“Life is short, buy the shoes!” They said… But what if you’re buying close to 10 a month?!

Compulsive Buying Disorder AKA “The Shopping Addiction”

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 I suffer from what some would say is a shopping problema.. admittedly it’s been a “problem” for as long as I can remember.  Some people in my family might even say I walked out of the womb with a credit card in one hand and a shopping bag in the other. It’s common amongst women to be obsessed with makeup, shoes or bags… Essentially anything that makes them feel prettier or even happier.

However, for me, my desire to get things when they first launched or were on sale (the satisfaction that would bring!) were both excuses in my eyes to spend my hard-earned bucks.. Especially when I envisioned how it might look when I was at my goal weight. The truth is… as I started to actually write this post, I realized that this was more than a mere gratification that came from the things that I bought. Instead, I share with you that this problem was more serious.

An addiction is a state of being enslaved to a habit, practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, such as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma... Scary stuff!

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Shopped till I Dropped!

I always shopped “within” my salary bracket. When I worked at McDonald’s, I bought from Forever 21 and Bang Bang. As I moved into other roles in which I made more, I consequently spent more. With that, my taste gradually began to shift to other more expensive finds.

As I was reflecting back on my journey, a tough time in my life started to surface… Way back when I had a really bad break up (my husband won’t acknowledge it as he says I had no life before him lol). But it was a time in which I recognized as being one of my worst spending downfalls… the shopping got real. After my bills were paid, every dollar I had left over went to buying anything that would fill the void. This void of thinking “I was wrong, I wasn’t pretty enough, or plainly, I wasn’t enough”. As I write that, two tears run down my face because I feel sorry for that me from back then… if only I knew better.

Looking for answers… I found it’s scientifically noted that people shop more so to fulfill an emotional need than any physical necessity. Studies have shown that 80% of American purchases are for things they want… Not things they need. Most of the time, something is missing and buying those shoes or that watch makes us feel better. It’s also maybe the adrenaline rush of thinking you saved because you got that one item on sale, even though on that same shopping spree you bought 5 other things you really didn’t need.

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My Compulsive Buying Behavior

These days, I shop for parties and events that may or may never come. I shop for a size I may never be again. I shop for the pictures I think I’ll take and post. Crazy isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong… I do enjoy fashion, always have and always will, but I’ve come to recognize that this is about more than just fashion.

I go through phases depending on what my goal is… Sometimes it’s the perfect white dress which results in me purchasing 7 (but they’re different, I promise). Or sometimes it’s the perfect nude lipstick which leads to other makeup items to complete the look. I’ve been guilty of buying 3 pairs of sneakers in different colors, ask me why? I won’t remember.

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I’m not selfish with the spending either. I shop for the boys so they can have the perfect party outfits… that will inevitably get stained with cake icing and they’ll never wear again. I also shop for the perfect curtains for that visit from my cousins I haven’t seen in years.. I told you, it gets real?!

I’ll go through phases of not shopping at all, which are short… but I do. Those times it’s ALL goal oriented. When we were set on buying our first house, I was like a sergeant with our money, monitoring every dollar in and out of our accounts. If hubby had spent 4 bucks on a coffee, I’d call him 10 minutes after. “Really? You need that coffee? I could have made you that at home, sacrifice!” When I’m in the saving zone I save, I SAVE big, but then when I reward myself for saving, I SPEND big!

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Hubs and I have worked so hard so we deserve it right?! Ain’t no point in being the richest chick in the cemetery so spend it before we die, no? … Wow, how naive. I’m the big 4.0 and I still spend more than I should. Honestly, if I could go back and count how much I’ve spent over the years it would make you sick.  It makes me nauseous just thinking about it.

God has blessed me with a good life: I have a good man, healthy kids and a job that I love. I have things that many would consider luxuries so why shop like this? A question I need to answer..

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 But My Spending Doesn’t Define Me…

Times are different now. I have kids who may have needs in the future that I want to be able to support. As a result, my life goals are changing and a closet full of clothes won’t fulfill those needs..

As you read earlier, the true self-discovery came as I began to write this post because this outlet provided me with the lens of clarity that I needed.. So this is still a journey for me.

I try every day, I swear hun (since he will read this lol). I promise not to hide packages anymore or lie about how much I’ve really spent at the mall! I vow to be better, not for just me, but for our future. I want to work on myself, find other ways to fill “what’s missing”… In turn, I hope to learn more about who I am.

 

Because I believe I’m not alone, below are some questions you can ask yourself if you think you might have similar challenges with spending. Please remember that even if you do, it ok… It’s about changing the behavior which is totally doable.

