Today, I’m a manic depressive. I wake up at ungodly hours of the night and find myself staring at the ceiling, making a list of all the things I want! Every night, I toss and turn, unable to fall asleep. My temptation subsides only after I ogle at the computer screen, obsessing over the beautiful (beautiful!) things the Internet has to offer. Today, if there is anything that soothes me, it is online retail therapy and nothing else. What happened to me and how did I get here?


I got my first taste of disappointment 3 years ago when I couldn’t find ‘The Sheltering Sky’ by Paul Bowles after relentlessly strutting around the bookstores of Kathmandu. After having read many appreciative comments about the book on the Internet, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. But to my displeasure, I couldn’t find it anywhere. What was the other alternative? Needless to say, I resorted to the Internet – the mighty know it all, have it all, Internet! What started as a visit to Amazon.com to find that book has led me to become an oniomaniac today! From Fmirror to Forever 21, Facebook to Muncha; I have made all of them feel the impact of my addiction, my sinful addiction.


For the longest time, I had limited my online shopping desires to books but that has significantly changed; so much so that now, I wake up dreaming of clothes and accessories! Through online shopping, I find a new focus and I am at my highest spirits. My real life problems get sorted out with a retail therapy every day and I don’t mind at all! My desires have no limits and somewhere along the line, I forgot to draw a line. My parents are tired of this pathological shopping insanity and I am too. The deals are too enticing to pass and every time I unremittingly say “No” to the voice inside my head that screams “Buy!”, the desire to shop creeps back in like a ghost! Online shopping sites claim to love me and flood my email with a hundred and one posts that yells “SALE”. The luring advertisements keep me hooked for hours and then there is no turning back. This tendency to crouch in a couch and book my favorites has taken a toll on my social life.

 

Instead of going out, experimenting clothes in real and making bargains, I have chosen to live in the confined walls of my room. I have started to believe that everything and anything else besides shopping is miniscule and insignificant. I know people berate behind my back now and maybe I have become a cold, numb and materialistic individual who seeks self-fulfillment alone and nothing else, but this mania stems from the consumerist society that is in a mission to trap us. I got trapped. I guess that is the only difference between you and me.


But can you blame me? Can you deny the enticing power of online stores at all? They give me the leverage to buy anything I want without me having to crib about the money! Most of the things I find on the Internet are cheaper than what I find in the shops outside. Moreover, owning things that rarely anyone possesses is a gratifying feeling. The clothes I own today have set me apart from everyone and that makes me glad! No, don’t call me a narcissist. Is it too irrational and immature of me to want to feel unique? The sheer variety of brands and patterns and materials leave me amused and amazed. Sometimes, all of this seems like a pointless pursuit but I can’t help but browse the Internet and gawk at the shoes, and book them only to get a “high” – a feeling that I probably can’t explain in words. This excessive need to gratify myself by shopping has turned me into a person I don’t know at all.


What bothers me, however, is my tendency to recklessly buy things that I already have! I know they say there are just not enough shoes, bags, dresses in a girl’s closet but I know I have enough to last me a lifetime! Just recently, I bought three dresses online, all of which left me disappointed. (Don’t they always?) They were of questionable quality and it got me wondering: Why do I shop online in the first place? Today, I have a closet full of clothes that don’t even fit me. My closet brims with all kinds of items but what joy is any joy if I can’t fit into them? My heart cringes every time this happens and yet I go out of my way and shop away to glory!


Facebook is another huge setback in my life. It fuels my online shopping addiction more so than usual. I “like” pages and then there are advertisements all over my page – none that I have ignored till date! I can’t even bear to put the items in my shopping cart and leave it to that. Knowing that someone else can still purchase the item I have set my eyes upon scares me. No wonder, it’s always either “buy or leave” for me! Facebook, according to me, is the most feasible of all online sites, to be honest! One moment, you’re commenting on your friend’s photos or stalking that old guy from school and the next moment, you’re drawn by the advertisements that FB so proudly fills the newsfeed with. What could possibly be more convenient than that?


Sometimes, the pleasure derived from using a credit card leaves me overwhelmed but other times, it leaves me feeling so bleak inside to realize how money-oriented I’ve become! Today, I don’t write letters back home to my parents and my friends but log in to the fanciest online site and send them goodies for Teej, for their anniversaries, for their birthdays. The drowsy state of my mind does not and cannot carve creativity at all and thus resorts to online sites to make it all “special”. Instead of going that extra mile to explore the “real” world, I have chosen to withdraw myself from that life and take satisfaction in locking myself up in a room. These cravings for materialistic pleasures contradict all the values that I have cherished and held on for so long. Yet, in this consumerist society, there is a constant yearning for the best – the best clothes, the best shoes, the best books, the best phone and I want it all!


Today, I have unworn dresses hanging in my closet, mocking me every day “When are you ever going to wear me?” while I interestingly ignore the snide remark and go back to booking some more. The anticipation of waiting for a package brings me joy like no other. Online shopping has become food for my soul. Without it, my world gets a little awry every day. Without it, I get weaker by the hour. But this dependence on the consumerist society has got to change. For so long, I’ve been successful at being in denial but no more! I am going to go out there and enjoy shopping with people around and no longer in a solitary gloam. I am going to be the person I wouldn’t bear to give up on a few years ago! And these, readers, are my confessions.