In the interest of self-preservation and in defense of my seemingly horrid habit, I'm going to say this: there are far worse problems I could have than my shoe obsession. 

Great, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the problem. No, let's talk about the solution to the problem. We're about to get personal here, so buckle up.


Anxiety is that b*tch you didn't invite to the party

but she showed up anyway. 

My anxiety is something that I was born with. I was always socially anxious as a kid and painfully shy as a result, but my true anxiety disorder didn't manifest until I was in my teens. I was in my sophomore history class the first time that I felt the crippling tightness wrap about my rib cage, which was immediately followed by palpitations that made me think my heart was going to beat its way out of my chest. Before I was able to recognize this sensation as a panic attack, I was convinced that there was something wrong with my heart (which obviously only exacerbated my anxiety). As a 16 year old who knew nothing of coping mechanisms, I turned to my first true loves: books & shoes. 

As a newly licensed driver (who was terrified of driving a car) the only places I would willingly go were Barnes & Noble and DSW. 

I remember feeling the flutter in my chest settle as I walked up and down the aisles of the shoe store--a feeling I still pursue during bouts of anxiety. Maybe it was a sensory thing. Maybe I found some relief from the different materials and shapes and colors. I felt like Cinderella in a way. If the shoe fit, my day would go from bad to better, proving the old adage that shoes really can change your life. 

Okay, maybe I'm speaking in hyperbole, but the moral of the story, at least for me, is this: order the shoes. Why? Because I can. Because ordering a new pair of shoes gives me something to look forward to. Does it completely eliminate the stress in my life? No. But it most definitely helps to qualm the storm of anxiety that pulses through my veins day after day. No matter how you try, you can't always therapy, or meditate, or even medicate your anxiety away. Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands and prescribe yourself something that truly makes you happy. For me, that's shoes. 


© 2019 by KAITLYN | GATTO

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