Cleaning and organizing have always been personal methods of managing my anxiety. My anxiety plays in the background like an ill-tuned radio, static that overlays everything else. It doesn’t prevent me from feeling joy or disappointment, it’s like a parallel rail of emotion that’s always running. Like a central station for a subway, that rail that carries the anxiety line is just always in operation. It’s not always busy or congested, but it has a dedicated line to transport anxiety whenever it needs to manifest.
I’ve developed methods of redirecting anxiety. I am thankful that I never developed classic eating disorders or the practice of cutting, although I understand the compulsion of those things. Instead, I channeled my anxiety into being productive, useful or purposeful. At the top of that list is my tendency to clean.
Cleaning the fridge ranks near the top of cleaning options, bested only by re-organizing the closet or the bureau drawers. If I am purging and organizing the closets, my anxiety is at a capital maximum; just leave me alone for two days until I’ve refolded and divested everything.
But I love a clean fridge. No crumbs. No drips. The glass is pristine and the surfaces gleam. And I discard all the errant partial jars of old condiments.
At the end, I must confess that we may eat too much cheese. And I must confirmed the current, regular use of six versions of mustard. This is possibly absurd and decadent but it is the truth.