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Shopping Fills a Void

Hi everyone.  Like most of us here, I too am a shopaholic.  My therapist calls it a "compulsive shopper".  That is accurate..not only am I a compulsive shopper, I am also a compulsive eater.  So I stuff my hands, and my mouth.  Not so good, is it???

I shop, I think because I am depressed and feel a void that I can't fill.  I am married..but unhappily.  I have 3 beautiful children and most of my shopping is for them.  I want them to have the stuff I didn't have growing up.  Never to run out of nice clothes to wear, have all the coolest toys their friends have.  I wanted a baby girl so badly, so when my 3rd child was a girl, I could not and still can't buy enough clothes, jewelry and hair accessories for her. 

But when I buy, and then I get home, I get so angry with myself.  I feel guilt, anger, frustration and then fear.  Fear of "what if he (my husband) finds out what I've done today?".  I have maxed out all of my credit cards.  I cannot maintain a balance in my bank account.  I frequently overdraw into my savings account. 

WHY?? Why do I continue to do this?  We are in a bad financial situation right now, and I know that.  Yet..I cannot stop myself.  My therapist tells me I need to find another "outlet" for my time. I am a stay home mom, and I really have no true hobbies.  My kids are my life.  She tells me to take up a hobby to fill my time.  I just dont see that being a solution.  To have a hobby, you have to invest in a hobby..which means spending, which means I would just go overboard. 

Honestly..I am starting to really feel like I hate my life.  I dont love my husband, I have no real skills that would help me to get a job...I cant control my spending, I cant control my eating, I am overweight, undereducated (only high school diploma), and have NO self-esteem.  I want to set a better example for my kids, yet I just dont know how to change.  My therapist is trying..but I just dont think things are clicking in my head yet. 

Thanks for letting me vent.

judy3kids judy3kids 41-45, F 19 Responses May 27, 2009

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Hi my name is Ross Schneiderman and I'm a reporter for Newsweek. We're doing a story on people who want to stop spending money, especially in light of the recent recession, but have struggled with it. I'm wondering if you might be willing to chat with me for the story? My email address is rmschneiderman@gmail.com or ross.schneiderman@newsweek.com. My byline is R.M. Schneiderman if you want to google me etc.



thanks,





Ross

All-new Docu-Reality Series Seeking Shopaholics 
 



Do you or someone you know have a shopping addiction? 

Has your lavish lifestyle turned into a severe obsession with shopping? 

Are you having trouble balancing your professional life with costly consumerism? 

Do you hide purchases from loved ones or lie about where money went? 

Have compulsive spending habits seriously affected your life and the lives of your loved ones? 



From the Producers of the critically acclaimed documentary series "Obsessed", comes a new project for a major cable network that will explore professional, affluent women/men whose lives and families have been turned upside down by this debilitating addiction, and follow their courageous journey towards a better life.  



If you or someone you know is suffering from a shopping addiction that has spun out of control, we

want to hear from YOU! 



To be considered, please send us your name, contact info, recent photo(s), occupation and detailed

information on the person affected (if not you), their relation to you, you/your loved one’s

accomplishments and personality before the addiction versus your/their personality and situation now, how/why/when you believe the shopping addiction started and how it is affecting your/their life.



Make sure to put “Shopping Addiction (Your Name)” in the subject line of your email and send to:

CastingAriana@gmail.com



Submission deadline: Aug 31, 2010

Maybe we can help!



All-new Docu-Reality Series Seeking Shopaholics 




Do you or someone you know have a shopping addiction?

Has your lavish lifestyle turned into a severe obsession with shopping?

Are you having trouble balancing your professional life with costly consumerism?

Do you hide purchases from loved ones or lie about where money went?

Have compulsive spending habits seriously affected your life and the lives of your loved ones?



From the Producers of the critically acclaimed documentary series Obsessed, comes a new project for a major cable network that will explore professional, affluent women/men whose lives and families have been turned upside down by this debilitating addiction, and follow their courageous journey towards a better life.



If you or someone you know is suffering from a shopping addiction that

has spun out of control, we want to hear from you!



To be considered, please send us your name, contact info, recent photo(s), occupation and detailed information on the person affected (if not you), their relation to you, you/your loved one’s accomplishments and personality before the addiction versus your/their personality and situation now, how/why/when you believe the shopping addiction started and how it is affecting your/their life.



Make sure to put “Shopping Addiction (Your Name)” in the subject line of your email and send to: CastingAriana@gmail.com

Not to be like those annoying people who come to your door trying to convert you, but have you tried church? I think we all have a spiritual part of us, and I'd feel empty if I didn't know that.

I think you are suffering from depression . Please stop spending money you do not have, You will regret it later on in life. When you go shopping take cash and only buy what you need if you do not need it do not buy it. Have days where you do not leave the house and concentrate on cleaning up and organzing your stuff from shopping, I also think about third workd countries and that makes me not want to shop. There are better things to do than shop. I hope you get the help that you need. Read alot of books on living simple that should help.

