No one's life is perfect. Each of us has those flaws, those chinks in our emotional armor, weaknesses, tendencies both positive and negative. The key to making the most of our lives is to have self awareness, to understand what makes us tick, where our buttons are located and what happens when they are pushed. In clinical terms "Chasing the Dragon" refers to going after the feeling again of the first high one feels after taking a mood altering drug for the first time. That first high feels so phenomenal but it can never be achieved again. It's a one time thing. Other hits of the "drug of choice" can be up there but will never reach the same heights as the first. It takes more and more of the drug to just get close again and if done long enough and the addiction process sets in, it takes more hits more frequently to just get back to a level of feeling somewhat normal. The drug of choice is needed just to not hurt. Getting high isn't to feel high but to feel a warped normal again.
When I first got serious in traditional wet shaving I experienced many of the "Acquisition Disorders" such as Razors (RAD), Soaps and Creams (SAD, CAD, SCAD), Razor Blades (BAD), After Shaves and Colognes (ASAD), etc. I bought a lot of stuff. At first I didn't have a lot of stuff so I didn't feel so uncomfortable about it, but once my shave den started filling up and I had enough shaving soap and blades to last for decades, eventually the urge to "buy" tapered off. Months even a year or so passed without purchasing a single shaving related item.
In life "shit happens" and the past couple of years I've earned my PhD a couple of times over (Piled Higher and Deeper - PhD). In fact, I stepped back from being so active in the Traditional Wet Shaving community as I had before. It just wasn't giving me the pleasure I had gotten before from not only my shaves but doing videos, trying new things, experimenting, testing, examining, or teaching. Over the past few months I stepped back into things again. I again started getting higher levels of pleasure from doing videos, answering comments, trying new razors and products, etc. On an emotional level I was progressing with the healing that writing my book about past trauma in my life had started over a year ago. I was searching for a new "normal" again.
Having posted well over 100 YouTube shaving related videos in the past 2-3 years there wasn't much that I hadn't already showed or talked about...at least not without repeating stuff. In fact I don't really remember many of the details of my past videos. When someone makes a comment on an older one I have to rewatch it to know what I said or what I'd done....then. Because my wet shaving journey constantly evolves, just like yours does, what I said in the past may have changed subsequently...maybe not a lot, unusually not dramatically, but a little.
Long story short, I started buying stuff again. This time primarily razors. There there ones I had passed on back in the day. I had pre-conceived thoughts and feelings about certain razors, prejudices so to speak that I began to examine and challenge. That brought the discovery of the 1940-50 era razors like the SuperSpeeds and Aristocrats. As a result I had experienced a new "dragon shaving experience." I started chasing the dragon once again. I actually thought I was immune from the dragon's fiery breath. I wasn't immune.
Chasing the dragon of an Acquisition Disorder isn't necessarily a bad thing, It's just something you must think about and experience with open eyes. You must recognize when to put on the brakes and slow down. I bought the Parker 82R and the Merkur 38C, and the 1948-50 Aristocrat and it was the best so far. That lead to buying quickly the 1946-47 Aristocrat. This razor was the very best...the highest high in shaving comfort, smoothness, efficiency, results...effortless BBS. But it wasn't enough. I had to then try the British version, so I got the Number 58 set Aristocrat. Again, very very good but it wasn't the same high I had gotten from the last one. My eye and internet typing fingers started searching for other Aristocrat versions and SuperSpeeds (of which I bought a few). Some other razors came into view during my internet razor buying "rituals" not unlike an IV drug user when they do the things in preparation to shooting up. Chasing the dragon.
As I searched eBay and the other locations where razors can be located, the usual shaving product online stores and the like. I filled check out baskets many times but stopped myself frequently. I didn't need all that stuff. On a certain level I wanted it all and then some. I felt a certain level of pleasure in the "shopping journey," but as I also sorted through the other things going on in my life I realized the activity of "the hunt" was merely a distraction, a diversion from the other problems and issues occurring in my life. As I processed through the other issues, emotional and coping issues, taking place in me on a deeper level I realized the truth...I was chasing the dragon...escaping the harshness of reality...trying to feel "normal" in an "un-normal" and uncomfortable environment.
So, will I never buy anything again? No, I will still purchase shaving products occasionally. I may even purchases stuff just in order to try them in a video and blog review, but I will be cognizant of why I'm buying it. I will understand rationally why I pull the trigger instead of just rolling on in an automatic buying spree...chasing the dragon. We can get caught on the merry-go-round doing things without understanding why we are doing it. Acquisition Disorders can be like that if we don't pause to examine what's happening. For the hobbyist razor collector the acquiring of a different razor can have a totally reasonableness to the purchase...it fills a hole in your collection or is a better specimen than the one already there. But even then the acquiring needs to be reasonable and balanced with need, available resources, desires, wishes, and all the factors going on when the "hunt is on."
There's another razor I have been "chasing" of late. You'll find out about it soon enough. With that razor I've had to apply the brakes and in fact was the real reason this subject actually came to the front of my mind. I had to apply the brakes because there are so many of these razors out there and available with so many options calling to me to pull the trigger. Everything in moderation as the saying goes. Chasing the dragon of an acquisition disorder can so easily speed beyond the moderation boundaries.
So if you find yourself pushing the "buy" button and pulling the trigger more than just occasionally; if you find yourself surfing the web for new "acquisitions" more and more frequently, then it's time to dig a bit and understand why. There is a reason. That reason could be reasonable and rational and healthy. But also the reason could be out of control, irrational, and unreasonable and emotionally and financially unhealthy. Only you can define which category you find yourself and the only way you can know is to be self-aware enough to understand the "why" and "how" of your actions...only you can determine the good or bad of it.
Good Shaves, Be Happy, Be Safe