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If The Shoe Fits, Then Buy Another One

I love to shop for shoes. There I said it, not like most of my friends, relatives, or anybody who has seen my feet in the last 24 hours didn' t know that.  It's probably one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. I own...well lets just say a lot of them. I shop for them all the time, but no much more so then when I am lonely, then when I am bored, or when I am completely pissed off at somebody. I would say that most of my shoes are what I have coined "retail therapy", and chances are if you...

I love to shop for shoes. There I said it, not like most of my friends, relatives, or anybody who has seen my feet in the last 24 hours didn’ t know that.  It’s probably one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. I own…well lets just say a lot of them. I shop for them all the time, but no much more so then when I am lonely, then when I am bored, or when I am completely pissed off at somebody. I would say that most of my shoes are what I have coined “retail therapy”, and chances are if you see me walk in with a brand new pair, I have just gotten over some sort of argument, frustration,or funk in the middle of Nordstrom.

I began doing this awhile ago, primarily because I had not much else. I had exhausted every single vice known to man. I had no more dieting, exercise, prescription pills, binging, purging or temper tantrums left. I had walked and journaled, and bubble-bathed myself to death, and if I looked at one more self help book I was going to throw myself off a tall bridge. I didn’t have anywhere else to run except to the mall, and while I was running there I made sure my feet looked good.

It’s not that I hadn’t always loved shoes. It is actually rumored that I was born in a pair of stilettos, but being that for 17 years I lived with my head down the toilet, I guess I didn’t have too much time to pay attention to what was on my feet. Shoes were only something I put on my feet to get me to the gym faster, or to go buy binge food, or to throw at somebody’s head when I was mad. I had replaced the boxes of shoes in my closet, with boxes of Twinkies, and Jimmy Choo and Steve Madden had sadly been replaced with Ben and Jerry.

I spent 700 dollars a week on food, which didn’t leave a lot or room for Foot Candy. So it was when I was full into my recovery that I began to get in touch with my inner shoe diva, and well…the rest is history.

Now at first I really thought I had found the answer, I mean compared to my past behavior, this was a blessing. I mean nobody had better say anything to me about it, because first of all I wasn’t being active at all in my Eating Disorder and I looked Fabulous not doing so…so if you didn’t like my shoes you could “step the hell off” – no pun intended. I was finally Carrie Bradshaw, and I was happy! I mean whoever said shopping for a pair of new shoes didn’t change your life could kindly refer to a fairy Princess I like to call Cinderella. She got her shoes and her prince…’nuff said.

Well that might be the end of this fairytale, if indeed I did have one pair of magic shoes, but being that I have more shoes then I do facebook friends, probably might suggest that buying one pair doesn’t do the trick. In fact whenever a problem comes up for me, it’s not like I go back to the same pair of magic shoes, but rather do not get any satisfaction unless I am slapping down my credit card for one brand new “snap cracklin’ pop” pair of newsies!!

Every time anything stressful comes up in my life, I resort to shopping  for shoes, and being that something stressful is always popping up…well you do the math. Actually if you saw my closet right now, you probably couldn’t do all that math and even if you could, you wouldn’t want to. I also realized other things in my life I have been sacrificing because of my little shoe addiction. My car needs new brakes, I need a new phone, I shop at a place called “Food for less” putting up with bagging my own groceries,  long lines, and screaming children, just so I can buy a little thing called “shoes for more.”

Realistically it is just not as fun to go to Pep Boys Automart every time I get in an argument with my boss or running to the AT&T  store for a new phone plan when I am having a bad day. It’ just doesn’t do it for me, but at the same time am I doing the same thing I was doing in my Eating Disorder?…running away from my problems instead of sometimes just sitting with them. Am I acting like the responsible adult 37 year old woman I should be by taking care of the safety of my car, or childishly resorting to some fantasy world where money is free and shoes grow on trees.

Harsh…well this is the way I have to be with myself sometimes. I don’t really have anybody else doing it for me these days, and if the shoe was on the other foot(again no pun intended) then I would probably tell somebody else they needed to get a grip on reality. The truth is hard to hear sometimes, but it is even harder to take. I guess I got it given to me recently the hard way, when I moved out of my apartment. I knew I had acquired a lot of “Retail therapy” over the years, but honestly after boxes and boxes and boxes..and yes boxes of shoes later I realized that I might be a bit out of control. You would think that I would have gotten the picture after I ran out of closet space, but I just kept finding more, and as I was pulling knee high boots out of my refrigerator and platform wedges out of my microwave, I came to the harsh realization that I as a tad bit off balance in this department.

I realized that instead of letting myself process what was really going on in my life, I was just buying shoes, and then justifying it as ok, since I wasn’t active in my Eating Disorder. I most certainly had not crossed addictions though, because shoes were not harmful like drugs, or alcohol, or promiscuous sex (common cross addictions). I mean come one now, shoes were pretty, shoes make people happy, how could something as innocent and magnificent and fabulous as shoes be harmful.

Well if you were to look at what those shoes have come to represent they are. They are nothing more then a band aid saturated in chloroform to numb the pain of whatever is going on inside. Ya..that’s right, my pain isn’t all gone, and it never will be. Buying shoes isn’t going to magically make it or keep it from me feeling it either. I wish I could say it could, that instead of going to therapy you should just go to the mall, or that instead of dealing with things face to face that you just go put on a new pair of Alexander McQueens. Ohhhh Rachel Zoe would be so proud of me, but I think even she knows that stuffing all your troubles into a sole is not the answer.

I haven’t given up my love for shoes, but I have learned to realize in a moment of stress that the first thing I want to do is go buy them. I have realized that this doesn’t make the problem go away either. I guess admitting you have a problem is the first step and not doing so in a brand new pair of heels hurts sometimes, but it’s Reality. I have had to do a lot of self inventory lately, and like I said in the process of moving realized I had more then enough shoes to outfit a small village or should I say Country.

I recently have sought out my old therapist, not because I am suffering with my Eating Disorder, but rather in dealing with the feelings that caused me to have one. The same feelings that are propelling me towards other impulsive behaviors like shopping. It’s hard sometimes, but I realize that part of being a big girl is acting like one. I still love shoes, I always will, and there are plenty of them out there. I just need to learn like other things, I I don’t have to have them all at the same time. Instead I am concentrating much more on processing what is “really going on in my life” and leaving he shoes back where they belong…”on the shelf”!