Five years ago (almost exactly to the day!), we introduced you to a new weekly column, Closet Confessionals. Born out of the idea of giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most taboo topics of the luxury industry, how handbag lovers afford their passion, we’ve since brought you nearly 200 unique stories. These anonymous confessionals have offered us a rare glimpse into the minds of PurseBlog readers and TPF members from around the world, covering a wide spectrum of income levels, careers, upbringings, and more.
Typically, the columns go live, and it’s on to the next. Rarely do we hear back from a previous confessor, but early in 2022, one of our earliest confessors, Closet Confessionals XIII reached out with an idea. She wanted to provide us with an update. Of course, we were happy to hear it, and it took our lucky number 13 over a year of reflection to send us the update.
Lucky Number 13: a Summary
You can read CC 13 in its entirety, but to summarize, in 2018, CC 13 was a 37-Year-Old nursing administrator with a collection of bags worth around $11,000. She bravely admitted to suffering from a shopping addiction in her 20s as a way to cope with depression and PTSD. Her out-of-control shopping led to her abusing credit cards and spending excessive amounts of money on items and beauty treatments that would portray a wealthy lifestyle. Years later, CC 13 admitted to still paying off that debt and expressed how important therapy was in helping her develop skills like discipline, self-sacrifice, and good financial habits.
The post racked in 55 comments, and CC 13 stated that she “read every single comment posted on my confession, some of them were very hurtful and judgmental, and some were very kind and compassionate.”
Keep reading to hear what’s changed in CC 13’s life over the last 4+ years.
Closet Confessionals XIII: The Update
It’s been really rough for me doing all the work to fix my relationship with money, with myself, which affected how I spent my money on luxury goods (a.k.a. designer bags, SLGs, accessories). But I’ve had more success in fixing my problems with money and with myself.
After reflecting on the comments posted on my confessional (Closet Confessionals XIII: The 37-Year-Old Who’s Cleaned Up Her Destructive Shopping Habits Oct 18, 2018), I decided that I needed to continue my journey to change and fix myself.
The comments about my PTSD, depression, anxiety, and bad money management have been very hurtful, however, I’m grateful that they’ve verbalized what I’ve been silently telling myself for the longest time.
I needed to stop and be honest with myself as to why I’m buying luxury items. I admit that I had been lying to myself about what I can truly afford to buy.
Anyway, I’ve sold most of the bags/SLGs/Accessories that were listed in my original confessional and saved that money so that I can pay off the remaining credit card debts I have.
What I did was go into therapy in order to go to the root cause of my problem with spending and keeping up appearances. The root cause is shame (among other things). For the longest time, I had been ashamed that I’m not as financially successful as the people I used to hang out with, who were high-earners and were able to spend their money like water. They were not bad people, they were just not the right people to be friends with. I only made $55,000 a year at the time (of the confession), so I really had no business going shopping for luxury goods and spending money on dinners out with wine twice a week while living in a high-cost-of-living city.
I still have the one designer handbag that I’m keeping as some kind of reminder to what not to do again.
As of this year, I’m completely debt-free. I don’t really wear my designer accessories anymore or carry my 1 remaining designer bag. I’ve decided that I want to live an honest life for myself so that I’m financially protecting myself. I also made friends who I can be honest with and spend time with without having to use shopping or eating out at expensive places just to bond. I’m more comfortable with myself and don’t feel the need to try hard to impress others.
While I’m not 100% perfect, I make smarter decisions these days. I’m still living in the same HCOL city, but I noticed that I have more money in my savings now, and I don’t have the burden of living paycheck to paycheck or any anxiety about what other people would think if I’m not wearing anything designer or expensive. I’m also making a bit more money this year (because of a new job and a raise) and practicing more frugal ways with my money.
I no longer spend time on TPF in the bag forums; I mostly lurk in the celebrity forums and finance forums these days. I also have a detached feeling for new releases from designer brands. They don’t appeal to me anymore. I don’t follow any influencers, designer brands, or even other TPFers on social media anymore.
I still enjoy the remaining luxury items I already have, but how I feel about them has changed, too. I feel like they’re another pair of shoes or a scarf—there’s really nothing special about them aside from being made in Italy, France, etc., by craftspeople/having a famous designer name like Louis Vuitton or Hermès.
Sometimes, I miss the designer bags/SLGs/accessories that I let go, but those feelings are few and far in between.
What I feel these days is relief and a sense of peace.
Thank you so much for providing the space for many people who appreciate designer/luxury items. It was a very fun community to be part of in the past.
Closet Confessionals XIII
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