Like I said in my previous post my therapist would like me to document things I am going through. One thing that stands out like a pink elephant in the room is when I start sinking down I go on spending binges. I always have. Before I would go charge up a new credit card. At one point I had two Target credit cards. I’ve been known to be in a bad way and come home declaring to my husband that we MUST buy a new TV now because the old one is just ugly. The next thing I knew we were opening a Good Guys account and not just buying the biggest fanciest TV but throwing in a retardedly expensive Bose surround sound with a subwoofer bigger then my car.

I remember once, being in the midst of a mood and going to Old Navy. I somehow walked out with $600.00 in clothes charged to my Mastercard. Two days later I felt so bad that I went to return about $400.00 worth. The only problem was, in those two days they restocked and while I returned the $400.00 in clothes I walked out with $500.00 more. So somehow I ended up buying $700.00 in crap all because I was feeling sad.

When I was on bed rest I couldn’t stop online shopping. One day, the sheet on my bed ripped. I didn’t feel right ordering another $120.00 sheet so I went to another cheaper website. Before I knew it I had ordered, sheets, pillowcases, a blanket, two kids feather duvets and two kids feather beds. When the box came I was so afraid of what I had done I pretended they screwed up and that I hadn’t really ordered the expensive ass blanket and returned it. I purchased irately expensive bedding for Codi’s room because it made me feel better, never mind the set I had for Brandon was so expensive I needed to take a loan out on my house to buy it, and never mind that it was a million times cuter then the new set for Codi, dammit I wanted something shiny and new and it was for my baby so it was okay.

I never realized my sprees coincided with my lows, because I wasn’t always as acutely aware of my lows as I am now. Which is why I realized Friday that I fucked up. I told Rob Brandon needed some sandals. This was true; he only has Crock type sandals. He doesn’t have anything for going out and looking nice. Rob gave me grief, which I get because we are broke (gee I wonder why Shannon). I was already sinking low and he made it worse. Before I knew it I was at Payless writing a $150.00 check for about 7 or 8 pairs of shoes. Then I walked to Walmart and spent over $200.00 on shorts for the boys, a couple dresses for me and some other shit I didn’t need. We left for California and that night in a moment of frustration I found myself at Kmart spending $100.00 on things like paper plates, cereal and baby lotion. Yesterday morning I realized this was all bad. Very bad. So today I packed up all the shoes and returned them (minus one pair Brandon had worn), I have a bag of things to return to Walmart, and the Kmart stuff I’m stuck with because we don’t have one here.

Even if I don’t spend the money on me I’ll spend it. I’ll buy for the boys, for my husband for my friends, anyone. I can’t get in trouble if I’m buying clothes for Codi right? My husband won’t get too mad if the money I spent was on a shiny new trinket for him.

My husband is reading this right now wondering how he can kill me, collect life insurance and run away and find a NORMAL wife.

I told my therapist about all of this. He said it was good that I recognized that I was doing it and the next thing we need to work on is exercises to make me stop the behavior before it starts, get worse or continues.
I am trying to document all of this. Write down the phases I go through so I can remember them, but also to draw attention to them in case any of you are going through this.

It’s hard living with this disease, this affliction because everything is a problem. Everything is like dominos, tip one and 30 fall. The spending causes depression, the depression causes me to eat, the weight gain causes depression, the depression causes me to push people away, the loneliness causes depression, the depression causes…well you get the point.

There really is no relief from it all either. When I’m not having lows the logical answer is that I’m having highs. Only, when I’m having highs my OCD kicks in. Suddenly I’m on top of the world cleaning, organizing, doing projects, cooking and GO GO GOING! Do you know how much anxiety it causes to go like that? The exhaustion that comes with that kind of lifestyle. Before I know it, I run out of steam, crash and find myself right back where I started, depressed and feeling inadequate because I can’t keep up with the insane cleaning, cooking, parenting that I could just days earlier. The guilt fuels the depression monster and suddenly I can’t even tell which way is up.

That is where I am now. I’m staring at laundry I should be putting away, and dishes to do and crumbs on the floor and all I can think is I’M NOT DOING ENOUGH, I SHOULD BE DOING MORE BUT I CAN’T FUCKING DO IT MY MIND WON’T LET ME. This makes me feel worse. It makes me afraid my husband will come home wondering what the fuck I did all day. Afraid my kids will get less then perfect because I don’t have the energy for a bubble bath tonight. I’m afraid people will think I’m falling down on the job. I don’t know who I am if I’m not the best. I don’t know who I am if other husbands aren’t jealous of Rob’s wife. Jealous because she packs the best lunch and cooks the best food. I don’t know who I am if other men in my life don’t come to my house and wish theirs looked as tidy as mine. Who am I if I’m not the most on top of it mom at the preschool. All of this causes an identity crisis and OH MY FUCKING GOD IT IS ENOUGH ALREADY I DON’T NEED ONE MORE GODDAMN PIECE OF SHIT THING IN MY HEAD.
So there. That is a look into my daily mind. Enjoy.

