I know a lot of you receive my blog posts via email or a feed reader and rarely or never visit the “Recovering Shopaholic” website. However, I’ve recently made some updates to the site and want to make sure you’re aware of the additional resources you can access there. I’d also like to welcome new readers and share some exciting news!
From January 2013 to Now…
I started “Recovering Shopaholic” in January 2013 as a way to keep myself accountable as I worked to overcome a decades-long compulsive shopping problem. I also hoped to connect with other recovering shopaholics to support and inspire each other in our efforts to trade our full closets for full lives.
I didn’t know how many people would read my words, but I thought if I could help even one person, my efforts would be worth it. What’s happened since then has exceeded anything I’d initially hoped for. I now have readers from around the world and a thriving community of women who support each other – and me – in shopping smarter and cultivating workable wardrobes.
Recovering Shopaholic in Real Simple Magazine!
Earlier this year, I was contacted by Real Simple magazine to share my story. Many hours of interviews have now culminated in an article published in the August issue of the magazine.
The article is titled “Spent” and it’s on page 158 of the August issue. Click here to read a PDF version of the article. The quality is not ideal, so if the article is later published on the Real Simple website, I will link to it here. But I wanted to make sure that those of you who wish to read the article are able to do so, even if you’re not able to find the magazine in your local area (or if you reside outside of the U.S.).
About the Article
If you found my blog through Real Simple, welcome! Those who have been reading for a while are already familiar with much of my story. The Real Simple article chronicles my struggle with compulsive shopping from my teenage years through to starting the blog and getting to where I am today. It’s my hope that my story will inspire others and show those in the throes of overshopping – and all its associated problems – that there is hope for recovery.
Along with my story is a sidebar article in which an addiction psychiatrist shares his perspective on compulsive shopping. I learned a few new things from reading this short piece, including the fact that one in ten Americans has an obsessive need to shop and that the problem affects men and women in roughly equal numbers. He also outlines some signs of shopping addiction and tips for recovery.
I have new respect for the process involved in creating magazine articles. I must have spoken to the writer for five or six hours, and I spent an entire day with the photographer! I’m basically happy with the end result, although some of the numbers in the article were exaggerated. Overall, though, I’m glad I opted to share my story, as it has the potential to help more people and lead others to my blog and this community.
Updates to the “Recovering Shopaholic” Website
Speaking of the website, I’d like to share some updates that I’ve recently made:
- I added a new “Start Here” page that outlines basic information about me and the blog and links to some popular and helpful posts on the key topics I write about. Although this page was created for the benefit of new readers, it may also interest longtime readers who want to review some of my best articles.
- I added a number of additional entries to the “Recovery Tips” page. These tips all link back to the original articles for those who want to read more or view the many interesting comments from readers. For a more comprehensive collection of shopping tips, check out my recently released book, “UnShopping: Recovery Solutions from an Ex-Shopaholic.” Also, stay tuned for my next book, “End Closet Chaos: Wardrobe Solutions from an Ex-Shopaholic,” to be published in August.
- I also added a few new e-courses to my Resources Page. This page lists a number of programs and books that have been personally vetted by me and have been given my stamp of approval. I plan to add more resources to this page shortly, including a list of my favorite blogs.
- On the Archives page, you can now view past articles by date, category, or keyword/phrase. There are now close to 200 articles on the site, so it’s helpful to have multiple ways to search for the content in which you’re most interested.
- Finally, I made some minor updates to my About page, where you can read more about my vision and mission for the blog and my background.
I plan to continue enhancing the site moving forward and write many new articles related to smart shopping, wardrobe management, shopping behavior and psychology, personal style – and more. If there’s a topic you’d like me to address, feel free to suggest it either in a comment or via my Connect page. I’m also open to guest posts on topics that will be of interest to my readers.
With Extreme Gratitude
I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of my readers! I’m very grateful to be invited into your in-boxes (and computer screens) several times per week to share the insights I’ve gained through my recovering shopaholic journey.
I know some of you comment on my posts and send me emails, but many of you have not reached out to me and may never do so. That’s okay, as I know you’re there and I write for you. To those who do comment, I learn as much from you as you do from me, and your thoughts shape many of my future posts. I love the synergy that is created through our collective wisdom!
Before You Go… A Few Useful Links to Share
I haven’t done a links post in a while, so I thought I’d close today by sharing a few articles I think you might enjoy.
