I just wanted to send you some
and tell you that it CAN get better. I ought to know since I think I am one of the poster children for compulsive spending <sigh>.
You have no idea how hard it was to finally admit that perhaps the fact that DH and I had $20,000 in credit card debt might possibly indicate a tiny problem (and the sad fact of it is that 90% of that is my fault
DH and I decided to go see a debt counsellor and that was truly scary. Having it all laid out in front of us (we only went to get some advice and he looked at it and said "uh guys...no way are you gonna get out of this without some serious help")
We decided to work with the credit card counsellor and he called all of our credit cards and got our interest reduced to 0%. We pay $395 a month for the next 4 years and then we will be credit card debt free. It didn't cost us anything to do this because the credit counselling agency is paid by the cc companies (I guess there are more of me than I thought since the cc companies consider this a valuable service...<big sigh again>)
I feel like a total schmuck revealing all of this here...but I figure if I can help someone else than maybe this will serve some sort of purpose YK? We have now officially paid off $5000 of the $20,000 and that feels amazing. But it hasn't been easy. We had to give up ALL of our credit cards. We can't get a bigger house until we are out of credit card counselling for a year so that means we are stuck in this tiny house for at least 4 more years. I sure hope our car holds out that long because if we do need a new one we will probably pay through the nose with interest.
I found that for me shopping was a way of shovelling my feelings about other things in my life that were ticking me off or making me sad. Rather than deal with the actually source of the problem I would go out and spend. I am not "cured" yet by any means but it is getting better and because I have no credit I can only dig so far when I start to fall off the wagon.
The very worst thing is that I am having to work full-time contracts (6 months a year) because I can't afford to stay home. Nothing like looking your child in the eye and telling them that things took precedence over your desire to be home with him
It is a REAL problem and you can get help for it. It doesn't make you a bad person. For some people it is drugs or alcohol or gambling and for others it is things like shopping...but they are all distructive and can cause serious problems in your life if you let them take over.
I'm really REALLY proud of you for admitting you have a problem. It is a very hard thing to do! You can get better though Jamie. I know you may not believe that at this moment but there can be a time when no one is hunting you down for money. And you will be able to look your little guy in the eye and say "yup I had a problem but I faced it head on and I conquered it one step at a time". Its hard...but it is worth it. If you want to talk any time about it please feel free to email or PM me.