Sunday, September 15, 2013

And All Along I Thought Lipstick Just Looked Pretty

I couldn't get out of the room fast enough to dash to the ladies' and calm my jagged nerves by carefully applying my trusted red lipstick.
It was my equivalent of a snort of vodka or a four-sucks-ciggie.
Just what I needed to settle me down and it worked.
Briefly.
On Tuesday, I was calmly informed by a very kind and professional psychiatrist that I have Bipolar Disorder.
"Well yeah, course she has, just look at her", I hear the voices sniggering.
However it can't be an easy illness to diagnose, considering it's gone untreated by professionals for this long, but yes, at age 45, this is me.
Throughout the week I experienced so many emotions, relived horrible memories, some of which finally seemed to make some sense, while trying to deal with a "normal" mixed-mania episode.
I figured I was in shock and took appropriate action by wearing the highest, sparkliest crown I could find.
And do the thing that's always pulled me through many mood swings: wear red lipstick.




1930s silk bed jacket - Etsy
Sic F*ks t-shirt - gift from Tish and Snooky
Crown and green tassel necklace - markets
Leggings - Black Milk
Earrings - Bones Couture
Knicker shorts - BOODWAH
1950s handbag - op shop
Rosary and boots - retail

This is my red lipstick collection.
Did you know September is Liptember month?
Liptember is a challenge to raise awareness of the urgent need for funding of women's mental health research and care.

Lipettes and lipdudes can seek sponsorship in return for wearing their chosen shades of lipstick for the entire month when they're out in public, by buying a Revlon Liptember lipstick, or showing their support by telling others about the challenge via Facebook and Instagram.


When I purchased this Liptember Red last month, I didn't reckon on being one of the people who could possibly benefit from women's mental health research.
I'd hoped to take part in the challenge through sponsorship, but not this time.
Thank you to anyone out there who is doing their bit.

Giz a kiss darlin'.  Lipstick of the day: Ruby Woo by MAC.
I feel naked without red lipstick.
Wearing it is like carrying a security blanket for me and I guess I'll be relying on my little "friends" to get me through many days and nights ahead.
Do you have a piece of clothing, accessory or make up that you consider your security blanket?
xxx

63 comments:

  1. What a great red lipstick stash!!!

    You are bold and beautiful, brave and true.

    I shall try and find a liptember red to buy - although I rarely wear lipstick.. And whenever I wear it (which I will try to do more often!) I will think of you.
    x

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  2. Epic lipstick stash my lovely! All the best with moving forward with your diagnoses - Keep being fabulous. I hope to get you that fabric in the next few weeks:)

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  3. I have always thought I was uninhibited in the way I dress, but I'm not even Close. You have no limits and I love it.

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  4. My lovely lady, all my hugs and kisses are being sent your way. You're such an amazing person, and I think you're bonza no matter what. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

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  5. Red lipstick is also my security blanket! I can go without many things but red lipstick will always be in my handbag zip pocket. I love the way yours are all slanty, mine always go flat. I will definitely be buying one of these lippies to support you and all the others out there who need it. Big hugs to you gorgeous :) xxx

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  6. Have a big , red lippy smeared snog from me darling! You are fabulous, we love you. Ah the power of a red lipstick. There's a book in there.
    xxxxxx

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  7. I'm not sure I have a security blanket clothing/accessory but I'm very happy to see red lippy is yours, because you look great in it xx hugs

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  8. For me it's boots, I always feel ready to face the world if I have boots on. Someone once said that is my German genes coming out, bloody cheek!

    Oh and we love you just the way you are. x

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  9. Finding out what the problem is, is the first step to getting it under control. You are strong and will make your way through this. Meanwhile hugs from Paris.

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  10. We all have security blankets. Mine are cups of hot tea. I have one every 2-3 hours to relax and relieve my anxiety.

    I don't want to pry into your personal life so I'm not going to ask obvious questions like whether you're planning to seek treatment. You've lived so long without it it's surprising you learned this only now. You've obviously found your own ways to deal with the condition; it's unclear whether new medical treatment would benefit you or even be beneficial. Feel free to share information with us or not. This is your life.

