(Today’s blog post is part of a continuing series of personal stories about living with Trigeminal Neuralgia, the most painful diagnosis known to man.)
This week I have embarked on a difficult and emotional project – I am cleaning out my closet. Not just cleaning it mind you, but brutally decimating it one sweater at a time. I have found myself looking away as my hands stuff a pair of pants or a cardigan into a large black garbage bag. Truth is, I’m not an overly sentimental person when it comes to material items. I do keep books of course, and my vinyl (I knew it would come back one day), but I don’t have a lot of trinkets that serve as token reminders of past experiences.
Yet, I do keep clothes. For years. Decades even. My wardrobe serves as a scrapbook of my life. Those black Converse high tops with the bleach splatters? I got them in high school (30 years ago). I also wore them in Florida when I was there during Hurricane Andrew. The white splotches are from tossing chlorine into a pool in gale force winds. That fabulous vintage beaded top? I wore it to a concert where I met Johnny Rotten* (appropriate name). Those Donna Karan pants? They were the first “expensive” pair of pants I ever bought. And the tweed blazer? My aunt passed that down to me when it no longer fit her.
And that’s where I’m at. Due to inactivity and medicinal side effects, many – actually most – of my clothes no longer fit me. The weight gain came on so strong that I even outgrew items before I had a chance to wear them. I ended up with four sizes of pants in my closet – enough to open my own boutique right there in the bedroom. Heck, just the amount of black pants I packed up was kind of embarrassing.
So far, I have five giant trash bags and one sizable box filled with clothing and I have yet to finish. It’s like a clown car in there. I keep pulling items out and yet it never seems to end. I have prudently knotted the handles of the bags in case I get the urge to start pilfering items back into my dresser. It is on one hand a good feeling to streamline my possessions (and donate them) yet also sad to see that once again TN has impacted every facet of my life.
So if you’re at a Salvation Army store in Northern Illinois in the near future and see a plethora of like-new black pants or an influx of sweaters sized from XS to L, they are probably mine. Wear them in good health. But if you’re trying to find those beautifully decrepit high tops, it ain’t gonna happen. Some things are too precious to ever give away.
*Johnny Rotten was the lead singer of The Sex Pistols, a completely untalented yet remarkably influential punk band in the late 70’s.