Since living through my Postpartum Psychosis, I really had to learn to slow down. My body always got sick when I do too much, and this episode was a huge wake up call. I had to overhaul they way I had been living with too much stress. I had been focused on improving my health through nutrition but what about my home?
One of my triggers into psychosis was the clutter that was enveloping me whilst I was at home. I would sit for what would seem like hours on end on the lounge feeding my son, staring at what was around me, the piles building up on the kitchen bench, the dishes creeping on the bench towards the stove, the piles building up on the floor, the stuff that was homeless and just left to its own devices, not to mention the flood of papers.
I used my camera a lot in the first weeks of my son’s birth as I did not want to forget all the special memories. But the camera turned on me as I started taking photos of the drawers overfilled, the wardrobes bursting at the seem, the benches you couldn’t see the bottom, and the floor scattered an assortment of items and overflowing laundry baskets. I cannot recollect the point of the photos in the moment, but obviously something was bothering me. The night I went disappeared into psychosis I had my husband and father removing items that I could no longer stand in the house, including our dining room chairs, though I have very little memory of doing this.
As I recovered I knew I had to deal with the clutter build up. I had an emotional attachment to the stuff, that I needed it just in what case or what if scenario. I had duplicates of items that I hardly used and things that I had even forgotten that I owned because they got buried beneath the clutter or shoved to the back of a cupboard.
Reading Real Food Real Change (13 October 2014) opened another world to me, introducing me to Brooke from Slow Your Home, a story of an ordinary family who decluttered 20 000 items from her home towards living a simple, minimalist lifestyle. Brooke’s story resonated with me, a mother who had experienced a postpartum mood disorder similar to me, and who was rebuilding her life with her young family, a simple life with less. Another mother who had experienced the darkness and thought she was coping, when in reality she was on the path to a breakdown. A mother sharing her story about her husband and young kids on how they have simplified and are living a fulfilling life by decluttering, being happy, showing gratitude, living in the moment but most importantly being slow. A slow home is what I wanted to achieve; I was struggling with being organised, with decluttering, I was attempting to be eco and green, and I was trying to create a positive space for my family.
Slow Your Home held my hand as I worked towards slowing down, one simple change at a time. Dealing with the clutter in my home helped immensely with dealing with the mental clutter clouding my thoughts. Brooke’s post were thought invoking, real, and at times raw and I love following her on her journey of recovery. I am grateful to have found Slow Your Home in the blogosphere, and for opening my eyes to a simple life that is possible. Thank you.
Do you find a messy home disrupts how you cope mentally day to day? Do you feel the clutter creep? Are you working towards a slow home?