|The Broke Man'$ Blog|
"It has taken me a long time to get here." I said these words, knowing that I was about ready to FINALLY say exactly how I felt. There was no turning back now. Those ten words had opened the floodgate. And now, even though I was scared...even though I desperately wanted to back down, I knew that I couldn't. There was only ONE way out of this. The truth HAD to be known. Because after all, the truth shall set you free. I had my audience...The spotlight was now on me. "I have felt this way for a long time," I said, with a shaky voice. "And I hoped that things would change. I hoped that YOU would change, with me. But, you're not. I thought you were my friend. I thought you wanted to see me happy. I can look back, and think of all the many times that I smiled, because of the joy that you brought to me. But, that wasn't joy, was it? Your desire wasn't to see me happy...I know that now. Your desire was to manipulate me. Your desire was to tempt me. You never cared about me, at all. It was all a lie, and I can finally see that. You came into my life, and made me smile. I thought we really had something. Hot damn, you fooled me good! You made me feel good about myself...Do you know that? Nevermind...Of course you do. That was part of the game, wasn't it? That was part of your scheme. But, now I can finally see. Now. I am NOT blind, anymore. The friendship you offered, came at a cost." I started my speech with a quiet, uncertain voice. But, as each word came out, I grew more confident. Soon, nervousness left. Soon, the whisper I spoke in was gone. Toward the end, I was speaking in a firm voice...One that I hardly could believe was coming from me, at all. I was sure, and confident. And, it was about time that I let it be known that enough is ENOUGH! I chose my next words carefully. I wanted them to sting. "Look at you! You are PATHETIC! You are plastic...Cold, hard, shiny PLASTIC! And, without me, you are NOTHING! I used to think that you made me. But the truth is that I made you. And I can BREAK YOU just as easily."
Silence, on the other end. I could feel the glow of victory, as I looked at my frenemy. I repeated the word, once again. "PATHETIC!" Then, I picked my debit card up, gave it a good shake, and told it that I no longer needed the relationship we had. The power it once had over me, is now gone! Once, it held such hope. Now, it is just a piece of plastic. Nothing more! And, it better come to accept that.
Day 81. 19 more days, until I reach DAY 100. Just as with the days leading up to day 52, I am very aware of the movement of time. The days before day 52 seemed to pass quickly. Fear can do that, I guess. When you are afraid of a certain event, it seems to RUSH at you. But now, it is the opposite. I am not afraid. I am excited. And, instead of time flying by, it seems to be moving, with all the speed of three-legged turtle. I can see it in front of me. In my mind, there is a neon green sign, that flashes DAY 100! Yet, it seems so far away. This mental neon sign seems to be in one of those hallways, from The Twilight Zone...You know, the ones that stretch, when you are just a few feet from the door that will lead you to freedom, and you come to discover that you still have SUCH A LONG WAY TO GO! Day 100 will be a milestone for me. I just feel like it is going to be this IMPORTANT day, in this project. And, waiting for it, I feel like a kid, waiting for Christmas. Each day, that child sees his presents under the tree, the same way I see that neon sign. And, knowing that you have to wait...just a little bit longer, is enough to almost drive one mad.
So...Today I did some more research on shopping addiction. And, as seems to be the case whenever I do research, most of the stuff I agreed with. But, there was one single little thing, that seemed very odd. Someone with a shopping addiction should cut up all credit cards, so that they cannot use them. Then, focus on paying them off, until no money is owed. So far, that sounds pretty good, right? I mean, it makes perfect sense to me. Credit cards are, in my opinion, agents of evil. So, I do believe that brutally MURDERING credit cards, by cutting them into itsy-bitsy little pieces, is perfectly okay. One suffering from shopping addiction should NEVER make a purchase, with a credit card, saying that they will pay the bill when it is time. This is good advice for anybody. Not just shopping addicts. If you can't afford something, don't buy it. Plain and simple. Before this project, credit cards were my best friends. Not anymore. If you want to make a purchase, you should do so using either a debit card, or a check. These are the two best methods of payment. They do not allow for you to buy something you cannot afford. Whoa! Hold up there, partner. Let me just say one word, right now. WRONG!!! In the past, there were times I got in big trouble, using either a debit card, or a check. For someone with a shopping addiction, this advice will SURELY lead to an overdrawn account. Trust me, I know. I have been there, myself. If I were able to look at the person who wrote this advice, I would simply roll my eyes. Newsflash. Debit cards and checks can be just as bad as a credit card.
So, how should a shopaholic make a purchase? Well, here is an idea. What about at the beginning of every month, you go to your bank, and pull out a monthly allowance. (For me, twenty dollars.) Then, leave your debit card, and checks AT HOME. And, if you want to make a purchase, FRIGGIN use cash! I mean, last time I checked, cash had not become obsolete. And, at least by setting yourself up an allowance, and using ONLY cash, you know you are not going to get in trouble. Correct me if I am wrong. But, doesn't cold hard cash, seem like the best way to go? I think so.
So...I did find a piece of advice that I found to be good. And, I put it to use. In today's age, an individual suffering from shopping addiction has it especially hard. Because even if stores are closed, or far away, the ability to shop is right at one's fingertips. Online shopping. How many times, during this project, have I been tempted to visit 1800 Flowers, or Crocs....even Coach, and Harvey's (the Seat belt Bag people)? And, from time to time, I find that I am even tempted to reopen my Netflix account, which I had before this project. Examine online retailers that you frequently think about buying from. Then, put a block on these websites, so that you do not accidentally visit one. Now...this particular idea requires a bit of willpower. Because, even though you are blocking them, there really is NOTHING to keep you from unblocking them, if you choose to do so. So, you must stay strong, and promise yourself that, once you block something, it will stay blocked.
"I, Michael Leach, am hereby stating that I will not unblock any site that I block, in the first place. Though I may be tempted, and though I know it can be done, I will not break. What once is blocked, shall remain blocked. I solemnly swear to never unblock." If I could have found a bible, I would put my hand over it, as I made this promise. But, there was no bible to be found. But here it is, in print. You all can verify that these words have been spoken (or, at the very least, typed out.)
So far on the
1800 Flowers (Oh, I think I shall miss you the most!)
Barnes & Noble (I am a HUGE book addict!)
After blocking each one of these, I verified that they were, in fact, blocked. No more temptation from these six websites. (Though I am sure that 1800 Flowers and Crocs will be sending me some more catalogs, in the future.) And, as I officially blocked each of these websites, I swear, I felt like weight was being taken off of my shoulders. Knowing that these are blocked, and I cannot look at them...Well, it makes things a bit easier, you know.
So, there you have it. Instead of falling to temptation today, I removed temptation...at least a little bit.
81 days down. The project is still going strong.