It CAN get better. You can get routines and methods to get there and stay there. Also, when "Life Happens" and you are thrown out of balance and everything goes to Heck, it won't take long to get things back to where they should be.
Here we all start slowly and gradually pick up speed as we go. We work on maintaining what we have cleared and cleaned as we continue to clean other areas. We try to develop new daily habits to keep on top of it all.
A great book to read is "Buried In Treasures".
Posted: 25 April 2015 - 11:09 AM
I come from a long line of Clutterers, with compulsive behaviors. Without a frame of reference for this behavior, I grew up observing my other parent being an enabler. Their behavior was derived from a host of Enablers as well.
In my house, motivation meant cleaning the clutter: to fix 'the problem' = problem solved. Emergence of clutter symbolized laziness: to perpetuate 'the problem' = energy wasted. This cycle continues between my parents, making them both less than ideal resources for support.
Recently, I've been working to sort this all out in my mind...the irony. I broke free from the clutter cycle when I joined the military. The structure and routine brought a certain peace and balance. When life handed me a curve ball, though I went spinning out of control. Shame made this extrovert hide inward to seek refuge from the storms of life.
Keepsakes from good memories or events were cute in the beginning. I considered myself a scrapbooker. It's far more respectable, don't you think?
Got home, went to school, got a job and then bought a piece of the American Dream. My life was back into rhythm, things were going in the right direction. In 2008, the recession hit. Housing market plummeted. My job began to furlough anticipated wages. Life was coming at me from every angel. A jab here, an upper cut there. I failed to block myself from these uncertainties. I failed. Once again, shame brought my feelings inward.
How could I tell people that it felt like I was drowning and needed a life line. By people, I mean my family. One parent says, "My daughter's a chip of the ole' block. She's resilient and motivated, nothing gets in her way". While the other says things like, "The world is cruel. We can put our game face on tomorrow. In the meantime, we can wallow in our feelings a bit longer, if you'd like".
Black mold changed my life. Have you ever tested your home for black mold? I didn't have to test the visible mold throughout my garage storage unit. The kind and diligent Mold Extractor suggested I remove any precious belongings into the detached portion of the home. Unconsciously, I anchored those precious items in my second bedroom...temporarily, for safety. It's been over 2 years and the clutter has encroached upon others rooms of the condo. I can barely function in the space, let alone socialize or have friends stop over. I have failed again.
I attempted to share my struggle and ask a friend to help me regain some control. My minimalist confidant rejected me and my messy home. Devastated. I went on cleaning purge with life! I started clean eating, got fit and lost weight. The clutter had to go, so I started bagging up clothes (all four seasons worth) no longer in my size. I felt great...until the car crash. Physical pain caused me to retreat for comfort. I wore comfortable shoes, clothes and eventually food.
I am my parents' child, both resilient and compulsive. The challenge seems to be maintaining a yin yang balance in spite of life's uncertainties.
What do you believe? I am hopeful this can get better...I can get better, just need a little help.
Posted: 07 January 2015 - 08:34 PM
I was reading about the actress Ashley Judd, who had a rough childhood and became a perfectionist. She said a therapist told her (or a priest maybe?) that perfectionism is the worst form of self-abuse.
We can't be perfect. We can be good, though. I'm a perfectionist too, but I make a conscious effort to chill out.
Posted: 17 August 2013 - 01:15 PM
I have always been a person who felt most comfortable when I could fall into a comfortable routine. I like it when things are running along smoothly and I know what to expect. I like having a place for everything and everything in its place. I like being in control.
Unfortunately, when life happens, and things start to spin out of control, I get very anxious. And when i get anxious, I feel helpless. The mess begins to control me.
Its amazing to continue to find commonalities here with the people I am meeting and getting to know, thank you for posting this. I feel the same way about order, routing and control and have the same results anxiety and for me, depression, when things are not going smoothly on track. Its hard to accept that people places and things are only my business if its me or mine. Even then each decision or action I make or take can go awry haha. Life happens and there we go.
For me its a major accomplishment when I get out of the house, do something on my own, go to the grocery store, get my own gas. Its just the way it is and I have to find ways to live with it and make progress... baby steps at a time.
I am the same way about the house, everything should be perfect and when it isn't, which it rarely is, perfect I come unhinged. I am learning to be gentler with myself and not expect so much, its slow going but I can see the progress here and there. I am so grateful for these boards.
So many things are up in the air for me these days its hard to keep a handle on it all. My daughter, who I rely on too much, is out of town for two more weeks, the kids start school on Monday, I am supposed to go to Florida in two weeks to visit family and friends (not sure if this will pan out yet), my son-in-law is talking about divorce, one of my other daughters is in a nasty custody battle (recently divorced and having problems making ends meet among other things, so calling me a lot), I am still getting acclimated to living alone... its just life and always something... I am taking things as they come but it makes it all the more difficult for me to move forward and then I feel crippled and ineffectual and weak. I AM NOT WEAK! I keep telling myself.
Neither of my parents had this craving for order that I have. They were very creative, spontaneous people who could go with the flow. My brother and my sister are also like this. I seem to be the misfit.
My parents were like that too especially my mother who was such a free spirit. She used to say she had an orderly mess which was so true, going to her house was like visiting a museum of amazing and beautiful things. She had room hahaha. My dad was a career musician and played the part well. My sisters seem to have things together although are the same in a way - the clutter just seems to fit, museums of interest and beauty
I am also a perfectionist. When I clean, I need to have it perfectly clean. I need to stay on a task until it is complete. I can't leave something half done. That means that everything that I see that needs doing does not get done. I am trying to learn to have a new attitude. I cannot be in control of everything. Sometimes it is more important for me to just get the job done and not worry about perfection.
Me too me too! Me, too! I am sorry if this reply seems disjointed that is just me today haha. We should meet up for a chat to help each other along. THank you again for posting this. Hugs.
Posted: 17 August 2013 - 10:41 AM
I have always been a person who felt most comfortable when I could fall into a comfortable routine. I like it when things are running along smoothly and I know what to expect. I like having a place for everything and everything in its place. I like being in control. Unfortunately, when life happens, and things start to spin out of control, I get very anxious. And when i get anxious, I feel helpless. The mess begins to control me. Neither of my parents had this craving for order that I have. They were very creative, spontaneous people who could go with the flow. My brother and my sister are also like this. I seem to be the misfit. I am also a perfectionist. When I clean, I need to have it perfectly clean. I need to stay on a task until it is complete. I can't leave something half done. That means that everything that I see that needs doing does not get done. I am trying to learn to have a new attitude. I cannot be in control of everything. Sometimes it is more important for me to just get the job done and not worry about perfection.