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Unread 10-21-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
KatieCat
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Default Very strong urge to shoplift?

In an effort to pull myself from the throws of my depression last week, and my near-fatal slip, I decided that I needed to treat myself to some therapy shopping! Well, because I am a glutton for anything that makes me feel very good instantaneously and then very bad not long after; it should come as no surprise that I am a shop-a-holic as well. I have learned to control myself by filling my buggy at walmart with all the wonderful, sparkly, tempting things that I think I need. I pick them all out: clothes, makeup, books, jewlery, sunglasses, whatever. I look at them, I imagine using them, buying them, taking them home and finding them in my closet 6 months later with the tag still on them, and then I walk around for 3 hours, with all my goodies in the buggy, getting that momentary high that I love so much, then I put everything away except for maybe $50 worth of what I really need.

But this time, things didn't work so well. I spent all my money! That was the first problem. Which I think is understandable, though, I was depressed and trying to replace one addiction with another. But then, I couldn't get enough and once my money was gone, I had this uncontrollable urge to shoplift.

And I remembered this from the last time I was on Suboxone. The entire 7 months last time, everytime I went into the store, I REALLY wanted to steal something! Stupid little things, things I didn't even want or need or even particularly like. NOT COOL!

I never gave into temptation. I have NEVER shoplifted anything. I've never really been a thief. Excluding when my addiction was at it's worst; but then I didn't even steal very much. And not that it makes it okay or any better. I felt awful about it and still do and have been trying to replace it.

So I am wondering if I am subconciously trying to replace some sort of "excitement" that I felt from getting high. I never got a rush from breaking the law, but maybe life is just boring now for me and I'm trying to make it more "exciting" on a subconcious level? Or maybe I am just replacing my drug addiction with my shopping addiction and, just like my drug addiction, when I ran out of money, I had to resort to stealing to fuel it.

Or maybe the medicine has somehow lowered my inhibitions? I'm not really sure.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? It's probably not a side effect of the meds. Wasn't really sure where to put this. Anyone replacing an addiction with a non-chemical addiction? Anyone having strange urges like this? Just curious.
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Unread 10-21-2010, 10:04 PM   #2
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I think you might be trying to fill up that excitement in your life. There's nothing wrong with treating yourself either but if you think it's gone far, it may have. A lot of addicts in early remission find life to be dull and boring. We've used drugs to get that thrill and excitement and "everything's ok". When we were in active addiction, a lot of our time and energy went into finding our DOC or being high or waiting for phone calls. We have a lot of time on our hands we just have to fill them up with healthy things/activities. I feel that excitement too when I shop, I love it.. just as you explained it BUT I don't contemplate shop-lifting at all. What other things make you happy besides shopping and buying things?? What stuff did you do before you became addicted? Find something healthy to enjoy yourself with. It may take a while. I started reading a lot more and then I decided you know what? I'm gonna go back to school, get a better job, and do something with my life SO I DID!!! My daughter is my biggest motivation so now, I'm in my 4th week of the Pharmacy Technician program (ironic enough lol) and I LOVE it!! My brain is stimulated, I'm learning, and it totally boosts my confidence. For once, I feel smart. lol So, I would try to find something that's GOOD FOR YOU to do.
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Unread 10-22-2010, 10:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissSurvivor View Post
I think you might be trying to fill up that excitement in your life. There's nothing wrong with treating yourself either but if you think it's gone far, it may have. A lot of addicts in early remission find life to be dull and boring. We've used drugs to get that thrill and excitement and "everything's ok". When we were in active addiction, a lot of our time and energy went into finding our DOC or being high or waiting for phone calls. We have a lot of time on our hands we just have to fill them up with healthy things/activities. I feel that excitement too when I shop, I love it.. just as you explained it BUT I don't contemplate shop-lifting at all. What other things make you happy besides shopping and buying things?? What stuff did you do before you became addicted? Find something healthy to enjoy yourself with. It may take a while. I started reading a lot more and then I decided you know what? I'm gonna go back to school, get a better job, and do something with my life SO I DID!!! My daughter is my biggest motivation so now, I'm in my 4th week of the Pharmacy Technician program (ironic enough lol) and I LOVE it!! My brain is stimulated, I'm learning, and it totally boosts my confidence. For once, I feel smart. lol So, I would try to find something that's GOOD FOR YOU to do.
Excellent advise Miss Survivor.............good post!!!! I am proud of you....Linda
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Unread 10-22-2010, 02:32 PM   #4
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Thank you Linda! It just feels so good to have a clear mind and I can focus on my school work instead of getting high. We just have to keep ourselves busy!!
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Unread 10-23-2010, 04:55 AM   #5
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So strange that you write this, just 2 days ago, I was at Rite Aid, and I saw a small bottle from J/A/S/O/N of Tea Tree Oil, that costs $15 for 1oz, which I thought was way over priced for some oil, but I really wanted it (I love this oil cause it treats just about every skin issue you can think of: MRSA,cuts, burns, blisters,itching, bug bites, even head lice, but I needed for my dog that has itchy and irritated skin), and I stood there for a good 20 minutes debating on stealing it....and I NEVER steal, I have no history or it either. So finally I gave in and bought it, felt good about making the right choice, but it really confuses me on why I was even thinking of stealing something. And this isnt the first time, this seems to happen a couple times a month, and even a few months ago I did steal a box of ottor pops...it's always the most pointless things that I want, even have I have the money for it. Seems like it's some mis-firing things going on in my brain....
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Unread 10-25-2010, 09:51 AM   #6
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I can definitly relate to the shopping thing. I get way out of control with it also, buying things I don't really need, or buying the more expensive kind of something just because I want it. It's something I really have to work on, and for me, I truly believe I'm replacing one addiction for another. When I was using, I didn't care about having nice make-up or new clothes, but now, OMG, I have to have it. (Or that's what my mind tells me). I need make-up every week, new shampoo, then I have to have the matching scent in body wash and lotion. It's crazy.
For the last three years I've just shared baby lotion with my daughter, and it's been fine. But all of a sudden, since I'm not spending every cent I get on drugs, I have a few bucks in my pocket, and sometimes I can't control myself. Mostly for me it's cosmetics, and sometimes clothes. I'm to chicken to steal, but it's definitly crossed my mind. Like I'll wish I had the guts to steal, or wished I knew I could get away with it.
Thanks for starting this thread, it's made me think about my actions. I definitly need to talk to my sponsor about this.
Best,
J
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Unread 10-25-2010, 07:51 PM   #7
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Thanks all! J~ I have a thing for makeup too. I spent $200 on makeup the other day and I already have more makeup than I know what to do with! Guess I'm not the only one with these feelings. It's SO good to have someone to talk to about this! I've told my friends and family and they just look at me like I'm stupid and go on talking about something else.
Miss Survivor~ I guess I am just trying to replace the exceitment in my life. I do need to find things that make me happy that are productive. Problem is, the things I used to do that were fun before I started using was, playing house, barbies and dress-up. I was 9 the first time I got drunk, 12 when I started drinking and smoking pot regularly. I have been on drugs over half of my life. It's gonna take me some time to figure out what I like to do, I guess. But that's okay, I'll just keep at it!
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Unread 10-25-2010, 08:56 PM   #8
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It is a great feeling to know that you're not alone. I remember the first time I really understood that there were a ton of people out in the world exactly like me. It was such a relief to know that I'm not a horrible, awful person who has done these unthinkable things. I'm an addict, who displayed addictive behaviours, like so many before and after me. Anything I've done, there is someone who's done worse, or at least the same, usually in the same room with me, lol
I'm glad you feel a connection here. That's important. Any time you want to talk, I'm here!
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Unread 10-25-2010, 10:45 PM   #9
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I started using drugs when I was young too but I also had long gaps of sobriety in between. I smoked weed when I was 12 and drank. But between 14-16 I was sober then smoked weed/drank then 18-19 sober then 20 I was back to smoking weed, drinking, benzos, and then I got into opiates. It's very hard to find hobbies and things we could get interested in. You will though it just takes time.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 08:06 AM   #10
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I too always get that feeling when shopping that "I MUST HAVE THAT!!!" thoughts, whether I need it or not. It seems like whenever I get paid which is once monthly, most of my money is gone by the 3rd day, and harldy any of my bills will be paid, then I'm kicking myself for not paying ALL the bills, and then my electricity gets cut off (which will happen this week and I dont have a penny to my name til next week), I'm always putting off things, paying the minimum I can get away with so I can buy myself something stupid, like clothes from Maurices (99% of my clothes are from there) or buying my kids things they dont need and have no respect for and they break it, or buying my pets something cool/cute I saw at the petstore (like a $130 stroller for small dogs?!?! I didnt even spend that much on my kid's strollers when they where babies).

