February 06, 2019
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I Couldn't Stop Spending Money


This is Denise. We all like shopping, right? You know – those moments when you feel down and say to yourself: “Why don’t I just go to the mall and buy everything I want?” And then you come home with numerous bags containing things you actually don’t need, but you have a strange feeling of relief? Well, Denise can tell you that sometimes this seemingly innocent habit can become obsessive, and even dangerous.

She was in high school when her life suddenly turned into hell. Everything was going perfect – a loving family, nice friends, a wonderful boyfriend. When everything is going fine, at some point you start suspecting that it can’t last forever. And indeed, during her sophomore year, things started crumbling. Her parents had a huge argument and didn’t talk to each other. She even heard some conversations about a divorce. Denise became nervous because of these family problems, and couldn’t concentrate on her studies. Her grades went down.

Unfortunately, for the first time in her life, Denise had a nervous breakdown, and had no idea how to handle it. The worst thing was that she had no one to confide in – her parents had their own problems to deal with, and she had neither a best friend nor a boyfriend anymore. She didn’t want to bother people who weren’t very close to her, and she didn’t want to get too personal with them either. She had only one choice left to her – to deal with her problems on her own. Denise found her very own way to decrease her stress levels, which was…shopping!

She remembers once how her parents had a particularly heated argument, and she escaped from the house just to be on her own in silence for a while. “Where can I go?” she thought. Of course, the mall! Lots of people, crowded shops, food court. A perfect place to hide from your thoughts. It would also be nice to buy herself a couple of new outfits as a distraction from her depressed mood. So that’s what she did, and she really did forget about her problems completely while she was trying on new jeans and choosing herself a new handbag.

She had some money saved, and she had the opportunity to go shopping at least once a week. She was quickly becoming an addict – at some point she began to want to buy more things, more often. She was doing it not because she needed anything, but because she wanted those positive emotions she felt when shopping. After a couple of months, Denise realized that she was quickly running out of money, as well as space in her room to keep all the things she was buying. But it didn’t bother her at all! So, she could dedicate herself to her “hobby” completely.

Actually, storage space objectively wasn’t a big problem – she didn’t even wear what she bought, so she just stored new things wherever she could. Money was a bigger problem – she spent all the money she had, and the weekly allowance from her parents wasn’t enough. She came up with an ingenious solution – she started taking cash straight from her mom’s bag. She certainly wasn’t proud of herself, but she convinced herself that it was not stealing and that her mom wouldn’t mind anyway. Of course, it was stealing and now she feels ashamed about it! But at that moment she couldn’t help it – she so needed money for her addiction.

But then one day she decided that she needed to GO BIG. She took her dad’s credit card. What was she thinking?! Her idea was that if she spent just a little bit he wouldn’t notice. But unfortunately she didn’t manage to moderate her desires. She spent a huge sum of money, around 500 bucks, and returned the card to his wallet all scared and trembling about what he would do to her when he found out. But a day passed, then three, then five, and he seemed to have not noticed a thing. And she was dying to make another raid around the shops, so she thought, why don’t I do it just one more time?

That time she just couldn’t stop, she spent and spent and spent without even trying anything on, just buying whatever she could see. Until at some point she heard that phrase that everyone dreads: “Sorry, your card was declined”. Obviously, that was the signal to stop shopping. Of course, she became worried, because why on earth would a credit card be blocked? She got her answer at home when she was greeted by her dad, who was absolutely furious. He had been called by the bank and told that there had been numerous suspicious purchases on his card, and then he noticed that his credit card was missing. Denise decided not to invent any stories, and just told him the truth.

Well, at that point her mom and dad finally united to punish her, and it was the turning point when they finally made peace. She got the attention she longed for, and after that particular shock, she didn’t even feel the urge to go shopping anymore. Now she’s obsessed with keeping fit. Well...At least it doesn’t cost money!

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