I do a lot of unhealthy things. Of course, there’s the obvious: binging, sleeping too much, not exercising, not taking my meds (for both the mental and physical illnesses. Although I’m getting better with the mental meds), not testing my blood sugar (I’m a Type II Diabetic), not eating vegetables, and so on.
As you may imagine, a lot of the unhealthy things I do involve “not” doing something I’m supposed to do. What else don’t I do that I’m supposed to do? Let me count the ways:
- I don’t pay my bills. Now this one I suppose is temporarily excusable. I’m unemployed and my unemployment has run out. (Thanks Congress!)
- I don’t clean. Much. Currently I’ve an agreement with my landlord to clean the common areas of my building (two bathrooms, a kitchen, a hallway, and a foyer). I’m supposed to do this once a week. I’m averaging once every other week. When it comes to my room. Nada. I’ve got cobwebs and dust galore. I pick up every once in awhile though, so everything’s neat. Just dusty.
- I don’t pay proper attention to my physical hygiene. This is part of the self-care I’m supposed to be paying more attention to. So far, not good. I brush my teeth maybe once a week. I haven’t showered since May. Now, I don’t go out all stinky. I do a quick washcloth wipedown and that gets rid of the stink. I wash my hands and any obvious dirtiness when needed. I comb my hair then put it up in a messy bun or ponytail. I never wear makeup.
I bet you’re saying to yourself “eww, gross.” Yep. I say that to myself sometimes. The reason I don’t do these things is pretty simple and pretty complex.
The simple answer is that it takes a lot of energy to simply get myself out of bed (and to convince myself to stay out of it). Imagine you have an 8 ounce glass of water. This is your energy expenditure for the day. I imagine for most people, about one ounce of that water is used up for things that are habitual: getting out of bed, showering, brushing teeth, getting dressed, and so on. For me, it can take 4 to 7 of those ounces just to get out of bed and stay out. Leaving me just 1 to 4 ounces to do things like shower, brush teeth, get dressed, run errands, clean, go to appointments, look for work, talk to people, climb the stairs from my front door to my room, walk to the bus, etc. I’ve got to parse out those precious energy ounces carefully. If I have only 1 ounce of energy left for the day and I’ve got to take the bus to an appointment, only the bare necessity is done.
The complex answer is the emotional and habitual part. I actually love to shower. If allowed, I’d spend hours in there. Just letting the water soothe my nerves. Then I had that hoarding incident I talked about here. About six months into it, I started having trouble with my plumbing (the toilet wouldn’t work properly and I only had about 3 minutes of warm water). I couldn’t call the landlord to ask him to fix it, so I lived with it. For 8 years. 3 minute showers don’t do much for you when you’re a gal and cold showers suck. Not to mention the ickiness of showering in a bathroom with a not-so-fragrant smell. So I learned to do without. Then it became a habit I haven’t broken, even after 6 years of being out of that situation.
The emotional part is this: when I do shower or clean my room, I feel like I don’t deserve it. Someone like me, someone so ugly, disgusting, lazy, gross, worthless, doesn’t deserve to have a clean room or a clean body. I feel like I should punish myself with dirtiness, in my house and in my self.
Now I know this is ridiculous. Everyone deserves to live in a clean environment. Everyone deserves to have a clean body. Logically I know that this is true. But emotionally, I feel I should punish myself for being such an awful person.
And that, my friends, is what unhealthy is for me.
Blessings to you all.