Just joined and I need help!

Hi, my name is Charlie. I am an English teacher at Coral Glades High School in Coral Springs, Florida. I have had a shopping addiction and a problem with compulsive spending most of my life. For me, I suppose, shopping fills the same need as gamblers have to gamble or alcoholics have to drink. I got some one-on-one help back in 2011 and I thought I had it licked. I was living with my elderly parents then as their caregiver and I asked my dad to watch my finances and spending, and everything was fine. Until my dad passed and I was in charge of my spending then, and I slipped back into old habits. I recently got my Masters Degree in English and my Ph.D. in Comparative Studies and I abused the financial aid I received so now I’m over $70,000 in debt which I doubt I’ll pay off in my lifetime. I recently got a good job teaching but I’m already seeing the problems that my income creates. I spend lots of money on music, books, and board games (I have over 300 games in my collection). At first I was putting money aside and taking care of my debts, but the past month or so I’ve been sliding back. I get my paycheck on Friday and by Wednesday I have only a few hundred dollars left. I’ve missed several payments to my condo association and I’m afraid if I don’t catch up soon they might put a lien on my home. I worry about money all the time and, having Generalized Anxiety Disorder, these worries sometimes keep me up at night. I worry that if I don’t save my money I might not have anything if something happens to my car or my health. I’m paying my other bills on time, though. What also makes me feel bad is that I’ve been lying to my partner. I order stuff surreptitiously and hope it arrives before he gets home from work and then I hide it. If I order from Amazon I have it delivered to an Amazon locker and then secretly pick it up before he gets home (my job ends about two hours before his does) and hide it. I feel like a cheat and a liar and I beat myself up about it. It’s hard to enjoy the stuff I do get because of the guilt. I want to start acting like a responsible adult. Tonight I determined that I need help and I’m hoping that being part of this group will get me to my goal. Thank you for reading!

1 Heart

Hi Charlie, you are a smart person and that in itself has to be frustrating, like why can’t I fix this? Just remember, you might be brilliant in English, but you probably wouldn’t teach say Physics, so there is no shame in getting help with your addiction the same way you would need help if you were covering another subject at school.

Here is a blog we wrote on the subject: I am more than my Shopping Addiction

We are so glad you are here and that we get to support you during this time. Best-SG

This sounds a lot like my situation though I am single and don’t hide from my partner I do hide from my other family members. It’s frustrating and don’t know where to begin to correct this.

Welcome @nikkijiminey, please look at the blog we shared above, it is a really good place to start. -SG

Hi both!