I am afraid to clean house.
There is actually a rational explanation behind my irrational fear of housework. During the first year of CFS, when the doctors couldn't tell me what was wrong or what to do to fix it, I did what we typically do -- I pushed myself to try to keep up with my "normal" life. As a result, I was in a constant, 24/7 zombie mode. The fatigue and brain fog were so severe that I couldn't maintain a decent conversation with anyone. I spent hours on the computer, my only respite. My family thought I was addicted. They would come in and interrupt me, trying to interact. They would say something to me, and I'd have to stop, look them in the eye, and still ask them to repeat themselves three or four times before what they were saying made any kind of sense to me. I would still be on the computer when my husband came home from work at 9 pm. I would be desperate to get some sleep, but I was so tired, I couldn't even find the energy to get up and walk upstairs to bed. It was bad. It was ugly. My family suffered.
Then I discovered I had CFS! And pacing! And I started to live within my "energy envelope". Sort of. I'm still working on that. But, anyway, the brain fog began to clear for moments at a time. I could actually talk to my children. And parent them again. It was difficult, because they had become quite feral and did not take kindly to the retaming process. Nonetheless, I found the strength and energy to stick with it, and we are becoming a normal family again. I actually played a board game with my children the other day. It was amazing.
So, my great fear is that if I start doing housework again, I will no longer have energy left for my family! I need to keep an energy reserve for those unexpected moments that require me to parent. I don't want to be unavailable to them again because I was wiping the kitchen counters, or scrubbing the toilets, or sweeping my front porch.
Still. I want to be able to bless my family by creating a more peaceful, inviting home for them ... and me. I'm in the middle of reevaluating how I spend my time. I am coming to realize that too much time on the computer is as harmful as overdoing it physically. I need to start "switching" activities, and maybe I can add a few minutes -- 5 to 10 at a time, maybe -- of housework to my day.
I am going to face my fears and start FlyLady(FlyLady.net) this month. I discovered FlyLady when I was pregnant with my youngest son. Her program helped me dig out of disarray after months of morning sickness that left me unable to do anything. I realize things are different this time, so I'll have to modify it and keep it within my abilities. But I think I can do this.
AND keep my cleaning lady. ;)
Monday, August 3, 2009
I am afraid to clean house.