I saw this picture on Twitter and at first I laughed because it used to be me. But then I felt a bit sad because it used to be me.
I feel like now that I have opened up about my shopping addiction and admitted to it I can sort of look at it from an outsiders point of view with a clear mind that isn’t desperate for a shopping spree. When I think of the lying, it feels awful that I did it to those closest to me and to myself. The measures I would go to, to get my shopping fix are actually humiliating.
When it came to shopping I didn’t care what I had to do to just buy something. Whether it was taking a overly large bag to the shops with me when I was doing “grocery” shopping or going to the shops on my lunch break by myself.
I had to resort to those sorts of things because people started noticing, first my hubby, then my mother in law and eventually my mom. It got to the point where they were questioning me and coming down on me hard about buying more, so I put measures in place which would ensure I could get my shopping fix. If I couldn’t get to clothing stores (which are my ultimate trigger) then anything would do. It was a vicious circle and a complete mind game I played with myself which could have ended in me physically being by myself for the lying and the complete lack of control.
I was always plotting my next shop but I am now on a mission to avoid shopping or to shop super simply. I shop to save now. I know what I was spending before and every time I walk out of a shop having spent less than I was spending a few months ago it is a small achievement. I used to walk out feeling stressed and uptight because I had done it again or I had overspent and was going to be broke for the rest of the month but now I feel relaxed and okay to deal with tomorrow because I won’t be broke (hopefully…..the price of food shopping is enough to make you bankrupt).
By taking some time to learn about this addiction and making changes like learning to differentiate between needs and wants or to make lists before going to the shop are making a difference and contributing to a happier me.
Not only am I monitoring my spending now but I am also trying to get a savings on the go which for now is difficult because of what I am paying out (debt!) but even that R10 I transferred at the end of last month has proven that change is happening within me and I am positive that the R10 will become R100 and then R1000 and so on.
Only when I hit rock bottom could I see what I have been doing, the rest of the time it felt normal. It felt normal to go to the shop every chance I got, it felt normal to lie about going to Pick n Pay to get food but coming home with one or two tops shoved in my handbag. It felt normal to have a hundred and one clothing tags in my cupboard (when I wore something new I quickly ripped the tag off and threw it into my cupboard so that nobody saw the tag and I could stick with the “this is old” lie).
Shopping addiction is definitely not up there on the addiction hierarchy and many don’t understand or even know it is a real thing but trust me when I say it can control the mind and lifestyle just like drugs or alcohol and the damage can be as bad.