Maybe you could fill your time By taking a yoga class? Or just by working out at the gym! It sounds like you know why you love shopping so much. I would first try to fix things with your husband or whatever path you need to choose. Also maybe have your kids do chores to earn thier toys or something so material items are a reward. If they always get what they want now than later in life that will expect that car, cell phone, laptop, or whatever it maybe. Before you buy something ask your self do I really need this? Or does my child need this toy? If the answe is no then set it down and move on. If you actually only buy things you need you will feel proud and accomplished. You can also fill the time by maybe doing an activity with you kids. Maybe biking, board games, Or just playing at a park. I hope this helps! (one more thing if the therapist isn't working for you consider a different one!)

Maybe you could fill your time By taking a yoga class? Or just by working out at the gym! It sounds like you know why you love shopping so much. I would first try to fix things with your husband or whatever path you need to choose. Also maybe have your kids do chores to earn thier toys or something so material items are a reward. If they always get what they want now than later in life that will expect that car, cell phone, laptop, or whatever it maybe. Before you buy something ask your self do I really need this? Or does my child need this toy? If the answe is no then set it down and move on. If you actually only buy things you need you will feel proud and accomplished. You can also fill the time by maybe doing an activity with you kids. Maybe biking, board games, Or just playing at a park. I hope this helps! (one more thing if the therapist isn't working for you consider a different one!)

hi I felt so sad reading your story ,as i can tell you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,i didnt think so but found out for myself that life can change for the best if only we find our way out of the things that make us so sad and down.I have every confidence in you that you will be able to do this,I knew that i couldnt go back into aged care after my ordeal and did wonder in despair as to what in the world i could do as i knew nothing else i was lucky enough to be shown a way out of my situation and depression ,maybe you could do what i did and buy into a business like fifth avenue for as little as $239.95 per month for 5 months,in the mean time sell what you buy so you get your fix without leaving you broke.actually making yourself more money each time you spend on new jewellery as they have new jewellery all the time.my business didnt end up costing me anything,some of the girls are on corporate wages.thats my goal!!I can now do all the shopping i want without feeling guilty as i know when i sell it i'll make 50% due to great company bennefits.Its so easy to do,you only havre tp set up the jewellery,write out a docket,wrap it and put the cash in your pocket,its that easy!!.let me know if your interested.go to my site www.fifthavenuecollection.com/lognjanov best of luck :)



If you dont feel you can do this ,im sure all of us togethere can help guide you in a positive direction,thats best for you.your welcome to also join me on my face book site.linda ognjanov,so we can chat when ever you want,remember your not alone,were here to listen when ever you need us..take care linda

Thank you for sharing your story. I just signed up a few minutes ago looking for a support group and found your message moving. As far as I can tell, you are an intelligent woman. Like everyone else, I have some baggage. Recently I am dealing with the loss of my mother. My therapist tells me that because of my greiving, shopping has been an outlet. It has escalated to an unmanageable level. She is helping me work through things using the 12 steps. The closet support group to me is three hours away. Maybe you have one closer to you.



I encourage you in your search for help. Hang in there. Keep searching. Seek and you will find. Best wishes.

What about a hobby where you don't have to spend extra money, but which combines your passion for shopping, such as becoming a home chef where the meals you cook are all experimental. Each day you can spend time shopping! looking for the right recipe, finding the right ingredients, going to foreign markets and shops, and shelves you didn't know about in the supermarket, pleasing your family, and all the time improving your cookery skills to a high degree.

Reading your story was almost like reading my own, although I have started to change things. My children are almost grown up so have there own lives so my shopping is not directed at them anymore but myself. I like to buy things, which in reality I don't need as already have too many clothes, shoes or bags. I have got a lot better though and now ask myself before buying if I really need and as mentioned by others buy from second hand shops etc. I also have now started selling things via the internet which is something you might want to consider. Kids grow so fast why not sell their old stuff and at least make some money.



The depression is not so easy but you could start by trying to do something about your lack of confidence. I also have a weight problem but have stopped worrying about it as it doesn't stop me being me. You are obviously an intelligent person as you know what your issues are and are desperate to address them. Certificates are important but so are life skills. Managing a home, looking after children, planning your time. Doesn't seem like much but it is what you are probably doing everyday. I spent years doing mundane jobs just because the hours suited but then I went back to school and did a course which inspired me to do more. I am now a senior manager earning a very good wage. It won't happen over night but if you have the determination it can change.



I can also empathise with the situation with your husband but only you can decide if it is worth continuing or whether you should end things. Take one step at a time and remember you can do it!!!

Thanks Causeiuhgotta. From the 2 therapists and one psychiatrist I have seen they have never even mentioned Bipolar Disorder. It seemed to me they would basically go over checklists of symptoms or something..and maybe because I was not having the major mood swings that seem to be associated with BD, they labeled me as more so as having "dysthymia", or long term major depressive disorder. I have been on a few different antidepressents, but I can not say they have helped me one bit with my shopping addiction. Shopping does not really even bring me joy anymore either. Why do I still do it? I dont have a damn clue.

