on the upswing…

Things have been going much better at least depression-wise. I’m not sure why, I mean, physically I’m not doing anything really different…no new meds or vitamins. I’ve decided it’s just the good Lord pouring His favor on me.

I’ve been in such an awful place over this house. Ever since the horrible bout of depression for most of 2014, I have just not taken care of the house. I did what laundry HAD to be done, kept enough dishes clean to eat off but that’s about it. Seriously, this place has really gone to the dogs.
It’s hard for me to admit that “out loud”, but there are plenty enough people who know it either first hand or because I told them. But I guess because of the way my mother is, the way I was raised, having a messy or dirty house is a direct reflection of your character. Your worth as a human being. I’ve worked a long time, a lot of years, to be able to deal with the indoctrination that because I didn’t keep a pristine house, I was a lousy person.
My mother is an immaculate housekeeper. My dad always had his own businesses and so Mom always did the bookkeeping and such instead of having a job outside the home. She apparently was almost OCD about cleaning when she and Dad first got married. Her older sister laughingly told me that she caught my mom ironing Dad’s underwear when they were newlyweds. I guess she laughed at my mom then too, but it seems to be Mom’s way of showing love. The love language of service.

She once told me that as a child, her mother, my grandmother, wasn’t a great housekeeper. She seemed to not even take into account that Grandmother had 7 kids, an unsupportive, cheating husband and always lived in a rented home with little money to live on. After I learned those things about my Grandma, I realized she was probably really depressed!

All my mom remembers is how embarrassed it made her to have people see their messy house, so she would clean it as best she could. She was the youngest girl and next-to-youngest child of the seven, so her older sisters were either about to get married, busy dating and going to high school and really didn’t care about the house the way Mom did.

Somehow, even as an adult, Mom didn’t realize that more than likely the biggest reason Grandma didn’t worry about keeping the house nice is because she was depressed.

I mean, I think you’d have to be depressed if your husband was running around on you and left to you deal with seven children on your own. Oh, he didn’t walk out on them…he just cheated on her and then came home expecting to be welcomed and respected.

Anyway, I think that’s why Mom connects the way you take care of things with your self-worth. She’s made me feel like dirt many times over the years, just ragging on me because my house wasn’t clean enough to suit her.

When I was a child I had chores of course, but most of it only involved my own room. As I got older, she’d have me do other chores around the house…mostly washing dishes or loading and unloading the dishwasher or vacuuming. The times she wanted me to do anything else, though, like cleaning windows or mirrors, I never did it “right” and she would just go behind me and do it over. The only things she didn’t complain about or do over were the vacuuming and dishwasher. I guess there’s not many ways to mess that up.
neither do I
I think it really messed with me the way both my parents tended to not be really generous with compliments or encouraging words. Add the way Mom never thought I did anything right with those tasks and how mad it made her, and I ended up with a huge deficit in the confidence department.

Years ago when the kids were young, any time she came over, she’d never sit and chat like normal people. She would start cleaning. Because even if I’d just cleaned, it was never clean enough for her.

Now I admit, I’ve never been a super-duper housekeeper, but I used to do just fine when the kids were home. Even after my youngest moved out, I could do okay.
burglar obstacles
Then last year happened. A lot of things just came to a head. I think there were many “little” things that all worked together to send me to the bottom of The Pit and because I’d gone off my anti-depressants, I ended up in a horrifically dark place for over eight months.

And during all that time, it was all I could do to get out of bed. I avoided people, going only to church and not much else. I certainly didn’t worry about or feel like cleaning or taking care of the house.
Now, it never got quite THIS bad:
in case you’re picturing an episode of Hoarders or some other equally nightmarish reality show.

It was probably more like this:
Except with a LOT more paper. Paper/mail/documents are the bane of my existence!

So anyway, somehow, some way I have had more determination and energy to tackle the long-neglected chores around here. The hubby helped me get a bunch of items out of the house that were causing clutter too. We even got the Christmas decorations out and finished putting up the tree AND have the mess from all that cleaned up already.

I’ve dusted and swept and vacuumed and mopped in places that haven’t had any attention in a long time. I have all the laundry caught up and most of it put away. I did a major decluttering and cleaning in the bedroom and really all I need to get done is the kitchen (where most of the papers are) and master bath.

It’s crazy how much better I feel just knowing I have started to get some “control” over the state of this house. It’s crazy how I KNOW it makes me feel better, but when I’m depressed/tired/frustrated, I just don’t care. It doesn’t matter how much I know it’ll make me feel better…I just can’t make myself do it. It just seems too overwhelming.

Now, to just finish these last rooms (we will talk about my two spare rooms that need major work at another time) so I can start planning a menu for our traditional Christmas breakfast at our house!
messy house prayer
I’ve prayed this prayer many times before in my life. I can’t imagine ever NOT needing to pray it, though!


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