Do you have any idea how much 75 pounds of food is!? They kept sending me back to get more! The selection is limited but I managed to get soups, chili, steak, beef, chicken, fish, cereal, applesauce (a lot of applesauce), etc. Also, the produce doesn't count towards your weight so I managed to scavenge some questionable pears, a bag of apples, a container of baby spinach, a few little squash, and (best of all) two bundles of asparagus that I plan to roast and devour. The bread is unweighed too and donated by Panera so I got a loaf of sourdough whole grain and pumperknickel. I also got snacks and desserts and canned fruit. I haven't had that much food at once in years. I'm hoping I can eat the fresh stuff before it goes bad. Which is why I was trying to stick with shelf stable stuff. As embarrassed as I am, it's going to be nice to not have to worry about food for awhile.
A really huge part of my self care is keeping my home clean. I'm the child of hoarders. My home was never clean. It was cluttered and filthy. I went to desperate lengths to keep people out and never admitted why. I lied and covered it up. It was the only thing I was ashamed of; the only thing I couldn't talk about. So I never learned to clean. I learned to hold on to everything and let filth collect. It's a hard habit to break. And one I never felt capable of dealing with until I moved to Alabama. Why? Because I got rid of everything. If I didn't fit in my Ford Focus? It didn't come with me.
But even without the clutter, I still struggle to clean. I still panic when friends come over and go into crazed mode, desperate to create perfection and spotlessness. While never, in a million years, expecting that of someone else. If one thing is out of place, I feel embarrassed and desperate to explain and excuse it. So worried and positive they'll think less of me; they'll realize my secret shame. While not giving a good god damn what anyone else's place looks like, Sigh, it's so ridiculous.
My point is, cleaning is a really weird and hard thing for me, both emotionally and physically so I try hard to work within that.
I've realized I need to stop trying to do things the “right” way. It's like I so desperately want to be normal that I can't even acknowledge that I need to do things in a different way. That it's acceptable and good to work within my limitations and needs. I work best in bursts. I get up, scrub the toilet, sit back down. A little while later I get up, wash some dishes, sit back down. Throw clothes in the washer, sit back down. Resting between action gives my energy and time to rebuild and allows my pain to lessen a bit.
Slowly I'll learn to clean as I go, not allowing the messiness and clutter to overtake me.
Slowly I'm creating a home I love. With silly cheap décor that makes me smile. Slowly I'll branch out from my bedroom, creating a full home and not just a single room that I cocoon myself in.
When I was little – and even a teen – all I wanted was to live in a clean home. I daydreamed and fantasized about it constantly. What it would be like to live somewhere I didn't have to hide or run from. I'd go to friend's houses and couldn't wrap my mind around people who cleaned regularly, who had organized homes that people could come in to unannounced. It was so foreign to me.
I think I've reached the point where I just need to work on creating habits. And on forgiving myself for something less an unattainable perfection. Right now, to anyone else, my home would be mostly clean but all I see are flaws, the things I need to fix and scrub and put away. But, frankly, my pain doesn't allow for perfection. And I need to accept that.
It took me 30 years to realize I deserved a nice home for myself. I didn't have to clean just because someone was coming over. I deserved to live in a clean, clutter-free home. I deserved to live somewhere beautiful, that didn't cause me shame or stress or fear. I deserved to live somewhere I could be proud of. I deserved to live somewhere that made me happy.