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To be drowning?

(80 Posts)
CredulousThickos Tue 26-Sep-17 07:49:15

I am so inconsistent.

I’ll have days or weeks of being super organised with laundry, housework, helping with homework, walking the dog at the same time, making and keeping appointments, you get the idea.

And then it all goes to shit, again for either days or weeks. So last week I decluttered several rooms, had all the laundry done and put away, the kitchen stayed tidy, I’d finally organised the boiler service, made everyone exciting lunches for work and school, bounced out of bed at quarter to six every morning, exercised, showered every day, went to the shop to top up milk and bread as needed, had emails all printed and signed for school and scouts etc. Basically adulted like a pro.

And since the weekend I haven’t showered, everyone’s had cheese sandwiches today and yesterday, we had takeaway last night, the washing pile is seven foot high again and ds2 doesn’t have a clean shirt, I missed a doctors appt yesterday, the dog hasn’t been walked for two days, all the stuff I decluttered is in bags in the hallway for the tip/charity. The kitchen floor is revolting, the beds need changing, ds2’s bedroom needs some serious attention (it was his birthday yesterday and there is literally nowhere for his mountain of presents to go so they are all in the front room). I snoozed my alarm this morning and I’m still not dressed. My neighbour is taking ds to school as I can’t face it, which means the dog won’t have her walk so I’ll have to take her out later. It’s just shit. I just feel completely overwhelmed and it is a horrible vicious cycle.

I want to be one of those people who does the same sort of thing every day. As my mother is fond of saying, if I just kept on top of it all it would all fall into place.

I know a lot of this is mh related and believe me I’m a lot better than I used to be, but I can’t seem to sort my shit out enough to keep the momentum going.

How do people do it? I’m hiding in the bathroom because it’s the tidiest room in the house and I’m having palpitations whenever I walk into the kitchen and front room. Im drowning and it’s pathetic.

Buckinghambae Tue 26-Sep-17 07:52:33

Take a big deep breath and do the next best thing. Don't think about the rest of it, just choose one thing and go and do it. IF you feel capable of the next best thing after that then great, and if you don't, don't panic just acknowledge that you've made progress.

Breathe lots, chunk the issues into smaller ones and be kind to yourself

Thesmallthings Tue 26-Sep-17 07:53:37

I don't k ow if it's normal but this is me down to a tee.

Theres no middle ground... ethier on it... or needing to short my life out.

Hoppinggreen Tue 26-Sep-17 07:55:14

I go through periods like that but one thing that NEVER slips is walking the dog
I know it's hard but if you do nothing else please try to take it out even if it's for a brief walk, I usually feel better once I've had some fresh air and at least I know I've done something

Thesmallthings Tue 26-Sep-17 07:55:25

If it's not to personaly can I ask if you suffer from depression?

I do. It feels like I use all my energy when I'm on it for a few weeks and then I crash... then after a few weeks I build up enough energy to go for it again.

cluelesscinders Tue 26-Sep-17 07:56:27

Oh my goodness - this is me! It's s funny old cycle.

Keen to know of anyone with answers or any insights...

calzone Tue 26-Sep-17 07:57:13

It an be overwhelming because it's the same thing all the time and there's no end to it. It all needs redoing the week after!

Find something to watch on iplayer or Netflix and put it on your tablet and go and sort the kitchen while you watch it.

1/2 an hour and it will be done.

Rearrange your dr appointment and then check back in here.

Go. Now.

splendidisolation Tue 26-Sep-17 08:00:06

Do you work OP?

I think everything is totally understandable except the not walking the dog. Thats cruel and unfair. Seriously? You cant find 20 minutes?

theaveragewife Tue 26-Sep-17 08:00:20

flowers I'm feeling similar right now, I find this time of year quite difficult - it just seems so bleak!

How I try to cope is to forgive myself, as constant guilt can make things much worse, and I try to make sure I tackle one thing a day starting with the smallest thing. Putting some washing on before making myself a cup of tea, or hanging some washing out before lying down under a blanket for half an hour seems to help.

