When You're 'Convinced' Shopping Will Make Your Depression Better
This piece was written by Kendra Syrdal, a Thought Catalog contributor.
A more astute individual would say that I feel like I’m able to buy happiness. That by filling my Target basket with candles and whimsical phone cases and various bags of candy, I’m hoping to get yanked out of feeling completely apathetic the second I enter my pin. That I’m confusing one destructive behavior (self-loathing, fear of rejection, being numb, wanting to just sit and sulk) with another (spend, spend, spend). That instead of treating myself, I’m “treating myself” with the wrong agenda.
But today I’m not that astute individual. Today, I’m not making those acknowledgments.
So there I am, wandering through the aisles of Sephora while Robyn blasts above me.
Just me and my depression, out looking for some lipstick to make us feel better while “Call Your Girlfriend” plays on.
Maybe a Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in “Pretty Beige” will make me excited about getting out of bed in the morning. That version of me will wash my hair more than once a week and enjoy working out and not do so consistently under protest. She thinks first dates are fun and exciting and genuinely gets excited for other people’s accomplishments.
Maybe “Pretty Beige me” didn’t binge eat two snack bags of chili cheese Fritos because she was just so bored and sad and couldn’t form a coherent thought so she decided stuffing her face was best.
Or maybe skincare. Yes. That’s the ticket. It’s impossible to be depressed when you’re in possession of the GlamGlow mask that every beauty blogger instagrams with the captions #selfcare and #selflove. This peel off, absurdly blue mask will not only revolutionize my pores, but my brain.
The “me” that snapchats herself in an expensive face mask (but worth it because #selfcare #selflove) has no reason to be sad so she won’t be. She knows better. She knows that as long as you treat yourself and love yourself you’ll never wake up with the impulse to quit your job and move into your parents’ basement. It’s choosing to be happy! It’s as simple as that!
If my mask and my lipstick won’t cure it, highlighters are always there. Even if I feel like a garbage pail on the inside and like everything is too much, I can always put so much shimmer on my face you’ll instinctively say, “She just lights up every room.” Just a little bit of “Ambient Light” on my cheekbones and under my brow bones and no one will suspect I haven’t slept soundly in five days.
There’s no way a me with highlighter, clear pores and a flawless pout thinks about dying even on Friday afternoons when the sun’s out.
“That’ll be $124.72. Are you a VIB member with us?” the cashier says.
Sure am. And wow, would you look at that.
All that time, all that perusing, all those products, all that Robyn — and I’m still me. I’m not someone else.
And I still don’t feel better.
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Getty Images photo via Minerva Studio