cleaning out my closet

May 27, 2008

Yesterday was Memorial Day here in the United States and to celebrate I came up with the brilliant plan to rearrange/spring clean the apartment.  Of course I concocted this plan over breakfast and just sort of sprung it on Dan as he was enjoying his morning coffee.  As I predicted, he was incredibly reluctant.  He came up with about 20 reasons why it should not/could not go down on that day.  I trumped all of his attempts to dodge the activity with a single statement – “but I’m pregnant and I may not be able to do it later on.”  Yep, I shamelessly pulled the “I’m pregnant/we have to prepare for the baby” card, which I intend to use again in the future.  After a few more grumbles, complaints and sighs, he agreed to the plan. He pouted for another half  hour before eventually agreeing that it needed to be done.  Although he was not entirely pleased with the length of the list.  

The house needed a good cleaning.  As many of you know, we have 2 cats and they have been shedding like crazy.  The fur had found it’s way under many surfaces.  Even though we couldn’t really see it, I knew it was there so it had to go. Dan disagreed, arguing that what we can’t see, doesn’t need to be cleaned. This is a classic Danism that has never really changed my mind about a cleaning project.  He could’t use the same “logic” against the next reason I came up with.  One of our cats also has a nasty habit of puking all over the carpet, which has created several sick stains that need a serious cleaning  – like with a shampooer.  The shampooing will have to wait, but the fur has been eradicated (mostly).  

We also rearranged the apartment yesterday.  Actually, we put everything back to how we originally had it when we moved in four years ago (minus one couch that was ruined by Willow aka “the pisser”).  For about eight months now, ever since we had to say goodbye to our comfy couch, the apartment has been incomplete  disarray.  When the incident with Willow happened we didn’t have the heart (or the time) to rearrange the house properly so we just rigged everything the best we could.  The apartment had been rearranged at least three times prior to this. Prior to all the rearranging, I repainted the main living area and the kitchen of the apartment from blue and green to white and aqua.    

All of the painting and rearranging I did (and now feel the need to fix) was fueled by a serious need for change and a desire to escape a lot of the shit that was happening a few years back.  With the exception of getting married, 2005-2006 sucked. It sucked really hard.  A miscarriage, a mystery illness that set in motion a battery of weekly (sometimes twice weekly) tests, several serious family illnesses, two deaths, and the stress all of this put on my new marriage, sunk me into a pretty serious depression.  

I did not recognize how serious the problem was until I ended up in the emergency room with a panic attack and was later told by one of the doctors at the school clinic  that the symptoms of the my mystery illness were probably being caused by the stress of everything that was going on in my life.  She gave me a prescription for Prozac and told me to see a therapist.  Prozac — really?  I filled the prescription but after I read that one of the side effects could be thoughts of suicide, I decided not to take them.  I did not need to throw thoughts of suicide into the mix – that was the only scary thought I had managed to avoid in the preceding months.    But I did go see a therapist.  This therapist did an intake with me and listened to me go on about everything that was and had happened in my life.  After about an hour he told me he thought I could really benefit from therapy but unfortunately my student insurance would not cover it and I could not use the school services because I was not enrolled in a course – OUCH!!  Since I did not have $1000+ for a credit, and I was not too keen on hunting down another therapist, I just decided to suck it up and try to get over it myself.  

In retrospect, that was probably not the best idea.  Despite this rather poor decision, eventually, many months later, I managed to get over the worst of it.  In order to do this, I had to stop seeing all of the specialists I had been sent to in the previous months.  One after another they were coming up with nothing but still sending  me for more and more tests.  I  realized that going to all of these appointments was a major source of the anxiety  I was having.  After all, you can only be told you may have this, that and the other type of cancer so many times before it starts fucking with your head.  So I decided to stop going to the specialist appointments.  Within a a few months things started to get better.  I stopped crying all of the time and started to enjoy life again.  Funny how that can happen when you are not waiting to find out if you have a life altering/threatening illness.   I do have some lingering anxiety, but I have learned to manage it.  I still get freaked out about health issues (and probably always will) but I am no longer gripped with fear everyday.   

I say that I pulled myself out of it but I could not have done it without the patience and support of my family and friends  – especially Dan.  Dan was my rock and it is mostly because of him that I made it through all of that.  He put up with a lot our first year of marriage and on most days he did it without letting me know what a huge strain it was on him.  When I married him, I thought it was impossible to love him more than I did at that moment.  I know now that the love I felt for him before and on our wedding day was only a fraction of what was possible.  I still don’t think I have reached the depths.  As we wait for the arrival of our little girl, my love for him grows even more.  

Because of all of this I almost  feel bad about forcing Dan into an impromptu spring cleaning/house rearranging project – almost.  It is also because he is such a great husband that I let him off the hook a third of the way through the project to go and hang out with some old friends he had not seen in ages.  So in the end we did not finish the project.  Even though our apartment may be in a temporary state of chaos right now, my mind is calm and my heart is full.   

 

ps – this post really took a turn. I originally planned a punchy little post about the ongoing cleaning debate in our home.  Funny how things change.  

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