I’m only slightly ashamed to say that I’ve been an -aholic several times in my nineteen years of life (slightly because I am mostly proud of these terrible addictions). There was the time I was a candyholic and then just a plain ole’ sugarholic, and then that terrible time I was a shopaholic, and of course the sorta famous (ok I mentioned it in one of my last posts) time I was a scratch-offaholic. They’re all bad. No one is better than the others (but at least I’m not an alcoholic right?).
I think my favorite (destructive) addictions have been my shopping addiction and my scratch off addiction. I like them because they both came at different times in my life. I was a shopaholic when I was miserable and a scratch-off addict when I was happy (though both addictions made me momentarily happy (when I swiped my card for something I bought and when I handed the cashier my cash for a scratch off card).
I’ll tell you about them (because I know you’re dying to know the stories).
My shopaholic tendencies started my first semester of college (you know the college I went to and then hated and then decided to stay home because I didn’t get into any clubs and didn’t make any friends and basically was completely miserable) when I went on my first two-in-the-morning-McDonald’s-run. I can’t be spending too much money, I have to watch what I spend. I’ll get those dollar chicken nuggets and fries, I can get a drink at home. ………their sweet tea is really good. ……maybe I need more than four nuggets. Am I hungrier than four nuggets? It’s only this one time…I’ll just order two orders of nuggets. It’s only a dollar. I’ll feel better (about being home alone while all my roommates were out because I had no friends) after this. Yeah I’ll feel better. Okay just this once, yeah, it’s fine. It’s just like five dollars. (Famous last words.)
It only took three more club rejections (and for my (now former) boyfriend to tell me he didn’t want to hang out with me and for my roommates to turn into the devil’s children themselves and for the people I thought were my new friends to stop inviting me places (other stories in themselves of course)) to send me into a spiral downwards into a deep and miserable and really dark abyss. I bought things for myself (things I never used or wore again). I bought things for other people (because the buying made me happy and the giving to others part made me happier). I bought meals I never finished and foods when I went grocery shopping that I said I would eat and never did. And every time my plastic little debit card swiped on the machine, every time I entered my four-digit PIN number, every time I hung up a sweater I would never see again, and every time I strutted to my car with a shopping bag in my hand I was in a state of bliss (for a whole five seconds, but nonetheless, bliss). And every time I got home, settled in with my new belongings and laid on my bed to think about how happy that sweater would make my sister if I gave it to her, or how nice it would be to give former boyfriend that new shirt, I would smile.
I had just shopped myself to happiness.
What a great therapy.
And then it would sink in.
It would really sink in.
I am never going to wear those shorts. Where the heck am I going to wear those shoes? Am I ever going to crack open that book? Why did I just buy this?
How much did I just spend?
And then I would be sad again, because not only would I never wear those shorts I just spent 20 dollars on, but I had just spent 20 dollars on a pair of shorts. SO, I did what most kids do.
(I called my mom crying.)
She sent me the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, told me I had a problem and sent me on my merry way. I won’t tell you how much I spent in those couple months. But I will tell you that it did stop (I moved back home and got broken up with (so I had no one to buy things for)). So if you’re a shopaholic, you’ll get past it (i think…(but I guess I can really only speak for myself)).
The scratch off addiction was fairly recent. I had cash in my wallet and bought one and it was a roller coaster that never stopped from there. Scratching off became a pass-time. It was something I did for fun.
Like really. I would grab a friend and grab some cash and we would sit in the parking lot of a gas station and scratch, win. redeem our winning cards and buy some more. It was great (though again I will not tell you how much I spent, but I will say we came out with some good winnings (no, I’m not a millionaire yet (though I wish I could because I would love to pay off my schooling (school sucks)), but we did score enough cash to buy us a hotel room in Austin for a road trip we went on)). If only I didn’t go home and feel completely miserable about the money I spent, but the three dollars I won were (soooo) worth it.
I stopped (only because I don’t really have the friend I would typically scratch-off with (another story)), and that’s good, because another addiction conquered. I’m completely recovered.
I’m just waiting until I’m not a lame nineteen year old anymore though.
(I’m pretty sure gambling is going to be my next problem)
Don’t think I have a problem (though I do have problems, let’s get real).
I don’t reaaaaaally have a problem because in fact, the first step is acceptance.
And I’ve accepted it.
Hi, I’m Laura and I’m a ___aholic.