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Totally Thrashed
April 30, 2004
1:26 pm
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Zinnie
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I had never heard of it before, BUT I do know that when I'm tired or depressed, I tend to let the house go.

Being a normally clean person, it makes me even more depressed.

Z.

April 30, 2004
1:40 pm
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Hey Re'nai.

How are things for you today? I love the dog idea, but in my case I think the cat is smarter and probably could do the laundry. Your doing great though. Remember sometimes we have to take baby steps. Don't overload, and take a minute for you. Reward yourself for all the hard work you've been doing. Kudos!!!!!! Keep you chin up.

May 7, 2004
10:58 pm
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Guess I kind of disappeared for a while. Sometimes things just get to be too much and I feel like I can't hang on. I am so frustrated about this cleaning stuff! It seems like I'm NEVER going to get anywhere, and I don't have time to deal with it all, now. It is totally out of hand! I spend so much time looking for things that should be simple for me to find. I get disgusted with myself. I don't want to let anyone in my home. I won't have company. I won't answer the door, even! Why is it so easy for some people to manage and so hard for others? I was raised in a clean home, and had to do chores and stuff growing up. I used to keep a much cleaner home than I do now. What is WRONG with me?

All I want to do it hide from everything.

Now I'm finding out that my financial situation is at least as messy, if not worse, than my house!

I'm getting desperate!!!

Ren'ai

May 8, 2004
2:42 am
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Zinnie
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Ren'ai,

What happened? You were doing so much better.

Take it one step at a time.

Perhaps a load of laundrey one day, pay one bill.

How about that?

Z.

May 8, 2004
3:57 am
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Ren'ai

Don't be so hard on yourself. Every process has its ups and downs and periods of high and low productivity or however you want to phrase it.

Maybe it only seems like it's easy for other people. Maybe they just don't talk about it...(you know that there are people who don't talk about things that don't make them look like they are on top of the world... they create an illusion of ease). Or maybe it is a little easier for some because they don't have the burden of a complicated life... some people simply don't have, or can't think of, anything better to do than keep up the appearance of their house. There is more to life than that. I'm like you- I think we both need to find that happy medium between being a perfectionist house-proud person and being totally overwhelmed and disorganized. Somewhere in the middle lies comfort and efficiency- but not obsession and compusiveness.

Take it easy on yourself.
-ella

May 8, 2004
7:07 pm
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CAMER
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REN'AI...please be easy on yourself...you sound overwhelmed and all these thoughts are getting the best of you....take things hour by
hour, do one good thing for yourself each hour, maybe look in the mirror and know that you are a worthwhile person...its very easy to get depressed and have bad thoughts, but it take alot of courage to know that you have something to offer and are worth.....take the courage and be good to you!

May 9, 2004
12:35 pm
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Hi ren'ai - did you get it done ?

Ren'ai, you told us here (posting april 30th):"I'm tired! In my body, mind, and spirit.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".

if you're terrified of managing your money since you live *only* with your kids and - "there is no one to handle the money *but* me" - can it be that you're afraid to make mistakes out of some kind of fear to be responsible all by yourself (fear to fail? feeling kinda over-responsible?)-

Many times you - as you told us, re'nai - *avoid* paying bills because you're afraid that you will end up without enough money to provide for your kids, then you feel even more behind than before. Can it be that you're prone to avoiding behavior out of this same fear - that is to say - sometimes there just flows less money "in" than has to get "out" (this is a plain fact) but every time you interpret or take this "balance deficit" as a signal or indication of your failing you are setting yourself up to feel more and more powerless, inadequate or insecure and I suppose the vicious circle that ensues from these feelings or emotional state runs on anxiety ...... the fear of losing control ? And this may be connected with (your ?) experiencing a loss somehow - f.e. that you were unable to control what was happening to you at the time with that person.

And, something else - I was told once that depression (f.e. feelings of anxiety, insecurity, hopelessness) can also result as reaction to an experience of loss like a divorce or separating from a very close friend - in fact, it's one of the main causes besides job loss and decease. Your 'symptoms' may be indicative of your way of coping (or - possibly not coping - yet) with your experiencing of a loss. Then again - they may be not. I am curious to hear more about your perspective on this one .....