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  11. I'm sorry you are bipolar and I really do think most women all are a little. Are they going to treat it with medication? Therapy? Just curious. I wish you better days ahead. You look like you are fearless in this outfit, well all of them actually. Keep that beautiful chin up!

    My smile is starting to really be my saving grace so I am throwing to out there to everyone, even the meanies!

    I love your free spirit!
    Xxoo

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  12. You are fabulous and so is your red lipstick. Do not let the diagnosis deflate you!

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  13. Wow, what a life changing diagnosis, but I suspect that it's better to have that diagnosis so that it might be treated. No matter what you always look effervescent. Stay positive darling Desiree xx

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  14. "Well yeah, course she has, just look at her", I hear the voices sniggering.

    Fuck that.

    People throw around terms like bipolar, PTSD, OCD and schizophrenia with gay abandon, without having the slightest idea of what any of it can mean outside of the popular caricature of mental illness.

    I'm glad you've got a diagnosis but you are WAY bigger than a label D. There are different strands of bipolar disorder and - it can vary a lot from one person to the next - so that must make it very difficult to diagnose and treat.

    I hope you get the very best of treatment and don't let anyone DARE to disrespect you (or I'll come around - handbag a-swinging lol).

    Wish I could buy you a whole factory of red lipstick xxxxxx

    http://www.liptember.com.au/

    http://www.thewomens.org.au/Liptember

    https://twitter.com/liptember

    https://www.facebook.com/Liptember

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  15. I bet you feel a whole lot better for having a diagnosis!
    Don your red lippy, dress like a rock star and you'll get through it, I promise.
    Jewellery is my armour! With it I'm invincible and without I'm diminished. xxx

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  16. wow what takes so long? Oh, yeah, "It's all in our heads". I shall go put on my Viva Glam and wear it all day (well, after I eat my lunch) Take care!

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  17. I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis but you are a strong woman and I know you will do amazing with it. Keep strong and lipstick on!

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  18. dear desiree i just read your post. i am searching for something to say about your diagnosis. however nothing comes to my mind . i hope knowing this makes life easier to cope with. my husband has asbergers . it hasn't changed our life knowing but it makes things easier to understand.
    i don't know you personally but i know you well through your blog. I think you're great. you always bring light into my life.
    you are desiree the style queen to me.
    love lucyx

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  19. Oh Desiree. What a day. What a diagnosis.
    And yet... you know who you are. You know HOW you are. A diagnosis just puts a name to what you already know.
    In my years working in mental health, I was often surprised at how long it took some people to be given a clear and reasonable diagnosis. It used to be a bit of a joke among us mental health workers, how 10 different psychiatrists could assess the same person and each come up with 10 different diagnoses. And for some people, the label (whatever it was) was devastating, for others a relief, a name for what was happening, and a way forward. But not a definition, never that.

    Wear your red lippy, be who you are, embrace all that life has to offer, as you always have. Love you. xxxxx

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  20. People be damned! You look fabulous and are a great mother and woman. I'm glad that you finally have a diagnosis but don't let it tie you down. You are a bright star in a sea of darkness.

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  21. Big hug Desiree - bipolar disorder is no walk in the park. Hopefully with a diagnosis you can now get proper treatment to alleviate the symptoms. Keep up the red lippie - it is the small things we can do for ourselves that help us feel better about facing the world - I have an equally large red lipstick collection and have vowed this year to wear red lipstick every day. Tomorrow will be Ruby Woo in your honour. Take care of yourself xx

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  22. Oh sweetie it has been a hard time for you and it sounds like you've been facing your demons with the healing bravery of realism. I can well understand your very mixed feelings about being given that diagnosis. But the important thing is that, as Curtise said, you know who you are, how you are, and how to love yourself; hopefully this diagnosis can simply help you gain the support and understanding you deserve. It could be an open doorway to a new, more peaceful stability for you, as opposed to a rigid label to be trapped in.
    We all adore you sweet friend, for your lust for life and your beauty both outside and in. Hang in there, so glad you've got that red lipstick armour on to keep you strong!

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  23. Like one of your other commenters said, bipolar is just another label that seems to get thrown around a lot. And you are so much beyond a label! The important thing is if you get through the day, nurture your children, and try not to fuck up other people's lives. I'm sure you do that, and bring a smile to so many faces besides!

