Yes yes I know, the title of my post was a movie but it also applies to me and many many others. It took me a long time to admit I am a shopaholic and even longer for me to admit why. When I finally did, I seriously looked for help for this problem which is now included in the psychological bible that therapists use so yes, being a shopaholic is a real physical addiction. In fact, its been scientifically proven that the brain chemicals in a shopaholic are affected just like they are for a drug addict, or a gambling addict etc. Back to my search for help.
It’s amazing to me, especially in the society we live in with as many shopaholics that there really are, there is not any “real” help for this disorder. I looked and looked and came up empty handed accept for joining something called Debtors Anonymous but that group is just way way to judgmental for me. The last thing anyone with an addiction needs is harsh judgment. Finally defeated in looking for help I knew I had no other choice but to help myself and let me tell you, it’s a work in progress and NOT an easy one..
My biggest addictions are, Jewelry (14K gold), Make Up, Handbags and shoes. Over the last 3 years I have managed to create a financial disaster for my husband and myself. Granted, I had a little help because my husband likes to shop too. My mom always said “You two are dangerous in a store together” and she couldn’t have been more right but, I have to take responsibility for my own actions and, those actions are the ones that really put us so far behind the 8 ball financially that I can’t even see the pool table. Now for someone who is working a full time job it may not be so bad but for people who live on a fixed income this eventually surmounts to financial ruin.
In the last few months I finally decided to make it an everyday fight not to shop.. To learn how to be satisfied with what I already have. Constantly asking myself when is enough, .. enough? The truth is, it’s HARD.. and I DO fight almost daily not to make a purchase. Not to go online and buy buy buy. We don’t have any extra money to buy anything but I have been known to put us in financial straights for the month just to make that purchase. Many times I have scoured internet shopping sites for a few hours filling my shopping cart up and then just closing out of the page because common sense would finally set in reminding me I can’t afford it and I need the money we have left for our priorities, like food, gas, vet care if needed, medication for Lou or I. I never learned how to be responsible with my money so here I am at 40 years old trying to learn a VERY hard lesson. I must also admit there are times when I do fail. I will make a purchase. There are times I have made several purchases only to feel buyers remorse when I received them and returned the items but, it still cost me in return shipping. Talk about wasted money huh?
Well, my plan of attack is since I can’t find any help out there or support groups for my addiction everyday I am trying to pound into my head that for the little of the items I have left now that I love, I need to be satisfied with that because there are people who don’t have nearly what I do and I am lucky to have the small amount I have. I also have decided to clean all the “stuff” out of my house and I don’t care how long it takes. My new motto is, “If I don’t use it, If it doesn’t work, if it’s just taking space, if I can’t sell it , if I can’t donate it, in the garbage it goes”..
I started purging my home last week with the help of my husband Lou, of course due to my illness it will be a slow process because I tire easily but thats when I need to really fight. When I am not feeling well I have lots of time to sit and be on the computer and thats when I get in trouble. These are the times I call my “triggers” just like in anything else. Every addiction has it’s triggers and boredum for me is a huge one.
I know none of this is going to be easy. I fight every day but I am trying.. Follow along and see how things progress or not.