My name is Katie and I have a shopping problem.
No seriously, I have a shopping problem. I’ve never admitted that out loud.
I like to spend money on shit I don’t need. Who doesn’t? My problem comes in when I cut myself so short because I decided to buy four expensive lip glosses for the hell of it or when I see a beautiful bong that I can’t resist — although, I have my three perfect bongs and I’m not in the market. Still, it catches my eye.
I spend frivolously and freely. I’ll pay my bills and then blow the rest. You’ll find me two days later complaining about how broke I am. Objects somehow bring me comfort. It’s a feeling of knowing this object can’t just get up and walk away from you. It’s yours.
My brother always says to me, “it’s about being rich, not looking rich.” Well, I like to have nice stuff. If I’m in the market, usually I try to make money the smallest factor. Quality over quantity, right? Except quality turns from one to 15 and then I have both and then I look at everything, knowing this money could be in my savings account. It’s INFURIATING because for so long, I’ve felt like I can’t control it.
I have a weird form of abandonment issues. Nobody has really abandoned me, but I’ve felt alone for so long, it’s like forced abandonment. I could be in a room of crowded people and sigh, thinking about how none of these people really understand me, or even want to. I’m wrong. I’m sure people want to get to know me. I’m sure I’m not as detestable as my brain likes to tell me. But I look at shopping and I have the power. I make the calls. I have control. I don’t have control over people (thank god, what a nightmare that would be), but I have control over my stuff.
I don’t let people touch my stuff unless I give permission. My own family gets mad sometimes because I tell them to stay out of my bedroom. Will they touch anything? NO! Am I worried something will magically disappear? MORE THAN YOU UNDERSTAND. Why? BEATS ME.
It’s greed, gluttony and just plain stupidity. My therapist and I have been identifying problematic behavior patterns and what they could mean. This is a big one and it’s one I’m actually pretty embarrassed about. I don’t let myself get too embarrassed usually, but I can’t really talk about this without a tone of shame. How did I let myself get so out of control?
My therapist, my mother and I have me on a very strict austerity diet. While they don’t monitor my bank accounts, I know I’m a horrible liar and will feel awful if I slip up. Instead of depositing my coin jar into my checking, it went into savings. I promised myself I wouldn’t touch it. So far, I haven’t. It’s a good start.