Not a good way to get started

I haven’t been writing, which is obvious to you loyal readers – Hi Sam! It’s not the best way to get a blog started and gain people I can hopefully help.

Bipolar has two ugly sides, and I spend a lot of mine in the middle in a crazy balancing act, but for the last two months or so I have been increasingly hypomanic – then manic. And for many manic people with bipolar, that means shopping.

I’ve been pretty darn manic. I’ve bought thirty pairs of shoes in a little over thirty days. Some days I’d buy five, others none. But I bought them, oh I bought them. I felt ecstatic – elated. I felt more beautiful and even powerful. I had shoes! For every outfit I owned! (Perhaps even more than every outfit.)

I felt absolutely compelled to buy these shoes. I couldn’t stop it at all. I felt like I had to do it – there was no choice at all. I’d feel guilty and repulsed and drive right up to the strip mall. Walmart, Famous Footwear, Target, Kohls. Nothing really expensive. One pair cost $1, the most expensive $39.95. The problem is that these add up. I’m still not sure how much I’ve spent.

Oh, I threw away the boxes so I can hardly return any of them.

I was terrified to tell my husband. I spoke to a fellow mood-disordered friend and we talked about the embarrassment of having to tell our significant other what it is we have done. I waited. Then I couldn’t wait anymore. I told him and waited for his wrath. Of course, there was no wrath. He was just sad and felt lied to. I felt terrible. I wasn’t even happy I get to keep the shoes.

I bought some clothes too. I feel like I have to hide them. He knows, and will know. I will be able to return some of them, but I don’t want to.

This strong desire to acquire is unbelievable, I know for someone who doesn’t have it. It might be how a bulimic might feel – she must vomit up her food. An alcoholic must feel this way about drink. I can’t drink, because I drink too much, but I never feel as strongly about the bottle as I do about shopping.

The solution is complicated. I need to get my medicine adjusted. The doc slashed my OCD meds right away, so I feel a little lethargic. A lot of sleep is a good thing according to my Icarus Project friends (www.theicarusproject.net) and I got a nap. Taking things back is part of the penance, and it’s always sad to lose things that made me so happy. It’s popular to say “Money doesn’t buy happiness,” but it’s not true. There are plenty of times that money has made me happy. Now, it hasn’t given me joy – money will never be able to do that. But money does do good things. My shopping sprees were not one of those good things.

Proverbs 30:7-9

“Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:

Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.

Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the LORD ?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

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2 responses to “Not a good way to get started

  • Kat

    I’m sorry things are in a difficult place right now! ((hugs)) I can only imagine feeling the way you were, although I have my own compulsions. I ALWAYS have to buy things that are a good deal! If something is cheap and on clearance, I have to buy it! The more I’m in store, the more deals I see, and the more I HAVE to buy. I try to get dh to shop with me to help curb some of it, but he doesn’t enjoy shopping with me that much!

  • Sam

    Shopping is my stress release as well. I can definantly relate. I can do great on my budget for a long time but then go out and then just go on a spending spree and undo all my hard work.

    The credit card i have in my name is a very dangerous thing. Hubby keeps track of the spending on the bank account but not the credit card. When he tells me to cut back on expenses, i can usually do that on the bank account, but then I’ll go and and put things on the credit card, which equals the same thing, even if i can’t really get it through my head.

    I don’t know if this will help you much, but it worked for me (I’m an avid reader) so when i was in danger of spending all my family’s hard earned money I’d take a trip to the library and pick up a bunch of books. It gave me the pleasure of picking things out, using my card, and bringing them home. Quick fix, until i got all the late fees because i forgot to bring them back, LOL. But it’s a quick shopping fix.

    Alright so maybe the library isn’t the fix. More like a bandaid. Bandaids still have their uses. 😉

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