Victory happened in this shower stall this morning. An actual feat of epic proportions. And the more I think about it, the more mind blowing it is to me. Norrine sent me this picture then called me first thing this morning in a hushed but excited tone: “Guess how long I took in the shower this morning?” I was trying to make out the pic before answering. “How long do you think my showers typically are?” I wasn’t quite following yet, when she began to unleash her personal showering diary for the last twelve years. Since her son was born, Norrine has taken less than three minutes in the shower EVERY SINGLE DAY. She choses one leg to shave each time. Pits alternate the leg days. But today, she took a thirteen minute shower which, in her world, equates to an eternity of soap lathering and water pelting nirvana. To top it off, she exited to absolute peace. Not a peep from her pre-teen son with a mood disorder to break her golden silence. A bit of her humanity is restored.
The last thing she said before we hung up was, “Somebody else must know what this feels like! Somebody knows!” And surely, if we all think about it, we likely have a shower story of our own. Not actual showering, but that thing we started doing way, way, back to accommodate our kid that needs a little more. That thing, which was necessary to get by at that time, that should not have become our normal -but sometimes it does. And before we know it, we instinctively take less than three minutes in the shower for twelve years.
Is something already coming to mind that you would really like to take back for yourself? Something you feel is overdue in your life? I immediately made a mental list of things I’m still doing for my ADHDer that he’s able to do for himself now. This rut was created because he was easily overwhelmed and very anxious much of the time, but a new med regimen has subsided those symptoms so he’s able to take more on now. Transferring these responsibilities is going to help grow him AND free me up in a way that’s appropriate and necessary. For both of us.
If your ADHDer isn’t at a place where you can transfer some responsibilities, remember that it’s okay to ask for help. Switch things up! Have your spouse start doing the morning routine when that’s possible, or ask grandparents or friends to help with part of the afternoon activities. We aren’t meant to do or be everything for our children. The more helping hands we have, the more our children are able to learn from and the more we can see our children through different eyes. There are benefits all around.
So let’s pick one thing to start taking back for ourselves today. Maybe it’s time alone to regroup in the evening or instituting new family cleanup protocols. It’s the little things that can make a difference in making us feel whole and human. And whatever we do, let’s remember it takes less than thirteen minutes to boil an egg, so let’s give ourselves at least that much time in the shower.