I know I’m getting better because I’m sitting at home waiting impatiently (SO impatiently) for a delivery of…vacuum bags. As in, bags that go in the vacuum. Because the one that came with my vacuum is full and I haven’t been able to budget for them until now. Last time I used the vacuum and it worked was 2 Sundays ago.
Let me repeat, I am excited. To vacuum.
On the one hand, this is a “yes I am definitely a grown up” moment. You have to be a grown up to be excited about doing chores. You just do. On the other hand, this is super awesome and a sign of good mental health!
When I first moved into my apartment, I decided that every Sunday I would pick up the things I had left sitting around on the floor/couch/chair and then vacuum. Every week. Plus doing laundry weekly and dishes nightly. And for several months I did. My first depressive episode while living alone was a little over 3 months into my lease. It was really bad. (I’ve talked about it before, in a few different posts, so the summary is: sleeping tons, missing work, unaware I was depressed because I wasn’t sad, failed a class and hit someone with my car, very bad year, yadda.) I obviously stopped cleaning weekly. Or very much at all. After a month or so I started to feel better and do stuff again, including cleaning, but I had lost the habit of doing it regularly and didn’t care enough to deal with a lot of the mess. I did it far less often.
Late that year I started seeing a boy who is not The Boy. In hindsight, there were a lot of red flags about him, but I ignored them/missed them and was very into this boy. I spent a ton of time with him, particularly at his place. We were together about 6 months, and when we broke up, it was because of my apartment. It was “disgusting,” he told me. He couldn’t be with someone who could live in such filth. (Note, even at my worst, the only thing that was actually gross about my apartment mess was the irregularity in which I cleaned the cat boxes. Most of the mess was just stuff, scattered or piled around. Clothes and papers and books, mostly. I did my dishes and a took out my trash and all that.)
A couple weeks after we broke up I broke my leg. While I was in surgery, my parents cleaned up my apartment so I could move around. Mom knows I’ll freak if she throws anything that isn’t 100% obviously trash away, so she made some pileeas, but the place was basically clean. But being unable to skate had really added to my depression (although it helped me not focus on the being dumped, yay!) and when I was back on both feet, I didn’t feel like cleaning as much. I had also fallen out of the habit of weekly cleaning, so it got messy again.
The Boy is also not a fan of mess. He, however, is much better at communicating, and though the first time he mentioned the mess casually I took it a little badly, generally he’s pretty gentle with any criticisms, and I’ve learned to take them as they are intended-as constructive crit, rather than destructive crit or a lame excuse or anything like that. So I kept the place relatively neat, though there were still piles of stuff in places (and some boxes from when I first moved in, yes really). Last week when I cleaned up, I took care of all the piles and boxes and cleaned out the closets and everything. But I couldn’t vacuum, so there’s cat hair tumbleweeds and stray bits of cat litter and also some gardening soil on the carpet.
I noticed yesterday that things were starting to pile up some more, and I just worked it out that I picked up a couple things while working on scanning for BftC. I can’t wait to vacuum. I’m doing better! Now I just gotta work on keeping this up while adding in regular exercise/training. (and then once I get steady employment, keeping this all up while working.) GO ME!