Let’s talk about mental health; How home organization can help with depression

Really quick, but not quickly

Prefaces like this kind of suck, and I shouldn’t do it, but I’m ignoring my own advice and I’m going to do it anyway. Thus, writing about my depression is actually pretty easy, posting it is the hard bit. Letting people I may not know well know about some of the most vulnerable interworking of my mind isn’t easy. Especially when you may become a future client. I don’t want to come off as a whiner complainer, or a woe is me.

Obviously, however, that’s not why I’m writing this, honestly, and comparatively, I know I don’t have it nearly as bad as millions of other people. Yet I still have to deal with a black void that sucks a lot of us in like a black hole and stretching us apart into a billion little pieces. The point of writing this is to hopefully relate to what you might be going through.

The sad thing about this, when I need to write about it most when I need to post what I wrote… when I’m depressed… I don’t do it.

Right now I’m doing pretty damn well emotionally, and feel great. It’s been a long road, but I’m just letting you know the current emotional state this post was written in, so it’s not the raw unfiltered truth, just the perspective on it from a more joyful me.

The juicy stuff

Okay, that was a touch long-winded, let’s not take a big bite into the juicy stuff. Depression feels like you’re duct-taped to an office chair rolling down a steep hill at 50mph but going in slow motion gazing down at a bus you’re likely to collide with that’s coming up on the intersection. It’s close to a complete lack of control.

I’ll try to voice what I’m experiencing and feeling to people but it never comes out quite right or with the impact, I wish it would have. Thus, I’m left again to work through it myself and come up with solutions to find my way out of a pitch-black 10 room basement that is unfamiliar with a box containing 4 short matches.

And all I want when I’m in that basement is someone to come help, turn the lights on or at least wear some night vision goggles and hold my hand as I figure it out.

An inc article recently titled their post The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship where the author talks about how a lot of entrepreneurs deal with depression because they are entrepreneurs. However, I think she’s got it backward, being an entrepreneur doesn’t cause depression (doesn’t help it either!), but people who tend to be depressed choose entrepreneurship as a way to gain some sense of control over their lives.

I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was probably 10, for sure 15. I’ve also dealt with depression since I was roughly 15, the depression didn’t start when I started my business. I just knew I wanted some amount of control over my time, even if I was working all day, I wanted to at least be able to choose when I could stop and start working, who and when I met with and when I met with them, and where I worked. Underneath, however, it’s just a striving for the control I don’t feel in my life.

To be clear, I also wanted to be an entrepreneur for other reasons, like having an impact on my community and helping people with the business I create. All I’m getting at is that at the core, subconsciously, it’s a yearning for control.

Glowing doorway

There is a glowing doorway. Something that really helped me, and helps me when I have episodes, to get out of that dark basement. Organizing and creating systems in my life, no, honestly, It also gives me that control I’m looking for over my life (not others), along with this, organizing brings me tremendous joy.

Because typically, what’s going in your head manifests into the environment around you. So if the thoughts in your head are cluttered, then that will spill over and emerge as clutter in your home.

One time, my closet had been cluttered and disorganized for months. I had always considered doing something about it, yet, never got around to it. But every time I needed something out of that disastrous disorganized closet, it was a frustrating nightmare, just opening the door made me want to vomit.

In the midst of a depression, wanting only to sleep and blink out of existence, I got the random urge to organize my closet. Some magical how, I got up out of my bed, and started with taking out just one thing. Then I grabbed another, and Another… you get… until eventually, everything was out of the closet.

From there, I thought about how I wanted to put everything back in to eliminate my frustrations and appreciate opening my closet doors once again. After careful consideration, I began putting everything back in, one by one into its new home. And as I did a sense of power returned to me and a metaphorical weight was lifted off of me.

Once I finished I took a step back and appreciated the work I had just put in. I felt sooo much better the rest of the day, and every time I opened my closet a rush of relief flooded over me instead of the previous feelings of dread.

Not soon after that, and having gotten rid of a few more things, I slowly pulled myself from that stint of depression. Now, obviously, other factors contributed to my escape from the dark dismal basement, however, the organizing is what gave me a few extra matches to find my way out.

Now, whenever I’m feeling depressed I just go organize something and I get a period of relief from the prolonged hollowness.

This is one of the reasons I love doing this work, it gives me the opportunity to help other people in this way, and provide them with that momentary sense of relief that means too much to me in my life, hence; the reason I named the company relief.