I don’t really know if this is a symptom of Huntington’s Disease but I certainly have a problem with this. If I see something I like or get the idea that I have to have it, I’ll find a way to get it. It could be food, clothing, household items, accessories, plastic surgery…you name it. The problem doesn’t necessarily rear its ugly head until I find that I have spent my entire paycheck on things that I shouldn’t have. I also don’t share what I am spending with my husband. That’s bad… or so I am told. I finally paid off my debt but find it so hard not to rack up the credit cards again.
So where does this drive come from? Why is my impulse control so “out of control”?
I know that people with Huntington’s Disease have a hard time with obsession. I can see that if there is something that I want, I have a tendency to obsess over it until I have it. The act of buying things or what I call “retail therapy” gives me a tremendous sense of happiness. It’s like I have used my bad habit as a way to relieve stress. I’ve forgotten all of the other areas of my life that are badly affected because of this need for instant gratification.
Eating reasonable amounts of food also is a struggle. It’s like my taste buds are so happy that I totally ignore the fact that my belly is screaming “No more!” Yes, the Oreos and Reese’s Peanut butter cups are my weakness. Sometimes, I’ll even sneak them in the middle of the night.
So how do I figure out a way to control myself?
- As hard as it may be…I actually try to sit down and think about the pros and the cons of what I want. Usually this happens after I’ve already ate the entire bag of Doritos or purchased the $2000.00 Louis Viton….and I’m debating on whether to barf or to return the purse.
- My remorse …it’s gone. I don’t have any really. I guess this is where someone would say that I have a loss of apathy. Sometimes I say to myself “I deserve it, I’ve been through so much.” Other times I’ll totally forget the bad things that happened last time. In this step, I’ll usually have to refer to my personal journal containing the Top Ten Things that make Husbands Freak Out. If all signs point to “yes”…then I try to put it in my “Wish List” or ignore the box of sugar cookies.
- Keeping my mind occupied by filling my time with healthier habits…such as exercising. I have just started this up again because I took about 5 years off from running. 60 pounds later, I’m feeling a bit like a slug. But I am working my way into this new healthier habit…and I don’t shop during my lunch break anymore.
- Three years ago, I started openly sharing my finances with my spouse. Yes, I know that’s a hard step for a lot of us out there. If you live in a household where finances are managed by one person or you have split your accounts, this can be a really hard area to deal with. Yes, it could cause some marital strain. However, I have found a tremendous sense of relief by being honest. I share my credit reports with my husband and he has all the passwords to all of my accounts.
- When it comes to food…I just don’t know. I could use some advice on this still. Peanuts and chocolate always freaking get me…every time.
I would love to hear from you if you also struggle with instant gratification.
Keep your chin up. We are all in this together.