retail therapy

i love shopping. i always have. it used to be a time for family bounding, with my mother, my grandmother, my friends, and now just some quiet time to myself. what is it about shopping that feels so rewarding, like winning a prize, accomplishing a goal, strategizing a good play, a small thrill.

yes as an American, consumption is one form of satiating the ingrown hair of excess. we are bombarded with images and messages to improve ourselves. and that improvement involves the purchase of the newest things. and i fall prey to it all the time. all my self-control is weak in the face of a good deal. i feel like i am rewarding myself for all my hard work, or at least i begin to rationalize that it is justified. and the high is so quick, so short-lived that it does not leave me feeling satisfied. even when i know my budget cannot handle it, or that i have the goal of saving up for a larger, more worthy, more needed purchase.

I can fantasize about how fabulous I will look and feel when I wear this new thing. Although I have no plan in my calendar for any such event. and my weekends are mostly shared solely with my dog and some close friends. but the shopping allows me to escape for a moment and play the “if only” game. If only I had these pair of shoes, then I would feel fulfilled and glamorous and everyone could see the true me.

and when someone notices, gives me a compliment, it washes over me with a feeling of success, of triumph, and feeds the need to satiate the emptiness some more.

But right now it is the least harmful kind of habit driven coping mechanism I seek out. I have not had a drink since June, nor a cigarette. I can’t really drink coffee, and I had to cut wheat out of my diet because it triggered and exasperated my allergies. I don’t have a sweet tooth. So shopping is my greatest vice. It triggers so many subconscious as well as superficial surface levels of satisfaction.

so once again, here is my confessional. you can’t change until you admit that you have a problem. so between myself, my higher power, and who ever comes across this to read, I admit, my shopping addiction is a problem.

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