Oy! So I wrote up my conclusions to Screaming Flea of what I’d been doing since the show. (See below)

Hi, Elizabeth–

We’re finishing up the editing of your episode, and it looks great.

I was hoping you could provide us some wrap-up, “where are they now? type” information.

— Are you shopping more, less or about the same?

— You burned a bunch of your receipts.  Were you able to stop the price adjusting cycle long-term?

— Have you been able to pay Roman’s tuition?

And anything else you want to add that you think is relevant and/or interesting.

Thanks in advance for you help.

Regards,

Trish Baker
Story Producer
“My Shopping Addiction”

Hi Trish (Story Producer),

Great to hear it looks good. I have key bloggies that didn’t get transferred. How can I get those to you?

In terms of status, I’m ok. It’s been up and down. I do want to talk to the aftercare person to get a handle on my difficulty focusing. But the longer I stay away from shopping, truly the better it is. Staying still with feelings, chipping away at what I want to accomplish is slow, but already more rewarding. This week, in fact, it’s been very productive. I’ve set a goal for this week and been working steadily on writing a half-hour pilot. But staying still isn’t always easy. Plus, there is so much catch-up to do, it’s a lot and will take time and resetting of the habits.

Here’s a somewhat stream of consciousness of the events:
Immediately after the show, that trick the doc played and my stuff not being put away in order as I had requested, made me shop more. I felt the show had very, very bad endgame, and pretty much left me high and dry. It took me over 2 weeks to put everything back where I’d had it and that was overwhelming and debilitating. I felt dumped on because I’d wanted to monitor putting it away so I could implement what skills the doctor had given me. It would have been fine then. I’m still rather angry by it, and Adrian was overwhelmed by it, too, and agreed. Everything was fine for the cameras, while I got a verbal agreement from all to put everything away after the “yard” sale, things were dumped, dirty and left in boxes. It wasn’t done in a stabilizing or constructive way, and in fact could have derailed any good the show tried to do.

I tried to take a picture of each item as I put it away, making hard choices on what to get rid of. We are getting ready for a yard sale, ready to sell as soon Roman is feeling better and time allows. I am working on “building” my website (Diva on the Dole.com) with a section that will highlight pieces on an ongoing basis, hopefully to coordinate with show.

Anyway…. so that first week after the show, I delayed any entrances into stores, trying as the doctor suggested, delay tactics, to quell the urge to get out and shop. Delay helped, but still, the compulsion bubbled up to distraction, especially since my house was in such disarray. I apologized to the guy in the store Dungarees and went back and got that white top on sale and turquoise scarf, but none of the other stuff. I think I spent 30 bucks.

In fact, that week after the show I did shop, but watched myself doing it and as soon as I was unable to manage it, I walked out of the store. The show forced the doctor to have to work at an accelerated pace, so I would say even my slip ups helped me overcome the patterns on my own. As I was shopping post show, I noticed my increasing anxiety and impatience at even being in a store, the drag it felt like, the erasing of story ideas from my brain, the frustration at the process of calling for better prices, trying things on, finding something else, returning, finding out about sales, dealing with sales clerks, smiling when I didn’t feel like it, empty conversations. But I did like walking in and looking at fabrics somewhat, but much, much less.

I started reading more, a book a week, now on Moby Dick, spending more time with friends, listening to much more music, focusing on exercise and by the end of just a few days, I’d had it with shopping. I was bored stiff. Plus, I was having more fun discovering combinations in my own house! I have great clothes!!! Now, working out, I am determined to focus on looking and feeling fantastic wearing the clothes I already have.

I still had stuff coming in the mail, so I waited for packages to trickle in. (Ok, some superlative rock tshirts couldn’t be helped: David Bowie Ziggy Stardust shirt, Queen, Blondie, Beastie Boys and Keith Richards shirts. But I’m done and will only let myself one every 6-12 months or so) Then, in a victorious mode over Victoria’s Secret and Anthropologie, I returned HUNDREDS of dollars of stuff. Then, I decided to apply all that money on Roman’s tuition (yes paid!) and on a spiritual retreat to visit my friend and her family on their finca (farm) in Costa Rica!!! The time I spent shopping and looking was poured into finding a plane ticket (which is much less fun than shopping and more of a waste of time, by the way) But I wanted to coordinate with Roman’s trip to New York and me in Costa Rica, so then we’d be back in LA for the summer together. The timing was perfect.

