Shopping as a Sedative

Vintage Label - free to use!

Shopping is a drug for me.

I shop when I am stressed. I know this about myself. From way back in the days of the old, un-remodeled (or re-remodeled) Burlingame Fred Meyer during my freshman year in college, I shopped.

I shop when I am overwhelmed. Once, I had a houseful of guests and I ran to the store to get refills on snacks and drinks… and didn’t come home for almost two hours. Wandering up and down the aisles, totally lost in myself.

I shop when I am sad. I was sad last night, and so after I picked up some prescriptions at Kaiser (it is Drug Day today, you know), I got in my car and looked for a fix. I tried to tell myself I was just looking for food – I can’t really eat fast food anymore, so grabbing a quick bite to eat means finding a Chipotle – but as soon as a Goodwill came into sight, I drove my hungry self right into the parking lot.

I did what I always do: started at one end of the store and went up and down most of the aisles. This Goodwill, like most, has books right by the entrance, so I started there, looking at every shelf on every row, with the exception of popular fiction, which holds no interest for me. But history! Kids’ books! Cookbooks! Self-help! I want to read every title. From there, I went through toys, games, housewares, furniture, shoes, and Halloween costumes. I bought one item with intention (a black frame for a gallery wall I am planning) and one thing on impulse (a book about the prairie blizzard of 1888)… but the buying always seems more like a way to justify the time wasted.

It makes me feel better. I know it is temporary. I know that I will still be sad, and now I will also be sad about taking time away from my home and family, and I’ll be sad that there is new stuff in my house that I will have to use or purge or otherwise deal with.

I know these things… when I take time to reflect and be reasonable.

But, more often than not, when I need an escape, a release, an out, I head to the store. (Or I read about Mr. Darcy. It still wastes time, but oh! How happy it makes me!)

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for my nephews. I love them so much! Big hugs to you both.

I’m also grateful, of course, for the photo by HA! Designs – Artbyheather.

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