“What? This old thing?” Steve has teased me many times that this is my answer to everything when it comes to new clothes. I guess I need to own my issues. So I am fessing up to an extreme part of my grieving process. I shop like crazy, to fill the void that grief has carved. Steve had a major “intervention” with me today. With an undeserved empathy that kind of surprised me, he explained that he understood what I was doing because he “fills the void” in his own way too. Although he was understanding, he explained that shopping is understandably not his preferred method of therapy for me. Because of this, something has to give, I guess.
It got me thinking, am I so vain to think that new shoes or a new shirt are going to make me feel better? Do I subconsciously believe that they are going to replace the loss of Hayes? How normal is this behavior? I have no clue. The bills and packages continue to pour in and I still feel empty. Hayes is still gone and I am still sad. So clearly, whatever it is I feel in that moment of clicking the “confirm purchase” button isn’t a long term solution. Ugh! I wish new shoes fixed everything….I really do. But, life is deeper and much more meaningful than clothes with tags on them.
I have always said, grief looks different for everyone. My grief is so much bigger than this one problem for me, but this truly has become just that, a problem. I honestly feel like a drug addict trying to hide an addiction. It is kind of embarrassing to admit this actually. I feel like I am at an AA meeting and you all are sitting in group with me…”Hi, my name is Savanna and I am a shopaholic.”
So why am I admitting this fault to you all? I don’t know. Because I have been open and honest to you all from the beginning. Because I want to share all aspects of my grieving process with you all, even the embarrassing parts. Hopefully it helps you understand people that experience loss a little more. Hopefully by acknowledging something I want to fix, I will hold myself more accountable. I have come to realize that at the root of all addiction is pain and spending has become my addiction. My addiction doesn’t look like what I have always envisioned, but it is rooted in pain nonetheless. I have no clue if what I am saying is normal, but it has unfortunately become a part of my new normal. Maybe this is my way of admitting that I am not as strong as I pretend to be. So I guess I am opening up the discussion. What does grief look like to you? Do you relate to this at all or do I just need to go ahead and admit myself to the mental ward? Hopefully not, but then again, that would probably solve this problem. I am fairly certain I wouldn’t be allowed to go shopping anymore if I am in a straight jacket.