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Am I the only one that is slowly losing their sanity? I know the answer is no because everyone I talk to is saying they are too. Some days I am in good spirits with lots of energy (anxiety) and other days I am too riddled with depression to do much more than the basics to stay alive. There isn't really an in between. Both are okay. This time is unlike anything we have ever experienced and there was no way to plan for this.

When my life experiences change, both big and small, I latch on to things I have control over. I seek things in my life that I am the master of. Typically it is my food and appearance, but it also takes the shape of obsessive compulsive cleaning and organizing. Early on in quarantine it was definitely my food. I was cleaning, but I was able to limit it to once a week with minor things here and there. After a few weeks of allowing ED to quench my thirst for control in life I knew I had to change the way my control over food looked. Obviously, with help from my therapist, I knew that I couldn't restrict my food for control. I could still control it by choosing the foods I ate to satisfy my meal plan, the control just looked different. I know that following meal plan is the right thing to do for my health, but just choosing to do the right thing doesn't turn off the ED noise or my craving for control. The ED noise (thoughts of inadequacy and body shaming in my own head) was growing with every component of my meal plan that was met. This causes an increase in anxiety, which I was already starting to have more of just because of the status of life right now. So my control shifted to my number 2 favorite source of control- cleaning and organizing!

It seems like every single day I am dusting, sweeping, and mopping, but to my brain it is never enough. My cat is shedding like crazy right now, so every time I see a little hair ball tumble across the floor my anxiety spikes and I literally can't rest until I clean. I'm not talking picking up the hair ball and moving on. No, I mean complete top to bottom clean of the house. Let me give you a play by play of what goes on in my head and body when I see cat hair, dirt, crumb, or whatever triggering thing.

-See cat hair, or whatever else doesn't belong.

-"I just cleaned the house!"

-Sweeps the area and sit back down

-"You're just being lazy. Get back up and clean the rest of the house. For every hair ball you see there are countless others you don't see. Make sure you get behind and under the furniture. Other people have much cleaner houses."

-Meanwhile my body has a restless feeling. Kind of like the sensation you get with restless leg syndrome. Sitting still is physically uncomfortable.

-Start cleaning: dusting, sweeping, sometimes mopping

This happens daily, if not multiple times a day. I know it is completely irrational, but right now it feels like the cleanliness of my house is the only part of my life I can actively control.

Last week I decided that this week I would tackle the basement. We have lived in our house for almost 4 years now. When we moved in together we brought things together that we didn't really need. We had two sets of lots of things, and I had a lot of things that I wanted to keep because I am too sentimental. We are trying to move soon and I wanted to go through some things in the basement to make that process a little easier when it comes time. Anyway, the plan was that I would start it this week. Wouldn't you know, all weekend I had similar inner dialogue about just going ahead and starting the project. Using a LOT of tools from therapy I was able to leave it for today.

There is no right or wrong way to live your life right now. Don't compare your quarantine life to someone else's. We are all living day to day. Some days we are productive and others we are just trying to make survive. It is all OKAY. Be patient with yourself and give yourself grace to do what you need to do in each moment. I know I am struggling with my OCD cleaning. Some days my therapy tools win and some days my OCD wins. I can't punish myself when I give in. I just need to take a deep breath, reset, and try again next time.

I am wishing you all happiness, health, and love during this time and always.

Share, like, comment, subscribe! I am always looking for feedback and suggestions for future posts, so send me a message!

<3 Stay Strong and Beautiful

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