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When Simple Tasks Aren't So Simple

Posted by Alexandra Van Rijn on

So today I had a breakdown while doing my laundry.

And no, I don’t use that term lightly. I don’t like to use the word “panic attack,” although I was panicking, lying on the laundry room floor was as low as I could get, being in the basement and all (haha).
As I sat there, beside the bathroom mat soaked in cat pee, trying to remember which 1/3 washers worked, I felt defeated. This was such a simple life task, but telling myself that didn’t make it any easier. Especially since mustering all this energy to do it, and pushing all the stress to the back wasn’t any easier either.
Laundry has always stressed me out since I started living away from my parents and from residence. Washers and dryers don’t always work. And for me, they never seem to. So from having to remember what washer works, to being on a time constraint, and of course having to carry it up and down the stairs, nothing gets me more worked up than doing my laundry, and I feel the most lost sitting on the laundry room floor.

To be completely honest, my roommate came home and saved me. She knocked on the locked door, knowing I had been laying there, and hugged me. Sometimes you just can’t do stuff on your own, and that’s okay.

So when laundry just doesn’t seem so simple anymore, here are a few things to remember, and the things I need to remember the most:

  • TIME MANAGEMENT. ADHD is hard. Doing Laundry takes a long time. And it is not fun. Figure out how much time you have to do it, because if you’re going to be rushing, it’s not worth doing.

  • Break the task up into smaller pieces. Instead of looking at the huge basket you’ve accumulated for who knows how long, dump it all out. Sort it. Make sure they’re all right side out. Make sure you’re not taking too much on and shoving 8 tasks into one.

  • Make sure you have everything you need. You don’t want to forget your soap, or your keys, or your money, when you’re all the way down the stairs.

  • Take a deep breath. Tell yourself that you can do it. Walk to the laundry, and start up the wash.

  • Time EVERYTHING. Especially if you’re a forgetful person like me.

  • Take a little time to yourself while you’re waiting for it to be done. Make a cup of tea. Draw a picture. Start your supper. Do anything. Enjoy this free time between loads.

  • Pack it all up. Pat yourself on the back, and make your way upstairs.

  • And the worst part, but maybe the most important: Always fold your clothes. Immediately after you do them. This goes back to making sure you have enough time to do this. Nothing stresses me out more than doing laundry for 3 days in a row, or having clean clothes in the laundry basket for days.

  • And finally, make sure you take time to enjoy your accomplishment. Just because doing your laundry is inevitable, and something everyone does, does not mean it is any more simple of a task. Especially when you’re having a bad day.

  • Most importantly, these steps, although specific, will work with most tasks. When I’m at my lowest, cleaning and eating (two basic things people need to do to live and function) are not things I do well.
    I’m sure many of you have had those days where it is just not in the cards, and it is something you will just push off. Heck, I’ve done it for weeks, which is why today was so hard (on top of Oscar forcing me to do the laundry). In the end, it’ll be worth it. ***as long as I picked the washer that works***
    Written by Campus Rep Madi Banks 

    1 comment

    • I love your blog it is so empowering to see another survivor sharing her stories. I would recommend using trigger warnings though. There were elements in this story that could seriously hurt people who are looking for a safe space online :).

      Madison on

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