ren'ai just wondering ... perhaps you can say : how your inside is or - is feeling - translates into - how your 'outside' (= home) looks. So...if you tell us that you're tired in body, mind and spirit, your home is - or - can be(come) - so too ("tired" or "messy"?). I can imagine myself thanking God for having not that a large house (xcept for the lucky ones ofcourse who - when living in a mansion - can afford a housekeeper)- cuz when living in a one or two room apartment you'll be in the enviable position to "scale down" this housework "thingie" ('problem?')a little more (- yet , is it really a problem - this depends largely upon 'perception' huh?)... I think it should not have to be a mental health issue - your 'messy house thing' as you have described it earlier - cuz with most mental health disorders (f.e. schizophrenia) a filthy or trashy home usually is the effect, outcome or result - so their disorder precedes everything else that's being created - like piles of junk food or garbage - in their homes. And with you, it seems like it's partly or mostly the other way round. In your case - it may well be not or - not in the first place - a mental health issue but rather or - predominantly - an emotional health issue - furthermore - can it be the case that you tend to *think* that you are out of control more than you actually are - and that this kind of thinking is making you feel frightened or hopeless - ??? - so ... I feel that you should not push yourself too hard in this respect ('don't feel or be ashamed if you aren't perfect'- no one is)... it may be you who's judging yourself all the time here by maintaining some unrealistic standards and that in itself can make you feel more anxious or depressed ("If I haven't finished it by tomorrow, shame on me! - so it's really you doing the shaming here" -> why? - moreover I am inclined to think that shame is at the root of your keeping people out of your house or staying isolated)- In my 'world', household chores should not be about perfectionism but about sincerity - that is - you know you've done your best or gave it your best shot and that's okay.... for today , haha

So - when I feel depressed or kinda low I tend to become very slacky about housekeeping, but the way I get myself going or started again is by setting some kind of time limit to do some cleaning or whatever... for example one hour every other day or so - in this way, I evaluate ('judge'?) my 'productivity' not by the things I get done (like laundry, groceries etc) but by time units. For me - this has the advantage of allowing myself to do the things I feel like doing the most at that particular hour of that day and still feel good about myself. Everything done in the house shows or - proves to - you that you (want to)love yourself and take good care of yourself (and your kids).

Another suggestion - think about a trashy or messy household as a continuing zen practice - practising zen is most effective when you're not counting the minutes passing by ... it's the process not the outcome that counts -

ren'ai - dit you get IT - yourself - done?????????

remember - people here on this thread all believe in you - that you can do it - manage yourself, your household and sorting out financial matters - so don't give up and keep on trying -

[email protected]

May 10, 2004
4:01 am
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lewis
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i reckon your being too hard on yourself - look at the effort you have made : )

May 11, 2004
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lewis
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i reckon your being too hard on yourself - look at the effort you have made : )

May 11, 2004
9:06 pm
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I disappeared again. I haven't been home because I'm afraid of what I'm going to find when I get there. I spent 2 nights not sleeping at all trying to get things done in my house and for work. I feel like it was all for nothing!

Worse than all this, though, is that I am constantly disappointing my poor kids! I mean, honestly, they deserve so much better and I'm too wrapped up in feeling sorry for myself to care about what's best for them. That's pathetic!!!

I take an anti-depressant. I take medication when I feel completely stressed out and on the edge. Here I am, no better off than before the medication, really. Thank goodness for therapy or who really knows where I'd be by now!

I know I can do this. I know it. I am strong, smart, capable, and willing. So, how can "fear" hold me back so completely? I can see how all of this is fear driven. I can see how hard I am on myself. I can see that if I was dealing with a friend in a similar situation I would be reacting differently to her than I do to myself.

Today I will go home and do one thing. Just one. It's been a long day. It's been a long life. One thing, in this moment, will be enough.

Thank you all so very much for your kind words, support, and for not getting completely annoyed with me yet.

Ren'ai

May 13, 2004
10:21 am
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lewis
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Hi

sounds differcult for you at the moment. like you feel that there is SO much to do.

When you mentioned 'fears' what do you mean by this? what fears are holding you back?

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

May 14, 2004
8:06 am
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ren'ai - glad to hear from you !
(and - hail - to you - members of the 'Clean Team' haha ))

you did a great job so plse give yourself a big (((HUG))) from all of us - you've deserved it, girrrl

I think you're a funny lady, ren'ai - cuz with you it's "all or nothing" huh???

how does it feel to not be busy pushing yourself to the 'extreme' but look for a middle ground or stance here (balanced)?

you're doing great here - if possible, let your friends and/or therapist support you - that's okay (everybody needs some support now and then, don't they - we're only human ....)and I'm sure they won't mind. You probably think they do mind ... but that's your mind (= irrational thinking of beliefs) working overtime here. Usually, people feel affected when others need them to lean on for just a little while - .... - it touches their own vulnerable side I guess ..... so don't be too hard on yourself by showing you're a vulnerable person in need of *whatever* now and then - it makes you all the more likable and lovable.

