I guess it’s a good thing that I have a therapist again because I’ve realized that I do have a problem I can’t solve on my own. In short, I can’t stop spending money on things I don’t need.
Admittedly, I have a lot more self-control now than I did when I was at the peak of my Abilify days. I only bought two things from Amazon Prime days, and the total was $30. (One was a Buddhist tapestry for my office and the other was an odor remover for pet stains.)
I really wanted to buy a new Amazon Kindle while they were 50% off, in part because it’s hard to read e-books on my phone and in part because I’m a sucker for the pretty plum color they have now. But I put it in my cart and intentionally didn’t end up buying it before the sale was over. (And for whatever it’s worth, I’m still wishing I had bought it today.)
I do have a ton of e-books I want to read but they’re all on my phone, which is very inconvenient. But as my husband pointed out, I have a sizable backlog of physical books to read, too.
I do a regular tour of the same shopping websites several times a week and usually don’t order anything. But I need to figure out why I still look at all, so that I can stop doing it. I told J last night that I’m like an alcoholic who allows herself one or two drinks a week but still spends every day looking up drink recipes.
Obviously, I’ve cut down significantly on what I actually buy compared to what I was doing before, but it’s still a problem. I have to find out what’s making me continue to look there when I know that I don’t need anything, and pull the whole damn thing out by the roots. That’s what I need a therapist’s help with figuring out how to do.
Ironically, the same reason J gives me for why I need to get this under control is part of why I’m doing it, though. He says that I won’t be able to spend like this when he’s gone and I already know that. A big part of me feels like I’d better do it while I still can, because I’m going to be so poor in the future that I’ll never be able to get this stuff again.
Of course, the real issue is that I really shouldn’t be getting it now, either. I should be saving all my money for the future in hopes that maybe I won’t be so poor when he’s gone.
To be fair, we’ve gotten a lot of nice things already. We have two new-ish reliable cars, a great house to live in, and got new mattresses for everyone. I got a beautiful diamond anniversary ring. And we ordered a really nice new sofa, thanks to the generosity of my mother-in-law. I shouldn’t continually need new purses and blankets and shoes, too.
In truth, I know I’m just spoiled and I don’t know where the limit is of what I want. I’m scared that maybe there isn’t one, which is surprising because I’ve always thought of myself as anti-consumerist and minimalist. I think that self-perception wasn’t very accurate. I went from being fairly satisfied with spending $25 a week to spending at least $100 per week, which obviously isn’t sustainable.
I think I’m spending to make up for all the things I never got while growing up, which is dumb because I can’t fix the past.
But that brings up a whole lot of big things in their own right, though. Like that maybe I should have resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t ever be able to shop for nice things, at least not on a regular basis. The way I grew up was the way I can still afford to live, period. I’m not rich now and never was.
Yes, we can technically afford them now, but shouldn’t be spending our money on them. I was supposed to go from too poor to shop before he got this job to living as though I’m still poor, because now he has cancer and I have to prepare myself for life without him.
And I know it makes me sound like a big whiny brat but none of this seems fair. I’m most likely going to spend the rest of my life celibate and alone, which I never expected to happen. I’m also going to have to live like I’m poor when I’m not for now, so that my future without him won’t be impoverished as well as celibate and alone.
Whether or not this feels “fair” doesn’t matter. I have to find a way to get it under control anyway. The whole issue makes me feel ashamed because I can’t stop screwing up.