- Sally from “Already Pretty” posts a collection of what she terms “Lovely Links” every Friday. I’m excited that she chose to feature my “Dark Side of Style Redefinition” post in today’s edition!
- Jill Chivers shared “11 Simple Truths About Accessories.” My favorite is #4, “No outfit is truly complete without accessories.” I also love numbers 3, 6, and 7 (but they’re all good!).
- Janice of “The Vivienne Files” offers some sage wisdom: “Before You Shop, Consider Rekindling the Romance with Your Closet.” This is an important reminder, especially considering the topics we’ve been discussing on the blog as of late!
- Courtney of “Project 333” posted a very thought-provoking article about how “Dressing with Less Will Help You Get Everything You Really Want.” My favorite line was this one: “You’ll never find something to wear that makes you feel beautiful, smart, or loved if you don’t believe that you already are.” If only I had learned this years ago, I could have saved myself thousands of dollars and countless hours!
- Mette of “The Yogastic Shopping Planner” is always coming up with fun and original ideas to explore. Recently, she’s been looking at the process of developing a wardrobe from scratch and what it costs to do so.
- I always enjoy posts about capsule wardrobes. “Into Mind” recently shared an interview with Caroline of “Unfancy,” who puts together a 37-piece wardrobe every season. Although Carolyn’s wardrobe skews a little young for some of us (but she’s absolutely adorable), her principles can be used by all!
- I love the intelligence and honesty of Kali’s posts on “The Nife en L’Air.” Her recent analysis of her willpower lapse during her shopping fast was just brilliant. The lessons she learned are encapsulated succinctly and are applicable to many!
- Bridgette Raes recently shared a wonderful post from her archives on “Throwback Thursday.” I highly recommend that you check out “Retail Therapy: The Cost of Buying Clothes to Cope.” While you’re at it, you might want to check out my post on the same topic, “Retail Therapy is a Ruse.”
I hope you like the articles above, as well the Real Simple feature if you get a chance to read it. Feel free to share any other useful links you have in the comments section. I wish you all a wonderful weekend!
Hey you’re famous now! That sounds like it was really exciting. I look forward to getting a copy and reading the article. I will have to wait until it hits the stands though because I don’t have a subscription. You’ve helped many people with this blog so I’m happy to see good things flowing your way.
I don’t know if I’m famous… I’ll let you know if anyone comes up to me in San Diego and mentions the article. Now that would be weird! I think the August issue should be at the stands now, but I haven’t checked yet. I plan to buy a few extra copies this weekend if I can. Thanks for your support and your kind words, as always!
Congratulations, Debbie! How wonderful that you will be able to reach a much wider audience now.
Thanks so much, Sarah! I hope the article brings a lot of new readers. That would be great!
I actually got to read the article on Saturday while at the local library. Very nice!
Glad you liked it, Sarah!
Just in case you care, your address is visible on the real simple magazine cover.
Congratulations on the magazine article and your upcoming book!!
Thanks for the heads up about my address, Leah. It’s only a PO Box, but still better not to have it on there. I have removed it from the image. Thanks for the congrats, too!
Just wanted to make sure you knew! Congratulations again! You really deserve all your success!
I appreciate your support and kind words, Leah!
Debbie, congrats! That’s huge! And you look fabulous in that photo with your signature stripes!
Thanks, Sarah. Of course, I had to wear stripes for the photo shoot 🙂 I actually had a few different outfits, but this is the one they went with. It was shot at my favorite mall. I don’t go there nearly as much as I used to, though!
Arohanui from New Zealand. Your blog continues to be my favourite. xo
New Zealand is one of my favorite places in the world, Fiona! It’s where I went on my honeymoon. So glad you enjoy my blog!
How brilliant, I’m so pleased for you! I look forward to reading more about you. I was wondering if you have discovered a fuller life now that you shop less. I’ve just read an archive post of yours about over-buying cosmetics and skincare etc and it really resonated with me. I shop for clothes/hair products/skincare and make-up to feel ‘good enough’ but I have no attachment to things so I’ll happily throw it away if it doesn’t ‘work’ after a week. I’m looking for the perfect everything – unfortunately it’s expensive and time-consuming and isn’t bringing me any pleasure anymore. At heart I’m a minimalist too.
