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03/31/2012 06:47 PM

Chonic illness and keping order

centerseeker
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Ok apparently I am the queen of starting too many threads. I am not normally this overwhelmingly chatty believe me! I'm just looking to get some threads started for us.

It occurred to me that many of us, maybe most of us, come to MDJ because we suffer from physical or mental illness. Both types of illness present challenges that can at times make just getting through a day hard, much less keeping a 'Better Homes and Garden' type environment.

That said, it is easier to deal with our individual challenges when our homes and selves are somewhat in order. Also for the most part we are here because we are messy and disorganized so in a way it is like the blind leading the blind. (no offense intended)

But no matter how challenged or messy we all have things that work. Can we share with each other things we do when our mental or physical issues flare up but the world still needs to go on?

For me I am bipolar which means sometimes, I am so depressed it is hard to even shower let alone clean. One thing I do is 5 and 15 minute dash and clean games like I posted in the lounge where I set a timer and just move as fast as I can picking things up.

Anyone else have a tip to share for getting things done when dealing with your individual challenges?

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04/01/2012 07:26 AM
centerseeker
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Another helpful thing is to not be afraid to ask for help or receive help that is offered. If this help is cleaning great. If this help is errands or a meal that might free up some of your limited energy, great as well.

Another tip: Know when your 'good time' is if you have one and use it. My sister has a dual diagnosis of MS and Parkinsons. In the morning she does fine but in the afternoons she is usually hit with serious MS fatigue so she has a morning routine for cleaning up and rests in the afternoons. Her house looks better than mine!


04/03/2012 07:45 AM
getolife
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Centerseeker,

I spent the first ten years of my marriage trying to please my husband. That's what I thought I was supposed to do. I had four sons in that first ten years and my house was a disaster. My husband came home from work and yelled at me for not keeping things in order. So I'd try to pick up and he'd get angry with me for working when he was trying to rest of for running the vacuum cleaner in the other room when he was watching television or for not being able to quickly find something he'd thrown down a week ago or for not having his favorite jeans clean and in the drawer when he'd kicked them under the bed the night before. I was a mess and his attempts to "straighten me out" were definitely not working.

Every so often he would "show me how it's done" and come in like a cyclone, throw things away that I would have to replace, and have the place spotless in one afternoon. He would then proceed to scream at me about how easy it was (of course he didn't have four preschoolers underfoot and he didn't sort anything) and what an idiot I was for not being able to keep it up.

I started studying home organization books and going to an online support group to try to get my act together. I read everything and even started writing about home organization--I put together a newsletter for others who were having trouble, I sent out email classes, and posted about every new thing I discovered. Things got better, but I never was able to get the place spotless. Other people would say that they were making great progress with what I was writing--but my progress was painfully slow.

My husband recognized that he was doing more harm than good with his "lessons" and took an anger management class to stop the abuse (and there was abuse, though I still have trouble seeing it that way) and we worked together through the class to get his anger in check.

We'd been married for nearly 20 years when he was finally diagnosed with bipolar 1 and it occurred to me that I should never have expected to be able to keep up physically with the white tornado that was my husband doing a full-manic house cleaning. No mortal can keep up with that. I also came to realize that my own version of post-traumatic stress keeps me from allowing a spotless house--I was conditioned to connect the clean house with the out-of-control mania that generally came with it.

My husband is now stable on medication and my sons are grown and flown. I'm still struggling with a messy house. I own every home organization book available. I have all of the information and have been able to help other people get organized--I know my stuff. But I struggle with the mental blocks and the fear of throwing away something important (I lost a lot of things with personal value in those cleaning sessions) and I recently quit my day job to be a writer, so my time at home is spent writing and researching and marketing and....not cleaning or organizing.

I think this may be a great place for me because I need to deal with the clutter in my house while also dealing with the clutter in my mind.

My goal is to be able to invite someone over to the house after church and not be afraid to let them see what's inside. Did I come to the right place?


04/03/2012 08:16 AM
damselndistress
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Give yourself a hug and quit worrying about pleasing others.

Do the things you would like to do.Smile

If you want to have a nice home for your guests do it because you want to not because you feel forced or because you fear retaliation of either guilt shame or abuse from a partner.

This maybe a huge stumbling block for some of us.

Is it in our hearts to clean up all the messes?

Why are we being dumped on and expected to be the maid?

We are worth more than that.

Post edited by: damselndistress, at: 04/03/2012 08:17 AM


04/03/2012 08:32 AM
centerseeker
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getolife I am so sorry that you had to deal with so much emotional abuse from your husband before he was diagnosed. I am bipolar and know the rages I used to have at my husband before getting help were simply awful. In fact, not wanting to go on treating him this way is one of the reasons I got help in the first place.

And I remember experiencing myself those manic cleaning sessions until collapsing at 5 in the morning smelling of bleach and comet. In fact one of my stumbling blocks to keeping things decent is that I don't have those manic sessions anymore. I can't imagine being where you were. Struggling to keep things together while your husband manic cleaned and raged at you. My heart really goes out to you. He is a blessed man that you stood by him through all of this.

I think you are in the right place and we are happy to have you here. Certainly working through emotional roadblocks to cleaning and keeping order is, I am sure, a big issue for many of us. In fact I think this thread is a good place to discuss those issues and I am glad you shared.

Good luck with your work to get in order enough to have company. I think we can really all support each other toward this goal as we reach out to each other. Feel free to posts your goals and successes in them and we'll cheer you on if that helps.

(hey if you want to practice some of your great organization writing skills on us, feel free to go above to Articles and post one. We'd love to read itSmile )


04/04/2012 08:43 AM
getolife
getolife  
Posts: 95
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Centerseeker,

I was right to stick by my husband for the same reason your husband is right to stick by you--he was trying his best not to be abusive and he did everything he knew to stop it, it just took a long time to figure it all out.

There are people who behave that way and who develop an attitude that what they are doing is right and that their friends and family deserve to be treated that way.

Even when he was out of control, he always knew that it was wrong and I always knew (I don't know how, but I knew) that he was trying not to hurt me. In some ways it probably made it harder for me because much of his criticism was valid--but he went about it in such a horrific way.

Staying has paid off. He is stable now and working a full-time job for the first time in 15 years. And he loves his job and he loves not being on disability and he loves me. It was his idea for me to quit my day job and go back to writing--which isn't bringing in a lot of money, but I was stressed out and not making a lot of money anyway, just a consistent paycheck.

I am struggling now to do my home business and also get some housework done that has suffered while I worked full-time to support us and he stayed home. One nice thing about writing, when I get blocked I clean house. Sure it's an avoidance thing, but at least I can have an uncluttered place to write in. It definitely beats staring at a blank page for hours.

I probably will submit an article or two when I have time, but I do have to work on the stuff that pays the bills first. I'm in my third week self-employed, so I'm still figuring it out.

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