insides and leave you searching for a trace of yourself when you pass by a mirror.

Bi-polar is like a ship in the night- silent but headed for the shore- you. It begins like water in a cup, droplets of water filling in slowly. Sometimes, the water fills all the way up. Sometimes, it doesn’t. When it doesn’t; it leaves you feeling empty, reaching for a glass of water that you can’t see.

The only difference is, you can’t quite tell between the sadness creeping in and the hollow, never-ending feeling that’s stored in your chest. It’s not romantic but it sounds romantic. Like a Hollywood movie where a magic portion makes everything better and boom! Everyone sings a happy song.

Other times, you can’t feel your face because you’re on cloud nine. You heart pumps faster and everything is colored in yellow with shades of rose flowers. You feel like Cinderella singing on the streets, dancing in a red dress with 6-inch black strapped heels. Nothing can bring you down.

Everyone you meet describes you in four words. Fun, Adventurous, Talkative and Energetic with a dash of sass and positivity. It feels good and doing risky, high-fuelled adrenaline stuff is like creamy, tender chicken legs calling your name. You’re invisible and it feels darn good.

You can Matador a huge angry bull and jeer at him head on. You can join the mile high club. You can down 20 shots of straight whiskey and ask for more, when normally you can’t take a cosmopolitan without screaming hellfire.

When you fall in love; it’s intense, passionate, consuming and without restraint. The feelings are strong and consume you entirely without permission. Three days of knowing a guy is enough for you to feel they’re “The One”. The best part? They’re just as crazy for you. Or, how brazenly unashamed you are in wanting every single part of them. Normally, you know there’s nothing like “the one” but maybe, fate is proving you wrong.

Your friends tell you just how excited they are for you. Comments like “Finally you’ve come out of that sad depressing place you were in!” “See I told you, just smile and be happy” fly in and you nod. Only, they don’t notice just how your “happiness” seems to fuel your appetite for adrenaline stuff Chuck Norris can’t attempt.

Your boss notices how aggressive and creative you are in doing your job and, promotes you to head a big project. Normally, you can’t stand the job you’re in but, maybe changes do happen overnight.

Then, on one Saturday morning after a night of cocktail parties and product launches- your head feels fogy. The darkness, emptiness and hollowness make themselves at home. The Boyfriend calls and the sound of his voice irritates you. It’s too deep, too rough but after a minute or so, you don’t feel anything.

“Babe, what’s up? You’re too quiet. It’s like I’m talking to myself. Hangover?”  He asks.

“I don’t know. I just feel like that” You say.

“It’s probably the hangover. You down whiskey shots like you’re taking water babe. I’ll let you get some rest. Text me how you’re feeling, alright? I’ll check up on you after gym”    He says then waits for your response, a mumble, before he cuts the phone.

Your legs feel heavy but you get up and go to the kitchen. Your favourites- KitKat Crusher from Creamy Inn, Soft layered brown chapattis, bread sticks are all there in the fridge. You almost break down in tears. No wonder your muffin top is getting bigger and your arms jiggly. You close the fridge and go to the living room.

You avoid calls the entire day and when they get too many, you switch off the phone. Hours turn into days and days into weeks. You sit and watch movies and series. You don’t pay attention to it all. Your friends invite you for ice skating. You love ice skating but you decline. You see no joy in it. What’s so exciting about twirling on ice anyways?

Gradually, the invitations cease and the phone calls stop. WhatsApp doesn’t ping anymore. Darkness seeps in like smoke. You feel you’re in a dark tunnel, waiting for a train that won’t come. The boyfriend thinks you’re cheating on him and breaks up with you. Your boss thinks you’re just like the “youth of today”- lazy, pampered and a dreamer and, you believe it.

18 months down the line- you’re Cinderella in the red dress on new streets again, ready to climb Mt. Everest with Louboutin’s because it tickles your fancy.

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