Retail Therapy

I am a big believer in therapy. All kinds of therapy especially talk.I believe therapy has saved my life, twice. There are a thousand different reasons for why and how people seek relief from anxiety, despair, anger and helplessness. Therapy can be a cure. It can be an education. Effective therapy teaches self-awareness and coping skills. One of my favorite kinds of therapy is retail. Not to be confused with shopaholicism retail therapy should not make you broke, cause guilt or anxiety. It shouldn’t cause problems in your relationships and it should be balanced by generosity and charity. 

Retail therapy is not just a matter of handing over your DEBIT card (not your credit card unless you are one of those rare people who has the discipline and means to pay it off every month). If you are the type of person who engages in this kind of therapy you are someone who enjoys the entire experience of shopping. Shopping is fun. My personal purchase preferences are clothes, shoes, and accessories.  I like walking down the high street, or finding the off the beaten path gem selling unique goods and more recently browsing online. It’s the thrill of the hunt. When I shop I usually know what I’m looking for. Recently I realized (decided) that my wardrobe would not be complete until it included a pair of black suede leggings. For me the hunt starts online. My first virtual stop is where I enter “Black suede leggings” into the search bar and voila! Therapy on… Sometimes my search lasts weeks and takes me around the world. Sometimes I hit it on the first shot other times I stalk an item for months.

When I finally find just the right thing at just the right price I keep it in my shopping bag overnight to “sleep on it”. Waking up with the anticipation of this perfect purchase causes my heart to beat a little faster and puts a spring in my step on the way to the shower. Hitting “Purchase Now” is a thrill. I swear I hear a whoosh as my order goes through. The exquisite wait begins. Everyday I get to wake up thinking “Is today the day?”. Having something no matter how small to look forward to is one of my favorite feelings. Then one day you come home to a package, a present that you’ve chosen and sent to yourself (which in my experience is much better than a present someone else has chosen). Delayed gratification is not my strong suit. I get so excited I try ripping the packing tape apart with my nails and sometimes my teeth. I get nervous. Will it fit? Will it actually be what it looked like in the photos? Will it “go” with the outfit I have planned for it? I strip right there in the kitchen and with a silent “please, please, please” I try it on. Bliss if it fits! Now I get excited about when I’ll get to wear it. It’s not unheard of for me to create the occasion by calling up my clan. They are the women who appreciate and understand my desire to show off my newest coping skill.

Article by Anna Quick-Palmer