ren'ai - you NEED to feel sorry for yourself here - it's only natural to feel this way if you've been experiencing some kind of loss, hurt or sadness in the past - you need it to come to terms with YOU here so don't judge yourself too hard or - preferably - not at all - try stopping (avoiding, great !) *that* kind of thought as soon as you spot it ("nip them in the bud" - haha).

here's another thing cuz you're a lady that keeps suprising me - "I am *constantly* disappointing my *poor* kids" (= it's you talking here) - I assume you KNOW that's a irrational (and "self-punishing" or negative) thought here, right ? - remember, you don't have to be 'perfect' ALL the time - for example , keeping your kids happy and satisfied all and every minute of their precious little lives - I am sure your kids have a wonderful mom who loves them dearly and who's trying to do whatever she can to make her life and their lives worthwhile - so your kids in reality are not 'poor' creatures by having *you* as their mom but blessed or fortunate - now - can you agree with me on that?

try talking to yourself AS IF you were indeed your best girlfriend -"judge" yourself according to how you would 'judge' or examine her ways of doing things etc. - you'll be surprised how much this will add to a (more) positive and guilt-ridden perception of yourself - but - real change takes time - so give yourself time - also give yourself time to feel 'weak', 'exposed', anxious, sad, angry or whatever - you don't need to be superwoman to be acceptable to yourself and other people - it suffices when you're *this* woman - the lovely woman called *ren'ai* - strong, smart, capable and motivated.

You ask (posting may, 11-th) :"how can "fear" hold me back so *completely*? I can see how *all* of this is fear driven" - well, in my view - there are two kinds of fear : first, the kind of fear that you have when f.e. you see someone coming towards you in a hostile way and expect him or her to harm you - that would be fear ensuing from a specific event (= cause) happening at the time (a "flight or fight" response is usually triggered) and secondly, there's a generic kind of fear mostly associated with a minor or major setback in life (like a divorce or job loss)- so - if that is the case - you usually can't tell exactly what is it that is causing you to feel afraid or anxious - it's more of a general emotional state of being - you may feel you're just not at ease deep down even if there's nobody around and you're all by yourself.

Be aware - whatever type of fear you're dealing with - it's only holding you back *temporary* - it'll pass but you need to be willing to work yourself through it - so probably the most important thing here is handling or managing the fear of disappointing yourself or letting yourself down - cause you're in this process of learning how to develop a more honest, balanced and realistic look at yourself here and at who you are ("revealing and hopefully getting rid of subconscious messages related to your negative self-image").Think about it - you deserve the best of you ....... hurray !

Anyway ren'ai - what do *you* think about your fears and how they came about ?

I was just thinkin' right now - a long life (= your words) needs a short answer - (am joking :)here...)

Listen to Lewis - now *he* seems very understanding to me, doesn't give up easily *I reckon* and sounds pretty fearless too, huh? -

bye ren'ai - take care & thank *you* for sharing,

[email protected]

May 14, 2004
10:58 am
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I have a lot I wan to say about all of this, but have had a dibilitating migraine over the past 2 days. And to think my bad habits, that generate enough energy to produce a migraine in the first place, are really such a limiting perception on my part!

I gotta go to bed, anlone, unfortunately!

Ren'ai

May 17, 2004
4:35 pm
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Okay. This thing I'm doing over and over and over again is not working for me so why am I doing (or not doing)it? Is this just my desire to stay in my comfort zone?

I got a lot of stuff done. Tons of stuff. And again, let it all fall apart while I was "sick" with a headache and who knows what else. Let myself be distracted. Found some easy "outs" for myself. So, what I think I want to do now is find out how do people do what they do regardless of how they are feeling? I know there are plenty of them out there, myself included, at times.

Maybe if we share this kind of information, we will all have more tools in our arsenal.

Thanks for your insight, [email protected] Your words, time, attention, and articulation were of special meaning to me, though I couldn't find the words to express this when I wasn't feeling so good!

Ren'ai

May 17, 2004
4:38 pm
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Hey Ren'ai

Dale Carnegie was a very focused man. You may want to read up on him. He was incredibly driven and even wrote a book about it.

His main way to stay focused was to:

1. Define his goals, both long term and short term.

2. Post these goals in constant view.
This helps to remind you to stay on the road.

Hope this helps and remember, every step you take towards your goal is one less step you have to take...

acj

May 17, 2004
4:51 pm
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Very cool!

Thank you!

Ren'ai

May 17, 2004
11:01 pm
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Okay. At first it sounded very cool. But then I start to think about how to define a long-term goal. I don't know how, or what I even would say about that! For me, in all honesty, a long term goal would be getting my house cleaned up!