  • Do you shop when you feel angry or disappointed?
  • Has overspending created problems in your life?
  • Do you have conflicts with loved ones about your need to shop?
  • While shopping, do you feel euphoric rushes or anxiety?
  • After shopping, do you feel like you have just finished doing something wild or dangerous?
  • After shopping, do you ever feel guilty or embarrassed about what you have done?
  • Do you frequently buy things that you never end up using or wearing?
  • Do you think about money almost all the time?

 

SO there it is.. I shared a really vulnerable part of my being but even if it helps just one person relate, it’ll be all good.

Until next time..

Lioness

9 thoughts on ““Life is short, buy the shoes!” They said… But what if you’re buying close to 10 a month?!

  1. Wonderfully written I’m so proud of u my friend. We all have our moments of shopaholicism thank you for being vulnerable with us n sharing. The struggle of adulthood are real. I have been guilty of this myself ,I have learned to prioritize my wants from my needs but it’s still can be a challenge from time to time xoxo 😘

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  2. I can definitely relate to this post. I had learned to distinguish myself from thing that I want from thing that I really need. And honestly I can say I proud of that…

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  3. Dear lord! The struggle is real, yo. Very well written. You continue to completely blow me away with how you just say what we are all thinking!!! I too, am guilty of making purchases that I later have some sort of remorse or anxiety about. The only slight difference for me is that I am a single parent who does not receive any kind of financial support from anyone. (Including my sons parent) But be that as it may, I work my a** off to provide for my boys and every now and again, I feel I am totally deserving of a splurge! (that’s my rationale and I’m sticking to it!!!..lol) Love your Blogs and I can’t wait to read the next one!!! #KeepThemComing #FaridasPearlsAreLife BESITOS!!!

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  4. I’m proud of your acknowledgement and sharing your personal things with the media. However I just finish donating clothes that I didn’t wear, shoes, hats ect. I read a book call “the life-changing magic of tidying up. It help me a lot and I’m sure it will help other people as well

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  5. Reading this I was reminded of myself 7 years ago. Shopping was an addiction for me. I would shop to stop the urge that was consuming me inside. After the fix, I felt ashamed, alone and anxious because my credit card bills were getting higher and higher. A lot of the clothes I never even wore. I wanted to be beautiful, I grew up being told I wasn’t. I wanted to fit the “I’m important” status by the way I looked, that’s how people would give me the respect and acceptance I desperately wanted. I was about to turn 50 and the void in my heart was huge. I had a good husband, I lived on the Upper Eastside surrounded by wealth, We traveled, I worked for a prestigious cosmetic company, then what was the problem? One day sitting at a church crying Jesus found me. That day I made him my Lord and Savior and in return he gave me life. I lost my job a couple months later. In the two years I was out of work, I helped start an organization that empowers Haitians in Haiti through education. I now work at a church making half the salary I made before. I now know I am the daughter of a king, which makes me a princess. I enjoy working with the homeless and I am now a deacon of mercy at the church. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I get the urge to shop just to shop, but I remember that cloths nor shoes, nor anything material is what makes my identity. My identity is now in Christ! On my birthday this year God spoiled me with a $75 almost new mink coat I bought from housing works. The name embroidered inside read Grace. I know it was from God because the following week they had a similar mink for $650. I love you Farida!

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  6. I have been guilty of buying just because I want it and not really needing it. It’s a feeling of satisfaction, happiness that fulfills that “void”. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! We all seem to go through similar situations!

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  7. Wowwwww !!! Sis u really got it bad, slow down with the spending like u said u have children that are gonna have needs and wants as they grow i know it makes you Happy to know you look Fab when you step out and know that you got it like that and that’s all good, But as long as the Bills are paid GIRL YOUR GOOD KEEP ON SHOPPING cause you only live once…..

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  8. Girl are talking about my life?! Lol! We share very similar lives & struggles. I can totally relate! It’s a true struggle for me also. I pretty much answered yes to almost all your questions. 😔 I’ve also been examining myself on why I buy. I’m also working on being self control & not allowing anything enslave me. I’ve accepted this will probably always be a struggle for me but not give up. I try to pray about it & read scriptures to help my mind & heart. Farida thank you soo soo much for sharing this. You are definitely not alone mama! THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!! 😊🖐🏽 1st step to working on struggles is admitting you struggle & seeking guidance. You are definitely on an awesome journey of growth & transformation. You have definitely tremendously inspired me!! Thank u THANK u thank u for sharing you!! Keep up the awesomeness!!😘

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