Monday, November 5, 2012

Order outside, mess inside. Yup...that sounds like lupus!

Moving is a bear. There's no other way to say it. (Well, there is, but this is a family-friendly blog, so I'm going to just keep it at that.) Packing up practically everything we own, putting half of it in storage, moving the remaining stuff to a rental house two miles down the road, and unpacking it in a space half the size was a challenge. But thankfully, the worst is behinds us. We're beginning to see the light (or should I say the floor) in our new place. And we're all safe, and sound...and happy.

The move gave me the opportunity to become intimately familiar with all the stuff we've collected over the years. Emptying every closet, drawer, and cabinet provided me the chance to personally reacquaint myself with our belongings. Boy - do we have a lot of stuff! And we're not even pack rats. In fact, we purge frequently, had nothing in the attic or crawl space, have no basement, and some of our closets weren't being used. So in reality, we didn't have ALL that much stuff. But having just packed it all up and moved it, we had plenty.

And I realized as I rifled through closets and dug into drawers, that on the outside, it appeared that my house was pretty darn organized. Johnny and I both prefer order to chaos, so we like to keep things tidy - a place for everything and everything in its place, if you will. But upon closer inspection, I realized those so-called "places" weren't quite as neat and tidy as they could have been. I've always prided myself in not having a junk drawer (just my own personal issue...), but as I went through my house collecting, sorting, and packing, it seems that my "junk" was just sprinkled throughout the house.

Closets were in disarray, drawers were a mishmash of items, and in every room, there was a cabinet of something that didn't belong there. The rooms weren't outwardly messy - to the contrary, most of them looked neat as a pin. But peel back the buttoned-up exterior, and there, you'll find the mess.

I suppose that's the way many of us function, particularly those of us with lupus when we're in a flare. We take great pains to make it seem like we have it together on the outside, but on the inside, there's a heap of a mess going on. Joint pain, organ involvement, pain, suffering - the list of invisible symptoms goes on for miles. I specifically remember looking in the mirror one day, years ago, and thinking that my insides could be falling out, but as long as I looked good, I was going to keep plugging along.

What a messy way to make a go of it! I vowed to do away with this mentality - and I'm so glad I did. Now, reports of protein in my urine or skewed complement levels get just as much attention from me as do hair loss or skin rashes. My doctor's always been attuned to these things, but I learned the hard way that I need to pay attention to these things, too. I can't ignore them, and they're not just going to go away, simply because I can't see them. Living well means being well inside and out...emotionally and physically...behind closed doors and out in the open.

So as my house renovation gets underway, I'm going to try and apply the same rules. I'll do my best to keep myself organized and in check, inside and out. Yes, I'm going to take advantage of the fact that in a smaller house, we need less and have less to keep track of (a quarter of the toys...yes!!!!) But I'm also going to keep close tabs on my levels of anxiety and frustration, which are surely going to mount as the process moves forward. Just because my handy-dandy renovation notebook looks organized, doesn't mean its creator isn't feeling a little scattered with all of the decisions being made.

Look for more posts to come regarding our home away from home...and life with lupus during a renovation. I'm sure the challenges await me!


2 comments:

  1. Great analogy. I think many of us feel that way at times- tidy on the outside, yet conflicted and torn on the inside.
    At least you have your "handy dandy renovation book" to bring order to the chaos. Kind of like a security blanket. :)

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  2. Thanks, Katie! I'll add that I've allotted myself a "junk drawer" of sorts in this new house...and it's actually quite handy. Who knew?!

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