My Experience with Cleanliness

I’m a disorganized person, a partially recovered hoarder, and I’m disabled. This adds up to some very unsavoury environments I’ve created around myself but in recent years I’ve made progress in leaps and bounds. Still, my apartment is rarely clean and when it is, it’s often short lived.

But no longer am I sleeping on a bed heaped with piles of garbage and for years I’ve consistently been able to see my floor. Since I was a child my bedroom has been a landfill site. I could pile trash, hoards, and clothes as high as myself. There would be no floor to walk on, forced to step on everything. Rotten food crammed in little corners would form sludgy mold that grew onto the wall. My childhood home was a farmhouse so we always had mice, but my room specifically always had mice. 

Some memorable moments include sleeping on top of layers of garbage and items in my bed, forming semi-comfortable nests because there was no room to have full contact with the mattress even when curled up. In my teens I raised a pair of baby pigeons in my bedroom and bird feces decorated most surfaces. I had an escape ladder by my window because it took so long to pry my door open it was beyond a fire hazard. I had literally hundreds of books and only two bookcases so there were small fortresses of books that practically served as furniture. 

That was then. Worst thing my disorderly disordered self has managed in recent years is the occasional pot of leftovers getting gross. A few times it’s taken a week or two to clean up, but within the last few months even this baseline has risen significantly. Now it’s a garbage bag I procrastinate for a couple days taking out, or some art supplies I shove under my desk. 

When I’m severely depressed and PTSD has my body aching, and my ADHD has my brain going fifteen directions at once, I have the skills and tools to balance my disorders and keep my life from falling apart. I’ve written plenty about time management and coping with disabilities but it’s important for me to remember where I came from, to recognize how far I’ve come, and be compassionate with myself when I relapse or fall into a rut. All I have done to better my life cannot be undone. 

Within myself is someone who wants to be happy and healthy. I’m proud of myself for this, I never thought I could cultivate this want. I can, I have, and I will.

Sometimes a room in my apartment falls into disarray but I can handle it, I can clean it, and I can overcome it.

One thought on “My Experience with Cleanliness

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