Retail Therapy = My Therapy

When we talk about retail therapy, we often associate it with the help we need to assist us with getting over a dramatic short term event in our lives. A bad break up. PMT. But I never thought it would play a major part in helping me through my cancer treatment.

Shopping has always been a fun thing for me, hell I even list it as one of my hobbies on my CV!

Shopping for a bargain, shopping for work wear, shopping for parties, the list of reasons to go out and get my 'clothes fix' is endless, so why on earth would I stop what I enjoyed because of cancer?

If we rewind the story like we're in a therapy session and try to dissect and get too the root of why I enjoy 'blowing my money' on clothes, we'd probably be able to get dissertation material or even a book out of it, so I won't go into it now but I will however confirm that shopping has always been there for me, like no other, it has.

Throughout treatment I've been at home recovering the majority of the time, and whilst everyone is out at work, I'm home working on charity ideas, blogs, connecting with other fighters or resting, but when I need to get out the house or call upon someone for a meet up, no-one is about....except for my old friend

If I was feeling less nauseated or I had a sudden burst of energy shortly after a chemo day, I'd pop my wig on and head down to the local shops, even if its just to 3 or 4 stores.
There is always something you need when going through chemo, a new cream, or new jeans....what....? Steroids have made me rounder! I can and could always count on the shops welcoming me into their brightly lit arms with all their pretty dresses nicely displayed on the mannequins.

For a moment I imagine myself in that outfit during a nice holiday, with the sun shining on my face, fresh air being breathed in. It made me escape. It made me pause. It made me think about the future. Imagining my future without even thinking about cancer, and I suppose that's what I enjoy. I don't think about my illness when shopping. That's what gives me my therapy.....I imagine myself still being here, still being able to wear that pretty dress in a few months time for someones BBQ or a birthday party.
I'm immortal.
I'm not ill.
I'm not aching.
I'm not having to go to A&E.

Shopping = Immortality?

Before cancer, I never knew what the term 'You only live once' really meant. I mean really.
I always imagine having lots of pretty things, but most of the time won't buy it because A) I don't have the money B) its a waste of money.
But why do we work? live! To enjoy the benefits of a hard days work, not to tuck it away for a rainy day.
How do you know your even going to be around to see that rainy day? You don't.

I'm not working at the moment so I haven't got the most money in my back pocket, but money management I'm good with so if I want to go and get a coat, I will....eventually.

I recently told my friends and family that when I get to the point where I'm getting better and things are looking good with my treatment, I'm going to treat myself to a fab Louis Vuitton Bag! I still have the fears of 'oh its too much money I could use it for something else'. Even with my life being in limbo I'm still worrying about 'wasting money' when I shouldn't.... that's why Ive made it a public announcement and I'm definitely rewarding myself regardless of outcome. Why? Because not only did I work very hard for my money I tucked away for that 'rainy day', but I have been living in constant fear for months. It may not always be apparent, even to myself, but that's what cancer does, it instills a fear in you that you can't quite explain, so what better way to shift that fear then engaging in the things I enjoy. That's how I'm beating it, by making myself happy, by distracting my mind and fooling it on a daily basis to avoid any fear etching its way back in.

Retail therapy is my therapy....oh and Harry Potter, but I'll leave that for a future blog :)



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