The Plastic Disease
"What do you mean, the plastic disease?"
Your spending addiction is tied directly to those credit cards. You've got a pocket full of them. They're your ticket to ride, your passport to feeling important. You know that you can get anything you want, whenever you want it. Instant gratification! You don't have to wait, buy it now, right now! It will make you happy! It's like having a pacifier for grown-ups.
Every spending addict has been there, maxed out at least one of them, probably all of them. Just when that happens some bank sends you another card with an even higher credit line. Do you know what the interest is on those cards? Probably not, not if you fit the description of a spending addict, a compulsive spender, a binge buyer.
You think you'll be okay as long as you can make the minimum payments every month. You're careful never to think about the total amount that you owe. You read somewhere that in the USA the total credit card debt, right now, is six hundred billion dollars. WOW! At least you don't owe that much, maybe you're not so bad after all.
This spending addiction is the I'VE GOT TO HAVE IT disease. You probably don't even remember what you've spent the money on over this past year. A closet full of shoes? Maybe it's golf clubs, or paintings, or cars, or whatever. You do know that somehow it's never enough.
You're trying to fill the hole that's inside of you. When you are buying, charging, ordering, you do feel better for a few minutes, just like when you have sex. But, it doesn't seem to last. So why do you do it? Because it gives you a brief feeling of power and control. You feel like you are in charge, like you are somebody. It helps you get rid of those feelings that you're not quite good enough. Not feeling bad is what this spending addiction is all about.
And, it doesn't even matter how powerful you or your family may be, or how much money you do or don't have. It's the inside of you that feels so empty and insignificant. You just want to make that feeling go away.
Maybe you call yourself a collector ......
You can't stay away from the yard sales or flea markets. You're spending more time with eBay than you do with your family. You've bought stuff from those TV shopping networks, some of it you don't even want. But the thrill that you get when you pick up the phone and call that 800 number is worth it. Right? Those folks at the shopping programs make you feel like one of the family. Special! It's so nice to feel like you belong. You've probably always felt disconnected. An outsider. A nobody. But not when you're shopping, not when you're spending, because when you're buying you feel that rush that makes you know you really are special.
Already stopped spending?
By now you may have given up the credit cards at least once. You've promised yourself that you'll never use them again. You may even suspect that you suffer from spending addiction. You worked really hard to pay those cards off so that you'd be free of that burdensome debt. You even promised your spouse that this was it – no more - never again. Then, when you were almost there, you convinced yourself that you deserve just a little treat, after all, you worked so hard to be good, so why not?
You're drunk, intoxicated on your own brain chemicals.
That rush that you feel when you think about spending more than you have on things that you don't need, is exactly the emotional place you've been looking for. You want to feel GOOD. And, you know that for sure the spending will do it for you. Even though the feeling doesn't last long, it's worth it. You even know the best way to treat the "hangover" that comes afterwards. You can just do it again, and again, and again.
You begin comparing yourself to the people you know. The folks who buy more than you do, the guy at work who can't pass up a bargain in real estate. He's making a lot of money. He's spending a whole lot more than you do, and no one is complaining about him!
You see, you're drunk and you're rationalizing about your own situation. That's what you have to do to get your own way; compare yourself with others and lie to yourself about what's really happening in your own life.
Maybe you need some help.
If you've read this far you probably are ready for some help with your spending addiction. In the Spirit of Recovery we are here to listen. You can sober up, learn to spend only what you can afford, buy only what you really need, and live your life without the anxiety that has gotten you into this mess. Call for a free confidential consultation at 1 800 754 1452. Or send us an email at RecoveryCentral@aol.com. You'll be speaking with the best therapists available. They know just what you're going through and they will help you get to the other side. Why not call right now?