For the last few months, I’ve been depressed, so much so that I haven’t been able to thrift shop. Thrift shopping is my cure-all. This particular kind of retail therapy usually takes away my mental — and sometimes physical — pain. But my presence hasn’t graced the local thrift stops because I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping and staying in the house. When extremely depressed, it’s difficult to get myself together to go out.
My mood has picked up. I’m thrift shopping again.
The thrift store is a huge place that sells everything under the sun. One never knows what one will find there. This is part of its anti-depressant quality. For me, walking into the thrift store is like taking an anti-depressant pill.
Today I found eight, brand new, hand-painted coasters that were crafted in Norway, for four bucks. I also bought a $32.00 pillow sham still in the package, for 75 cents. With buys like this, the place has to boost your mood.
Another mood booster is that the store is an international hub. It attracts people from all over the world. And they come with their native clothing on, bright and colorful and different. And many of them have unusual make-up and henna on their hands. Strange jewelry. Beautiful, real gold and precious stones. They speak in their native languages. I love the place because it puts me in touch with the whole world without having to leave my little town.
And we’re all competing for the good buys. That’s another mood boosting factor — the thrill of competition for the best stuff.
Most of the shoppers are regular folks, but sometimes, the place is populated with dealers who have extra good eyes and who snatch up the real priceless stuff and sell it in their own stores or on eBay. One woman appears every Sunday, which is Dollar Day, and loads two carts up with dollar clothing. I’m convinced she resells the stuff. I say more power to her.
I don’t resell what I buy there. I purchase only what my own family can use. I feel less greedy this way, but many people do make their living reselling thrift store items.
And the colors of the thrift store are beautiful. In the blouse section, there’s no rhyme or reason to the organization. Purple polka dots are next to yellow stripes. Black is next to rainbow. It’s a fantastic mishmash.
Paging through sweater after sweater is hypnotic. This activity puts me in a meditative mood.
I love the thrift store.
Another reason is because my son likes to go there. This place was really his first favorite place to shop. This is because of the very inexpensive plush toys that he can pick up for nothing. When you’re a shopper, and your child isn’t, it’s good to have at least one place he enjoys going.
Most children enjoy the thrift shop. They play with the cheap toys and the naked dolls. A kid can buy a bag of four or five Barbies for a few bucks. The kids might not speak the same languages, but playing with trucks is an international pastime that requires no speech.
Everyone is welcome in the thrift store.
But it does have its drawbacks. On very crowded days, there are no carts and I’ve got to carry loads of merchandise in my arms. And the clerks sometimes don’t understand my son who is on the spectrum, and they ask what’s wrong with him when he’s scripting to himself or won’t say hello.
But for the most part, it’s a win/win.
So for me, there’s psychotherapy; there’s medication, and there’s thrift shopping. These are my remedies for depression, especially in combination.
We all have our own cocktail of activities that gets us through the day.
Read more: psychcentral.com