All of this stuff I’ve collected over the years is forcing me into expensive housing to store all of it. It’s overwhelming to the point of losing time due to constant anxiety and stressful to the point of being unable to pack. I’m having trouble focusing and can’t enjoy leisurely activities. I won’t be able to afford the space or stuff for too long. Why not just throw out everything that isn’t irreplaceable or sentimental?
I nearly did, it’s terrible, and I hate myself for being unable to control my anxiety.
When I get into that hyperfocused panic state, I can’t do anything except think about what needs to happen next, then next, then next after that, and then I need to pick up the pace, and I get a lot done but then I crash for days at a time and it’s awful on my body and my psyche. I’m at that pressure state where I’ve gotta find a new place and I’m still way too far behind in my packing. I’ve done as much as I can for as long as I’ve been able to do pack up as much as I’ve been able, donated everything that I absolutely can stand to part with, and still, it’s just like an avalanche that’s consuming me, preventing me from going out to see friends, which, really, could be the single biggest destresser around – being able to talk with people and just say: “This whole thing sucks! I hate it. I want it to be over, but it’s still going to take a while. There’s no “day off” for me. There’s no time for leisurely conversation with friends or even to write fiction! I want to be a fiction writer most in life, yet because of all this, I haven’t been able to write since December!”
I have such a bad stress headache right now.
Writing that whole long paragraph did help. I’ve been having constant anxiety for the past week or so, which has been affecting my health. I had a bloody nose for part of yesterday and the scab that’s formed today is itching like crazy. I banged up my leg yesterday, which was above the tolerable threshold for pain, and caused me to pretty much wrap up my moving for the day after that. I can’t even listen to some of my favorite music right now. I can’t concentrate with the louder stuff and the more mellow stuff is annoying. These are even with my favorite albums I’ve heard dozens if not hundreds of times before.
I understand now why thrift stores are so full.
Between May, when I started this move out process as you might casually do when you have an open move out plan, to Thanksgiving when shit hit the fan, and now late February as of this writing where it’s been a mad dash, I’ve gone through so much of this place I didn’t know was actually a rental property. Shame on me for not getting the paperwork notarized as I was moving in. Shame on me for buying so much stuff. Shame on me for letting this get so out of control that it’s taken me months to pack up. Shame on me for having so much attachment to materialistic objects that I’m not sure it could all fit in a 1-bedroom apartment.
Don’t get this bad.
I don’t think I’ll ever casually browse a thrift store again. There is absolutely nothing in a thrift store I would ever need. I need groceries – food and cleaning supplies. It’s nice having clothing that doesn’t make me look or feel terrible.
I don’t need more stuff.
And yet I am compelled to it. There will always be books I want to read. The action figures of my childhood represented this sort of happy escape from bullying at school. X-Men appealed to me much more because they were a cast of outcasts that all had unique abilities and they all worked together to overcome overwhelming obstacles. I liked GI Joe’s articulation and aesthetic to a lesser degree. It was always the debate between the $5 X-Men toy or the $3 GI Joe toy.
Those are all packed away.
Mostly. I still have a number of boxes to sort through and downsize or pack, and I still have some stuff to donate, and yet my time has run out. Starting in mid-December, I wrote notes on what I did each day, so I could see the progress and make sure that, sure, there were some days where I didn’t do anything toward the move, but overall, I moved mountains of clutter into little tiny hills, and still, it needs to be completely flat, just wiped out, better done yesterday than today, but it’s looking more like next week or next month, unless I find a new place. Then the costs, the moving, and all this.
It’s all too overwhelming.
So when I look at books like these, books I have no attachment to myself, I think in that same sort of mentality that I need to purge anything and everything that is not absolutely essential. For me to part with those old X-Men or GI Joe toys would be a feat I’m still not willing to partake in, even if I could be more than OK with looking at photos of them, because with them boxed up in storage, I won’t be able to see them for at least another two months at the absolute earliest, and yet, there they are, available for a little bit of reminiscing about the good times – the times where the biggest stressor was completing my homework early so I could play more videogames or have fun lining up my troops or whatever.
Now it’s stress from all angles.
This stress is overwhelming and lingers far longer than it should. Something as [simple as] restarting my computer, smartphone, or wireless router turn into these overwhelming tasks that affect me far longer than they should. My head almost constantly aches and I can’t relax at all.
I want nothing more than all of this to go away.
Yet I still want to use some of this stuff. I’ve had a 27″ CRT TV sitting in my living room for months now without a TV stand that I got rid of, and I haven’t used it in years, but I’d still like to use it for my videogames or watching movies, but really, I just want to get rid of it, too, but since it’s an object that still has some value – not in terms of price, but in terms of a specific aesthetic or function – I don’t just want to trash it. I’ve recycled and destroyed TVs before at the thrift store and the recycling company. I know the deal. I know it’s either a craigslist freebee or bust.
I don’t want that.
I’ve recycled hundreds of pounds of old paperwork. Scrapped old projects. Destroyed things that were half-broken already, but potentially salvageable. “My” place had turned into an object shelter. I bought stuff from thrift stores sometimes because I knew what would happen – those “75% off” items would be destroyed in a few days. All that I’ve donated back to the thrift stores. I’ve done as much as I’ve been able to do, and still, I’m cutting further and further into “good blood” to carve out any remaining “bad blood.”
It’s the same for these books.
At the thrift store, I threw out so many old these older books. Any old knowledge was useless. No one would buy it, or the few that would… wouldn’t justify the price of shelf space over the month or so they’d be on the shelves until being rotated out, with less or more time depending on a few other factors. Anything damaged, like these books with X’s drawn on their covers, that weren’t overly rare or valuable would be the first to go. They didn’t go into the recycle bin, either. They went into the trash, maybe to be sorted out later. It was a terrible materialistic genocide, or, material-cide.
I feel better now, but I’m also exhausted.
The constant adrenaline caused by anxiety has faded and now all that’s left is just an emptiness. I look at the shelves in front of me, full of things, and I look at my schedule. I look at everything I need to do, both required and voluntary, and all I want to do is sleep. I’ll probably take a nap after this for 10 minutes or 30 minutes, then I have to address the next thing, then the next, then the next, and it just keeps on going. Sentences and thoughts don’t make sense to me in this mindset. My reading comprehension has gone down, my patience is nearly zero, and I feel numb all the time.
Don’t buy more than you need.
Don’t buy what you can’t afford, either with money or space.
Enjoy what you own and don’t let it own you like this.
|Sources: My moving experiences.|
|Inspirations: Pangs of terrible decisions toward throwing out these books in haste before letting them receive a chance at a second home. I was going to write in a better manner, but I was unable.|
|Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.|
|Written On: February 27th [45 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft.|