After going up to Santa Clara to make sure Roman’s health was ok and seeing my Dad and brother, I launched to a country where there was NO SHOPPING, to reset what is important to me. I was stunned at customs to see in my passport that I hadn’t been out of the country since 2007! (But I realized the shopping came in because my not doing big trips was because of life interruptions (Roman got sick several times before big trips, mother died right before going to Slovenia to a friends’ wedding, etc. Even this time, Roman’s health nearly derailed me, but that’s another story….)

So, I delved into Costa Rica and friends and my friend’s family. It was the first time in a place that was all about the outdoors and nice people. Pura vida. I wrote travelogues about adventures, body surfing, and ziplining a couple times over the rainforest canopies in hurricanes and lighting and torrential rain. I loved watching the sloths!!!, spiders, frogs, toucans, the howler monkeys right up close, the hiking, the volcanoes, the hot springs off the side of the road, etc. I even went on a long-distance swim one afternoon and was surrounded by 20-30 stingrays. Scary! Glad I hadn’t known until I got to shore.

The plant species themselves were wondrous, bromeliads, strangler figs and orchids! I packed very lightly (for me) in a backpack and took off from the farm in Liberia to Playas Negra, Avellanas, Santa Teresa and Hermosa, through Monteverde Cloud Forest and Manuel Antonio, a beach and national park. It was wet season, so every afternoon in spite of poor man’s umbrella’s, everything managed to get drenched. I got jungle funky, my passport got moldy, my cameras – both of them! – are in a far-gone state, but I loved it! I avoided the surf town Jaco, just so I didn’t shop, because I love surf clothes. Ok, I regret that and now want to go back just to shop for surf clothes….I digress.

And the trip costs? Even after gift to my friends’ family, plane ticket, ziplining, barely eating, and cheap hotels (one dive was 10 bucks a night!), still, the trip was three times less than I spent on clothes in the entire year. I can send you pictures??? I have the memory card intact.

So, yes, I had a “coming-out” party (coming back to spiritual and real self)  in Costa Rica, writing about adventures, being in a different stimulus. Getting closer back to my old self. I got a Bloomingdale’s gift reward in the mail, used it on a shirt and it was no big deal. Got a Victoria’s Secret one in the mail, but don’t feel compelled to use it right away.

Then, this week the real test. Roman needed nice shorts for work and that would mean a trip to the mall.  Bless him, he was so careful about not luring me to the crack den in a downward spiral. We discussed thoroughly and mindfully our plan and strategy of how to get out quickly so I wouldn’t be tempted. He was very gentle. We’d hit Gap, Banana and Macy’s. Gap could have turned into a “deal” with 40% off, 10% Tuesdays and a trip to Arcadia for his size — but I think to save me, Roman changed his mind on those particular shorts. Macy’s was a hit. Two pairs, out of there, and today is the day of possible price adjustment. Will I do it? I am passing there on my way to gym….I think I threw the receipt away. I’m detached from that whole price adjustment thing and trying to put deadlines on my calendar for writing instead.

I am noticeably less frayed, less stressed, and less anxious, that’s for sure. I feel freer, but life stuff and frustrations with technology and computers and trying to get a site going is taxing me, for sure. Adrian and I have broken up and gotten back together a few times from the stress of the show and both Roman and Adrian have expressed a bit of anger at having to do the show at all. (Neither of them ever want to do shows again, even though I think I did got positive insight out of it.) Adrian cites the reason for our tension was that the show stressed him out so much, all the clothes, plus having to come east.
I wonder though if my calm is a combo of not shopping and not carrying the burden of driving to Santa Monica so much (since he won’t come to my place). Less dashing around in general is the great contributor to me being able to see things more clearly. I’m getting back to writing, which directly affects me not wanting to get up and out and run around town. Being ripped out of my space to Adrian’s place all the time, and he not equally coming to mine, as well as years and years of sport mom driving Roman around to sports activities had built up a deeply imbedded rage in me. It made shopping an easy feel good escape. The rationale was: I was already feeling displaced, so why not bop into that store since I’m on the other side of town? Plus, I’d feel better in the moment. (I’ve been working a few freelance jobs offsite and at home and feel much, much better.)
I’ve been adding up my credit card purchases to remind myself that that money I could still have in my account had I not spent it on clothes. Lesson learned. Roman, now home for the summer, and I have been playing a lot of chess, seeing movies, and reading. I keep unsubscribing from all the shopping emails, but they keep coming. I also set up another account to send them to, but they won’t let you go!

