Beyond Chronic Chaos

stressed out female surround by words meaning stress, overwhelm, anxiety, etc.

Paralyzed by Overwhelm

When I have good for me days, I try to catch up on all that I didn’t do while I was down and out!!!  Overwhelm will then come over me like a wave of panic. I’m not sure how else to handle these days any better.  I finally get up and moving and look around the house and it is like a tornado went off!!!  

Picture this, underwear and socks lying on the floor, a random pair of shoes in the hallway, the stove covered in three nights’ ago spaghetti, the laundry basket in the bathroom overflowing and dishes piled so high we need to yell timber if it was to fall over, automatic overwhelm.  Oh and random socks all over the house because the dog LOVES to carry them around!

Sure, the kids helped out but they work their dad over and things don’t get done like I would have made them, and they tell him they don’t have to do it. I can only see the huge disastrous house, nothing else exists when it looks like this!  But then I can’t even get started because where do I start! Overwhelm!

There are some people who won’t even understand what I am even saying! They can easily lay out a plan right off the bat without overwhelm paralyzing them.  Congrats!!!  I sincerely wish I was more like you, I am not! It may be because you have never had an actually messy house!  Or because you just can tackle a project without planning every second!  But unfortunately I am totally not like that!  

When I started my own business, I looked at the whole big picture.  Do you know how many pieces there are to start a business??!!!!  Same thing with cleaning a house!!!  I feel like most things I tackle are this same way!  Even if I have a new diagnosis or have to see a new specialist, there are a bunch of different steps!!!!  If I don’t have a roadmap laid out to know what the future holds then I can’t even take the first step.

It’s so frustrating to be like this!!!!  I hate that I am such a perfectionist.  It gets in the way of everything!!!  I had no idea I was a perfectionist until I read Brene Brown’s Book The Gifts of Imperfection.  I guess there are some people that don’t even do anything because the fear of failing is so flippin’ strong!   Oh ya, that’s me!

I have two battles fighting against me.  I have the chronic pain that doesn’t allow me to do a huge chunk of work at one time and then the perfectionist side.  Do you know how hard that balance is?  I really want to accomplish a whole task and get everything right but then my body is screaming against me and hating me for moving around that much!!!  This battle is so big that most of the time I just end up not doing anything!!!  That isn’t helpful, at all.

To be able to do anything that has multiple steps I have to break it down into a smaller plan.  I become paralyzed with anxiety and overwhelm if I just try to clean my house!  I have to make a list of 20 minute tasks.  This also helps so I don’t over do it and waste my spoons too quickly.

When I break the tasks down not only does my body appreciate it but my head does too.  If I can check something off the list at the end of the 20 minutes then I have accomplished something, and the perfectionist side is happier.  It isn’t ecstatic but it is happier that something was completed!!

Another way I handle both sides of my overwhelm is by starting with a small task first.  This gives me more success faster.  If I can “trick” my perfectionist side into being excited because I accomplished three different tasks in a short amount of time, then life is better!

This totally doesn’t have to do with the battle of my two crazy sides but another super cleaning tip for those of us who get really distracted is never leave the room you are cleaning!!!  Whenever I do a big clean, I make piles that have to go to other rooms in the house.  I never leave the room I am in!  If I was to leave to take the dishes to the kitchen then I would see the dishes that need to go in the dishwasher.  Then a towel gets dirty and take it to the laundry room and start a load of laundry but to do that I have to take the clothes out of the dryer…..if you give a mouse a cookie….it is a never ending circle and I never get anything done that I set out to do!!!

I don’t have any answers!  I just do the best I can.  Maybe one day when I purge everything then my house will stay neat!  Or maybe when the kids all move out then it will be clean.  But until then I just do the best I can do and it all sucks!

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