For much of my life, I have not wanted to deal with my feelings. Growing up as an only child, I really didn’t have to. While my dad balanced two jobs most of the time (he used to be a workaholic), my mom stayed at home due to her ailing health. I had my mom all to myself and she was my best friend. Whenever I had an issue or a problem or was just being a jerk, my mom was there to listen and fix it. It’s no wonder that after her death I found myself so lost.
I’m not a special snowflake but I feel things more than the general population due to a few mental health disorders I battle on a daily basis. For most of my life, up until recent years, I wasn’t medicated or in therapy. I dealt with things on my own or rather, didn’t. I became codependent, wanting to be obsessed with my partner. I gained weight because I loved food or more like I ate until I was numb. And I gave in to a shopping addiction because stuff was gonna make me a better person. I remember threatening to leave in a fight with my ex-fiancee and he threatened to take away my Tiffany & Co jewelry because he knew it would make me stay. Yeah, I’m embarrassed too.
I’m happy to report that while I can still be codependent, I am now in a loving and healthy relationship with a man I adore and who adores me too. While I gained an excessive amount of weight due to a thyroid issue, I don’t eat my feelings anymore. And while I still enjoy nice jewelry and things, I would never stay in a situation because of them. But lately, I keep wanting more.
I want to buy all the things lately. It started with a shopping bender at Bath & Body Works. Next, I added a bunch of Halloween decorations to my cart that I didn’t need. Then, I bought a ton of Stephen King books. Granted, I never pay full price for a book but did I really need so many? Fast food started showing up on my bank statement and so did extra pounds on the scale. I stocked up on snacks like they were going out of style. Last but not least, I caught myself trying to dress up my office wardrobe. I could use a few new things, mainly black flats and black cigarette pants, but I didn’t need all of the items I was ready to buy. It was until last week that I realized I was miserable.
I can’t get into all of the details about my revelation but maybe one day I can. All I know is that I was spending money and buying things to make me happy when that wasn’t going to do the trick. Isn’t that why a lot of us buy crap we don’t need or even necessarily want? Because one day it’s going to magically make us happy? All I ever want is to be happy and healthy and that really means dealing with what’s bothering me.
Am I Spending On My Happy?
I knew I needed to participate in a spending fast like Anna from And Then We Saved talks about on her blog because I needed to plug some money leaks. While plugging a money leak is like a band-aid, it gives me time to figure out what is really going on with the plumbing and why I am leaking in the first place.
This is why evaluating your spending is so important. Every time you swipe your debit card, you are voting with your dollars what matters to you. Is it living in a nice safe place? Or driving an expensive car? Does eating out help you feel better? Or does shopping at Target every week?
I am not saying spending money is a bad thing. Instead, I am a firm believer that you should put your money where your happy is like Sarah from Yes & Yes (one of the best blogs ever) preaches. But if you are spending money because you don’t want to deal with something, you won’t truly be happy. And if you aren’t truly happy, what’s the point of just spending money on stuff?
I’ll be continuing on my spending fast until the end of the month and then I’ll re-evaluate to see how I feel about my money leaks. So far, so good, but I know this weekend will be rough. My friends are all going to a taco festival and I’ll probably suffer from a slight case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Instead of wallowing, I plan on cleaning my house, decorating for Halloween and just taking it easy. I won’t be home the next two weekends so I plan on taking it easy while I can!
How do you determine what your spending leaks are? Have you ever participated in a spending fast?