sweeping away depression

A snapshot of the area by my laptop. Though there’s stuff everywhere, this area is the least of my problems.


I sit of the floor of my living room with my laptop in front of me and a baseball game playing on television. Books and magazines are scattered about as well as punched-out circles that flew out of the hole-puncher. My luggage from the trip I took last week are still sitting in the hallway, with laundry hanging out and also starting to pile up since the trip. Evidently, I have neglected to pick up pieces of trash since they, too, are hanging out about the room.  To put it more concisely, it is a mess. And it’s not just messy; it’s getting to that point of becoming dirty. And it’s starting to remind me of those people on “Hoarders” on A&E.

Ok. It hasn’t gotten to that extent, but I must admit that I think the state of my house must reveal to someone the makings of a hoarder’s home. I am terrible at throwing things away. For example, I’ve been saving all my pill bottles for a few years because I have in my mind that I’ll be making something out of them in the future (I would save the cardboard sleeves off Starbucks cups if I could). Everything looks so re-purposeful.  But this inclination to save stuff is really beside the point.  I’m sure we’ve heard the saying that your home reflects what you are, and if that’s the case, I’m a mess, inside and out.

Maybe it finally clicked in my mind that the state of this home really isn’t good, so for the first time, I brought up this situation to Dr. L, my therapist. She basically thought that keeping my house in a less-than-desirable condition is one way that I use to keep people from coming into the place. The messy house, therefore, represents the way I try to keep people at arms-length in real life. I tend to agree with this view. I’m not comfortable letting people in, and the clutter certainly holds me back from inviting anyone in, including family. Likewise, that clutter present in my mind also allows to keep me from getting closer to people. This makes me wonder if I am, not necessarily intentionally, but subconsciously putting up these road blocks to slow down my progress. Am I keeping myself from allowing for all the medical treatments to work in the most effective manner? If these things are all related, will cleaning my house eventually lead to the clearing of the mind?

According to a post on suite101.com titled, “Keeping a Clean House: Easing Depression,” it tells me that “those prone to any form of depression should make a constant effort to stay on top of untidy habits. Living in a constant mess can bring down self-esteem and motivation, making it even more difficult to make the decision to finally tackle the burden. Keep a basic level of cleanliness in mind at all times to avoid the inevitable stress that will otherwise ensue.” If this is the case, I really need to get started.

Now that I fully realize I need to put some effort into doing what I can to get myself to maintain good mental health, I made a promise to Dr. L that I would clean the kitchen and sort through two boxes of stuff by the time I see her this coming week. Finally, a plan that would start me on a path to a clean home and (hopefully) a clear mind.

Btw, I found some web posts on how to get started cleaning:
-Declutter 101: Where do I start? (organizedhome.com)
-Baby Steps for Organization (about.com)


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