Confessions of a Shopaholic: My story
This is a super hard post to write. Like really hard. It’s something that happened in my past that I’m not proud of, that hurt my marriage, and hurt my self esteem even to this day. But this is a part of my life, and I was able to overcome my large mistake, so I think it is important to share my story. This is the story of how I am a Shopaholic, and how I spent $13,000 on clothes I didn’t need.
I have always loved shopping. I have always loved fashion. I have definitely gone through different periods in my life where fashion was more important to me, but deep in my heart, I always love walking into a store and seeing all the latest trends and staples. I literally research fashion ya’ll (#nerd) and I think it is such a cool industry. This reason is partly why I started this blog, Dressing Dallas. I wanted to explore one of my interests and share why I love clothes, how to style clothes, and where to get them! But the dark side of why I started my blog is what I’m going to share today.
PPD Makes You do Things You Wouldn’t Normally Do
After I had my first child in 2013, I experienced what I now know as severe postpartum depression. Like more severe than most. And I didn’t even know I had it. I just thought I was a sleep deprived new mom. But what I didn’t realize is that there was a darkness I had inside me, and it was scary. I wanted to hurt myself and I wanted to leave this new life as a mom. I did not enjoy what I created. This is so heartbreaking for me to admit because I LOVE LOVE LOVE my son and I am so happy he is mine. But PPD is an evil devil that takes over your whole being. This darkness I had inside of me scared me so much (without me even realizing what was going on) that I tried to find new ways to cope.
I had been reading fashion blogs for a couple years at this point, and I loved it. I loved seeing creative fashionistas strut their stuff. I always wanted to start something like this, but I was always too scared. For some reason though, it clicked in my head that right after having a baby was the time I needed to start my fashion blog. So in March 2014, Dressing Dallas was created as my out from my inner darkness and a way to show off my passion for fashion.
Now you might be thinking, this doesn’t sound like bad thing. You made a creative outlet for yourself to help you cope. And you’d be right! That part of it is a very good thing. And that is why DD still exists almost 5 years later. But as I dive deeper into what was going on, you will see the issues this also brought for me as I suffered from PPD.
After I started my blog, I was so excited to produce content. I started with the 30 items for 30 days challenge that I’d wanted to do for years at this point. These posts still exist back in my archives, and I’m still proud of them! I was addicted to styling fashion, and I needed more. I was searching for a high to get me through sleepless nights working night shift as a new mom, and I got a high from styling fashion, and buying fashion. As my blogging journey kept going, I shopped, and I shopped. I opened credit cards from my favorite stores and I purchased clothing and accessories using these. Before you knew it, my addiction and my coping had caught up to me and I was $13,000 in debt, and my husband had no idea.
Confessing My Addiction
The breaking point for me was when I knew I had to admit what I was doing to my husband. My poor, sweet husband had no idea what I was going through and he didn’t understand the inner demons I was fighting. Months were spent hiding boxes from him under our bed, in my closet, and I kept telling myself he’d never notice because he was a guy. Lie’s were told about new boxes showing up on the front porch, in our room, etc. I would try and hide bags from my shipping trips. I was lying and basically cheating on my husband with my credit cards. Not ok. And I knew I needed to come clean.
As I told him and showed him what I did, he was so kind to me and told me we would get through this, but I knew I had hurt him bad. My amazing husband is very frugal, so I knew going into debt for something so dumb was hurting him more than it did me. But we attacked this together, no matter how bad he was hurt.
From this point on, I attended therapy, and I tried to work super hard to pay off this debt. Therapy really helped me because I was able to finally understand what postpartum depression was, how to help me get out of this state, and how to find constructive things to do to help my mental health. I still LOVED blogging, and I had plenty of fashion to show off after my spending spree, so I decided to continue my journey as a blogger.
By getting help from a therapist, medication, working hard at my business and my career in the medical field, I was able to refocus and get the help I needed. I am so thankful for the help I received and the support I received from my husband during this ultra-scary time in my life, and even though I made a big mistake, I’m proud to say that I was able to come back from it and create a good financial standing.
Shopping Addictions Are Real
Being a shopaholic is a very real addiction for me, and it was how I decided to cope during a very bad depressive state. If you are suffering from an addiction of any kind, know that it is OK to get help! You do not need to live in your addiction, and you can beat it. Today, I still love shopping, and I still have shopaholic tendencies, but I have learned how to mentally work through a budget and figure out if I really need what I’m wanting to buy. There is hope for shopaholics, and there is help. I am living proof that you can beat it and continue to cope throughout your life.
Thank you so much for reading my story of how I deal with a shopping addiction. In part 2 of my story, I will talk about how I paid off $13,000 in credit card debt in 1 year. This is a really important thing for me to talk about because it helped my family not only get rid of this debt, but also save and buy our first home! Be on the look out for part 2 coming soon!