The Beast

Just read a great post over at Dramatis Personae about fighting the addictive feeling of shopping.

It was very thought provoking, and as someone who has gone on mini shopping bans with varying results, I know those cravings.

I figure that the first way to deal with an issue is to find out where it stems from.
I know I shop emotionally and consider it "retail therapy".
So I've learned that when doing a shopping ban I can't even go in stores. Can't try the clothes on. Can't even entertain the possibility of "just one little small purchase couldn't hurt" because then I'll just go on a binge.

I've found that looking at things so far out of my price range that it's ridiculous helps.
That keeping a list of things "for when this is over" helps too.
Or cleaning out my closet and playing dress-up with what I have.
Or reminding myself that "yes, there will be another perfect black dress, sweater, coat, what have you, later"
Or realizing that buying this item will not make my stress or my problems go away. It's just a blouse. Not a miracle.
And I'm learning to look at something, admire it, and then put it down. A retail catch-and-release system if you will.

But now that I've actually had one successful month long shopping ban (not very intense, I know. But baby steps) I love the feeling of relief that comes with having a full savings account and not worrying about "how am I going to pay for that?"
But sometimes it does feel like an addiction.
And I find that when I cut back on the shopping it transfers to other habits. I guess the Times was right about it's not what you're addicted to, but having an addictive personality in the first place.

But I just wanted to share my thoughts, because I do think that it's relevant to a lot of women out there, who use shopping as a form of self-soothing. Myself included.

I do feature a lot of pretty things on this blog, and I try to keep a lot of it within a reasonable budget.
I don't believe in spending outside of your means, but I don't believe in denying yourself any pleasure at all.
Yes, shopping makes you feel good. Yes, it can be addictive. Yes, it can be destructive. Yes, if you have the means and the inclination you should be allowed to spend your money however you want. Yes, beauty and creativity is an important part of our psychological health. Yes, fashion is fun.

So there is no point in criminalizing shopping. There will be no finger-shaking here. No praising for abstinence and punishing for participation.

 It is what it is. We just have to understand the beast, and learn to moderate between the credit card bill and all of those beautiful shiny new things.

What do you guys think? Can shopping be an addiction? Or is all of this just a way of justifying a lack or self-control?

1 comment:

Miss Sofie said...

I often shop more than I am supposed to. I try to have a period when I'm not shopping, but all I do is plan what I'm going to buy as soon as it's over...