Sunday, November 28, 2010

The horror of housework. Sunday, November 28, 2010.

“At some stages of your life you will deal with things and at others you are overwhelmed with misery and anxiety.” –Nigella Lawson

I have laundry to do. I have bills to pay. I have bathrooms to clean.

Let’s be honest. There was never a time in my life when I looked forward to any of these tasks. My mother is the neatest, most organized, most squeaky-clean person in the world. If she sees a speck of dust, she’s right there with the Pledge. My living room furniture is covered with six months’ worth of dust; I didn’t inherit her perfection gene. I don’t invite her over anymore. She’d faint dead away.

Since I got really sick, though, my procrastination over these matters has become much, much worse. When I was in my mixed state, I couldn’t – literally couldn’t – do these jobs. Organizing the laundry was overwhelmingly confusing. Accounting for things in my checkbook was like trying to remember the first 75 numbers of pi. My brain honestly couldn’t comprehend things. And I was so weak from not eating and not sleeping that I couldn’t even carry the laundry to the basement.

I’m better now. Not a great deal better, but better enough to function. Still, thinking of doing distasteful tasks doesn’t just make me feel lazy – it makes me feel overwhelmed and anxious. Is there such a thing as a fear of housework? Strangely, I seem to have it.

I’m trying to figure out why. I used to get a feeling of satisfaction when finishing my checkbook or the bathroom. Now, I just feel ashamed because I got upset when I was doing the work and I cried. Doing the bills triggers my anxiety about money. Doing the housework triggers pathetic comparisons to my mom. Besides, I live with a couple of hoarders. Cleaning the house is like taking a thimble to the ocean. So it’s hard to even start.

I have to get over this thing. I have laundry to do. I have bills to pay. I have bathrooms to clean.

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