Recently I wrote a post for Imperfect Women about finding a new career when you are over a certain age. Yes, I qualify for an AARP card! I found a job at a law firm and it is perfect for me. The law firm specializes in debt settlements and bankruptcy. They have a hardship program to help clients pay off their creditors at a discounted rate and rebuild their credit. My job involves speaking with prospective clients throughout the country and identifying their hardship. Then I put together a plan that is comfortable for their budget and prepare their file for the attorney.
I don’t know if it is the law of attraction, being on the “road to reinvention” myself, or just the luck of the draw…but over half of my clients and inquiries are from women my age who are in similar circumstances. Many have found themselves needing assistance to get out of debt and obtain a fresh financial. Even more so, they are in need of emotional support and a boost of confidence.
When I asked these women, “How did you end up with this debt?” (most of it is credit card debt), I was heartbroken to hear their answers. It is a lengthy list of reasons for their emotional purchases that goes on and on, but here are a few of their answers:
I am depressed.
My husband doesn’t have any interest in me so I am trying to improve my looks and wardrobe.
My grandchildren don’t care about me so I am buying them things to keep them coming to see me.
I am bored now that I retired.
No one cares about me so I really don’t care if I rack up debt.
I spend money on trips because I can’t stand to be home alone since my husband died.
What seems to be a common theme is that shopping either on-line or in stores with their credit cards seems to take away some pain and bury their feelings, if even temporarily. I have many clients who have brand new clothes in their closets with the tags on them and can’t afford to go to the doctor or buy healthy food!
When we don’t feel our feelings we cover them up with something else. Food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, over exercising…even people pleasing are all forms of “stuffing our feelings”. Until we get in touch with what is really going on, we can’t feel better. I always say: “You can’t fix it until you face it.”
Here are some tips that might help you feel better:
1. Ask yourself “How am I really feeling”?
Before you press that “buy now” button on the website or eat another cookie (I am guilty of this), ask yourself “What is really bothering me?” or “Why am I feeling so sad, mad, angry, lonely, etc?” Really sit with your feelings and see what is going on.
2. Keep a journal or diary.
Write down when these feelings happen and see if there is a pattern. Write everything you are feeling and get it all out. This is private and is just for you. Often when we see something in writing it makes it all more clear and helps us move forward.
3. Get support.
When we keep our feelings to ourselves, no one knows the pain we are in. Even family and friends who would help, don’t know you need help. Call a friend that you trust and tell your children what is going on. I have sent many of my clients to Debtors Anonymous and other groups to get support, Group support is a safe place to not feel alone.
4. Do something for someone else.
Often when we feel badly we isolate ourselves. A great way to get out of your own way is to help someone else. Volunteer at something you are passionate about. If you are a pet lover help out at an animal shelter or a dog or cat rescue. Do you feel lonely and want to be around people? Volunteer at a food kitchen, homeless shelter or volunteer to read to senior citizens who are in a retirement home.
5. Substitute “self care” for spending or stuffing your feelings.
Make a cup of herbal tea, take a bubble bath, cook a beautiful meal, watch a funny movie, or listen to your favorite music. All of these things help us treat ourselves well and raise our healing vibration.
Next time you want to make an emotional purchase, ask yourself “What am I really feeling and how can I face it?”
Check out more of Holly’s posts where she shares her journey on her Road to Reinvention.
Holly Zucker is a wife, mother of a grown son, business owner and on the “Road to Reinvention”. After feeling like she had “lost herself” she has spent the last few years bringing back joy, pleasure, passion, fun, and community into her life. Her mission is to help other women “reinvent themselves” and start living their dreams and desires. We’ve done so much for everyone else, it’s our turn now!