I think I spend more now on pointless junk then I did when I was using, so my bills are still not getting paid for. And 2 and half years of groups, therapy, councling isnt doing anything at all....the only diffrence now then when I was using is that I buy things for my kids, which hardly ever happened, but they don't need this much, even last week I was looking into how much it would cost to buy my son a xbox 360, when he already has every other game system out there (literally, he has the Wii, PS1, PS2, PS3, DS, DSiXL) he doesnt need another system....and I dont even shop smart, looking for cheaper prices, if the first place has it, even if it's $100 more then the place down the street, I'll still buy it...And professional help isnt helping, it's so frustrating, I lose sleep over it......I wish I remember what it felt like to be "normal" and not be compulisive about anything....
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Unread 10-26-2010, 08:11 AM   #11
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Hi Carmen, if the professional help you have now isn't helping, do you think it's time to find a different therapist? It could make all the difference in the world.

You might also want to check this link out about CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to see if would be helpful to you in doing some behavior modification. okie posted it for us a while ago:
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=22482

Nancy
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Unread 10-26-2010, 11:25 PM   #12
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Carmen~ I was exactly the same way! Now that I don't have all that much money to spend, like I said, I just pick out all the things I want, walk around with them for a few hours to get my "high" then I put them back. I would suggest though, trying this first without any money on you. Leave everything at home, check book, credit cards, debit cards. I brought about $45 cash to pay for my absolute necessities. it worked well, until one night I brought a few hundred cash with me and just broke down 'cause I was craving opiates and needed ANYTHING to fill that void.
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Unread 10-27-2010, 12:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieCat View Post
Carmen~ I was exactly the same way! Now that I don't have all that much money to spend, like I said, I just pick out all the things I want, walk around with them for a few hours to get my "high" then I put them back. I would suggest though, trying this first without any money on you. Leave everything at home, check book, credit cards, debit cards. I brought about $45 cash to pay for my absolute necessities. it worked well, until one night I brought a few hundred cash with me and just broke down 'cause I was craving opiates and needed ANYTHING to fill that void.
WHAT TORTURE!! I don't know how you do it!!!!
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Unread 10-27-2010, 06:15 AM   #14
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That's a good idea! I just started doing the same thing. Operating on a cash only basis for anything other than bills and food. I have my gas money, my cigarette money, and 25 a week for "other stuff". And if I run out, too bad, I'm just out until the next week! We just started doing this a week ago, and it's working out fine. I'm much more careful with my spending, and if I want something, I have to save up for it. Budget, Budget, yuk, lol. But I think it will be a really good thing. AND it's more motivation for me to cut down/quit smoking, so I'll have more money for ME! LOL. Have a great day, everyone!
Best, J
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