Shopaholic Says Shoplifting Arrest Was Her Wake-Up Call

Haring only spent 30 minutes in a jail cell before her mother bailed her out, and is expected to plead guilty at her upcoming sentencing hearing, but she said that was the wake-up call she needed to get help.

"It was kind of like, 'You've hit rock bottom now. There's nowhere to go,'" she said.

After her release, Haring reached out to shopping addiction specialist Terry Shulman for counseling. He explained that she used shopping as a way to fill a void of "emptiness."

"With Ronnie, there's a core of self-esteem and insecurity that [says], 'I'm not good enough. Who am I?'" Shulman said.

Her intense urges to buy in bulk, Shulman said, stem from Haring's childhood when her parents got divorced, and as a result, Haring is afraid to let things go.

"There's a feeling of being abandoned or being rejected," Shulman said. "For Ronnie, having to, you know, just pick one was like taking it away from a family and for her ... it was intolerable and unthinkable to separate them."

Haring's recovery from her compulsive shopping could require years of therapy, but her husband has helped her take the first steps with imposing strict rules on how and when his wife has access to money.

"We have one checkbook with just my name on it. If she wants to write a check, then I have to sign my name to the check," Bill Haring said. "It's a way to kind of regulate what bills are paid and when they're paid. Otherwise, if she needs to use a debit card for something, then I would like the receipt."

"You have to treat her like a child if she's not responsible," he added. "And if you don't keep your money and pay your bills, then you lose what you have."

Today, Ronnie Haring said, she doesn't know if she will ever be fully cured of her compulsive shopping, but she has made progress and realized she must get better or face severe consequences.

"Otherwise, I'm going to end up in jail or lose my family, and that is too high a price to pay," she said.

QUIZ: Are You a Compulsive Shopper? Find out HERE

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