I’m weighing in on the whole “WHY ARE YOU SO SHAMEFUL TO PEOPLE” thing on UfYH. I gave it some thought today while I was unfucking my laundry, and this is what I have to say:
I am terminally lazy, autistic, and grew up with a mom who has (diagnosed, untreated) bipolar disorder. During my teen years I was ashamed to bring anyone home because our house was literally “islands of furniture connected by an ocean of stuff;” we had tunnels, I shit you not, of clean (or at least mostly-passable) floorspace to get from room to room and couch to door. The hallway was our only reprieve. I don’t know that we would have qualified for Hoarders, but if we didn’t it sure as hell would have been on a technicality. The mess was so deep that a single hopeless (and at that point, misdiagnosed, therefore on lots of unpleasant and conflicting medications) 14-year-old couldn’t even hope to touch it. You know that line in The Cat In The Hat that says something like “This mess is so deep and so wide and so tall, we’ll never get it clean, oh no, not at all”? That was my real life: all day, every day, even when we moved from the house into an apartment and literally half our shit was thrown out.
To me, this was normal; when I got to college and DIDN’T have a mess all over my dorm, I created one (I hereby apologise to my former roommates). I’d lived so long in a rabbit warren that without the piles of bullshit I actually felt unsafe and exposed. Having my floor empty enough to vacuum was so alien to me that I’d actually pick up all my stuff, sweep, vacuum, and then tumble a pile of books onto the floor on purpose.
I’m turning 24 on Sunday. I’ve been struggling with this since I was six—18 years. Self-help books didn’t help. “Improvement” programs didn’t help. Counseling didn’t help. Horror stories didn’t help. Hints from Heloise didn’t help. We had an actual paid housekeeper come in once to swamp out our house, and that helped for about a week, during which I didn’t sleep and mostly refused to eat because strange surroundings are a major stressor for me, and there were pieces of furniture clean and uncovered that I hadn’t seen in several years.
You know what’s helping?
Unfuck Your Habitat. Exactly as it is. I’m on day four and I’ve unfucked my car (well … the cleaning part of it, he still needs an oil change), my bathroom, our kitchen, and the unfucking of my bedroom is well underway. I don’t feel shamed or admonished or any of the other “WHY CAN’T YOU … . ” things I’ve seen thrown around. I feel like I’ve spent most of my life dragging around a big iron ball and chain and somebody just handed me a hammer and chisel and is now standing on the sidelines, cheering me on and telling me how to use them, instead of just attaching a self-help book and a lot of guilt to the ball.
I love the low-stakes accountability (now that I’ve established a pattern of posting about what I’ve done, if I quit, SOMEONE is going to notice). I love the no-bullshit attitude. I love that it’s tailored to me as a single woman living with her super-busy parents. As an autistic person, I love the routine it’s added to my life: while I can’t wait for the day I earn a gif (and while I love imagining that I’m magically going to get awarded an Avengers or Adam Lambert gif), being able to post every single day, “Hey! I did this!” is in itself rewarding. And I love that it’s set up in such a way that I can move at MY pace—that I don’t have to end up in that super-stressed “OH GOD WHY” boat ever again, because I can unfuck what I’m comfortable with, get used to it, then unfuck some more.
If the attitude at UfYH doesn’t work for you, then its owner had it right: go find another blog, book, or show that does. Not every guide is for every person; if it worked that way, I’d have been unfucked years ago. The sanitation of the world to make it as appealing, or at least as unobjectionable, as possible for as many people as possible has led to a terrifying plastic world in which most music artists within a genre sound alike, most video games within a genre are practically twins, and all television shows can be traced back to roughly the same four plots (or, in reality TV, objectives). UfYH is the anti-mass: unique, unapologetic, wonderful, deep.
If it doesn’t work for you, there are lots of other books, guides, shows, etc. out there, and one of them probably will. Good luck, because I know how fucking miserable life in a rabbit warren can be. But it’s working for a lot of us, so don’t take it away from us. I don’t feel “shamed” by UfYH, but I do feel shamed.
Do you know by whom?
By the people who are complaining that UfYH shames them. Because if, in fact, it’s shaming, and it works for me, then how much unfucking must *I* need?
Please don’t sanitize yourself, UfYH. You’re doing great as you are.
ETA: You get more Avengers gifs.
(You have to click that one, but it’s worth it.)