I’ve always laughed at affirmations. I think they are yet another way of lying to yourself. Also, sappy. However since my self-esteem has bottomed out and hit self-hate I have been considering that perhaps my way of doing things and my way of thinking might be actual problems themselves and that frankly, I have no room to make fun of other people’s methods. Not that making fun of other people is ever good. Here, it’s just ironic.
But trying to find something nice to say to myself that I can believe, or at least potentially believe and not think of as absurd, is not going well. And this self-hating wallowing is exactly why I am typing this on an anonymous blog and not speaking it out-loud. That and the ‘if-I-start-crying-I’ll-never-stop’ problem. Oh, and the ‘I-really-hate-crying-in-front-of-people’ problem. Moving on …
When I moved into this new flat I really had doubts about whether I even liked the flat. I split up with my ex-boyfriend in December 2008 and got this new place until the end of June 2009. Yeah, by then I wasn’t fussy. I was desperate and for many reasons I was in no position to rule out options. To get this flat I lied to my landlord and said I was working full-time and that I don’t have pets. Every single advert, and I am not exaggerating, had “No DHSS” or some variation. No landlord in this area wanted to have a tenant on benefits. Not to mention that my reason for being on sickness benefits is being mad and in my experience, most people ask what is wrong with you and most people would rather not rent their flat to a mad person. Having pets just made things even more complicated. So I lied and took this flat with a landlord that didn’t really give a fuck if I was really who I said I was and just wanted the rent paid. That also came with not really giving a fuck about the actual flat either. It was pretty grubby when I moved in. Not as bad as manky but it’s on a main road and has a gas fire so there was a lot of soot and dirtyish dust. There were several things that were broken or not working.
I actually moved in the second week of July. So I’ve been here for nearly two months. But I haven’t finished cleaning … or unpacking … or sorting out where to put things … I feel really ashamed that it isn’t neat and tidy and clean and presentable to other people and … for fuck’s sake, I’m really getting this out of perspective. I want some more realistic thoughts going round and round my head (if they have to go round and round and since that problem has yet to be solved, so be it) and after the pinning down the out of perspective thoughts and pulling them back into some kind of rationality (also known as CBT) I want to keep them rational. Instead of repeating the whole “what the fuck am I thinking? is that even based on reality?” process over and over again I’m plumping for the affirmation shortcut.
So what have I done in the nearly two months that I’ve been here? I have cleaned, and by cleaned, I mean scrubbed, the kitchen and unpacked and organised that. I spent an entire day fixing the kitchen laminated flooring (whoever put that in hadn’t a fucking clue – there’s big gaps and doesn’t extend under the kitchen cabinets and surprise! it moves!) and defrosting the fridge (possibly for the first time in the new millennium). I found the right bulb for the fridge. I got a new filter and fitted it in the extractor fan. I have scrubbed the bathroom including the shower door which was installed by someone that was extremely short-sighted. Or couldn’t use a tape measure. I fixed the built-in cabinet under the sink and found out how to use double-headed nails. I got a new chain for the bath plug and fixed that. I had a very steep learning curve about electric shower pressure relief devices including “wtf is all this water?”, finding the right part and fitting it myself. In the sitting room, bedroom, hall and bathroom I have cleaned light fittings and bought the correct energy saving light bulbs. I have unpacked and organised (not ‘perfectly’ but good enough) my books, CDs and DVDs. I have scrubbed floors and skirting boards. I’ve vacuumed so goddamn much. In amongst that I have sorted out my benefits (except for the backdated claim for housing benefit, turns out that I have to do that separately) and gone to their offices three times and done their Work Focused Interview. I have gas, electricity, telephone and broadband accounts. I have kept going.
It is okay, it really is okay. There is still a huge to-do list. There is still more cleaning and a couple more boxes to unpack. But I am slowly making progress. If I compare myself to others (note to self: this is not compulsory) then yes, maybe I am a lot slower than other people. Maybe I am doing more than some other people. Maybe it really doesn’t fucking matter if I am either faster or slower. I do not have to find my exact place on the spectrum of all people and how they would move house. I am simply right here. I have done okay here. I am capable enough. I have proven it to myself and now I can say it to myself and believe it.