14 thoughts on “Compulsions

  1. I definitely think it was a great idea of your therapist to make you document everything so you can find connections between your moods and what they make you do.
    One thing I know is that at some point in my past I tried to be perfect and the best at absolutely everything too until I realized that that person I was trying to be so hard was not me and that the people who truly care about me will love me no matter what. I know that sounds super cheesy but still…


  2. I go on shopping sprees when I am feeling angry at my husband, I usually go to the mall and buy MYSELF a ton of new clothes. And a new Fossil purse for good measure. When I am no longer angry, I feel incredibly guilty about my behavior.


  3. I think this could be incredibly helpful for you, you know, writing it all down, recording your feelings, thoughts, and whatnot.
    I shop when we are broke. That is when I buy myself the very most stuff. No kidding. If we have no money I go to Macy’s and just shop. It is AWFUL!


  4. I have to be honest in tell you all of this fascinates me. (I originally always wanted to go into psychology and be a therapist or work in the school system with kids but then I found out in order to get a real job doing it, it was four more years of college. So I did my other passion, teaching.) I hope things start getting easier and it all helps.


  5. I just had a terrific idea. From now on, I’m coming with you to the store. Everytime. You love it when I come anyways, and also I will bite your head off if you try buying shit we don’t need. 😉


  6. irst tomorrow I will have been married for 20 years WOW. When I got married I was 105 I got up to 206 I’m right now 170 and Kirk still loves me for me he doesn’t look at how big my ass is well maybe he does but he still slaps it after all these years and he LOVES ME!!! I think this all has to be my fault. When your dad died and you got sad I would take you shopping. I could never refuse those big blue eyes when they looked sad. It got to be that it did not matter why you were sad we would go shopping. I know I’m OCD and I’m Ok with it in fact I love it cause I get every thing done and it is done right. I get overwhelmed but everyone does its ok just go sit outside water your plants turn on some music and just take a big deep breath and know Ill always be here. With all my love Mom


  7. Ya Rob cause we all know you really needed those tires and rims you just got. Guys buy shit for their cars that they don’t need and girl buy clothes and shoes that we do need. Am I not right girls. Love ya Rob


  8. “Are you strong enough to be my man” by Sheryl Crowe was the song playing in the background the first time I read this post. Very appropriate. I think Rob is strong enough, who wants NORMAL you guys are lucky to have each other. He loves you the way you are.
    You are not alone. I know lots of people who use “retail therapy” to try to make themselves feel better. I agree with your therapist realizing you do that is the first step to change.
    I am such a dork you probably planned the song to be playing huh? Well if not it was very cool.


  9. You know, I think you’re amazing. You are TRYING to make yourself better. And that’s pretty damn amazing. Seriously.
    I do retail therapy too. I will not balance our checkbook and instead of paying bills, I’ll go shopping. I’ll buy HUNDREDS of dollars of clothes for Bayley, stuff for the house, food, etc. So I’m along the same lines as you.
    And I think Rob is pretty nice in that he is very supportive of you. That rocks.


  10. Years ago we had 3 credit cards. Due to a new mortgage and not being able to keep up, I cut the cards up, put myself on a strict budget and STOPPED spending.
    Now, if we don’t have cash, we don’t buy it. Period.
    You and Rob need to have a sit down and figure out what would work best for you.
    My husband does not have a checkbook, nor does he carry the debit card unless he needs gas, or something like that. He is the spender. Unfortunately I have to take control of the money and any major purchases we discuss beforehand.
    My Mom has issues and she is a shopper. She is getting credit cards left and right and her hubby has no idea. She justifies it but to me it is not right. Atleast you acknowledge what you do. Now try to change it with Robs and your therapist’s help.


  11. I barely know you and you are to me: a delightfully funny girl, a wonderful mom and an awesome wife. A clean house, a yummy lunch and nice clothes/home decor is not what is going to make you a good mommy, wife or person. But I totally get you… sometimes I just think that I appear to not have it all together and that bugs the shit out of me. I think we all worry to much about what others think of us. I am totally guilty of that.
    I think what your therapist has suggested is a great idea. It will bring to your attention what you are doing and hopefully you can make the changes you need to.
    Take care!


  12. This sounds eerily familiar to me. I’m not quite the spender that you are, though I do spend when the depression hits, but I do tend to avoid paying bills and just whittle away the checking account on stupid little things here and there and before I know it we are thisclose to collections with our debtors. Stupid, huh? Stupider still that I see this and still do it even knowing the triggers. It has meant that dh and I have to TALK much more openly about our finances than we ever have and he has had to step up and take some authority from me in the spending arena. Still working on it, as it is a never-dying demon, but it is more manageable with the two of us than it is with just me battling this issue.
    Hang in there….


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