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In the past, I suffered from CHAOS. That stands for Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome.  My place was so messy that I was totally embarrassed. While I was single, I would never invite a beau in for fear he would drop me like a hot potato once he saw my mess.  I also lost important documents.  One time I even lost my glasses!

I was so poor that I would have qualified for some financial aid (food stamps, heating assistance, etc.), but I was so disorganized that I couldn’t find pay stubs and bills. I would bring in some of the documents that I needed and the service worker would tell me I was missing some. So I would go home and bring her back other documents, but in the meantime I lost the first set of documents I brought in. 

A mental health diagnosis just exasperates this issue.  Maybe I should be labeled with ADHD, maybe with mania, maybe depression. Or maybe instead of rehashing through my past through psychoanalysis, or doping me up with drugs, (pharmaceuticals) a more helpful technique would have been to teach me how to deal with CHAOS.

Four years ago I found on the web.  The first thing she asks you to do is shine your sink.  Her other big hints are to get dressed to the shoes and make the bed first thing in the morning.

You know, when I suffered from depression I would lay in bed all day, get up and sit in my robe and before I knew it they day was almost over…Or when I was working, before I knew it I was late for work.


Four years ago I started to do ONE thing every single day.  That one thing was make the bed.

(I also got up and drank a cup of coffee with my husband. I hate mornings, so this was very hard. I really wish I would have done this in my first marriage.)

It took me a whole year to get this habit down….a whole year do to this one thing. But you know what?  Now it is a habit. Now my bed is ALWAYS made. When the bed is made, you aren’t tempted to get back in it. And you just feel better.

The other thing I do is get dressed to the shoes.  If I don’t get dressed to the shoes, I tend to read the paper, surf the net, or be late for an appointment.

Flylady is a big proponent of sinking the sink…then you want to keep the kitchen clean. And she says, “You can do anything 15 minutes at time.”  I hate housework.  We don’t have a dishwasher. Sometimes I set the timer for 15 minutes and work at cleaning the kitchen and washing the dishes for 15 minutes. When the bell rings, I stop.

I had a friend say, “Oh when you get started, you just want to keep going and finish right?  WRONG. I hate housework. I love a tidy house. But if I make a promise to myself that it isn’t going to be a marathon session….just 15 minutes; then I do get some cleaning and straighting accomplished. And then later on, I do 15 minutes worth of work. Often by this time the kitchen is clean!

What if a caseworker would have helped me like this?  What if I would have spent $150.00 to $300.00 an hour on a person to help me organize instead of a person to psychoanalyze?  What if I had spent only $20.00 or a little more an hour to a professional organizer to help me?

Yes, I believe there is some reason or cause for my problems. And has helped me just as much as any mental health professional.





August 2018
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