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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

A Healing Heart Found in a Letter

 



Dear Reader,

It has been 14 years since we first began our correspondence.

A lot has happened in those 14 years. I’ve had 7 pregnancies, 5 children, 5 houses, 5 cars, 4 pets, and more adventures than I can count, or remember. 

I am grateful for your sympathetic ear as I share my life with you. You are always so patient with me when I get busy and neglect you, and while my correspondence has been sparse, I know you are always there for me. 

In March 2020 a global pandemic began. In January 2021 a personal journey was begun. I briefly mentioned it in my last letter. Up to now, I have mostly only talked about motherhood and life raising these crazy hoodlums. Up to now, that was sufficient. Since endeavoring on this new path in life, it has become very apparent that some of the things I have let go of, in the busyness of life, ought to have been maintained. As I have grown and changed over the years, so has this quiet little space of mine. Things that once were so important to me became nearly forgotten. 

But never you. Never this connection we have. 

A quick update, Jeffrey and I discovered a problem I have. I never really understood why this problem existed and I always just subconsciously went with it. I used shopping as a sort of therapy. Now when I say shopping, I mean 

1) leaving my house

2) buying something that is needed. Cat food or dish soap or whatever it was. 

3) sometimes grazing over the decorations for which every holiday was in season and pick up something here or there. Something small and cheap. To help my house be more cozy, inviting, and welcoming. 

4) very rarely did I spend money on myself, unless it was for food. 

Unfortunately as my stress climbed, so did the price tag on my therapy. But I never put two and two together until last month when I looked at what I had spent in a month. 😳 Reader, it was alarming! And so I decided something had to be done. I came up with a scheme and presented it to my wonderful and supportive husband. He was absolutely on board, even before I finished explaining what I had planned. Now, he is in charge of all spending for the rest of the year. If I need something, I put it on the list, and he will get it when he goes shopping next. 

To help me, do I don’t feel so cut off or trapped, I get 2 hours of alone time every night. I usually use that time to go walking, or do yoga, or read my scriptures. Those are all things that God has asked me to do in order to help my mental health. It’s hard to find the time during the day of re-domesticating my little boys, so I do it at night during my alone time  

Except something was broken. Things weren’t working how they should have and I didn’t realize it until tonight, but by not going shopping, I lost my therapy. I lost my main source of dopamine. We have been doing this going on 3 weeks now and last week there was a day where I completely lost it. I had to send the kids off to someone who was right in their head, and lock myself away because I couldn’t trust myself. I felt like my evil twin had tied me up and taken over my body. I would say things that I didn’t know where they were coming from, but it didn’t feel like they were coming from me. They were horrible, awful things that I apologized for the moment the left my lips. I was just plain awful and I hated it! 

Tonight I locked myself in my bathroom and took a bath because I could again feel that rage rising. And I felt helpless to stop it. 

Jeffrey got home shortly after and we discussed what I am doing to fill the gap that shopping used to fill.  How I am getting that dopamine that is now vacant in my life. 

I read my scriptures daily. I pray daily. I try to walk or yoga daily. I spend time outside every day. But I’m just not getting that hit of dopamine that helps me be a sane and loving mother, delighting in the accomplishments of my brood instead of waiting for them to quit talking to me, so they will go away and leave me in peace, in a very annoyed sort of way. 

The things that I used to enjoy hold no appeal to me anymore. 

Jeffrey suggested I find an old hobby that I could dust off and resume and see if that would help. I couldn’t think of one. 

And then I remembered, Involuntary Smiles! I love writing. It is therapeutic and cathartic to me. And so, dear Reader, I hope to find much joy and dopamine in picking up our correspondence again, but writing more about my ADHD thoughts, struggles, and education. I will still record my adventures in motherhood, but possibly through a new lens. Because mental health is important. 

Yours always,

Amy

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