Spring Cleaning for the Mentally Ill

Spring Cleaning for the Mentally Ill on bettysbattleground.com

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when the sun comes out, and everyone starts writing blog posts about their shiny new homes and their fabulous SPRING CLEANING technique that allowed them to get it done in twenty minutes with one hand tied behind their backs!!

Okay, well, maybe that’s an exaggeration…slightly…but for those of us with mental illness, self-fulfillment through laundry can seem like a lifetime away.

Having a disgusting habitat is one of the lesser discussed, but more common, side-effects of mental illness, especially parenting with mental illness.  Cleaning in general, much less the manic phenomenon of Spring Cleaning, can feel like a monumentally impossible effort (unless you’re actually manic; then your home may be clean…for a day or two). When you have to constantly battle feelings of depression and anxiety on top of caring for the life of a helpless human creature (not helpless to make messes though…) cleaning gets de-prioritized.

But there comes a time when the bright lights of Spring do filter through your dusty blinds and reveal the couple hundred cousins your roachy roommate snuck into your decrepit home. And when that time comes, you may realize that the promise you made-that your mess would always be a mess and not a health-hazard may be broken. Which means it’s time to fight through whatever and get cleaning. If you’re in the boat I found myself in a couple weeks ago, here’s a step by step guide to get from this:

Spring Cleaning for the Mentally Ill bettysbattleground.com

The results of motherhood x3+ Depression














…to this:

Spring Cleaning for the Mentally Ill













read on, my friends, read on…You too can have a BRAND NEW (looking) HOME in JUST MINUTES (whoops, autocorrect! Make that weeks…)
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The Sick Week: A Tale of Effluvia

The Sick Week: A Tale of Effluvia www.bettysbattleground.com

For impoverished mothers living with PTSD, most blessings are oddly shaped and paltry.  This week, my first blessing came in the guise of my in-laws being here for the first and worst day that I acquired the stomach virus which my daughters lovingly brought home.

But let’s rewind.

The Sick Week began with Penelope, my youngest daughter.  She got the virus first.  I discovered she was sick when I was giving the sisters a bath.  I discovered she was sick by scent.  The scent of diarrhea.  Penelope, not yet two, is known to poop in the bath on occasion.  So, upon smelling feces, I immediately looked to her rump.  I saw no telltale caca blob floating in her vicinity and attributed the stench to a fart.  Nonetheless, I figured a true poop was coming, and turned to gather the towels.  I heard a second fart ripple through the water.  I turned, quick, ready to snatch the girls out if there was fecal matter, and was momentarily stilled by what I saw.  Floating behind my youngest daughter was a thin, translucent waft of light brown smudge.  It hung there for a moment, turning slightly like a leaf adrift in a breeze, before thinning, shaping tendrils in the drift, and then undulating toward the drain in diarrhea-jellyfish formation.

Then it was gone.  As though it had never been.  But for the lingering stench.  I realized that this is what had happened before, except the first time I had missed the ghost-poop-jellyfish.  So I snatched the girls out, wrapped them in towels, and began to drain the tub as quickly as possible.  Of course, as I was bending over to pull out the cloth we use to plug the drain, Penelope, my littlest one, my sweetie-pie, ran to their room, lay tummy-down on the floor before the foot of her bed and, little butt raised high in the air, completed her diarrhea.

This time it was not so mesmerizing.  This time it was projectile, and across the carpet, and the backboard of her bed, and pooling in the Mrs. Potato Head hairpiece that was under her bed.

This was the beginning of the Sick Week.

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