I don't know if you feel the same but one of my problems is that I don't have friends in the way I used to, my children kept me sane over the holidays and now they are at school my days consist of cooking, cleaning and organising everyone else's lives. It feels almost like I'm being erased and I'm just a service instrument, which is depressing in itself. I don't really even know how to remedy that, but I've been looking at classes to do or part time work to have something for myself.

mygorgeousmilo Tue 26-Sep-17 08:01:13

I don't know what to say to be helpful, but didn't want to read and run. The only suggestion I have at the moment is to get out of the current slump in tiny, tiny steps. Time yourself or give yourself small incentives if it's helpful. I'm a weirdly organised person, but also have many days where I can't face any of it. Because I'm a bit obsessive I know how long things take, the longest the washing up takes is about 6 minutes. So if I'm feeling a bit out of sorts, I think well ok I'll watch this show or sit in bed or whatever, then I'll wash up for six minutes. Sorting the laundry into separate piles can take 15 minutes, chucking a wash in takes 1 minute. Hanging it after can take up to 15 minutes. Do it in stages with cups of tea or a sit-down in between. Don't come out of the bathroom until you've had a shower. You'll feel a bit better when you're clean. Open all the windows. I'm saying all this but I'm by no means an expert. You could be clinically depressed, or just a bit overwhelmed. Call for a GP appointment and ask for a telephone appointment if possible. flowers

mumofone234 Tue 26-Sep-17 08:06:00

1. Get dressed and get the dog out for a walk (bit of fresh air and exercise, break from looking at the house, and tick one job off your list).
2. Then get back and focus on making just one room (living room?) decent. That way, you have a nice tidy space to relax in when you need a break.
3. Tackle everything else one thing at a time, and don't be afraid to make others help out. You're not Wonderwoman and there's no reason you have to do it all.
4. When you've done an hour's work, stop for a cup of tea in your nice tidy space.

RideOn Tue 26-Sep-17 08:07:12

I am a bit like this, but not due to MH issues, just a bit inconsistent. I think sometimes I get paralysed at the amount I have to do, so do nothing, in past I have watched TV all day to try and ignore what the have to do. Other days I have even more to do and just get stuck in. You are being hard on yourself for not doing it perfectly. I think cheese sandwiches are fine. Do the things today that will make you feel better, can you walk dog and bags to charity shop? How old is your DS? Can he look at his room later?
I am a bit better now (past 3 years or so) but not sure why, sorry can't be more help, just wanted to say I related to what you said.

BarbarianMum Tue 26-Sep-17 08:07:31

Yes its all totally understandable except for the dog. Never mind the kids. hmm

EarlessToothlessVagabond Tue 26-Sep-17 08:08:43

Oh wow! Thank you so much for posting this. This is me!!! I'm off to work (in a disorganised fashion) at the moment but will post more tonight if that's ok?

MrsWooster Tue 26-Sep-17 08:10:37

Keep going, in tiny little steps, and you know it will turn back round again. It's a horrible cycle and it's not just you which can be weirdly comforting. Second and third all the app's who say have a shower. As for all the pp who say shit things about the dog: odfod; the op knows perfectly well all the things you said- THAT'S WHY SHE MENTIONED IT. On a thread like this, if you can't empathise then stfu.

youhavetobekidding Tue 26-Sep-17 08:14:19

Maybe a set routine would suit you? eg Monday - laundry. Tuesday - food shopping. Wednesday - admin. Some people find structure helpful

Therealslimshady1 Tue 26-Sep-17 08:14:35

I find this cycle is part of my life...

It is the utter utter drudgery of being a sahp

Take short cuts, like you do: cheese sandwiches are FINE!

Dog needs walking though, I walk my dog after school drop off every single day.

Another thing that helps is to set a timer for one hour, then do as much as you can in the house. I play loud music and run around like a loon. It is amazing what you can do in 1 hour.

I still feel overwhelmed sometimes though, but this helps.

(I used to have PND and panic attacks, but having this routine helps me avoid them)

Also, be kind to yourself. I congratulate myself for my 1 hour dog walk and 1 hour whizz around, and give myself time to enjoy a coffee and MN, or go for a nice swim.

Then I do 2-3 hours work (work from home, web design)

I allow myself to give myself a pat on the back then grin, I really try to give myself the appreciation and kudos I never get otherwise grin

splendidisolation Tue 26-Sep-17 08:14:46

@MrsWooster

Oh wind your neck in! Who made you head prefect?

