Fierce bad bunny's story
I'm a recovering squaloree. Third generation. I didn't grow up in squalor, but there were and are single female relatives on both sides of the family living in squalor. Ten years ago, I lived in 2nd or 3rd degree. For the past nine, I've been living with someone who cleaned up after me so it was only the three rooms I'm directly responsible for that stayed somewhere between 1st and 2nd (my bedroom, my bathroom, and den). Yes, I'm well into my thirties and my mother was cleaning up my squalor trail.
Why? Do you have a few years? ADD, depression, perfectionism, poor organization skills, family stresses, deaths, heredity (I'm talking lethal gene pool), passive-aggressive behavior, laziness, and ... now I know why I've never written this down before:). I've done therapy, meds, and survived a suicide attempt. Even maids twice a month couldn't stop me because my doors still closed.
Growing up, I was always the messiest kid. I've always been a packrat. My room would get wrecked to the point that either someone had to help me clean or later a major screaming lecture from a parent would make me so furious that I stayed up all night cleaning to get them off my back. It never lasted though.
Clothing and books were usually the worst of my messes until I moved out and added trash and dirty dishes to the hideous mix. At one point I went four months without washing a dish, periodically spraying Lysol on the disaster to keep down the smell. Occasionally, someone (with notice) would visit from out of town and I'd stay up for a couple of days straight cleaning house to make the public rooms presentable. As soon as my guests left, the downhill slide started again.
Y'all will remember, though, that up at the top of this screed I said I was a recovering squaloree. Since mid-June all the parts of my home have been squalor free. Occasionally the house has been a bit cluttered, but not even close to resembling 1st degree squalor.
Why? A lot of little hammer blows over the past few years. Several people I know and love have had major illnesses or died. Twice I helped disassemble households after deaths. In the spring, someone I love died unexpectedly. The person's family had vast quantities of clean, neat, organized, really nice stuff of which to dispose. I really started thinking about what would happen if I died suddenly and what my family would have to do and what they would find. Then I started decluttering. I found Kimmy's thread and this and other websites in early June and read voraciously for a couple of weeks and continued to declutter. Gradually, I could begin to clean what was left. For whatever reason, this time my resolve seems to have stuck.
I really don't know if I'll ever get over the fear of squalor. I am learning that I can control my environment which has had a huge positive impact on my state of mind. Getting rid of stuff in the house has helped clear a lot of stuff from my brain, though that in itself is scary. What am I supposed to do now that I don't have to spend all my time thinking about the mess and wishing I were organized and making mostly ineffectual attempts to clean house? And now that I don't have a major relationship with stuff anymore? Stay tuned....
fierce bad bunny
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