Living with Shopaholism

I am not ditzy. Really! I have a boring but serious job that I’ve had for nearly two years now. I don’t drink too much, I don’t spend nights crying into my pillow when the boys I like don’t like me back, and I’m not really into partying (mostly because of the aforementioned non-drinking). I pretty much have my shit together.

But despite having my shit together, whenever I am anywhere near anything that sells anything, you probably couldn’t tell that I had my shit together at all. In fact, I actually lose my shit – my heart starts to race, my palms start to sweat, and I’m filled with an uncontrollable desire to take everything I have ever earned, hand it over to the storekeeper and buy everything they have. Even in this altered state of sensibility, I can appreciate the absurdity of wanting to buy eight different kitchen appliances, but somehow, I can’t stop myself.

When I was young and on an allowance, there was no choice but to bury this overwhelming material lust. That didn’t make it easier, it just made it possible. Now that I hold the purse strings – and by that I mean debit card – I can only rely on self-control. The only problem: I have not an ounce of the stuff.

Sometimes I manage. I drag myself out of a store vowing to not buy the totally overpriced thing “I just have to have.” At that final moment, when I’m turning away from the store, I even feel proud that I’m walking out empty-handed. It takes me about two days of not being able to sleep or eat or think about anything else to go back in and buy it anyway.

Everything in my life is a testament to this addiction. My bank account for starters. Drawers filled with things I don’t use. From sunscreens to night creams; leave-in conditioners to hair sprays and serums, I have it all – and in two’s and three’s no less. Cupboards full of clothes I’ve never worn and jackets and belts that will never see the light of day. I even subscribe to three more newspapers than I actually read.

Each season brings a new reason to shop. At the first sign of rain, I buy rain shoes, an umbrella and a raincoat. A week later, my idea of monsoon fashion is diametrically opposite to the one I had before, and it only takes one more week for me to buy new rain shoes, a new umbrella and a new raincoat.

To add to my ever growing guilt, there are also all the questions I have to answer. Justification comes swiftly – it just never makes any sense.

“Yes, I really needed all these random gadgets for my kitchen and dining room.”

“I know it’s white but it’s totally different from all the other white shirts I have.”

“Yes, they have sales at the drug store, too.”

It’s not the best or worst of the “–holisms” to have, and certainly, not the hardest to recover from. Even so, there’s something to be said about addiction. It distracts you from all the other things that are wrong with your life. It’s like a pillow to lay your head on and fall asleep when your life is exhausting. And if what you get out of it is shiny new things and not liver cirrhosis, it can’t be that bad, can it? TC mark

image – antwerpenR.com

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  • falalala

    worst article ever
    also, you sound ditzy 

    • Raoul

      Your moms the worst article ever.

    • Natasha

      Given all the insightful and absolutely stellar articles I’ve read of yours, I’m inclined to believe you. Oh wait…

      Btw is your caps lock not working?

    • Natasha

      Given all the insightful and absolutely stellar articles I’ve read of yours, I’m inclined to believe you. Oh wait…

      Btw is your caps lock not working?

  • liz

    i find your description of “ditzy” slightly insulting — since when does partying, drinking, and having actual feelings quality one as being “ditzy?”

  • liz

    i find your description of “ditzy” slightly insulting — since when does partying, drinking, and having actual feelings quality one as being “ditzy?”

    • Amissa

      Seriously. I agree with the ‘actual feelings’ part.

    • Natasha

      Truly that is not what I was implying and as for actual feelings I assure you I will probably be crying into my pillow over all of these wonderful comments

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAKTF3MSF3RIBLQJ36KQL3ZBC4 pg

    Solution: force yourself to stop buying so much useless crap.

    There, I saved you a great deal of therapy..

  • guesst

    I liked it.  And to those who said ‘get over it’, it’s not something you can just get over. It’s an addiction just like any other.

    • Sally Jenkins

      get over it.

  • Laurel

    Wow, I can’t believe how rude people’s comments can be. Honestly, what good comes out of making someone feel stupid for writing what they are thinking? Do you feel better about yourself or more superior? If something isn’t interesting to you then don’t read it, there are plenty of other articles on this site that I am sure you would like, unless you are just too busy finding the worst in them. If I have learned anything from these comment forums then I am likely to get at least one bashing me. Props to all of you out there who are confident enough to publish your words and to those who find nice things to say or just don’t say anything at all.

    • Anonymous

      Welcome to Thought Catalog, where every commenter (and writer) is still in the process of learning.

      • Laurel

        Of course, we’re all learning until the second we die, which is why these comment forums are important. Don’t get me wrong, it’s necessary to get criticism in order to grow, but there is always a way to make it constructive

      • Guest

        Constructive criticism is way less interesting to write and read then well done snark.

