Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mental Health Update

Two days ago I had a total breakdown while trying to pack the kitchen.

Like I said, D$ has done the majority of the packing while I've been finishing up school. He had to work Thursday and it was my turn to pack up the kitchen and bathroom. I should have known it would be hard...I was anxious all morning before I started.

After three hours I had packed four boxes. I don't know what the problem was but I was pacing around the apartment, stomping my feet,and at a few points actually holding back tears. I may have resorted to laying in child's pose on the futon once or twice.

I mean, WTF? Why in the world do frying pans have to have such long fucking handles? Do we need all of these bottle openers? Why are the cookie sheets dirty? What in the hell is "Herbed Poultry" spice and do I need to keep it? I couldn't handle the smallest setbacks or decisions. I even yelled "I CAN'T DO THIS BY MYSELF!" A few times. In an empty apartment.

Eventually D$ called to check on me and realized that I was completely freaking out. He tried to talk me down but all I could do was cry, "I can't do this. All the pans are stupid sizes and everywhere I look I find more cabinets full of stuff and we still don't have enough boxes and waaaaaa." I knew I was being a total baby, which only made me feel worse.

Normally I consider myself to be a fairly capable, independent person. I lived by myself in a third world country, for chrissakes. But I am apparently totally incapable of packing boxes by myself. I've been trying to think why this is, and I think it is a combination of control freak + perfectionism + excessive guilt. I feel like there must be a right way to pack the boxes and the idea that I might do it wrong stops me in my tracks with anxiety. What if, god forbid, we have to buy more boxes? Or if a pan breaks and it is my fault! Or if D$ opens the boxes later and says, "Why in the world did you pack this?"

Objectively, I know this is stupid. None of those things is even remotely a big deal. But what do I do with this information? It is easy enough to say "MWK, you are getting all worked up about something that does not matter. Take a deep breathe and move forward." But so far I haven't been able to internalize this (although I did take all the pictures off the walls without losing my shit, which I consider to be a good sign).

Having D$ around helps...sometimes. The day of the kitchen debacle he came home and made a big deal over all the empty cabinets, which I thought was both sweet and annoying (I mean just because I was acting like a child doesn't mean he has to treat me like one, right? Right?)

I am hopefully that now I have identified what upsets me so much that I can work through it. We still have a good deal of packing left and I'm hoping that by consciously reminding myself that there is no right way to pack I can keep my anxiety in check. Or at least learn to deal with it in a more productive way than foot stomping.


  1. I do the same thing. I lived alone for years before Josh, and I totally understand. I have to give myself a little pep talk sometimes, too. Except mine goes something like, "One step at a time Ange, you got it." You've got a lot on your plate and I think you're doing a fine job.

  2. Oh lady, I so could have written this. I've been there. Best thing is just to let it go, I think. Tomorrow is another day.

  3. Dude, Been There Done That. For real. Sometimes throwing a (non-breakable) pan or two and having a good old cry for an hour or so is what is needed. (That, and tea. Lots of tea.) And they don't call moving house one of the top five most stressful events EVER for nothing. Good luck surviving the rest of it, my dear!

  4. oh my goodness - turtle and i have moved in the last couple of days and i hear EXACTLY what you're saying. i FREAK OUT about packing. oddly, unpacking is fun for me, and not really that stressful, but packing is this completely overwhelming ridiculous task. Hang in there. You're not crazy. Good luck!

  5. I hear you. We went through this last summer when moving out of state. Packing sucks. It just does. End of story. Personally, it makes me want to get rid of everything and start all over just so I don't have to pack.

  6. Oh sweetie. I totally get this. Take a break when you need to and just leave it alone. Hope the next few boxes are easier.