I have been doing posts on finding your personal style as I feel it’s helped me on my healing journey and look at what I truly like. Recreating myself has really been a empowering after years of feeling like a empty shell. But as you can tell by the blog title, learning more what I like is important to me because I’ve found that my shopping habits haven’t been great over the years.
My anxiety had definitely led me to a shopping addiction and unconsciously buying. I’ve really been on a healing journey and looking at certain aspects of my life has really been helpful. I also lost the essence of myself for a very long time, luckily I feel I have most of that back but of course with some evolution of getting older and wiser. But losing who I was made me seek ways to feel something as I explain in much more detail in this post.
As I’m in the process of moving. I have been sorting through a lot of my clothes and it has really come to attention how my bargain shopping addiction has plagued me for a while. And how some clothes I bought were really not necessary.
To describe my shopping bargain hunt mentality, its like I am in daze, almost like a trance. I’m hyper focused and it’s like I’m on a cod mission but one where I grab a bargain and get that dopamine hit! It’s like a game I have to win and I must get the prize, only I’ve set myself up in this game and I am the only one playing.
I have always been a bargain queen, there is something about the rush of getting something at a discount price or getting more for your money. I enjoy the search and hunt for bargains which has leant more to being online since the pandemic and because of my Chronic illness.
I can’t remember the last time I was shopping around a big shopping centre as its all too overwhelming for my health. However I have found I have slipped into browsing the Internet shop windows instead. The last 10 years have been quite traumatic and when you feel like you’re in an empty void for a long amount of time you wanna fill it.
I would have liked to have thought I don’t have a addictive personality but I certainly do like collecting things I think would make me happy. At different points in the last 10 years it has been varying things:
-books (on certain topics I’m into at that moment)
-men’s t shirts
– Stick on nails
– Xmas decorations
It’s only in the last 6 months I’ve really analysed this behaviour more, I knew the shopping was covering my trauma and emptiness I felt at times. But I didn’t really want to confront it, I just said to myself I’d do better in the future.
Over Autumn 2022 I decided to note how I was feeling when I started looking on sites and then if I purchased something, how I felt after and when I recieved the item.
Reasoning behind browsing
I realised when I would start browsing, I was mostly bored or feeling empty. I wanted to have some excitement and a rush and I was chasing the dopamine I thought would give me a lasting high when I recieved the item. I also was scared to have money it felt, it seemed as though as soon as I got it I wanted to spend it, I was really in a lack mentality.
I would feel this weird buzz and on edge feeling once I purchased my product because I knew I shouldn’t really be buying it on the basis of how broke I was.
And when the item/s arrived I would feel elated. But that feeling wouldnt last long unless it was something I wanted for ages and kept putting it off. If it was an impulse buy the dopamine would be gone as quickly as these companies would be busting out new clothing.
Once I really analysed my shopping situation I realised I was feeling empty which was rooted back from my trauma and also in general how I felt with life. I know that sounds very depressing but I think most of my life I have trying to find deeper meaning and connection. I was very into studying philosophy and ethics in school. And after my trauma in my 20s I was complete shell for many years. A few years back I got into sneakers, again they were bargain ones. And I’ve only starting to wear more of them now. The problem I was having with life was a need to feel something and I was trying to get it out of something outside of me. I wanted a quick a rush of elation that only fast fashion could give me and also disappear as quickly as it came.
I’ve found that shopping more in charity shops has leaned more into my style and also on Ebay and vinted. I also enjoy selling clothes on those platforms. I do still shop in Primark from time to time but only if I really need it. As I do have some clothes from primark I’ve had for 5 to 6 years remarkably.
What helped me
I definitely think looking inwards for connection has really helped. I have been meditating a lot more, doing mindful practices and also crocheting clothing (though I was starting to buy too much yarn at one stage) has helped so much. I still do get that urge to just want to browse sites but I have removed clothing apps off my phone (as jeez they really do like to send your phone multiple notifications).
Being much more conscious of my shopping habits and looking at the root cause is the first steps forward for me. I will be talking more about reselling and buying second hand from thrift stores and resell sites and my journey in reclaiming me back.
Are you conscious of your buying habits? Do you think your mental health impacts how and what you shop? Let me know in the comments below.
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