Monday, February 13, 2017


Mop the floor.
Sweep the bathroom floor.
Vacuum the carpet.
Dust the shelves and picture frames.
Scrub the shower.
Clean the refrigerator.

My thoughts are hurried and fragmented and I am fighting for control. I can’t control the emotions and the feelings that have wreaking havoc inside so I must control my outward surroundings. The only thing that calms me when I am feeling out of control is cleaning.
I get irritable and irate when there is mess. I cannot control the mess that plagues me inside so I take it out on the dust sitting ever so gently on the top of the TV. I take it out on the candy wrappers that my daughters leave all over the house.
When my anxiety is flaring and my disorder is running a muck I develop a compulsion to cleaning. I don’t just have bipolar disorder, I also have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder is a severe form of anxiety where worry and fear becomes severe and heightened to a point it can disrupt the everyday life of the sufferer.

Dust karate trophies.
Must clean.
Everything has to be clean.
Not just clean but spotless.
Vacuum the rest of the house.

When my anxiety is at its peak I become compulsive about cleaning. Sometimes it mixes with bipolar hypomania and I will rip the house apart only to spend days putting it back the way it was in the first place.
When you have anxiety the scariest moment is the second when you feel like you’ve lost control.

Scrub the stove.
Clean the shower.
Mop the floor again.
Sweep out the garage.
Clean the bathtub.
Scrub the toilet.

When someone has lost control or fear that they have they would do whatever it takes to get that control back.
Me. I clean to get that control. It may not seem so bad that I clean when I am at my worst, but some nights I don’t get any sleep because I am mopping or dusting or folding and washing clothes. Because I don’t get any sleep I can barely make it through the next day.

Yet with medication I can control the anxiety and eventually I could control the compulsion. However, when it sparks up again it’s usually when the house needs a deep cleaning anyway. 


  1. Interesting. Thank you for giving us a snapshot of it is like to be in this compulsive mode. I don't suffer from bipolar or anxiety, so I don't know the extent of the compulsiveness. But, when I'm stressed, I cook. That can be a good thing, too. But, usually not. xoA

    1. I used to cook as well. Now it's just cleaning. Thank you for reading!

  2. Well, I would say that there could be worse ways to control your anxiety than cleaning - which has to be done anyway - but your blog makes it clear that this is not a nice, casual endeavor, but a compulsive and overpowering need. Again, I appreciate your openness in sharing your battle, Donnee. Thank you.