I have mentioned in several posts in the past that I struggle with a shopping addiction. Last May I did a little update (see the post here) and thought it was a good time for me to review this topic again as this is something I believe I will always be dealing with. After receiving some heartfelt messages regarding shopping addiction from readers, I know that this is something I am not alone with and if I can help one person with what my experiences are, I am more than happy.
To recap what I have the most issues with is the mind control shopping and aquiring clothes, jewelry, shoes, whatever has over me. Having my thoughts constantly consumed by what I NEED to get to complete this outfit or how I HAVE TO have the latest trend I am seeing on Instagram. Constantly browsing online for what’s on sale and what is new takes time and energy, the time and energy I feel are wasted that should be focused on better things. Better things like my relationships, with God, myself, my husband, my family, my dog. I remember times catching myself daydreaming of that dress I was obsessing over while I was with people that I love as they were trying to have conversations with me. To me, that’s awful and that is why over a year ago I set out to make a change in my life with my shopping addiction being a top priority.
One of the biggest behaviors I acknowledged was that no matter how much I got, I always wanted more. I would get satisfied for a moment only to turn around and need something else. Although I have a monthly budget that I always stick to, that does not get rid of the thoughts that dominate my mind. As I previously mentioned, this was one of many issues I chose to face the end of 2014. These other issues had more to do with my shopping addiction than I ever expected.
Big revelation: my addiction is a symptom and not an isolated issue.
The more I began to face some deep rooted problems I wanted to address, I noticed a glaring pattern in my shopping habits. Whenever I was facing a particularly difficult situation, I found myself coping by shopping. Sometimes I would not even purchase anything, but just the act would calm me down enough to get through the overwhelming feelings.
The higher the anxiety, the longer my binge lasted.
With the knowledge that no one item or a whole bag full of items would ever make things right, I feel like I have a bit more power. One situation I have taken advantage of has been my hip injury. (Another reason I do not have as many outfit posts lately). The time I have spent sitting in a chair has proven to be effective by sorting through major issues without having the capacity to physically get myself to a store without my husband taking me and escorting me. Talk about having a person there to check you when you need it! And yes, I know there is online shopping, it just is not the same for me as an in store experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not claiming to have it all figured out. These are personal observations I have made while I put a big old microscope on my life. I still adore fashion which this blog is a testament to. I have however found I am thinking less about what I am going to wear and what I am going to buy. The more I recognize and resolve problems that have been swept under the rug for years, the less I need shopping to fulfill me.
This whole shopping addiction topic is something I rarely see as something that needs to be addressed. I see so many jokes and self proclaimed labels of being proud of such an addiction. I am not here to put anyone else down because this is a personal decision I have made to change. I was not proud, not happy to have shopping be a crutch for me to stand on. I do however want to be bold in my cander on this subject to those who feel afflicted by this.
I want to be known for so many other traits beyond knowing how to shop.
My most recent discovery came just a few weeks ago when I was going through the blog outfit pictures from 2015 and then did another closet edit. Going through my closet, most of what I wanted to keep were items I purchased with great consideration. They were not impulse buys and they were significantly higher in purchase price than most of the items I was not interested in any more.
One common practice I used to do was what I called “the look for less”. Being a budget minded person I would see an expensive piece I loved then would search out a similar item with a lower price point item. Sounds great right? I was always pleased with the results at first but soon found myself still longing for the other item due to its details that cannot be duplicated in a cheaper version. I would then get rid of the item only to do the same thing over and over again and never being “fashionably” satisfied.
The reason I went into that whole backstory was that I am now getting those items I used to pass on due to price. I am getting fewer pieces per month because of that but I am also loving my wardrobe! And just so you know, I am still the bomb with getting good deals with items on sale, either through a retailer or Poshmark, and using coupons, it’s just more like instead of getting a $15 skirt that is kind of what I like and that I am going to tire of within a month or so, I am getting a $75 skirt that I am keeping, wearing, and still loving after two years.
Yes, I still use shopping as a coping mechanism for stress and yes, I still think about it too much sometimes. I have found the more I acknowledge what is really going on the more I bring to light what I thought was something meant to be hidden and be ashamed of. Those skeletons do not seem quite as scary when they are being talked about openly.
Being honest with myself has been the biggest key to my recovery. I am the only one who can change me. In conclusion, I want to leave with a positive message. Collecting fashion items themselves are not a means to make you happy. Fashion is however uplifting and can change the way you hold yourself when you are wearing it. In turn, it can open doors to those things that can assist in making you happy such as higher self esteem and self love. I hope this makes sense.
I would love to hear from you if being a shopoholic is an issue for you and also if you have any special tactics that have helped you. Me having a fashion blog can seem a little contradictory to talk about a shopping addiction and I believe the two can go hand in hand. I want to be responsible with my shopping and be proud to show you all what I am getting. And in a way, this blog has been a positive outlet for me to share my love for fashion without having the need to focus on always getting something new.
I do have more outfit posts planned and will be posting them soon. I will be sharing a little more news about my hip injury soon which has been slowing me down a bit with taking pictures. Not to mention, California has been getting some much needed rain so that makes it even more challenging.
Today’s Postivity Note
Let the beauty we love be what we do.