P.S. My new blog didn’t work for me – it gave me another reason to spend more time online instead of engaging in real life so I decided to spend time here instead! Thankfully I recognized the behaviour quickly and made a decision to change. Hope it’s ok if I just hang out here and learn from you instead 🙂
Thanks, Saltbox! I’m still struggling with the full life part of the equation, but my life is definitely more balanced than it used to be and I have other hobbies besides shopping. I’ll do a “full life project” update again soon. Good for you for realizing that blogging wasn’t having the right impact on you. I need to engage more in real life, too… You’re welcome to hang out here as much as you want!
Congratulations on the magazine article Debbie! You’re going from strength to strength! And I can’t wait for the next book!
Thanks so much, Kayla! I had to announce the book here to keep myself on track. Works like a charm 🙂
Amazing Debbie! Huge Congrads! You look great in the photo.
Thanks for the congrats and the compliment, Wendy!
I cannot remember when I found your blog through Janice’s site, nor do I recall why I started reading as I am not or have been a shopaholic. I did, however, have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. That initial clean-out was pretty intimidating , but now getting dressed and feeling great in what I wear is a matter of a couple of minutes in the morning. So Debbie, know that you have something to say to women like me, also. Congratulations on your success.
You’ve been reading and commenting for a very long time, Cornelia, and I really appreciate your support. I’m so glad that non-shopaholics also enjoy my blog and learn from my posts. I didn’t expect that to happen, but it’s been a very welcomed surprise!
Oh wow! Congratulations! You inspire so many people who’ve found you here and now I’m sure there’ll be lots more! How wonderful 🙂
Thanks, Mette. You and so many others inspire me, too! I wish I could gather all of you together in one place and get to meet you in person. It would be a lot of fun! But I very much appreciate and enjoy the virtual connections, too.
Congrats Debbie! I’ve got a feeling your readership is about to grow even more……
I hope so, Kim. I love that a lot of people are already reading, but the more the merrier!
This is gonna get real personal real quick BUT-
I just read your article in RS (actually I got to the part that names your blog and decided I needed to come and comment right NOW). I’ve never considered myself addicted to shopping. My parents worked menial jobs my whole life, parents divorced when I was 6, and my dad pretty much abandoned my older brother and I immediately after so I was raised by a single mom who did everything in her power to give me what I wanted. Like you I was painfully shy so I didn’t have many friends. My mom married my step dad when I was 10 and around 13 I started cutting myself. I was hospitalized twice when I was 16 for suicidal tendencies and was diagnosed with depression. About a year after I got my first job, I went with my mom to open a SAVINGS account for college and I was awesome at not using it. Until the summer before I left for a college 8 hours away from where I grew up. I started shopping. Nothing big. Then I opened my first credit card under the advice of pretty much everyone who said “gas only, pay it off right away” which was great. Then I headed off to college. And bought everything. The depression became awful and I became bulimic. I transferred to a school near home so I could commute and made no friends there. I opened up about 6 credit cards. I would go to class, have a break and go to the mall less than 5 miles away, shop, go back to class, go home. It was a horrific cycle. I would pay off the minimum and then max it out again. The depression got so bad I dropped out of school. When I met my fiancé I tried to go back to school and couldn’t get a student loan (even with a co-signer because I had also stopped paying my student loans back). He tried to help me and it’s been okay for awhile but I still find myself getting depressed and going shopping. We’re planning our wedding for next October and I’m terrified we won’t have enough money because I can’t stop buying dumb stuff.
Anyway I wanted to thank you for sharing your story so I can share it with my fiancé so he can really see (I still hate talking about my feelings) and hopefully get through this together. So, thank you again and I’m sorry this was such a long winded thanks.
Thank you so much for being so open, Laura. I wish I could give you a big hug! Your story brought me to tears. From reading my story, you know I can really relate. Our journeys have a lot of similarities… You and your fiance can definitely get through this together. It won’t be easy and there will be ups and downs, but it IS possible to overcome a compulsive shopping problem! I still struggle, as you read, but I know I have progressed considerably since I started my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed the Real Simple article and I hope it will help your fiance to understand what you’re going through. Please stick around and write again to let me know how you’re doing. I will be pulling for you, and there are lots of other supportive people here who will be, too!
Congratulations Debbie! I have been subscribed to your email blog for over a year. I have learned so many useful things. I’m glad I can go back and look up previous posts and find those gems that really resonated with me. Thanks for including us on your journey. (I don’t even remember if I found you through Courtney and Project 333 or vice versa!)
