Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you things which might make you happy

I was feeling pretty sad yesterday so I spent €90 on clothes and to be honest, it did help my mood a bit.
See, I was feeling frumpy and full of self-loathing and body hate. I’ve been struggling to come to terms with how easy it is for me to put on weight lately. Yesterday that resulted in spending money on clothes online to make myself feel better.
Capitalism rocks.

And you know what? It worked.

My ‘go to’ when I'm sad is to spend money on THINGS. I don't want experiences; experiences usually involve socialising and when I’m sad that’s the last thing I want to do (yes, I know it’s often the best thing for you but shush.) Instead, I want something to hold in my hand. Heck, if it’s delayed for a few days awaiting delivery I’ll take it. That’s me gaining a few more days where I know something good is going to happen.
It’s best if I can buy these things in person because the instant gratification is sweet. I pay for it, it becomes mine, I feel happy.

Usually, it's a toy like a Pop Funko to add to my collection. Or a book, because God knows you can never have too many books. Or maybe some clothes so I feel better about myself and can at least dress like someone who has confidence.

Last year I had a strong and steady addiction to subscription boxes. It didn't matter what was in the box - make-up courtesy or Glossybox, books from Owlcrate or Fairyloot, nerdy collectibles from Loot Crate - I'd buy myself one as a treat after a tough month. Because I deserved it. But boy are they expensive.

While buying things isn't always sure sign my mood will improve, I swear it does help.

If all else fails, I look up free printables on Pinterest and print THINGS. Paper things are also good things. They make me smile. I add them to my wall and can get enjoyment from them for months.

Also good is when my boyfriend buys me things. He knows this and he uses it well. Like when he collects me from work he always has chocolate in his pocket to make me smile. THIS SHIT WORKS. I forget about my complaints, about why work sucked and why I’m feeling down for a moment and it feels good. Or if I’m down for longer period of time he’ll take me to a bookstore and let me pick out a book.

PS, I swear I’m not trying to use this depression thing to my advantage. I am ACTUALLY down. And yes, I know this is how toddler tantrums work.
But I also know that we are going to be so broke in a few years’ time if this keeps up.
I suppose I’ve been lucky lately that my depression hasn’t persisted. I’ll get one, two, maybe three down days in a row and usually it passes. I become hyper, happy Zoe again. A free printable suffices on these occasions.

Sometimes it persists a bit longer. I have ‘bad’ weeks. These weeks feel like I’m teetering on the brink. One more thing and I fear I’ll be sent over the edge and into a breakdown. Like my past experiences of mental illness and severe depression are hanging over me.

I take any relief I can get. Anything to veer me away for the edge. I spend money so that I can feel good for at least a moment.

And therein lies the problem. Because while it feels good in the moment, it doesn't last and after a while I'm sad and dejected again, with the addition of also feeling crap for having spent money on something I don't technically need.

There are better, more healthy ways to help manage my sadness, I know this. But knowing something isn't right doesn't mean I can stop doing it. I'd rather do something immediate to help improve my mood. And when you have a mental illness, you crave an immediate fix.

I know money can't buy you happiness. But it does buy me things which make me happy, at least for a little while.

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