The following is a guest post from Christine Li, Ph.D., whose story of finding lost time by looking in her closet is part of my “Stories of Recovery” series. Christine is a clinical psychologist who specializes in helping her clients recover from chronic procrastination and anxiety. She started her blog, Procrastination Coach, in 2013.
If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), or if you have an idea for another type of guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts.
How else might you spend your time if you weren’t shopping?
About a month ago, I went to the mall in search of a few of the items on my shopping priorities list. Since I was looking for very specific things, I probably walked into and out of close to half of the stores in the mall. During the process, I observed many other shoppers and later jotted down a few notes to potentially explore in a future post. When I shopped again this past weekend, I was reminded of my impressions from the June excursion.
In today’s post, I write from the perspective of a recovering shopaholic who has emerged enough from my compulsion to see it in a different light. While it’s true that I am not yet completely recovered (that may take a while…), I am sometimes able to view the folly that shopping can be with the wise eyes of an outside observer. It is my hope that my observations will be helpful to you and will provoke both deep thoughts, as well as lively discussion for those who wish to chime in!
Do you shop til you drop but not have much to show for it?
I’ve been writing this blog for over a year now. When I started the blog, I selected the title “Recovering Shopaholic” as a way of declaring my intention for recovery to myself and to the world at large. I also hoped to connect with and inspire fellow shopaholics who want to overcome their compulsive shopping habits. Over the course of this past year, I feel very fortunate to have achieved some measure of success on both fronts.
I went shopping the other day for the first time in about a month. As I left the mall, I was struck by a very strong feeling of “maybe I’m cured.” I didn’t feel the same “pull” or exhilaration for the activity of shopping as I used to feel. My mind was clearly “running the show” rather than my emotions and I felt very pleased at the shift in both my thinking and my behavior.
There is life beyond compulsive shopping…
I started this blog in January 2013 as a way of keeping myself honest and accountable as I worked to overcome my decades-long compulsive shopping problem. I also hoped to potentially connect with and inspire others who struggle with overshopping. Over the past year-plus, I’ve made excellent progress with my recovery and have been pleased that many others have followed along and shared their challenges and triumphs with me and with each other.
That’s the good news, but if you sensed that there’s a “but” coming, you’re absolutely right! While I pat myself on the back for what I’ve accomplished thus far, I have to be honest and confess that compulsive shopping is proving to be a very hard habit for me to break. In this post, I spill the proverbial beans about my continued struggles and what I’ve come to understand about myself and my motivations.
Recovering from compulsive shopping can be a difficult climb…
As holiday festivities get under way for many people around the world, I’d like to take a few moments to send warm wishes to all of my readers. I just returned from five days in the Lake Tahoe area with part of my family and will be spending tonight and tomorrow with my husband’s family here in San Diego. I thought I’d have time to write more today, but as is often the case around the holidays, the days and hours speed by and we wonder where the time went!
Christmas Wishes and Gratitude
I’ll be back later in the week with a standard post, but for now I’d like to wish a Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate. Thank you all for reading my blog and being a part of my life during 2013. It’s been a blessing for me to have my words read by so many wonderful people around the world and I am truly grateful for each and every one of you. Continue reading
As I’ve mentioned previously, I subscribe to a lot of magazines and blogs. Although I’m gradually paring things down in both areas, I still consume quite a bit of information. Most recent articles have focused primarily on holiday deals and gift guides, but there have been some bright spots of refreshing content buried among the consumerist morass.
This time of year is about more than gifts and shopping!
Since I haven’t done a “useful links” post in a while, I decided to share some of my favorite recent articles on the topics of holidays and shopping with you today. Some of these articles are from popular bloggers, so you may have already seen them, but I’m sharing them anyway because they’re just so good (and worth a second read!). Continue reading
A few weeks ago, the following quote was posted by one of my Facebook “friends”:
Retail therapy works every time.”
I had to resist the strong temptation to fire back with, “No, it doesn’t!” Although I didn’t want to get into a lengthy debate on Facebook, I do want to write about the concept of “retail therapy” here on the blog. I have some strong feelings about this term and its implications. In today’s post, I share my thoughts on “retail therapy,” how I don’t believe it’s really helpful at all, and what I believe might work every time.
So you shopped til you dropped – did it really help anything?