Alright, I knew it was bad. I didn’t know it was this bad. I have always had trouble keeping my own space tidy. Though I characterize this in conversation as "I hate cleaning," the truth of the matter is more complicated. I actually enjoy tasks like vacuuming, dusting (until my allergies kick in 😉 ) and polishing. At work or when helping a friend or a family member I can tolerate and even enjoy other cleaning tasks. Dishes and laundry are hated across the board.

A few years ago, I realized that the clutter in my space waxed and waned with depression. I began to even use it as a warning sign. Place getting messy? Time to kick in the anti-depression behaviors like nutrition, sleep, self-care, and asking for help.

I have been very, very depressed for over two years. Use your imagination to figure out what my home looks like. Suffice it to say, guests are not allowed.

I know a little of why this is. Logic leads me to the behaviors of several of my own childhood monsters. Another layer is built out of the negative sense of self worth I have built with meticulous attention to detail. Some of it is just the strange inability to accomplish that depression so kindly lends.

But clearly, there’s even more than I guessed. Why do I say that? Today, I felt a fit of motivation…or more specifically, restlessness that I decided to target at trying to hack my way out of the mess. I actually made a good start, getting done in half an hour what would some days take me hours to do. But suddenly, I became aware of my body. I was physicallly shaking. I had that nauseaus, twitchy feeling you get when you’ve got a stomache problem. A quick look in the mirror showed I was waxen, as if I’d just seen a ghost. I actually had fear sweat. I never, ever, ever get fear sweat.

How twisted is that?

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