I know I’m naughty to continually want to shop. I am at my happiest when shopping, even if it’s for mundane groceries – any excuse to get myself off to the shops. I can’t wait for it to be someone’s birthday, anniversary or Christmas so that I can ‘shop ’til I drop’ and burn off calories in the process. On top of that the internet has made it possible for me to shop 24×7, 365 days a year, even from the comfort of my sofa.
I even bought a house so that I could return the largest room back into a shop, so that I can shop for stock! I was in paradise shopping for stock that I hoped customers would want to buy at a marginal profit, to earn a small living. I think the economy improved from 2013 until December 2017 with all the shopping I efficiently performed.
I started to get concerned that my spending on stock was equaling (if not exceeding) my income from sales, and eventually I slowly but surely came to the realization that my ‘little shop’ was costing me money and heartache – the heartache is a whole other story that I’ll write about another time.
So as the holiday period for Christmas 2017 arrived I took the decision to close the shop and not reopen it in January 2018. The fall out from this decision has meant that I’ve desperately needed to go on an economy drive and it was suggested to me that I keep a spreadsheet of ALL my spending, oh boy that was a nasty shock.
Because of my economy-drive and the accountability of even £1 spent, I’ve really appreciated how reckless my spending has been for many many years. The end result is:
- My shop is full to over-flowing with stock, that currently has no access to customers purchasing any of it – so bang goes birthday or Christmas present shopping for many years to come, as I’ll have to use up my stock and hope the relatives and friends don’t notice.
- There is too much stock in the shop to revert the space back to a living room (as it was when I bought the property) and the rafters would struggle under the weight if it was all put into the attic, plus that space is full to capacity with previous years spending.
- My personal cupboards, drawers, wardrobes, ottomans, and shelves are full to breaking point with all my “treasures” and supplies of every conceivable consumable from hand wash to stationery – a woman can’t run out of toiletries and post-it notes or envelopes, but I could supply the whole village in the likelihood of an alien invasion.
Over the last six weeks I’ve come to realize that I do have a shopping problem – to say I love “retail therapy” or that I’m a “shopoholic” is not a funny throw-away comment anymore. It can’t be right that I look forward to running low on butter or toilet rolls so that I can have an excuse to go to the supermarket, but as you no doubt experience yourself, hardly anyone, especially a shopoholic like myself, can walk into a supermarket and not be tempted to buy more than you went for.
I thought I’d read a great deal about OCD, but clearly not because yesterday I was surprised about how big a problem shopping can be for sufferers – the condition is named monomania or Compulsive Buying Disorder.
It must be incredibly painful for people with OCD that absolutely dread having to go shopping, perhaps because too many people are in an aisle and can be off-putting that they’ll brush against them, or the process of even getting to the shops is too traumatic. I read that the packaging being perfect is a worry, that there can be no sign of tampering and that the item being bought needs to “feel right”, both at the shelf and then again at the conveyor belt/till.
On the OCD Action forum (see link above) I read how one lady was checking packets of toilet rolls for split/damaged packaging and was then horrified to see a colleague watching her. She covered her embarrassment by saying she had seen a competition on the wrapping last time she bought the rolls, and was looking for it on the packaging again! Us people with OCD need to be so creative with our excuses to hide our true behaviours, and it is sad in my opinion.
I do suffer with the above problems – always vigilant about the distance kept from strangers (if they touch me accidentally they don’t realise my outer garment will need washing), never touching the shelving or conveyor belts and never touching the handle on the trolley (I use the metal frame). I always take items from the middle to ensure that the least fingers have touched the item and that the potential for it to have been picked up off the floor after dropping off the shelf is minimised.
All of that said though, the pleasure of shopping for me outweighs the OCD inconveniences.
If you would like to read more information about this subject, the link below is very useful.