Anxiety, Depression and Compulsive shopping…the road to recovery.

The first couple of years of having Peripheral Neuropathy, I continued working.  I soldiered on until I could no longer stand the pain of wearing shoes on my feet, of clothes touching me, of driving, of trying to do everything and feeling exhausted.I worked as a teaching assistant, helping students who had special educational needs.

So after leaving my job, I set up my own business, as a private Tutor, working from home.  But eventually everything got too much for me.  I found that I couldn’t cope.  I was in constant pain, not sleeping and exhausted.  One day it all caved in. I went to see the doctor.  She said I was depressed.  I felt like there was a brick wall in front of me.  I told her that I could see nothing in front of me, just emptiness. But that I did still want to live.  I had a lot of worries, I said, money and health.  I was trying to run my business, the house, cooking, cleaning, home accounts, business accounts, prepare lessons, teach, see friends, etc etc but was in constant pain.  I wasn’t sleeping, I was struggling to keep afloat.

I was put on antidepressants, had counselling, then CBT, and Art classes. I began to feel calmer. I stopped working. Sorted out my finances. The medication helped me to sleep.

I knew that I had to simplify my life.  The illness had forced that on me.  My surroundings were cluttered like my head.  A reflection of my mental state.  I had been shopping like crazy.  It was like a drug.  It made me feel better, for a while.  Then I felt guilty for spending the money so put the stuff away, unused. Then I would forget about it.  Next day I would do it again. Feeling low or anxious I would browse the shopping channels and always spotted something that I really wanted.  It was so easy; such a thrill.  But you had to act fast or miss out.  Just a matter of a few clicks on the computer and no time to ponder, just do it, click! Oh dear, what have I bought? Never mind.I would feel a thrill of excitement. It was addictive.  So it went on….and on…the more depressed or in pain I felt the more I would go online and buy things.

This wasn’t me, I had always been fairly sensible.  I felt ashamed and so out of control.  I was in denial half the time, and guilty too.  I had begun buying crafting materials, and decided to  Teach myself card making. It was very good for me to do something creative, and I found it very enjoyable.  Art and crafts was good therapy.  I would recommend it. When you are focusing on a project, it seems to help with the pain.  I have also taught myself jewellery making.

Well, I must sign off for now.  Its 04.06 am.  I have to sleep.  I will continue my ramblings later.  Thanks for listening. Any questions or comments welcome.

Bye..eeeee , luv Sharon x

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