As grown ups, we have a lot of responsibility. Not just the type of responsibility we all face morally, such as being good people, friends, daughters, sons... but the mundane and sometimes suffocating responsibility of daily life. Finally, we're old enough to do whatever we want! If only we had the time, stamina and mental strength.
Speaking of mental health, thousands of people struggle every day to get out of bed, brush their teeth, shower, go to work, clean their home, feed themselves... the list goes on. Doing just one of these things a day can feel like climbing mount Everest when your struggling with mental health issues. Maybe you can do it for a while, but then you hit a rough patch, and the infinitesimal becomes colossal. Of course you know how to take care of yourself. You know what you should be doing financially, physically, personally etc. But the problem is, your ability to do this is compromised when you're carrying around the weight of mental illness.
Along with this struggle to take care of oneself comes the nasty feelings of shame, frustration, fear, and hopelessness. How does everyone else do it? Why can't I just get myself together? I'm a loser. I never thought things would turn out this way. Will it ever get better? I want to run away. I can't do this anymore. Do people think I'm just lazy? Am I? These feelings end up drawing us into ourselves even further and withdrawing us from loved ones. All of this negativity is like carbonation, and mental illness is the act of shaking the bottle. Boom! All those tiny thought bubbles: "You could do that yourself," "Don't be lazy," "That's a luxury you can't afford," and/or "get a grip and just do it!" The truth is, these thoughts are not helpful, and often not true. When you struggle with circumstances that make regular things too difficult, you need to find irregular ways of dealing with them. What are some alternatives that could make life easier while you're stuck in this funk? How can you get the help you desperately need (and secretly want) without feeling like a burden to your loved ones?
Trust and believe that your friends and family are wringing their hands worrying about you, and they wish they could help. Let them! Do you need someone to help you sort out mail that you've let pile up for months? Maybe a friend could come over and you could open envelopes and sort things into separate piles while watching a movie together. Are you having trouble waking up and getting out of bed in the morning? I've had times when I had to ask a friend to phone me in the morning to give me a wake up call, so I wouldn't sleep through my alarm and be late for work. Think about what day to day things are creating bigger problems for you, and then brainstorm some ideas of how to make them easier. Get other people's opinions for this, as your brain may be in a bit of fog at a time like this.
I can gauge the status of my mental health by looking at the state of my home. When it's a mess, I'm a mess. Well, to be honest, it's always a mess even when I'm fine (because I'm an interesting person, thank you very much), but it's extra messy when I'm not fine. It's a closed circle because when I'm a mess, my house is a mess, and when my house is messy, my mind gets even messier. Fun, right?
At times like this, I like to ponder the age old question: "What would Beyoncé do?" Well, she'd hire someone and they'd do it for her. Sounds luxurious, and obviously you can't always afford to hire help, but could you for some of the time, or some of the tasks? It's worth it to google what services are available and see what you could work into your budget. I have had to hire a maid service for an hour or two on occasion because I just could not deal with my overwhelming mess. I don't begrudge one red cent of that money, because I felt so much better once it was done. I could think more clearly- like they had actually cleaned out my mind. From there I could start again and take baby steps to maintain things. It probably cost me about 3 restaurant meals, but it was much more beneficial.
Clutter is a sneaky contributor to stress because you don't realize how much it's affecting you until it's gone. Having less things around has a very positive impact on your well being. That being said, pulling your closet apart will probably leave you curled up in the fetal position, fantasizing about setting your house on fire. Don't attempt this alone. (decluttering, that is, not setting your house on fire. That you shouldn't attempt at all) It requires focus and objectivity- two things the mentally ill rarely possess. I can't stress enough the benefit of hiring a professional organizer. They are machines, and they will help you get through decluttering and reorganizing in a tenth of the time it would take if you did it on your own. They also won't leave you with a bigger mess than what you started with, and will usually take the things you are getting rid of/donating for you, so you don't have to make a trip to the thrift store. Once you have only what you need and love, you will find your home and mind are easier to keep tidy.
It's painful to accept your limitations, but once you do you can start to find ways to overcome them.