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Totally Thrashed
April 22, 2004
3:32 pm
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Hi.

For a while I have been coming here just to read what others have to say. It has helped me in some ways, but I have some problems that I haven't found much information about here. I'm hoping that someone can give me a bit of support.

My house is completely thrashed. It is so messy I don't know how to begin to clean it. My therapist says it is part of my depression, and how I see myself and what I deserve. He also says that it is a way of keeping people out of my life and staying isolated.

Also, I am terrified of managing my money. Since I live only with my kids, there is no one to handle the money but me. I am always having a hard time with money even though there have been times when I made less money and got along just fine. I don't think my debts have increased, but my fear of dealing with them has. I am fearful every time I check the mail or have to pay a bill. Many times I avoid paying bills because I'm afraid that I will end up without enough money to provide for my kids, then I end up even more behind than before.

When I think of dealing with these two things, I freak. I try hard not to think about them at all. I know the best thing to do would be to start slowly and overcome these challenges. Even though I know this, I feel unable to accomplish it.

Does anyone else have depression that affects these parts of your life? If so, or if you just have something to say, I would appreciate it very much.

Thank you.

Ren'ai

April 22, 2004
3:40 pm
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nancee
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I can relate to a degree. For a while I was outwardly showing my depression by crying and being anxious and tense. Now I seem to have turned it inward and I have found myself unable to do anything constructive at home. I can't remember the last time I cleaned my apartment. I am overwhelmed with clutter. I try to tell myself it doesn't matter because nobody sees it but me. That's just an excuse. I've been spending my weekends in bed or on the couch cuddling the remote.

The depression and the messy home seem to feed on each other. The more depressed I get the less I feel like cleaning and the more messy stuff gets the more depressed I am. I wish I had a suggestion to inspire you, just know that I relate.

Nan

April 22, 2004
3:43 pm
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gingerleigh
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Going through some money nightmares myself, let me stress how important it is to sort through it now rather than later. It's hard to do on your own though. Is there anyone that you trust to go through the process with you? It's so much easier to clean up someone else's finances than to look at your own. I do understand. Do you have a friend or perhaps a sibling who you would feel OK being vulnerable with? That person could drive with you to a credit counseling office, sit with you while your credit reports are run, and take notes on action items that the counselor gives you. Trust me, it's stressful enough in the meeting without having to remember everything, and it's so helpful to have someone else there who is impartial to record what needs to be done.

Some people are just good at managing their money, and some people just have a block against it. Just like some people think it's fun to jump out of airplanes, and others wouldn't do it for the world. But, jumping out of airplanes is purely optional, whereas managing finances is not. Asking for help is OK. NO ONE will judge you or beat you up for anything. You stand to gain is the relief of knowing what reality is, and the only thing you have to lose is the tremendous stress of the unknown.

April 22, 2004
3:52 pm
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Thanks for what you have to say.

It feels good to know that I'm not alone.

I do have someone who could go with me to see a credit counselor. I am blessed with a wonderful companion, who, even though we don't live together, has agreed to help me begin to chip away at this when I can cope with it.

Part of it is I don't really have a fear of the unknown because I do know what I owe and when. I also know that every payday the money will be gone well before the next payday because I am so behind on everything. I feel afraid all the time about this and my home. I know I'm getting better in many areas because of going to therapy. Maybe part of the reason these things are on my mind so much lately is because I'm getting ready to deal with them.

I hope that's what it is.

Anyway, thanks again.

Ren'ai

April 22, 2004
4:24 pm
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annastar
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In my early 20s things kind of got out of control. I and my husband had plans to move, so we kind of gave up on house work…Then my husband moved out with other girl, and my friends moved in. What ever your therapist say- “it is a way of keeping people out of your life and staying isolated.” Right! My friends would just coming and hanging there, and it was no way to make them leave. And no one sure would clean. One day my mother came from out of town to visit me and was so shocked. She started to throw out everything she would not think I need. It was bags and boxes with cloth, old books, papers, my ex’s stuff, our friends stuff, things I did not even know where I got from. She called some of her friends and they just took everything. Man- I loved it! Rooms became bigger, felled with sun, dust gone, and air became so clear and fresh! So what am I trying to say here- just put everything in a garbage. Do one room at a time, one project at a time. Can children help?

April 22, 2004
7:02 pm
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My children aren't able to help right now.

I'm feeling a little bit more motivated to get at least some little things done. Maybe being able to write about it here has helped a little bit.

How have you managed to keep up with things since your Mom left? It would help me to know how working mothers manage to maintain.

