The thing is, I have always been a bit OCD. Yes, surprise to those who know personally know me and know what underneath my cabinets look like (all my cleaning supplies) and how many floor cleaners I own, not to mention how my towels in my linen closet have to be folded just so and shelved just so, among many other things....
I do not like dust, though with the basement refinishing, it seems like I can't escape it, no matter how hard I try. I do not like worrying about the doorbell ringing because I haven't vacuumed that day. I don't like going a day without vacuuming. I don't like having dishes in the sink. I love that my sister-in-law once opened a container of clorox wipes and my nephew (who was only a few years old at the time) said, "What mells like Aunt Lowee's house?" I used to make the tightest beds EVER. I'd not be able to leave the house if a bed was unmade. Bathrooms were the bane of my existence because the get so dirty so easily...I could not STAND a dirty bathroom and wouldn't leave mine in the morning without clorox wiping all counters and surfaces, spraying down the shower and spraying the toilet with my favorite, Scrubbing Bubbles. My pantry needs to be organized by category and groups and all labels need to be facing front. That has been woefully neglected.
Mostly, all the routines and structure I used to love and find (admittedly false) security in, have been woefully neglected.
If I am honest, I will say that I took some things to extremes. (Really, though, can one take CLEANING to extreme???) After my mom died, and I started counseling with Dr. Guyer, we went through a whole buncha stuff...I kept the mortgage on his practice paid with the grief from my mom, my anxiety and my OCD. And to his great testament, I have been able to relax some of my anxiety-driven needs and don't feel the need to scratch myself silly if my house is out of order.
Which is a very good skill to have, because since Matthew has died, I have been putting things off more and more. Making piles of 'to-do' that just grow larger and larger and get stuffed in the office. I've blamed the office being a DISASTER zone on John not finishing the bookshelves, therefore not leaving me room to organize, and while that is somewhat true, it's not entirely true.
The truth is, I just have not cared. One bit. I've wanted to care. I've tried to care. I just don't. Or didn't.
In defense, a lot has gone on in the last 8 months and 15 days. I couldn't really do much after Matthew was born and died because I was still recovering, and it was hard. When I finally got to a point where I could do a few light things, we started the frozen cycle and I had to take things easy. Once we got a negative, we sort of jumped right back in and a fresh cycle meant I had to be a bit more careful because of ovarian stimulation. Then when we got a miraculous piece of Heaven given to us, you better believe that I decided no dust, made bed or laundry pile was important enough for me to tax myself while growing this sweet little baby. (I know, I am very spoiled.) In actuality, the first 13 weeks or so of the pregnancy pretty much had me feeling like I had the flu and I wasn't up to do much of anything. Then I got that nasty cold, which is finally, finally making its exit.
So, things are changing. I am at the point now where the anxiety of having a my house in order is WAY worse to me than the lack of motivation I have to do anything about it. And I think my lack of anxiety about Luke (and really, I am feeling very calm and assured about his growth and delivery) is being channeled in massive ways into my little OCDisms. Which is great for the house and to-do piles and the one million things that need to be done. John likes it too, except at the grocery store where I have specific ways that the groceries need to go in the cart. Yeah...not fun to shop with him at the grocery store.
These little retreats to former neuroses make me feel like more of myself.
Of course, that is the myself that I was before I got over not being able to eat foods that touched.
'That' me needs to be kept in check a little more. I don't leave myself enough time anymore to drive back down the driveway 5 times and be sure that I didn't leave my curling iron plugged in. (It IS automatic turn-off, though!) Sometimes I just HAVE to use the pen in the store to sign the receipt (though it's only when it's the electronic ones that you have to use because I always have at least 14 pens in my purse for the times when I need to sign something, ANYTHING, and don't want to use a 'public' pen). Yes, I need to keep a careful eye on 'that' me.
So...as we had counseling yesterday and the therapist noted 'progress,' I did too. Just progress that I have to monitor.
Ironic, huh? Even 'progress' comes with its own pitfalls.
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