      • Natasha

        Now if only there was some well done snark around this..

    • Mr Shankly

      “If something isn’t interesting to you then don’t read it”.

      Consider what you just wrote. Consider the kind of people who say things like that. Consider never using that phrase again.

      • Natasha

        Mr. Shankly, consider what you just wrote. Consider that nobody understood what you meant (except maybe the two people that liked it). Consider explaining it.

      • Anon

        Read: If we never read anything we didn’t find interesting, we’d all be dumbasses. Instructions? Boring. Textbooks? Yawn. Political platforms? So what?! Who cares?! No. No no no. No.

      • Mr Shankly

        I was just pointing out how ridiculous it is to suggest not reading things I don’t find interesting. How am I supposed to know if it’s interesting or not if I haven’t read it? You can’t use that as justification for anything, because it doesn’t make sense.

  • Guest

    Really nice piece, you should publish more stuff.

  • Mimi

    This is a great article.  However, you need therapy beyond writing about your addiction. And possibly a support group. By the sounds of things, you may also have hoarding tendencies.

    • JC

      You took the words right out of my mouth.

      • Natasha

        Possibly but there’s nothing like good ol’ fashion poverty to cure one of something like this so who knows? I may just recover without therapy.

      • lindsey-lu

        have you seen the show hoarders? they are all pretty much in destitute poverty, but still manage to continue acquiring things….

        be careful and get some help!  there are probably some underlying issues you need to deal with.  sounds like you are trying to fill a void.

  • http://fartsinlove.tumblr.com Ernest Fartingway

    What you get out of it is the show “Hoarders”

    • Natasha

      Honestly, I’m not seeing the downside of reality T.V fame

      • lindsey-lu

        a0 they only get one episode, so not fame.  and b) shame not fame

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    I have a drug-store addiction.
    Since a mall is not near, Walgreens is where I satisfy my inner shopaholic…
    Hair products, lip-balm, gum, vitamin waters, magazines.
    But once I get to a shopping area, all bets are off of me having any money left over.

  • Lily

    i completely understand you. this is like my life.

    im still thinking about a dressi forced myself not to buy in april..except actually.

  • Sally Jenkins

    strike some of the hyperbole, give it a good once-over before you say “done!” and then you’re safe to crumple it up and start over. this works as serious writing advice as well as snarky commentary.

    • Guest

      Who hurt you?

      • Sally Jenkins

        shitty writing, mon frere. shitty writing hurt me.

      • Natasha

        Have you considered reading something else instead of lurking around here as long as you have?

      • http://fastfoodies.org Briana

        writers who comment excessively on their own articles really, really annoy me.

        i am JUST SAYIN

      • Natasha

        Have you considered reading something else instead of lurking around here as long as you have?

      • Natasha

        Have you considered reading something else instead of lurking around here as long as you have?

      • Natasha

        Have you considered reading something else instead of lurking around here as long as you have?

    • Natasha

      I find it ever so hard to live without hyperbole and alliteration but I will keep that in mind.

    • Natasha

      I find it ever so hard to live without hyperbole and alliteration but I will keep that in mind.

    • http://www.meetmedaily.com Nahsar

      agreed very nicely said..thanks

  • Eiya

    ‘Addiction – It distracts you from all the other things that are wrong with your
    life.’  i love this definition of yours :)

  • Tinaverstraeten

    I actually liked the article, didn’t like the arrogant comments that much though…
    good tip: sell some of your stuff on ebay or make an online store…at least you’ll get some of your money back that way.

    • Natasha

      That’s actually not a bad idea and I have been a bit of a beeyatch haven’t I? I might be a rage-aholic as well :-(

      • Rishaad Hirani

        great one nats … charmi has the same ideology when it comes to clothes .. more like a disease though eh ? :P 

  • damo

    #firstworldproblems

  • Anonymous

    ta.gg/4vh

  • your cousin

    I have never seen a writer troll her own article like this before. It’s fascinating.

  • Grant Sorenson

    So, was your assignment to write from the perspective of the main character in the “Confessions of a Shopaholic” movie? Or are you just under the impression that you’re being really original with this article?

    • Anonymous

      So, was your assignment to write from the perspective of the anal-retentive asshole with nothing to do but point out irrelevant opinions on a public forum? Or are you under the impression that any of us actually give a shit about what you think?

  • Anonymous

    Haters gonna hate, bro. Keep on rocking!!

  • http://ysdnworkshop.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/shopping-addiction-brainstorm-observation/ Shopping Addiction Brainstorm – Observation | Workshop
  • http://somuchtocome.blogspot.com Aja

    I’m sure the writer is totally reeling about over this.  You tell ’em (sarcasm).

  • Natasha

    In which case, I hope you aren’t an editor. It’d be really hard to do your job with that attitude.

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