Cleaning Out My Closet

Every so often we get that rush of adrenaline inside that energizes us just enough to clean out our closets.  Whether it’s to get rid of items of clothing that we no longer wear, that no longer fit us or that are no longer in style can be very cathartic, all of which help make room for newer, more trendy articles of clothing.

Sometimes cleaning out our closet is simply a way to help declutter and re-organize some of life’s messes.  For me the thought of cleaning out my closet has been especially overwhelming and stressful.  Every day when I enter my closet I am met with these emotions as my closet has somehow become a metaphor of the chaos and disorder my life is in.

Living with three teenagers I know the true meaning of living in a continuous state of chaos and disorder, both of which cause me severe anxiety.  If you were to ask my kids the one thing I badger them about the most (okay, all the time) they would unanimously say it’s to clean up their rooms.  Ya I get it, they are teenagers (who happily enjoy living like pigs I might add) and for some reason they feel it’s their own space to do with as they please and maybe they are right, but I’m pretty damn sure they are wrong after all possession is nine-tenths of the law, right (and I’m rather certain they only own about one-tenth of their room)?!  Perhaps it’s their way of asserting their independence, or their individuality or possibly it’s how they show their defiance toward parental control, but for me it plain and simply expresses complete and utter unrest (and I guess none of them inherited my CONSTANT need for cleanliness and order, some may feel borders on obsession).

I know exactly what many people are thinking right now because I’ve heard it all before and I can tell you for certain that closing their doors so I can’t actually see the chaos and disorder is anything but helpful.  Remember, I suffer with a mental illness which constantly dumps unwanted thoughts and images in my head so no matter whether their doors are wide open or bolted shut, I know exactly what they look like and as I have said I have a very strong aversion toward chaos and disorder.

The anguish I feel concerning my kid’s chaotic and disorderly rooms and the rush of adrenaline that came over me while assisting my husband in cleaning out his own closet yesterday ultimately influenced my decision to finally conquer the chore of decluttering and re-organizing my own closet as well.  I know there is no proper etiquette when it comes to this sort of mission and to most people it’s really more time consuming rather than overwhelming and stressful, but for me this sort of commitment involved a huge emotional undertaking.

So why then if I feel so strongly against having any kind of chaos or disorder in my life would I not be up for such a task?  Well the long and the short of it is because all it did was leave me feeling sad, guilty, angry, frustrated and with an almost completely barren closet.  Yup I purged all right, all the way down to its core and at no time during the task or upon its completion did it leave me with even an ounce of happiness or satisfaction.  It’s been quite a while since I have really done a thorough cleaning of my closet and what I discovered was a great deal of pain (who knew that a closet could hold so much power?).

For most people who approach this task they only need to make two simple piles; one for the items they plan to give away and one for the items that they plan to keep.  Instead I found myself (metaphorically speaking) intertwined in four different piles which included the sad pile, the guilty pile, the angry pile and the frustrated pile.  I’m not going to go into any detail here as to what each of these piles truly represent individually for me but instead how they collectively as a whole make me feel and that clearly my illness has left me feeling completely and wholly empty, and now, sadly so too is my closet.

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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