Ren'ai

April 22, 2004
7:16 pm
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annastar
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I am not sure. I think- when you have less trash, it easy to manage it... Right now I have this guy I care about- if he sees of what am I capable off...When we have problems and he is not around, I having hard time to motivate myself. It also does not work just with any man. This is the situation where abusive relationships are actually good for you. Lately I focus on my education and carrier- it giving me hope that I will get out from condition I am in and life will get better. I'd like to move to bigger city- may be California- need education to make it happening. I guess- just know what I want. For you...It may be sound codependent, but man's approval can be motivator. It changes a lot to have good partner. And good partner will not date some one with mass in a house. So- I guess- to make life better I starting from "What can I offer". I know- every man looking for better deal- what do I have to offer to the market?

April 22, 2004
7:18 pm
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wishes
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Maintain? HA! 🙂 Just kidding. But really, I get up at six, have a couple minutes to myself and do 1/2 hour housework in the morning, just enough to kinda pick things up before the kids get up. When I come home at night I do the same thing, but maybe a little longer, depending on the homework load. We don't get home until 6 and bedtime is 9:30 sharp. I devote 1/2 of a weekend day to housework (split it up if you want, two hours on Sat. and two on Sun.) and I make the kids help. It makes them feel useful and when they get the allowance they feel like they've earned it. We are a family. We are a team. We help each other. That is what it's all about. 🙂

April 23, 2004
12:20 am
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Thank you for the helpful input.

Tonight I went home and actually DID something rather than nothing. It felt pretty good. I like the idea of getting up and spending some time just on yourself, then doing some housework. Also the suggestion about the weekend chores. That doesn't sound too overwhelming. What I always find out when I do clean is that it's amazing how much I can get done in just an hour.

Having a good partner makes my life so much better in so many ways. My partner is my teacher and vice-versa. Also, we are totally upfront about our lives so the home-making and financial disasters aren't secrets. The thing that feels so good is that the love is there no matter how depressed I might be, how ugly I might feel, or what mistakes I might make. And believe me, I make a bunch. The best thing I have maybe ever done is finally believe that someone meant it when they said "I love you."

I plan to get more done tomorrow and this weekend.

Thank you again.

Ren'ai

April 23, 2004
8:15 am
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Wanttobewell
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Hi,,I totally agree that a messy house and depression go together. I get overwhelmed by it all too. For one thing, it seems there isn't enough time to get it done. Then I think I'll just do one room at a time. But then I see something else that needs to be done and go over to that. It ends up that I have several things going on but not completely finished. Then I'm really overwhelmed. My dad says I try to do too much at once, and I agree. But I have NO help. The decks need painting or staining, clothes need to go to Goodwill, the inside of the house needs painting, the outside of the house needs to be washed, windows need wshing, the inside of the house needs to be uncluttered and cleaned, the yard needs to be mowed, flowers and vegetables have to be gotten into the ground, grocery store, bill paying, truck inspection and maintenance, doctor appts., full time job. Jeez I wish I hadn't listed all that crap, but it's no wonder we get overwhelmed. Just try to do one thing at a time, focus and finish before moving on to something else will be my new motto. Maintenance? I'll cross that bridge when and if I ever get to it.

Gee,,wonder what I could have gotten done instead of writing this? :} W.

April 23, 2004
2:19 pm
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Is there anyone here with this problem who would be willing to work together with me? Could we meet on this thread just to talk about what we accomplished, and to encourage each other. It helps me when I have someone I'm accountable to, and when I have someone in my life who is willing to challenge me without trying to shame me.

I would sure appreciate anyone willing to help me on this, and I'm willing to help you, too.

Ren'ai

April 23, 2004
5:23 pm
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Ren'ai-

Hi. My depression makes me too tired to keep "house" (I live in a studio apartment) the way I would like to. In fact, living in one room sounds like it should be easy, but it's hard. When my place is in good shape, things have all these little hiding places...but it's not so easy to maintain when you are tired.

It IS a vicious cycle though. While I get messy when I'm depressed, I do have very high standards. To compound it all, my schedule doesn't allow me to meet my perfectionist standards, depression or no depression.

Also, I am working on the problem of dealing with my coda tendencies and my boyfriend is staying with me... this was once understood to be a temporary arrangement. A year ago. He is trying to arrange treatment/housing. That will be a nice change and I will worry less about him/us to boot. Until then, I have someone else's stuff with no where to put it. He used to be a big contributor to household chores. But guess what? He is depressed now too. This makes me angry, but how hypocritical is that when I'm not even taking care of my own half? It would be nice to have someone healthy to balance me off...but that's another thread.
Believe me, I know what you are going through...I've experienced it my whole life. Even as a child- my MOTHER was the same way. Our house was always a mess- and when I visit my parents it still is. So you are not alone.
-ella

April 23, 2004
5:30 pm
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P.S.

One thing that is helpful, I have to say, is music. If you can listen to music when you are cleaning it helps a lot!

I know you sound like you are strapped for cash, but if you go to a 99 cent store or something... you can find some good containers. Organizing things in containers makes them much easier to deal with and then everthing has a place. Some containers are quite decorative and themselves dress up a room.

when I start cleaning a disaster area I start really general, organizing... i put things in piles... just to get an idea of what is there sometimes this helps.