    Thanks for letting me know about Liptember. I need some new lippy, and Revlon is my brand.

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  24. HOLY CRAP! need me some more red lipstick and more friends who can talk about mental health issues in a tiara! How i love you!! You know i get this!! fuck if your gonna do bipolar do it with pink hair and a tiara...it works for me!! xxxx

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  25. Red lipstick is any girl's best friend. And we all know that tiaras have special powers. I'm glad you've been working the magic.
    Well, no matter where you go with this diagnosis, I always look for my Desiree fix of artistry and sensible approaches to life in colour. I do hope, though, that this diagnosis will help you find colour more easily when it seems so elusive. Hugs!!!

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  26. Hello lovely, D. That picture of all your red lipsticks is like an altar to *fun* and looking *fabulous*! (Of course.)

    And hey, don't know if you're much of comic book reader but I've recently finished this AWESOME book, "Marbles" by Ellen Forney,

    (The link to seeing the book: http://www.amazon.com/Marbles-Depression-Michelangelo-Graphic-Memoir/dp/1592407323/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379283928&sr=8-1&keywords=marbles+ellen+forney)

    I really liked it because she talks about her relationship between mental health and creativity.

    xo xo

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  27. Thanks for sharing, Desiree. And to do an awesome blog too? You are the best. xoxo

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  28. Whatever the doctor's say you are... as far as I am concerned you are FABULOUS, STRONG, BEAUTIFUL & AMAZING!!!

    I'm going to check out that lipstick for Liptember!!

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  29. Hey, at least you know what you've got--got to be a bit of a relief!
    I've always worn red lippy, but lately the color hasn't been working for me. I prefer a blue/red matte and I use lip liner and the whole bit. So, I've just been patting it on with my finger instead, sort of 'staining' my lip instead of doing the full saturated colour. I don't know if it's my currently brown hair that is messing it up...

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  30. My former husband (we were married for 19 years) was diagnosed bi-polar after we broke up. Afterwards I learned a lot about the illness, including some of the different forms it can take etc. I certainly saw first hand some of the ways it can manifest. I hope you have good people around you, medical and otherwise. I hope that the pain you might feel can be be minimized. You are loved by many, and your wonderful creativity is a joy. That doesn't change. You will always look good in red lipstick. XXXXOOOO

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  31. Oh Me Oh My Oh. I have often used the red lipstick cure myself! Liptember eh? I'm off to shop for cosmetics. right now. You are such an astounding sensitive creative gorgeous generous person. I hope that all the joy that you bring to us bounces right back to you. As Popeye says, "I yam what I yam!"

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  32. Liptember! will be off this week to buy some red lippie, and a 'security blanket', mine's a specific cardi when I feel crap, it's starting to get holes now but it has special powers! I love it - getting a diagnosis does take forever and I have never understood it as it is a tormenting time waiting and waiting - but here we are, I wish you have everything you need x x

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  33. Sending you the biggest hug I can. The only way to look now is forwards you are such a beautiful lady. Red lipstick suits you . My security blanket is my hair I always wear it down for reasons known only to me a secret never shared. Love and hugs to you, dee xxx

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  34. Lots of Hugs to you Des. Bipolar or not you are the same lady we all love and adore!!

    My security blanket is comfy clothes. *HAHAH* usually as soon as I get home I change into comfy stuff. (Especially in fall and winter) I love bootie slippers and sweats it's just a darn guilty pleasure! Now I don't normally wear my comfies in public. (Just in the privacy of my own home.)

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  35. blech, I was diagnosed with ADHD, a sleep disorder, depression and borderline personality disorder all on the same day... they came to that conclusion after a ten minute interview. I don't agree with their diagnoses so I don't claim it. Turns out, I just really don't like idiots and at that point in my life, I was surrounded by them! HAHAHA!

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  36. I have contributed to Liptember, just last week in fact.
    It's good to have some answers, and hopefully some good, balanced medication that helps you feel AWESOME. A spot of sparkle is always going to boost a gals attitude, as is red lippie-Ruby Woo is my favoruite!
    Love and Lustipops! XXXXXXXX

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  37. I'm sure the diagnosis was a bit of a shock. Two of my step-sons, recovering alcoholics, have had a similar diagnosis in recent years and they are managing just fine. I read an article this past week in the UK Independent about a relationship between bacteria in one's gut and various diagnoses like schizophrenia, autism, etc. It talked about people eating yogurt and probiotics and things gradually improving. You might add yogurt to the lipstick regime.