Pathetic!!!

May 18, 2004
12:40 am
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Hi Ren'ai,

We (my husband and I) have decided to look for another house and move. So, tonight we were talking about what we are wanting for the new house. Then, we started looking around, and it's like: "where did we get all of this... stuff?"

So, my goal, is to cull through what can be sold, donated, thrown out. I mean my house in essence is clean, but we just have so much STUFF!

Anyway, after dinner we started watching some show on HGTV, and it was about organizing a house. Now this womans house was messy, big time messy. They had a professional "organizer" come in to help her. She told the owner as they were going through the house, in order to decide what to keep that:

1. Is it necessary?

2. How often do you use it?

3. Is it something that you "love" - essentially something that you would keep for sentimental value?

She said, all other stuff - get rid of it! So, I think I will start going through the house room by room, and doing just that.

What do you think? Do you think that idea might help you?

Z.

May 18, 2004
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Yes, this is what I had to do when I got out form apartment we used to live and moved to house I live now. It felt so good! I love my place now.

May 18, 2004
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hi everybody !

acj and zinnie - great advice ... I guess the main thing is to keep a focus on things that really matter to you (even if it is working through your house room by room and just doing that) and staying focused huh?

ren'ai - how about 'finding out how people do what they do regardless of how they are feeling' as a short-term or long-term goal ?

I think there's nothing wrong if you wanna stay in your comfort zone a little longer - maybe there'll come a time when you'll want to reconsider and try stepping out - ?

Has anybody read "Sink Reflections" by Marla Cilley (a.k.a. The "FlyLady")lately ? - I think this book really can be an eye-popper to anyone who doesn't want to be taken over by the clutter in their house - it shows you how to overcome *chaos*(= Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome - haha) and helps you establishing manageable daily and weekly habits by incorporating spirituality and family into the program. In this way, you'll be able to restore peace to your home and psyche and most of all, learn how to FLY: Finally Loving Yourself.

Now this woman from Lombard (IL) - she calls herself 'wombat' (a woman bat?)but meanwhile has become a "flybaby" herself - wrote a book review (if you don't like reading that much - log onto the flylady.net website)I found pretty interesting - here's what she said -"I am slowly getting rid of everything that is not deserving a place in my life and I am all the better for it". Talking about uncluttering your life huh ...?

Greetz to all, [email protected]

May 18, 2004
11:39 am
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Thanks for the helpful information and ideas. I think all the time about just getting rid of "stuff", then I get all freaked out like "Oh my God, what if I NEED that someday!!!"

Also, my messy house has served a purpose in keeping people away from me. I have noticed this for some time, and so has my family. I can remember not so long ago having a home that was clean enough for company ALL the time. Maybe I got overwhelmed and couldn't think of a healthy way to set boundaries with people who like to just drop in!

A part of my struggle is definitely feeling emotionally and physically exhausted almost all the time. Though I have been taking an antidepressant (several different ones over the years) it doesn't seem to help me at all. I feel like it might even be doing more harm than good but who's to say?

I get to see my therapist today. Maybe I'll come back with some new insights.

May 18, 2004
11:48 pm
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Okay. I was advised to "journal it out". I was told that when you focus your energy and attention on hopelessness and depression, these things get bigger. In my experience, this is true, ie: every time I focus a lot of attention on my depression or my butt, it gets bigger!

Conversely, I was advised if I focus my attention on what I want to do, how I plan to do it, what it will be like when it's done, then this is what will get bigger.

Silence, if you read this, dude, don't even THINK it!

May 18, 2004
11:53 pm
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I need focus on studying!

May 19, 2004
8:21 pm
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Alright. I didn't journal yet. I have to get that done.

Anna, if you are going to school, then yes, focus on your studies. A good education is going to get you exactly where you want to go if you play your cards right.

I just came to a crappy realization that a lot of the reason I am doing what I'm doing is because I have been surrounded by family members who were good at everything and I feel like I can't compete so I have appointed myself the family "failure".

It's going to be a big deal to try to change that!

May 20, 2004
5:25 pm
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Okay. I still didn't journal. Well, this is kind of like journaling, but my therapist can't see it so it won't count.

Yesterday and the day before I did MORE laundry.

I'm trying to pretend I don't have a kitchen right now because it is beyond belief.

I know I have to do two things: Start to get rid of stuff; and the hard part, trim the number of responsibilities I have in any way I can and right now, aside from giving up my job or kids, the only thing I can do is decrease the pet population in my home. I know it's the right thing to do. But it's hard anyway!

R.

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