Thank you so much. I think I needed to see this. I was laid off from my job two weeks ago, and I’ve backslid a little bit (nowhere terrible, I can get things presentable in short time, I’m just not doing it, apparently). This is my reminder to get things back in place again.
I have to say, hiring a cleaning service to come in every two weeks was the best decision I made during all of this. It’s like having a reset button every two weeks. The house was starting to get a little messy—nothing to the point of ‘oh god no one can come in’, but, you know, messier than I’d like, but today was cleaning day, so it motivated me to catch up on dishes and pick up the shreds of stuffed animal that my dog had left laying around, and now I’m back to clean again.
I just went back and looked at my before and after photos, and now I can barely remember what it was like to live like that. It’s only been just over two months, but now that all seems like a bad dream.
I also have a new doctor now, who has changed up my meds to work on addressing the anxiety as well as the depression, and I’m starting to work on unfucking some other aspects of my life as well.
One of the issues I face with my recovery is that, like most folks who deal with depression, I have a tendency to very black and white thinking. Everything is either all good, or all terrible. Add a perfectionist streak a mile wide to that, and you can see how I might get into trouble where housework is concerned. According to the transitive property of neuroses, this means “if it’s not perfect, it’s horrible and I’m going to be living in my own filth in a matter of days.”
Which is… not precisely logical or sustainable.
So I think the initial euphoria of getting everything clean has passed, and I’m starting to struggle a little bit with a case of the don wannas. This has led to a little bit of anxiety that I’m slipping. The funny thing is, if you looked at my apartment right now, you’d think I was nuts, because it’s as clean as ever—cleaner at the moment, in fact, because my cleaners just left about an hour ago.
I think I’ve just lost the initial zip of “I’m going to FIX ALL THE THINGS!” and it’s gotten to be less a “hooray a new routine” and more a “aw bugger, I have to take the trash out AGAIN?”
Things will shake out eventually, I’m sure. For now I just want to take a nap.
And by done, I mean, I just put away the last of it. The only things in my hamper are the pajamas I just took off and the towels from my shower.
To understand the implications here, you have to understand that I have not seen the bottom of my laundry hamper, or even GOTTEN to my laundry hamper in over two years. (The mess you saw in the before clean-out pictures had been growing for about a year, but I’ve always had fucked corners and walls.)
I found clothes I had totally forgotten I had. And now they’re all clean and stacked or hung in my closet, which actually looks like a closet now, instead of empty space.
After the clean-out, I had about six garbage bags full of laundry, plus my hamper. Over the past three weeks, I’ve been working through them, and doing a fair bit of sorting and tossing in the meantime.
I celebrated by making cookies (and then doing the dishes, of course). :)
Thanks so much! It’ll be three weeks tomorrow, and it feels like a lifetime ago.
I just had maintenance come in and fix a door that’s been off-track for ages. How funny, to just be able to call them and have them show up, instead of fret that they might need to come in.
That’s what I’m experiencing a lot of lately.
I’m rediscovering things I had lost, like the fact that I’m a damned good cook, and I enjoy doing it. There’s pleasure to be had in looking in a clean kitchen and seeing nothing but good things to eat, and good ingredients to make more good things to eat. There’s satisfaction in providing for yourself.
I had forgotten—or maybe I never really knew—how good it can feel to jump out of bed and straight into the shower, not because you have somewhere to be, but just because it feels good to get warm and soapy and then dry off and put on lotion—which is something I never really did before. I got used to seeing my body as a necessary evil, and often a burden, not something to be pampered.
I’m re-learning how good it feels to be productive, in general, and not just productive in the things that help me mentally escape my environment. I don’t want to escape it now, I want to enjoy it.