    That said, there are some great books by Kaye Jamison and the relationship between BPD and creativity!

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  38. Oh Sweet......that must have been really hard......with knowledge comes answers and understanding. All the things that have passed make up the beautiful tapestry that is YOU........an amazing lady who will always 'pull up her sock' wear Ruby Woo and move forward.
    I think you are just beautiful.
    Love V....a ruby woo wearer too......xxxxxxxxx

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  39. I feel naked without red lipstick too, wish the very very best for you! xxx

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  40. You are the same person today as you were before your diagnosis. Creative, empathetic, brilliant and always wonderful in red lipstick and whatever else you choose to wear on any given day. Beautiful inside and out. A diagnosis doesn't change any of that. You are loved and supported by many. Myself included. Take care of yourself as you move forward with new information on this complicated journey called life

    Love to you!

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  41. Like someone said earlier, diagnosis does not determine what kind of person you are. And it is not end of the world, it is beginning of a new age. I can imagine it was a huge shock, but atleast now you have better understanding of yourself and now it can be treated.

    I am amazed that you have managed to live with bipolar so long without any help except your collection of red. I'm glad you found a way to help yourself and it worked! I have gone through mental illness myself (severe depression) several years back and I can say from experience that knowing what is wrong is a start for recovery.

    And red lipstick, what can I say... Power of red lipstick is amazing. It gives you the feeling of strength and power and allows to face the difficult moments. It is a bit of a magical stuff isn't it. I used to wear it all the time, but now I'm getting a bit lazy and learned to go out even without make up. I suppose my safety blanket is my handbag and my mobile phone. I feel a bit naked without them.

    Hugs and kisses !! <3

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  42. It's not an easy illness to diagnose, and I believe that sometimes it is mis-diagnosed. I'm no mental health expert (apart from psychology 101 lol!) but I believe with the right medication your happiness will come back better than before.

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  43. Wow...that has to be a shock..bet you suspected it for years??? or not?
    loving your blog just found it...loving your attitude too...you rock!!
    bestest wishes to you and all bi- polar women today!!
    Daisy j xxx

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  44. It's not who you are, the illness, but it'll hopefully be easier to medicate now they know what's wrong, and you'll be feeling better sooner. It doesn't take away from the person you know you are - creative and amazing - and we adore and get inspired by. ~ LittleMissPlump (Sara)

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  45. More power to you for seeking help! I am very pro-therapy, meds, sweaty cardio exercise...and of course sparkly tiaras and red lipstick too...anything that helps our brains! :) "Liptember" sounds like something I should support! Smooch.

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  46. Mr.D' daughter is Bipolar disorder, took her a while to get the right medication, but she is doing a lot better - We supported the last 3 years - It was not easy but we were always there for her - The key is finding the right medication - You will be ok i'm sure -
    You are a survivor Desiree!

    Ariane xo

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  47. I am painting my lips Revlon Red for you today...dear inspiring Desiree you are larger than your labels...I hope you realize how much your style and sparkle inspire and help so many of your readers...this one included.....

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  48. You are fabulousness in red lippy and a tiara. I love reading your posts; your honesty, creativity, style and humour. Wishing you a whole lot of love and happiness lovely Desiree xxx

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  49. Lifes too short not to wear a tiara. You look AWESOME.

    x

    Mary

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  50. Huggs, you're awesome and this diagnosis just means that hopefully you'll be prescribed the right medicine...No diagonosis defines anyone...I think you're kickass! xxx

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  51. Hello Désirée ! This is a very touching post, I just hope you don't suffer too much. Artists have a huge sensitivity, that's why they are vulnerable. And you're a beautiful artist ! Keep on following your inner light and take care !
    http://selenite.weebly.com

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  52. You wear red lipstick so well, just lovely.

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  53. My darling, I wear red lipstick most of the time and I always get the comment "I used to wear bright colours like that when I was younger", with the unkindly inference in their voice that I should have got over it by now! Feel safe and happy in the knowledge that whatever happens to you in this life, at least you will not be Beige! All the best, Rach.

