I've Reached A Point Of What Feels Like No Return

I had a family member pay down all my credit card debt last year. Leaving me with nothing but my car, phone, insurance and rent. However, in a year I’ve managed to not only get new cards with higher limits but spend more than I’ve ever spent. I justified making another small purchase to make myself feel better but what I’ve done and I’m just at my breaking point. I know I need to stop spending, but I feel so happy getting something new. I used to get a guilty feeling shopping and now that voice of guilt is gone and I feel like there’s no way out. I’ve been going to therapy but I don’t feel like it’s working.

I want to add that I recently suffered a major loss in my family about a year ago and it rocked my world like no other. Especially just coming out of COVID and recovering from my first long term break up at the start of the pandemic. I realized my spending took a nosedive for the first time during the break up. I reasoned with myself that these purchases were to reinvent myself, but it did nothing like that. Only created a whirlwind of debt. I’ve spent $30k more than I did the first time my family member bailed me out of this whole and now it feel impossible to get out.

Spending like this is your way of dealing with pain, so therapy can help, but maybe the therapist you are with isn’t meshing with you or maybe they don’t have experience with shopping addiction, either way, try a new therapist and don’t give up on therapy. Second, sit down with a financial planner and talk about your options. Can you return anything to help with the debt or resell? Get rid of the credit cards and go to a cash only system. Online bills, get a debit card so you can still pay online, but it will only pay from money you have. It takes a lot to work on your debt. Free resources and pretty plentiful online, there are lots of Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman type tools to use, but you have to be serious, you are hurting and that is okay, grief and fear can be worked on and through, but buying things you cannot afford will not fix them. So glad you are here and that we can support you. -SG