I am feeling quite frustrated and ashamed this morning.
There is a symptom of bipolar (the manic side), that can cause reckless spending. In the days when my illness was out of control, my shopping was as well. I would go through money like there was an unlimited supply. If I had it, I spent it. If I could pick one part of bipolar I hated the most it would be this.
Lately I have worked hard against stupid spending. I let my hubby look after all our finances, I try to budget well when buying food and household items and I have given up my credit cards to him. I have not, however, given up my Paypal account which is such a simple “one password and you are done” payment method! And it has gotten me into trouble before.
I do my best to resist the urge – filling virtual shopping carts with clothes, craft items, etc., and then getting the courage up to just empty them and go onto something else.
Last night my hubby bought me a beautiful dress. It is a little bit fancy and I felt beautiful when I tried it on. I have been looking at some dresses for summer – everyday wear. Last night after he went to bed, I looked at them again and ended up purchasing 4 of them. Yes, four. I do need summer clothes and dresses are the most comfortable in warmer weather with my pain and swelling issues. But I didn’t consult him as I have been doing before spending. My mind was saying I should surprise him.
That is one of the tricky things about mental illness. Your mind can play tricks on itself. You know deep down in your heart something is wrong, but you just can’t (or part of you doesn’t want) to stop it. That was the case with the dresses.
I was anxious in the night, thinking about how guilty I felt. The dresses themselves weren’t that expensive; however, taxes, shipping, duty and a low Canadian dollar almost doubled the price and I didn’t realize this until I had pushed the magic Paypal button. Maybe part of me did, but not the strong part at the time. My reasoning was I wanted to surprise my hubby and look good for him all the time, not just on special occasions.
He woke up and asked if I was okay. I told him what I had done and, wonderful man that he is, he forgave me. I felt like he shouldn’t, I had messed up. But he asked to see what I had bought and said he liked them. I know he will help me find a way to pay for them without messing up the budget too much and I will look pretty and feel good this summer.
And I have learned a good lesson. Never underestimate the power of a mental illness. I have it under control most of the time. However, I have been in a lot of pain, sick with colds and the flu, and wanting to please my man.
If I didn’t have a tendency to go overboard with spending I might just say this was a normal woman making a logical purchase. But I do have to keep on top of things like this. The less I sweep my illness under the rug, the more “normal” I feel. That may be a hard concept to grasp and a good topic for another post!