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  54. Well if bipolar disorder made you what you are now you must be proud of it because it is a part of who you are and of what made you this amazing lady you are now! Red lipstick is a great security blanket for you because it really looks good! For me it's drawing my eyebrows. I have only found it out a couple of years ago, I didn't even think I could do it before then. A makeup artist friend of mine gave me the idea and taught me how to draw them. I've never stopped since, and I feel really proud and at ease when I have them drawed, and feel naked and insecure when they're not. It's my thing, bold eyebrows for feeling bold and brave! ;D
    Elisa from styleBizarre :*

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  55. Gosh, that sounds like quite a blow Desiree. I'm so impressed that your way of dealing with it, was to put on your lipstick. Nothing destructive, just something to make you feel better.

    I love what Curtise said. You are still you, which is a sweet, lovely, colourful lady. I hope the next few weeks while you get used to this new development are OK. Keep putting on that lipstick, it's a great security blanket. Take care. xxxxxx

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  56. Gosh, that sounds like quite a blow Desiree. I'm so impressed that your way of dealing with it, was to put on your lipstick. Nothing destructive, just something to make you feel better.

    I love what Curtise said. You are still you, which is a sweet, lovely, colourful lady. I hope the next few weeks while you get used to this new development are OK. Keep putting on that lipstick, it's a great security blanket. Take care. xxxxxx

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  57. Oh my love, my heart goes out to you! Hopefully with the diagnosis you will get the proper treatment. You are always fabulous and you know how I love you so and want the very best for you. I'm sorry I wasn't able to read this while I was in London (bloody hotel lied about free wifi in every room & standing outside Starbucks in the middle of the night to connect whilst freezing my balls off -- no worries, they grew back even bigger, long story! -- was a bit dodgy) to give you some support, but you know I'm always here for you, anytime, and will do anything I can to help you. I had read this quickly then had to run out to pick up flu meds for hubby, so while waiting for the rx, I looked for "Liptember Red" and they had none -- to me that was a good sign, that people were aware & it had sold out. I decided right then & there that the money I would've spent on the lipstick instead will go directly to an organization that helps women with mental health research so it goes directly to the source. Funny, I've been subconsciously wearing red lipstick a lot the past month, perhaps I tapped into the universal consciousness? Love you my sister & partner in all things wacky & fun! XXX S,

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  58. PS my armour is my nose ring. When it falls out & I lose it, I don't feel like myself! I used to take it out in certain situations to look more "normal" (ha like that worked?) but no more. As long as that ring is in my nose I am me and I feel strong and free! XXX

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  59. Oh. I have been diagnosed with the bipolar too, I was 26 or 27 when I got the diagnosis. I don't let it stamp myself tho, it's just one useful tool for understanding why I feel like I do. I'm happy that you are talking about it openly, it's sad that the society can be prejudice and some peeps with mental disorders feel ashamed. We don't really need that stigma.

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  60. Ahhh, so now I have read back and I see what you were talking about. EVEN BIGGER HUGS!! You will manage, I know you will, and you will still be the wonderful YOU that makes us all want to wear our handmade underpants over bright pink tights!

    XOXOXO
    Lynn Dylan

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  61. Huge hugs from Blighty. At least now they diagnosed you they can help xxx

    Red lipstick for me too, any flash of red really *hugs*

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  62. Big hugs amorcito!
    Red lipstick and puta eyeshadow always makes everything so much better. I'm eyeing your velvet chonis.

    Besotes

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  63. Oh, Desiree, I'm so late here, but if I could hug you, I would. Well, I always would, but even more so now. I admire the hell out of you for dealing with a huge shock by remembering that life is fabulous, and YOU are fabulous. You're still stunning and intelligent and witty and compassionate and bold and insightful - all the things you need to be successful in a fight with mental health challenges. You also have so many peeps around you who love and support you - as well as tons all over the world who love and support you, too. Let them help, and grab joy - and be joy - whenever you can.

    I have horrid sallow skin and cannot wear red lippy. Red hair makes me feel really good tho' even if my mom snarks on it all the time. I do love a good rich mauve lippy tho' even if I don't have any other make-up on.

    Love, peace & grace,
    Lynne

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