Will I ever shop again? Duh, yes. But I can target it more, in small doses. Shop if I actually need something. But then again, I have everything I need.

Hi Trish,

Great to hear it looks good. I have key bloggies that didn’t get transferred. How can I get those to you?

In terms of status, I’m ok. It’s been up and down. I do want to talk to the aftercare person to get a handle on my difficulty focusing. But the longer I stay away from shopping, truly the better it is. Staying still with feelings, chipping away at what I want to accomplish is slow, but already more rewarding. This week, in fact, it’s been very productive. I’ve set a goal for this week and been working steadily on writing a half-hour pilot. But staying still isn’t always easy. Plus, there is so much catch-up to do, it’s a lot and will take time and resetting of the habits.

Here’s a somewhat stream of consciousness of the events:
Immediately after the show, that trick the doc played and my stuff not being put away in order as I had requested, made me shop more. I felt the show had very, very bad endgame, and pretty much left me high and dry. It took me over 2 weeks to put everything back where I’d had it and that was overwhelming and debilitating. I felt dumped on because I’d wanted to monitor putting it away so I could implement what skills the doctor had given me. It would have been fine then. I’m still rather angry by it, and Adrian was overwhelmed by it, too, and agreed. Everything was fine for the cameras, while I got a verbal agreement from all to put everything away after the “yard” sale, things were dumped, dirty and left in boxes. It wasn’t done in a stabilizing or constructive way, and in fact could have derailed any good the show tried to do.

I tried to take a picture of each item as I put it away, making hard choices on what to get rid of. We are getting ready for a yard sale, ready to sell as soon Roman is feeling better and time allows. I am working on “building” my website (Diva on the Dole.com) with a section that will highlight pieces on an ongoing basis, hopefully to coordinate with show.

Anyway…. so that first week after the show, I delayed any entrances into stores, trying as the doctor suggested, delay tactics, to quell the urge to get out and shop. Delay helped, but still, the compulsion bubbled up to distraction, especially since my house was in such disarray. I apologized to the guy in the store Dungarees and went back and got that white top on sale and turquoise scarf, but none of the other stuff. I think I spent 30 bucks.

In fact, that week after the show I did shop, but watched myself doing it and as soon as I was unable to manage it, I walked out of the store. The show forced the doctor to have to work at an accelerated pace, so I would say even my slip ups helped me overcome the patterns on my own. As I was shopping post show, I noticed my increasing anxiety and impatience at even being in a store, the drag it felt like, the erasing of story ideas from my brain, the frustration at the process of calling for better prices, trying things on, finding something else, returning, finding out about sales, dealing with sales clerks, smiling when I didn’t feel like it, empty conversations. But I did like walking in and looking at fabrics somewhat, but much, much less.

I started reading more, a book a week, now on Moby Dick, spending more time with friends, listening to much more music, focusing on exercise and by the end of just a few days, I’d had it with shopping. I was bored stiff. Plus, I was having more fun discovering combinations in my own house! I have great clothes!!! Now, working out, I am determined to focus on looking and feeling fantastic wearing the clothes I already have.

I still had stuff coming in the mail, so I waited for packages to trickle in. (Ok, some superlative rock tshirts couldn’t be helped: David Bowie Ziggy Stardust shirt, Queen, Blondie, Beastie Boys and Keith Richards shirts. But I’m done and will only let myself one every 6-12 months or so) Then, in a victorious mode over Victoria’s Secret and Anthropologie, I returned HUNDREDS of dollars of stuff. Then, I decided to apply all that money on Roman’s tuition (yes paid!) and on a spiritual retreat to visit my friend and her family on their finca (farm) in Costa Rica!!! The time I spent shopping and looking was poured into finding a plane ticket (which is much less fun than shopping and more of a waste of time, by the way) But I wanted to coordinate with Roman’s trip to New York and me in Costa Rica, so then we’d be back in LA for the summer together. The timing was perfect.

After going up to Santa Clara to make sure Roman’s health was ok and seeing my Dad and brother, I launched to a country where there was NO SHOPPING, to reset what is important to me. I was stunned at customs to see in my passport that I hadn’t been out of the country since 2007! (But I realized the shopping came in because my not doing big trips was because of life interruptions (Roman got sick several times before big trips, mother died right before going to Slovenia to a friends’ wedding, etc. Even this time, Roman’s health nearly derailed me, but that’s another story….)

