Home, at my desktop, deciding to mention the states I found myself in in the same span of days. Sunday night I managed to drive myself manic by indulging my credit card again after a week’s hiatus. I began the day on a good note, anyway, by applying to a few more places since I’m back on the job hunt again. Whether anyone gets back to me or not, the mere act of applying helps keep my anxiety at bay. As soon as I headed out, I fell back down the rabbit hole with my first stop at the beauty supply store.
By the time I’d gotten to the grocery store that evening to pick up dinner, I’d already killed $200. I spent the time in the grocery store with a permanent smile so obvious I had a stranger compliment it. When I arrived at Nick’s apartment with everything, I was at my highest. I knew I was manic but I was enjoying it too much to be concerned. I knew Nick could recognize it was unusual behavior but since it was positive, I think he decided it was okay. After all, it was probably a pleasant departure from the usual anxious and insecure Carrie. However, as soon as I had thrown two whole meatball hoagies down my throat, I came down. It was fun while it lasted.
I woke up Saturday morning as groggy as I’ve been feeling for the past week since getting the shaft at work. While Nick was at work, being responsible, I slept until the afternoon in his bed before getting in the shower. I felt sick to my stomach even after having had cereal, so I had myself another bowl and tried to get dressed. Cue the familiar body blues. I couldn’t get my hair to sit or feel the way I wanted after having applied a product for shaping that ended up being too hard to brush out. I spent a while making alternating flattering and unflattering faces in the mirror.
Eventually the guilt from not having seen or fed my cats for 24 hours set in and I headed out. However, I didn’t go straight home; I had “planned” to return a blouse from the shopping I’d done the day before, but what I ultimately ended up doing instead was leaving the mall at nine o’clock at night, another $250 in debt.
The curious thing about my shopping addiction is that I still don’t feel any real remorse. The fact that it’s on credit has tricked my brain into completely rationalizing the purchases and the little attention I give to the cost. “I’ll pay it back eventually.” “Of course I’ll get another job.” “It’s not that big of a deal.” “I am going to use/wear all of this.” “It makes me happy.” “I’ll be more confident.” “I like to feel in control.” “I don’t do it every day.” “I can return it if I need to.” “Good thing I don’t have kids.” “At least I’m not drinking.” You get the idea; I’m not at a lack for excuses.
But at the same time, I do know it’s wrong. Or at least it’s not right. Or at least it’s not smart. But I read somewhere that brakes can’t stop without brake fluid; I can’t stop shopping without getting help. The first step to combating an addiction is admitting it is one. And that the effects are only temporary. And that I’m not in control at all.