Hi, I'm new here and am looking for advice or encouragement to deal with an online shopping addiction. I mainly shop for beauty and/or skincare products and always feel that once I acquire that "one more" item I'll be happy, my life will feel complete and I'll fill a void inside me. I think to myself that that one item will be the one to finally make me pretty and happy. I struggle with depression and anxiety and I know I'm using shopping as a crutch to help me deal with these issues. I don't really have any hobbies so it's hard to distract myself from intrusive thoughts about spending. My spending has started to take a toll on my relationship with my husband since I've opened several "secret" credit cards as a means to spend more money behind his back, but he always finds out and his trust in me erodes a little more each time. I'm burdened by feeling of guilt and shame about my shopping but I've never found a way to actually curb my addiction. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Beth, I just replied to your comment above but I'm here again to say I feel for you and what you're going through. I'm certainly not a professional and I'm here dealing with shopping addiction too, but from personal experience I truly think investing in therapy could be a great start. With therapy, there is a licensed professional helping you through your thoughts and providing outside perspective as well as new tools to help you -- you don't have to do this alone. I often like to find reasons for my actions and habits. Whenever we introspect about our thoughts and decisions, my therapist tells me to choose curiosity and compassion, rather than judgment. If you're feeling up for it, I think you could, with the help of a therapist, start looking more into "why" you feel as though one more item will make your life complete and you happy. You might find some underlying core beliefs that are affecting your daily behavior. I'm here for you.
@Wanttobenormal1 Thank you so much for your understanding and advice. I just made an appointment online to see a therapist via telehealth in a few weeks and I’m nervous about it yet excited at the same time to finally be getting help. Thank you for inspiring me to do that. I’m anxious about taking a deep dive into my issues but I’m committed to doing the work it will take to get to the “why” of my shopping. Thanks again and I’m here for you too.
I completely understand the "ONE thing" that's going to be the -end all and fix everything. Done that myself many times. What I ended up with from 20yrs
after, were a bunch of things I never used. They weren't even good enough to sell at a later time.
Eventually even tho I didn't 'create' the whole debt my partner and I had to deal with, I so so soooo much added to it bc at the time. I lived in the fantasy that somehow we'd be free of payments and I could 'focus' on what I really wanted to do for myself and my family with pride.
We could barely talk about the DEBT bc talking about it, meant I had to face how much we owed, how long it was going to take to pay back and what sacrifices we'd be making (huge) that impacted our fam & our relationship. We had gigantic fights and arguments that spun into major depression and shame cycles. We should have been in therapy but we couldn't even afford that.
I did not know how to honest...most importantly w myself. Paying much of it off took TEN solid yrs of living somewhere we didn't want to, limiting all cost except basic living. VERY basic. I lost friends bc mnging friendships took time /energy away from me working. I wished i could've shared my pain with them but I was too ashamed.
It sounds like you've already realized how intense your addiction is if you're risking opening 'secret credit cards'. Have you checked into "AA- equivalent -12 step-type" groups for shop addiction groups" near you or online?
@Littlesis7 Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. I definitely understand what it’s like to not want to talk about debt. I get super defensive when my husband brings up how much I owe on a credit card and it ultimately leads to a huge fight and the exact “shame cycles” you mentioned. My depression worsens with each confrontation and the urge to buy crops up even more often because I self-soothe with shopping. I just picked up the book “To Buy or Not to Buy” and I’m going to work through it and see if that helps. Are there any 12 step groups you would recommend? Is Debtors Anonymous the best one to look into?