No Socks.

When I get overwhelmed, and sometimes I do, especially in December, my house is the first thing to go.

No, the mail. The mail is the first thing to go. It’s just a long, cold walk to the mailbox, and so I don’t go. And then there’s the dishes. We’re out of cups.
And then there’s the Christmas stuff that’s out and mostly up but still a little bit strewn about and waiting for a verdict. And the fall stuff that’s waiting to be put away.  And the 500-piece puzzle set up on my dining room table, with one fraction of the bottom border complete. It’s been out for three weeks now.  And there’s the laundry. Who can tell what’s clean and what’s not? All I know is this for sure: nobody has socks to wear.

When depression is winning, breakfast sits on the table for days.

If you are picturing an episode of Hoarders right now, then I will humbly let you, believing in my heart that I don’t really need a referral for their assistance.

I had a complete meltdown on Saturday night. Shortness of breath, shaking hands, reaching out for help.

“Tricia, what is bothering you most right now?”
“I can’t find socks.” It all came down to socks.

‘No socks’ makes me feel like things are out of control, and ‘out of control’ follows the same neuropathway every time. There’s just some kind of connection that causes this crazy rush of adrenaline and fight-or-flight response. It all goes back to watching my husband die, when I remember doing everything I could and still not saving him, when so much was out of control and gone forever. It all goes back to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And this time, it came down to socks.

I almost called to cancel my appointment with my housekeeper. Surely she wouldn’t want to step into this chaos. Who can deep clean when you can’t find flat surfaces? I mean, great day, who even cares about deep cleaning this place? Just dishes would be great. And socks.

“I’m not a housekeeper. I’m not good at this,” I toss into the great void, believing these words to be true.

A voice of wisdom says to me, via text, “So what if you’re not good at it? Is that what we’re called to be good at? Who cares about dishes in the sink, Tricia? Show me the verse where it says you have to be neat and tidy. Oh, that’s right – I’m pretty sure the Pharisees quoted it.”

A point there. Proverbs 31 can get mightily misconstrued, but there’s nothing in there about dishes and laundry, I don’t think. Not in my version. And I might not want to read your version.

I choose Mary over Martha any day.

So I didn’t cancel. Please come and help me, sweet housekeeper and fairy princess of goodness. I never professed to be good at this; if I wrote a blog on cleaning and organization, then we’d all be hard pressed to find my credibility. But this mess? Help, please.

Here’s the thing about humility: when you admit you can’t do it, sometimes somebody comes to help you.

My dishes are done. My bed is made. Socks are henceforth in the washer. And it looks like it will all be okay.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. Thanks for the post, Tricia, I can identify with this. When Cooper was really sick, for me it was soap. Like clockwork when the soap needed to be filled I was in meltdown mode. I didn’t have the time or energy to fill them, and I was defeated. Thanks to your honesty, now I know it’s not just me!

  2. Oh Tricia, I feel your pain and I can relate. It all comes back to this…
    We are all just doing the best that we can, there is no such thing as perfect and that is perfectly okay….;)
    ( Recite as often as necessary! )
    Best wishes to you and your family this holiday season

  3. My husband dieing left me to live alone in a house that requires care above just cleaning. So, while I am learning to fix broken things and maintain major systems, my housekeeper gives me the comfort of a clean home. Widowhood seems to be constant prioritizing.

    Bless you and the boys.

  4. Oh Tricia, if only others were so transparent and honest you would know that you are not alone in this. I appreciate you, and your way with my heart, so much! Thanks for being you!

  5. Tricia, you write my life. I struggle with who I am in this life that is so different than what I planned. It has been 3 years and in many ways I have a good life but I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer in January and that on top of the loss of my husband and I have 2 children who won’t speak to me for stuff I have no control over and I just don’t want to keep going. Staying alive is a daily struggle. I long to be with him. I long for no more panic. I long for no more emotional pain and it feels like the longing is winning today. I know it would devastate my parents and my sibs and my 2 children who have relationship with but sometimes this world is just too much. Too much.

    • Please don’t give up, Maryellen.

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