*Looking for some advice on something that has been bothering me lately…an old habit that has creeped back into my life.
I used to be a shopaholic, this caused a lot of problems in my marriage, when we were first married. Unbeknownst to me, before I ‘officially’ grieved and sought counseling for the deaths of my parents (most of you know, they passed by the time I turned 10), I used to comfort myself through shopping (at the mall, mainly) It caused my dh and I to incur much debt, sadly. Through prayer, Christ, and help from my dh, I stopped looking to shopping to ease my pain. Or so I thought.
Fast forward to two years ago–I started up again, as we moved to Florida, and I felt unsettled, uneasy…getting my bearings down. (my excuses sound good, no?) So, I turned to shopping online…I never really noticed the online world of shopping,and suddenly I felt like a kid in a candy shoppe. I was buying early Christmas presents, things for my kids, things for me and dh…really, things we didn’t ‘need.’ Half the time, things for everyone but me. But, it was…fun. It also took my mind off of my worries at that time. My husband didn’t say anything, as I paid for these things in cash and stopped using credit. Although, he wasn’t thrilled that I seemed to be getting back into old behaviors. Okay, so I stopped–AGAIN…I actually returned some of the things, and then started reading Dave Ramsey’s books, etc…and really thought I had stopped the impulsive shopping. I stopped for a while, anyways. I only bought things after much consideration, and mainly if I had been eyeing the item for a while. I would go to confession often about this, so I could keep from allowing the habit to creep up again. I was free–God had freed me from my impulsive shopping! Or so I thought. :o
So…as some of you know, my thoughts on Florida …I have been feeling more settled lately, and we had a wonderful trip to PA recently…but, I’m a little confused…should we stay in Florida or move back? My boss offered me to move back, if we chose to…ugh, what does that mean? Is that a sign from God? On and on, these thoughts swirl in my mind…and instead of dealing with the thoughts, I have started the shopping thing again. I am ashamed to admit this to you, but maybe if I type it and send it into the great virtual world of CAF…someone will be able to help me.
So, I’m talking with my husband today, he has the day off…he says…‘a package came for you, sharon.’ I said…with excitement…really? (I forgot I even made these purchases, that is what is sad about this ‘addiction,’ I suppose) I said is it from …and I named a few online stores. He said…what? there’s more than one? I said, you weren’t supposed to be home when these came. Silence. He said…with a laugh (I love my husband dearly, he is so patient with me)…“so you were hiding this from me?”
I guess I was, in a way. I laughed, he laughed…and then he said…“sharon, I know you, if you’re worried about something, tell me what it is…don’t do this again.” You’d think I was a cocaine addict or something, right? I replied, it’s just shopping. :o But the reality is, I do STILL have a problem with this. I say this because of how I feel after I make the purchase…like a sigh of relief or something. Like a temporary high. It’s so strange!
I don’t know what to do…I am not much of a drinker, just a glass of wine every so often…I don’t smoke…I’m a good wife and mom…I am a hard worker at work…I tithe…I am saving now…so, perhaps, I view this as I’m ‘entitled,’ but then I think…no, you are shopping because you are uneasy about something. I’m uneasy about deciding about FL vs PA…and I guess I’m turning to shopping–again. Online makes it so tempting too! When I read the threads about porn addictions on here, I’m like…the internet. The internet makes all of our vices/habits, whatever we want to call them…easier to commit. I remember when I had to get into my car to do all of this…now, it’s just a click away…I’m responsible with money in everything else, so on some level, I have a handle on it, right?
Here’s the caveat–I can go for long durations without turning to this…but then, something happens, and it triggers the desire to lose my cares in the shopping. It doesn’t matter what I’m buying…could be a dinner out…could be something online…could be a trip to the mall…the worry over whatever it is I’m thinking about, subsides once I make the purchase.
Okay…so, how can I stop this? Are we ever fully free from our vices? Is God angry with me that I’m doing this? I don’t want Him to be.
Sorry this is so long–Thanks for listening. I look forward to your insight. *