You Can’t Take Away My Colors

Died.
Dyed.

We call words like these homophones. They sound the same, but look different.

This post started because of an odd act a friend seemed to take issue with: I dyed part of my hair purple.

Granted, its not a traditional color and it will stand out in most crowds, but I did not realize it would be received with scathing disapproval. It’s hair. It is cut, it grows, it falls out, it does any number of things. Thus, I offer the explanation I gave them.

For the better part of a year I was a redhead. It was vivid, it was fun. I felt vivid. I felt fun. Then, one day, my life crashed into itself. It was horrific and I cannot go back. The pain caused cannot be undone; that one day, I lost myself for a moment. As someone with bipolar disorder, when I suffer a loss or there is great change in my life, I can go up or down quickly. No one knows which way the rollercoaster shall travel, not even myself. Years of experience and patience forged gave me the stability I needed to reign in the demon that is my bipolar illness. In this instance, I was able to stave off spinning out of control in reaction to the pain in my life.

My bright red hair, which shown so brightly and made me so happy, bothered me. Often times, our appearance affects our mood and vice versa. So there is was, in an aisle at Target, when I saw a bright box. One trip home and 45 minutes later, streaks of purple were mingling with my streaks of red. There was even a touch of blue.

It is just hair, but yet it is more. However, it is ridiculous I had to explain colors and their symbolism to a friend. My red mixed a bit with blue gave me purple. Instead of driving too fast, popping a pill, or running away, I confronted my anguish in my own expression. I have purple hair because I had the blues. I know it is silly to some, extreme to others, mild to many, unimportant to a few… I say you cannot take away my colors just like I cannot control my demons.

image

Good luck reigning me in.

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