So, I delved into Costa Rica and friends and my friend’s family. It was the first time in a place that was all about the outdoors and nice people. Pura vida. I wrote travelogues about adventures, body surfing, and ziplining a couple times over the rainforest canopies in hurricanes and lighting and torrential rain. I loved watching the sloths!!!, spiders, frogs, toucans, the howler monkeys right up close, the hiking, the volcanoes, the hot springs off the side of the road, etc. I even went on a long-distance swim one afternoon and was surrounded by 20-30 stingrays. Scary! Glad I hadn’t known until I got to shore.

The plant species themselves were wondrous, bromeliads, strangler figs and orchids! I packed very lightly (for me) in a backpack and took off from the farm in Liberia to Playas Negra, Avellanas, Santa Teresa and Hermosa, through Monteverde Cloud Forest and Manuel Antonio, a beach and national park. It was wet season, so every afternoon in spite of poor man’s umbrella’s, everything managed to get drenched. I got jungle funky, my passport got moldy, my cameras – both of them! – are in a far-gone state, but I loved it! I avoided the surf town Jaco, just so I didn’t shop, because I love surf clothes. Ok, I regret that and now want to go back just to shop for surf clothes….I digress.

And the trip costs? Even after gift to my friends’ family, plane ticket, ziplining, barely eating, and cheap hotels (one dive was 10 bucks a night!), still, the trip was three times less than I spent on clothes in the entire year. I can send you pictures??? I have the memory card intact.

So, yes, I had a “coming-out” party (coming back to spiritual and real self)  in Costa Rica, writing about adventures, being in a different stimulus. Getting closer back to my old self. I got a Bloomingdale’s gift reward in the mail, used it on a shirt and it was no big deal. Got a Victoria’s Secret one in the mail, but don’t feel compelled to use it right away.

Then, this week the real test. Roman needed nice shorts for work and that would mean a trip to the mall.  Bless him, he was so careful about not luring me to the crack den in a downward spiral. We discussed thoroughly and mindfully our plan and strategy of how to get out quickly so I wouldn’t be tempted. He was very gentle. We’d hit Gap, Banana and Macy’s. Gap could have turned into a “deal” with 40% off, 10% Tuesdays and a trip to Arcadia for his size — but I think to save me, Roman changed his mind on those particular shorts. Macy’s was a hit. Two pairs, out of there, and today is the day of possible price adjustment. Will I do it? I am passing there on my way to gym….I think I threw the receipt away. I’m detached from that whole price adjustment thing and trying to put deadlines on my calendar for writing instead.

I am noticeably less frayed, less stressed, and less anxious, that’s for sure. I feel freer, but life stuff and frustrations with technology and computers and trying to get a site going is taxing me, for sure. Adrian and I have broken up and gotten back together a few times from the stress of the show and both Roman and Adrian have expressed a bit of anger at having to do the show at all. (Neither of them ever want to do shows again, even though I think I did got positive insight out of it.) Adrian cites the reason for our tension was that the show stressed him out so much, all the clothes, plus having to come east.
I wonder though if my calm is a combo of not shopping and not carrying the burden of driving to Santa Monica so much (since he won’t come to my place). Less dashing around in general is the great contributor to me being able to see things more clearly. I’m getting back to writing, which directly affects me not wanting to get up and out and run around town. Being ripped out of my space to Adrian’s place all the time, and he not equally coming to mine, as well as years and years of sport mom driving Roman around to sports activities had built up a deeply imbedded rage in me. It made shopping an easy feel good escape. The rationale was: I was already feeling displaced, so why not bop into that store since I’m on the other side of town? Plus, I’d feel better in the moment. (I’ve been working a few freelance jobs offsite and at home and feel much, much better.)
I’ve been adding up my credit card purchases to remind myself that that money I could still have in my account had I not spent it on clothes. Lesson learned. Roman, now home for the summer, and I have been playing a lot of chess, seeing movies, and reading. I keep unsubscribing from all the shopping emails, but they keep coming. I also set up another account to send them to, but they won’t let you go!

Will I ever shop again? Duh, yes. But I can target it more, in small doses. Shop if I actually need something. But then again, I have everything I need.

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