CredulousThickos Tue 26-Sep-17 08:16:07

Thank you all. It is actually really helpful to know other people are the same, it never feels like that in real life.

Wrt to the dog, she is a tiny chihuahua and won't go out in the rain anyway so isn't walked every day, but I usually take her on the school run if it's dry. I will take her out later. I've decided to take DS2 to school myself and cycle, which I know always helps (it's just finding the motivation to do it...)

I do have bipolar although it's mostly well managed, this isn't actual depression but I'm aware this is how it often starts for me.

I'm going to school now and when I get back I will have a shower and tackle the front room.

theaveragewife Tue 26-Sep-17 08:16:46

Me, I made her head prefect - and she's doing a wonderful job.

Cagliostro Tue 26-Sep-17 08:17:04

I hear you. It all seems to fall apart very quickly and go spiralling into chaos

If you don't mind me saying (from a position of empathy NOT judging at all because trust me I have been there) I think when in a good phase you are possibly overdoing it and then maybe it's too much too soon? When what would be better is consistently and slowly adding in one new habit that you can keep up.

I know it sounds lame (and the website is really twee) but FlyLady is helping. We have a long running support thread (Fledglings) on the housekeeping board and although there are links to the various steps it's really more about celebrating our achievements and sharing our struggles. It's been incredibly helpful over the years and now despite disability and now what seems to be antenatal depression I am actually managing much more than what I could previously and I am feeling proud rather than putting myself down. You'd be more than welcome thanks

Eolian Tue 26-Sep-17 08:18:40

I'm a bit like this, though my disorganised patches don't get that bad. I think the key is one thing at a time. Pick one thing and do that. Don't even think about the rest of it until you have done that one thing. Then congratulate yourself for doing that one thing, and let your positive vibe carry you on to the next one thing.

There's an app that's quite good for this. It's called "Now Do This". You type in your to do list in a vaguely sensible order and press 'start'. It pings up task no.1 on a plain white screen. Just task no.1, nothing else. You go and do task 1 and happily press 'done'. It pings up task 2. Etc. Very very simple, but somehow very motivating.

Theweasleytwins Tue 26-Sep-17 08:19:01

Sounds familiar

8isalotoflegsDayvid Tue 26-Sep-17 08:20:03

Meh. A missed dog walk ain't going to kill the dog.

I get it. I have days I can't face it too. So I'm watching with interest xx

BrieAndChilli Tue 26-Sep-17 08:24:27

m.youtube.com/watch?v=U6OoCaGsz94

Watch this video, it really spoke to me and the bit about changing the world starts with making your bed in the morning helped me to see that actually just doing one small thing has a ripple effect
It's a navy seal commandeer giving a speech about changing the world which started by making your bed.

I get on top of things but as soon as something comes up that needs focus (eg I'm Treasurer for scouts and we've just had AGM and annual reports to do) then everything else goes to pot. I then get so overwhelmed I kind of shut down and then avoid it all by watching Netflix or sleeping or something.

I think I'm much better at big one off tasks as you can see the end but with housework etc it's never ending and when you've done it it all needs doing again.

Also look up articles about the mental load - basically saying that someone in the household (ususally muns) has the mental load, the knowing who's doing what when, what homework needs doing, what's worrying the kids, keeeping track of what we are running out of and needs buying at the shops, who's growing out of thier clothes, when parents evening is, what's for tea this week, who's having friendship problems, so and sos friends needs a gift for thier party next week, oh and wrapping paper and a card, it's flu season coming up so better stock the medicine cabinet, what to wear (men don't need to think about this most occasions they chuck on a suit, women have to wonder about the event, what shoes are appropriate, how dressy do they need to be, how much cleavage is too much, will they clash with the bridesmaids, how casual is the event, how to do hair and makeup etc etc, it's just another layer of mental stress)
It then basically goes on to say that men defer all this thinking to the woman so basically making them the Manager, which in itself is a full time job. It women are also doing half or more of the actual work whereas men at most just do half the work WHEN TOLD,

It is exhausting, especially when women are also working.

A few weeks ago I told everyone DH included that no one was doing anything until the whole house was tidy and clean, we went through ever room and I made a list of what needed doing, the kids all complained but it did help them see all the hidden work that happens and for a little while they did make more of an effort to keep things tidy, it's slipping again now so I may need to do it again!

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