when retail therapy backfires

shame is a weird and powerful feeling.  it can be paralyzing or energizing.  it can generate self-loathing, and kick-start a quest for reform.  what is most often, is secret.  shame is about those things about ourselves that we hide from even the people who love us most.  the things we can’t bear to discuss out loud.

hopefully you aren’t feeling overly titillated by this lead in. what i am going to cop to isn’t sexy or even really that interesting. i probably wouldn’t even mention it, except that i read a post this morning on mirth and motivation’s blog this morning that made me think that sharing a story would set me a little bit free.

she writes “by re-telling and documenting our stories, we provide a permanent historical record, a therapeutic opportunity and a way to share knowledge with others. We also reclaim our power as individuals. I’ve always believed that all of us have stories in our hearts and souls and, the more we find ways to share them, the more connected we will be in seeing each others humanity.”

people who have known me for a while, or have looked way back into my blog, know that i am bipolar.  i am pretty good at hiding it.  it isn’t that i am ashamed of it, it is more from family training in projecting an even demeanor.  unfortunately, despite my most passionate attempts, pretending it is not there does not make it go away.  sometimes all that happens is that i ignore the signs of a problem until i am much further in the ^%$! than i would like.

despite the benevolent texas weather, winter always seems to sneak up on me and kick my butt.  dark comes early, the holidays, the post-holiday letdown, the cold….it’s not my favorite season.  the kids have been sick a lot, i have been sick MUCH more than usual, and our early head start rejected my attempts to reach out and connect with the teachers and other parents.

all of these things steered me towards the internet for companions, and i found them in the blogosphere (YAY!) the cloth diapering community, and my fellow art journalists.

you are probably thinking, stop beating around the bush! get to the point.  the point is, a little retail therapy can cheer a girl up, obsessively collecting cloth diapers….not so good.  i think i got addicted to the thrill of the hunt (being home all day with two non-verbal toddlers can fall short in the thrill department), the camaraderie of the chase (non-talking toddlers, again short on camaraderie), and the comfort in receiving packages from the outside world.

this morning i took a look at my bank account and was shocked, appalled and you guessed it…ashamed.  i am not going to wallow in it, i have it off my chest.  steph assures me that being aware of the problem is the first step and i am definitely aware (so mom, if you are reading this, i am ok without a lecture), and energized to make some changes.

i am going to start spending time instead of money.  spending time doing the stuff i like, like reading, crafting, knitting, playing with the kiddos (not that i stopped doing that, but…), making it to story time, watering the garden, working in my art journal and writing my blog.

and i have my wallet under lock and key!


About phrogmom

kind of eccentric artsy type raising two boys in texas.
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4 Responses to when retail therapy backfires

  1. eof737 says:

    Thank you for sharing so openly and, I have to admit, those colorful diapers will cheer anyone up in this brutal winter season. And you are not alone… We all have our obsession(s); mine is buying books. 🙂

    • phrogmom says:

      i was thinking last night night, there are some mamas i met online who had diaper collections in the triple digits! they must either have money to burn, or also feel the need to connect!

  2. Ahh, my obsessive compulsion is art and craft stuff, so you’re not alone. In the end I took my cards away from myself… and have been jittery since LOL The other day I was actually eyeing up the spare change box, wondering if it held enough for me to go buy another drawing pad.. how sad is that? 😉

    • phrogmom says:

      i am totally with you. art supplies, and office supplies are amazingly tempting. because who doesn’t need more paper, or a sharpie pen, or some cute stationary….

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