In my attempts to act my age, I feel like I should at the very least pretend to keep on top of stuff. There are so many things that need taking care of on a day-to-day basis, things such as laundry, washing up, cleaning and eating to name but a few. This is TOO MANY THINGS. I have a very limited capacity to do stuff but I have unlimited scope of what I feel I should be doing.
Take for example that I feel I should not be living in my bedroom as it currently is. I’m twenty-one, officially an adult everywhere now, and yet my bedroom is still adorned with brightly coloured bits and pieces (tat, for lack of a better word) that I can’t bear to hide away in a storage space. I operate on a fairly simple basis – if I have something pretty, I should show it off. For a long time, I kept scraps of wrapping paper from a gift blu-tacked to the door of my wardrobe, because it was pretty, and my Mum had obviously taken the time to choose something visually appealing to wrap around my gifts – therefore I should show this to the world. Too pretty to throw away, but pointless keeping something like that in a box.
What this comes down to is me having a bedroom so overflowing with stuff that keeping it all tidy is a herculean task. I have so many t-shirts that they don’t all fit in their drawers if they’re all clean. Same goes for all my other kinds of clothes. So my washing basket is perpetually full, and without constant monitoring, is quick to overflow.
When I move into a new room (four moves in the last four years), I tend to fill up all the available space. It’s like my possessions take on some kind of gaseous quality and expand to fill all available space. I have a five shelf book-case (six shelves if you count the top of the thing) and I filled it without a thought. There is also a whole collection of about 100 Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books stacked on my desk because I can’t think of anywhere better to put them. Nevermind the fact that I’ve got a perfectly good shelf just there – that’s where all that stuff has gone to live, and I can’t move it! Where else would a couple of 13-year-old trophies, a kaleidoscope and a balloon pump go?
I suppose the biggest challenge is that i know I’d have to do all the sorting and reorganizing in one go, because I can’t move the books until I move that stuff, which I’d need to find a place for, which would need to be rearranged or tidied which would involve moving more stuff…I’m sure you can see where this leads.
The problem is that I can only achieve stuff if I break it down into easy, bitesize chunks. Clearing out one or two drawers might not be so bad, but the concept of doing the whole set of drawers in one go sends me into a panic that starts out so self-defeated that I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of doing anything at all (aside from maybe hyperventilating and trying not to cry)
Sadly there are some things that can’t be broken down, like making a phone call. Phone calls fill me with anxiety for multiple reasons, not least because people who know us both get my brother and me confused on the phone. Stuff that needs doing urgently is almost as bad, because there isn’t time to break it down, and often requires a lot of thought.
Needless to say, I can’t concentrate on anything when I’m in a frenzied state brought on by having stuff that needs doing, so I can’t even play a video game or read a book to keep my mind off things. So, my panic gets out of control and I can’t think about anything else, and my mind will start coming up with worse and worse potential scenarios that I just want to stop and hide under my desk like I used to before I filled the underneath of it with shoes, paper and empty carrier bags.