Thanks so much for your comment, Jen! I’m so happy that my blog has been helpful for you and I hope it will continue to be moving forward. Lots of people found me through Courtney and Project 333, but I’m happy to have led some people to that resource, too. Project 333 has been instrumental in my recovery and I just might revisit it (or a variation thereof) again soon on the blog…
What great news! I also love that you’ve given us even more fun things to read and do on your blog. Enjoy your success and remember, you were already successful before fame came a’knocking.
I’m glad you like the new blog features, Amy! And thanks for what you said about my success. I don’t necessarily think I’m famous now, but I’m happy to have had a larger platform via Real Simple. I really meant it that I was thrilled to impact even just one person in a positive way. All the rest is really gravy 🙂
Congrats on the article in RS, Debbie! I just read it in my daughter’s copy, and it was a great read! You look fabulous in the photo, too! I hope your blog gains many more fans!
I’m glad you enjoyed the article, Tricia. Thanks for your kind words about the photo!
Wow Debbie! I remember encouraging you when you first started on your Project 333 journey, and look at you now. Your journey is inspiring. Congratulations! I can’t wait to check out the article.
Yes, that seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it, Sara? I’m glad you’ve been inspired by my journey. It’s far from over, but I’m glad to have made some good progress!
Congratulations Debbie! I can’t wait to see the article posted here :). I’m very excited for you and you already should know I enjoy your writing ;)… I can’t wait for the next book either! Through you I’ve been able to ‘walk the walk’ and not just talk about it! Your blog has been instrumental to my personal growth and you’ve led me to so many great blogs and concepts as well. Thank you for all you do- and I hope Mr. Roes knows how helpful you’ve been to us!!
Hopefully, I’ll be able to post the article soon, Meli. I’m looking into it. I really appreciate your kind words. It warms my hear to know that I’ve made an impact on other people’s lives. I’m always happy to share other blogs that I enjoy, including yours. You’ve made some great strides, too, and I enjoy following your progress!
Debbie, congrats on the piece about you in Real Simple magazine and another big congratulations on your forthcoming book. I just knew that if you held on to faith and continued writing, it would take you to where you need to go, and I’m thrilled it has turned out to be fun for you in the process. Wishing you more goodness along this journey.
Thanks so much, Terra. I definitely plan to keep writing and I hope I can achieve the type of success you have one day. In the meantime, however, I’m doing my best to enjoy the process. I appreciate your kind words and wishes!
Congratulations! This is well deserved. I am a professional writer/ghostwriter and I read hundreds of blogs for my job. Yours is one of the best-written. On a personal level, I really appreciate your openness and honesty. It’s helped me greatly with my own shopping issues. Wishing you even more success in the future!
I really appreciate what you wrote about my writing, Karin. It means a lot coming from a professional writer! Also, I’m happy that my blog has helped you with your shopping issues. I’m always happy to hear such feedback from readers!
To echo Karin’s comment above, your writing IS excellent, and the only thing that disappointed me about the article was that they didn’t have you write it yourself! The photo is great – that dress is one of my favorites in your wardrobe, and you look so well put together and sophisticated in the photo spread. I hope the increased readership this article brings will be a positive thing for you, and I look forward to continuing my journey to recovery with your valuable insights. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition of the importance of what you’re doing here!
Your kind words are much appreciated, AggieMom! I had to reiterate to my mom that I didn’t write the article, as she was telling people I did. I guess it was confusing because it was written as a first person account. Maybe one day I will get my writing published in a high profile magazine! Thanks for your compliments on the photo and outfit. I had to wear stripes in the photo 🙂
Just another note of congratulations. I read the article at the library–and felt that I had a “brush with fame”–though our acquaintance is only on-line.
Thanks, Frugalscholar. I don’t think I’m famous, but it was an honor to be featured in Real Simple. I’m glad I can still move about town without being asked for my autograph or to pose with someone for a “selfie”! 🙂
Congratulations on the continued growth for your message and acknowledgement of your hard work. Wonderful news!
Thanks so much, Lisa! I hope the article and the continued growth of this blog will help other shopaholics who want to change.
Debbie, I read your article in Real Simple and LOVED IT!! It’s like you were speaking directly to me. I just bought your ebook (loved the price) and am reading it in between clients. I am fascinated by this. I have already written down the 6 questions and put it in my wallet. You are such an inspiration Debbie. Thank You!!
Welcome, Gina! I’m glad you enjoyed the article and are also liking my e-book. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I hope you comment again to let me know how you’re doing!