Okay, you want to set an example for your kids, right? Over spending and hurting your dept is not a way to show any good example for them. Remember, what they learn as kids will follow them through the rest of their adult lives. If you feel down, go for a walk. Invest in some really great walking shoes Nike Shox are the only ones I use, and have an Ipod, MP3, something to help you listen to your most favorite tunes. Hey, it gives you an excuse to spend money. Then, use it! Go for a walk for about thirty to forty minutes at least five days a week. Both mentally and physically you will feel better. I swear it. It is amazing how the chemicals in your brain work when you work out. I'm sure you still love your husband, it sounds like you are both in a lack of communication. You have to start to change your physical and mental state. I am speaking from experience. I was a size 5 at 5'9" and very muscular when I met my husband. Then I put on about 100 pounds in five years! One thing we still have is comunnication and we bond very well with that. He tells me how much he wants me thin or atleast healthy. I have started working out about seven months ago on and off. The last three weeks I have completly changed my diet I have two whey protien and frozen fruit shakes twice daliy and eat healthy. I also take Alli if I want something bad and it works by cut out half the fat you intake (litteraly). Look into it. I work out now two days on and one day rest throught the whole month constantly, no excuses. If you follow that two days on one day rest too, you will be working out five days a week and you will not burn out so quickly and get bored either. My body is finally coming back! My energy is different. I used to avoid looking in mirrors or seeing my reflection in a window when I am out. Now, I look at myself and I am in shock at how much I have toned up and shed fat. And I still have maybe seventy more pounds to lose. But, I feel this good regardless of my weight number because I know I will be thin and hot again and I see new small results everyday.



I too would shop to fill voids. Now I workout and eat better because I do not feel good about myself if I don't. You doing this simple and free act of working out and eating right will give you something to stop filling your voids. Investing in a hobby does not always mean spending money. Go for bike rides with your kids. You said your kids are your life, that is fantastic. But, what about your own life. Living through your daughter is unhealthy not just for you but for her as well. Stop whining about this and start walking. I mean that in the most positivly get up and do it attitude. If you do physical activities with your kids such as walks, biking, playing a game of basketball with them, board games and other activites that don't have to cost anything, your kids will pass that down to their kids as well. Your shopping and over eating is showing your kids it is okay to spend and eat your depression and insecurities away. This will lead to your kids health risks and problems in their marriage as well. If you start moving your body and eating better your focus will mostly turn to that new lifestyle and you will be feeling better about yourself which in return your husband will be wanting his wife, too. Then, your next focus in shopping will be for naughty langerie and condoms, maybe even sex toys! ;) Seriously, take it from somebody who knows exactly where you are coming from. Make that change in your life by walking everyday. The effects chemically happen immdiatly and then you begin to change. Studies have shown instead of sitting and talking about your problems get up and physically do something. I have always believed that. This is why I want to personal train people. Make people realize they can't sit to cure depression. Get up woman, and go out and feel good physically and mentally today!



A helpful hint for good modivation is buy a women's fitness magazine, and study it.

I totally understand. Even when you know you really don't have the money.. it's nothing like being able to shop for your little ones. I think it helps US not to feel so bad about the unecessary spending that we tend to do and do so well. Often times it's just that we are trying to fill a void of some kind... shopping is ours. Just as food is for others.



I am a sahm mom as well... I have done so. God forbid something should happen... I think it's a perfect opportunity for you to futher your education.. they will see how hard mommie is working.

I understnd your frustration, I too like to shop for my 4 year daughter named "Nialah" I had her late in life. I was 36 when she was born. I am now 41 years of age and she is 4. I want to buy this little girl anything that she point's at. I actually life my life thru my little girl. I am the oldest of four, all girls. I come from a middle class family. We did not have a lot of money back than, but my need for material things got out of hand even as a teenager. I wanted to look pretty at all times. I wanted the best of everything. I was spoiled and because I was the oldest, I seemed to always get more. I buy my daughter things that I always wanted as a child. Her room is so filled up with dolls and doll houses. Clothing and just anything that her little heart desires. I shop when I am depressed. When I heard that Micheal Jacksons died I went on a shopping spare. I did not need the items that I brought but just made me feel good for the time being. You are really just going to have to learn to "Want What You Have" and "Not Have What You Want.

May be you could try to take some adult courses that "bridge" or help prepare you for college. You mentioned that you feel you are under educated. This would be a good hobby and also be a good example for your children.

Thanks for sharing this with us. Deep down it seems you really want the best for your kids. I hope things are getting better for you and your family.

Thanks for sharing this with us. Deep down it seems you really want the best for your kids. I hope things are getting better for you and your family.

I understand. I am now on a pension and this limited income has bought its challenges.



My sister also now exists on this income, we were BOTH big shopaholics. She maxed out several cards and is paying them off slowly.



Now, we enjoy the challenge of shopping for bargains in op shops and second hand bookshops. We go out for the day and see who can come home with the best bargain and who can spend the least. We do this only once a week.



So maybe shop with a buddy .



We also on our 'broke' days, just hire a dvd and buy a block of chocolate to enjoy at home