More cleaning…

September 30, 2007 at 2:37 am Leave a comment

Today my thing to do was clean the main bit of my flat. I’ve just finished (3am/objective 6:30pm/subjective). In retrospect, I should have split this into two tasks. It was a couple of hours solid work, crawling around on the floor with a bag for rubbish and a dustpan and brush. I also had to move my sofa out the way. So I’m feeling kind of tired out now (I’ve been incredibly inactive for the best part of a year). On the other hand, I worked from one end of the room to the other in a slow, methodical way. This wasn’t the usual kind of running around trying to do everything at once cleaning spree I sometimes engage in.

It’s good to have this particular job out the way, though it’s kind of discouraging to have done this much and not even have a tidy flat yet (I’ve got piles of clothes and books that I picked up, which will need to be sorted out at some point in the future). The discouragement is the main reason I should have split the task up – but that’s something I’ll remember in future.

Depending on how I feel tomorrow, I may either clean the bedroom area of my flat (which should be a much quicker task than today’s was) or skip ahead to one of the more enjoyable research tasks I’ve set. This would be to work out what easy meals I can cook once I’ve sorted the kitchen area out. Really, that’s just as important as sorting out my flat. I can’t be trusted to make sensible food choices by myself, so getting some concrete plans together where I know what food I need to buy and what meals I’m going to have will help a lot.

Cleaning up did give me an opportunity to think a bit more about the philosophy behind this. I think I said before that it’s not about being cured, but getting slightly better. I’ve reconsidered. The underlying problems are going to remain, regardless of what I eat and how tidy my flat is. Instead, it’s about reducing the impact that this has on my life. Someone who loses a leg will use a prosthesis to walk around. For me, important parts of my mind go missing on a regular basis (the bits that can be happy and feel motivation, for example). So what I’m trying to do is build a prosthesis that will help me compensate for these deficits. Rather than plastic, it’s going to take the form of lists of things to do, defining the minimum amount of effort I have to make to not allow things to slide into the unmanageable.

Being unhappy, but minimally functional is better than being unhappy and not functioning at all. And I’ll get better at using these systems to substitute for the bits of my mind that disappear. (And medication will hopefully help me, too).

Anyway, enough thinking. I found my DVD of Airplane, so I’m going to spend my next hour and a half in zany 80’s comedy goodness.

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?

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Self-righteous note about smoking

As of 12th September 2008 it has been forty five weeks since I quit smoking. So in another seven weeks it'll have been a whole year.

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