April 26, 2004
1:46 pm
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I am thankful for all the helpful advice and suggestions. I am trying to get going, yet still feel so frightened and completely overwhelmed. I manage to get a couple of things done, and the next thing you know, they need to be done again. It feels like a never-ending cycle!

Today, or should I say this evening, my goal is to get 3 loads of wash done, folded, and put away. Then wash the dishes.

Is there anyone out there who would be willing to jump in here tonight or tomorrow and say, "Hey, Ren'ai, did you get it done?" If I have to tell someone yes or no, that will be a huge motivator for me!!!

Ren'ai

April 26, 2004
2:30 pm
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How is the cleaning going Ren'ai?
-ella

April 26, 2004
2:49 pm
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Actually, I'm in the middle of cleaning my office!

Ren'ai

April 27, 2004
2:17 am
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Okay. Got a load of laundry done. Ran errands. Worked. Went home and did a little bit of "art" work. Now I'm set do get more laundry done and straighten the living room. If I haven't finished it by tomorrow, shame on me!

Ren'ai

April 27, 2004
2:33 am
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Hi Ren'ai,

That is wonderful. I will be joining you on the "Quest for the clean house" after the big tax push is over... I feel like a bomb exploded in my normally very clean home!

But, good work on getting that much done.

Z.

April 28, 2004
4:38 am
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Thank you! I can't begin to tell you how it feels to hear something nice for a change!

Crazy as this sounds, I was up all night, and no, it's not anything more than caffeine and motivation. Depression is such a weird thing. One minute it's there, the next thing I know, I feel like I'm able to do any and everything. I credit my therapist, and the fact that I have bumped up my sessions from twice a month to once a week.

Here's the thing that's making me a nervous wreck. I have all kinds of stuff to do for work this week, and just got news tonight that I'll be having company tomorrow. How am I going to get that much work done!? Yes, I know, this is a natural consequence for procrastination. And I really would like to relax and let things flow. My 'company' is my partner. We have spent time in each other's homes and know each other very well. Before I was comfortable but now I'm not.

Any suggestions on how I might be able to make some of these changes faster? A schedule? A spread sheet? Teaching the dog to fold and put away laundry? (It would be easier than teaching a kid, I think!)

I'm open to just about anything but the lighter fluid and Zippo!

Ren'ai

April 28, 2004
5:12 am
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Thanks, Twinks. I guess the idea about the dog isn't that great unless no one minds having dog slobber all over their clothes!

Would you do me a favor?

Check back here in a couple of hours, or even tomorrow; whenever it's convenient for you, and just ask me what I did. It will make me feel proud to put it in writing!

Thanks again.

Ren'ai

April 28, 2004
10:04 am
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lewis
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i have recently decided to sort all that stufff out that i have been carrying around with me for years!!!

like my university stuff, & tickets of places that i have been!! i mean do i need all this stuff - really!

so now i haved moved all the stuff from the cupboard, where it 'was' hiding away from my sight.

it has now been 3 weeks! and i still have a huge pile in my kitchen, for my sight to see & DO!!!

ok so here's the deal at the end of this week - it will all be GONE!

: )

April 29, 2004
9:31 pm
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Okay! Some successes to report!

First of all, I actually went grocery shopping instead of doing the fast food thing. Second, I washed and folded so much laundry that I got all freaked out when I was trying to find a pair of clean undies and realized they were all folded and put away! I swept, mopped, and rearranged my bedroom--and still managed to work a full 8 hour day!

I know this is a boring thread. It makes me feel so appreciative of everyone who can relate, offer advice, and just check in to see what I'm up to.

Please, don't forget about me!!! I have to stay accountable.

April 30, 2004
4:10 am
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lewis
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hi, Ren'ai

haven't forgot about you!

i'm giving you a big pat on the back, because your doing something positive. 'well done'

keep me informed : )

((((((hugs)))))))

April 30, 2004
4:21 am
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Ren'ai,

Keep up the good work! I LOVE fresh clean clothes.

Now on the dog folding laundrey idea - I have been trying for 20 years to train mine to do anything but lay on the warm clothes out of the dryer.

Not working.

Z.

April 30, 2004
1:16 pm
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LOL! Okay. I guess the dog idea is a bust.

I have been working HARD both in the house and at work. I have been doing some hard emotional work as well. It feels good to see that I'm making progress but I still feel so much shame about my actions (or lack of action) as well as feeling hopeless about it because all the work will never be done.

I'm tired! In my body, mind, and spirit. I am ready to retire which is a laugh because I haven't even begun to really live yet, and I'm already past 40!

Has anyone heard of this messy house thing as a real mental health issue? I was doing some searching around on the net and it seems like it is recognized in psychology as a depressive symptom.

At least I'm still trying.

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