Yes, I am.
I am dealing with this in therapy. So many things unearthed- so many reasons why I do it.
Food used to be my addiction. I ate so much, ate and ate and ate…. it filled my life.
Then the Doctors found a 14cm cyst in my huge belly, one that went undetected by me because I figured I was just overweight.
The Doctor sat me down and told me that the grapefruit sized cyst was sitting on my right fallopian tube, and that it- and the tube- needed to be removed. I was 22.
How could I have been so disconnected from myself, from my body- not to realize that I had this enormous form growing inside of me?
I was told that a girl my age should not weigh what I did, that I needed to lose weight.
Easier said than done, right?
I decided to change my eating habits and start anew the day after the surgery ( but not the night before, as I had a huge meal from McDonald’s as my last “Hurrah”).
At the time, I was dating my husband. The same day I had my surgery to remove the cyst, was the day he and his best friend were in the airport waiting to board a plane to India (they had been planning that trip for years- buying motorcycles and backpacking through the country). I was alone. But I knew I could get through it.
I decided that those 4 months that we spent a part, would be my motivator to lose the weight.
I had the surgery and was weak, couldn’teat. Lost a few pounds. Then, with that as my motivator, I began watching what I ate, and started to exercise.. I did it in a healthy way.
And I started to melt.
I dropped 40 pounds. It felt great.
But now all my clothes didn’t fit… I needed to buy new ones.
So I did.
And with each new article of clothing I purchased, I felt power. It made me feel good that for once I was viewed as beautiful, and not just the “girl with the pretty face” (which we all know what that means, don’t we?).
I flew to see my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) after he returned from India, and no one- including him- recognized me. I heard compliments right and left.
One of my husband’s neighbors who I had met once before the weight loss (when I was blond- yeah, it was bad), introduced herself to me. I said I had met her, and she said that she only remembered meeting my husband’s old girlfriend who was heavy with blond hair… ha.
With my new body, I was finally able to dress the way I always wanted to- trendy, “with it”- not just all in black to hide the fat.
People complimented me often for my clothing or the way I looked. It fed my insecurity. Made me feel good.
Food was no longer my addiction, as we all know: if you don’t solve the reason why you eat, or spend, or do drugs- you will just move from addiction, to addiction.
Buying something new, makes me feel good inside. It’s a rush.
Usually, I will buy clothing, things for the home, gifts, etc.
The way my home looks is a reflection of me, and when people come by- I often get the “wow” factor. My apartment is not big by any means, and I cant do much with the ugly bathroom, but I can do a lot with how I decorate the place.
I fight with my husband often about my spending. We are currently a one income family. My husband is in school, and I work. Money is the number one reasons couples break up. He likes to knit pick about every little thing I buy, and a part of me feels like he has no say- since I am the one making the money.
I care so much; too much, about what others think of me, how others view me.
These things that I purchase, give me other peoples approvals- something I didnt have while growing up.
My mother always managed to find fault with me. She would often berate me. I remember being in the 8th grade and not being able to see the blackboard from my desk. I tried on a classmate’s glasses and suddenly, I could see everything from far!
I remember going to an optometrist with my father, and being prescribed glasses. I came home and told my mother that the glasses would be ready for pick up next week.
She looked at me and said “Really, you re going to need glasses? You already wear braces. Do you really want to be “that” girl?” I don’t think you really need the glasses”
So I guess I know the source of my insecurities, but dealing with them- slaying the dragons- are much harder.
I look at my girls, and see a blank slate. I don’t want to pass this on to them.
I buy them mostly clothes, because how they are dressed- is a reflection of me.
And I will probably buy them things that they ask for as they get older so that they can fit in (or conform- however you want to view it).
At least I am in therapy discussing it.
Do any of you feel like you have some sort of addiction that you cant break, but don’t want to pass on to your kids? Come on- spill it.