The Life-Changing Magic of Accepting That There’ll Always Be Chaos
Sometimes a cluttered home can be a healthful home whenever you live with chronic illness.
My flat is definitely a bit dirty. There is dog hair on the floor and dishes at the sink. Books and magazines scatter the sofas and — okay, I’ll admit it — the floor.
But cleaning takes a lot of energy. The energy that I often do not have. I live with a chronic illness, narcolepsy, which means that the energy is often limited.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that my home will be slightly cluttered. However, I didn’t always believe like that.
For a kid, my room was a wasteland of Barbies, toy horses, toys, and also clothes. When I had to hurry up and clean (Mom’s orders!), I’d scoop up an armload of stuff and ditch it in the closet, slamming the door closed before an avalanche will send my chances and ends back to their natural habitat — the floor.
I thought being messy was clearly one of those things I would outgrow. Sometimes, which was authentic.
The older I got, the more I wanted my own space to be organized and clean. I used to be tired all of the time, but I really couldn’t sleep during the nighttime. In college, I passed out in the exact middle of your day — literally collapsed onto my dorm room floor and had to drag myself to bed.
Some doctors diagnosed me with everything from depression to lack of exercise. The others ordered brain scans and bloodwork. They tested for multiple sclerosis, lupus, and even cancer.
The different theories made me feel discredited, and helpless in resolving this health mystery. Maybe the issue was within my own head. Maybe it was in my own gut. Maybe it had been my imagination.
Energy-draining guilt about my jumble
Publications and papers cluttered my study at home, a wreck my daddy called my”filing process ” In fact, cleaning felt like a daunting endeavor.
Component of narcolepsy, at least for me, is that I have highs and highs in energy. Some times, cleaning is no huge thing. I’ll carry on a spree, really dig and heavy clean. For a couple of days, my flat will probably be pristine.
After faculty, as my buddies and I began to get our own condos and houses, the situation continued.
My best friend is an inside design buff. Not only is that her condo always brightly colored adorned with kitschy cushions and soft throws all in shades of teal and taupe, however, but it’s also immaculately clean. I am ashamed to invite her more.
I’ve even asked her to get cleanup tips, thinking even if I knew tidying hacks that it could negate the fact that after an hour or so of cleanup I need to lay down.
Avoiding the strain of cleanup by accepting a little mess
In certain ways, the diagnosis made my life easier. However, it’s not been at the ways I expected.
I thought that once my ailment had a name, medicine would help me overcome the fatigue, tiredness, and insomnia that comes with the illness. Instead, the medications that doctors prescribed me have either only had a small effect or they will have made me feel worse.
Precisely what the diagnosis has been doing is help me know the root of my own symptoms.
For many people with narcolepsy, powerful feelings may aggravate fatigue, and cause cataplexy episodes of muscle weakness so strong they fall, and even induce sleep strikes.
Still another component in handling my chronic ailment was functioning on a small energy budget.
Jobs that I find stressful require more energy than others, irrespective of their sophistication.
My experience was a bit different from the Spoon Theory, where people living with a chronic disease start each day with a small number of spoons. For me personally, narcolepsy means that many days that I begin with an ordinary number of spoons.
I can increase 5 kilometers onto a quiet road in the forests without thinking about my condition. I’ve spent entire days outside kayaking in sunlight. Relaxing things — that the more active the better — improve my state as opposed to worsening it.
When I make an effort to accomplish things stress me out though, that’s when I run into trouble. Since stress drains my energy, I’ve learned to find methods to control or prevent restricting a lot of stress.
That awareness — and having the ability to let go of my idea which the perfect apartment is pristine — has helped me handle having a chronic illness and enhance my health. I try to be kinder to myself in regards to the things I don’t have the energy to do.
It’s taken me years, however, I finally know that my healthiest home might not always be clean.