Why Is Opening Mail Such a Problem?

Past Due StampFor most of my adult life I was diligent about opening mail and dealing with it. Before online banking existed, I paid bills every Saturday, and later, used my financial software to have the bank send out checks. I was responsible.

Then it all went to hell.

For the last several years the avoidance of opening mail and dealing with it after it was opened (two separate tasks) has been a serious problem. For the first time in my life I was paying bills late. That’s when I set up all the automatic payments, which took care of some of the problems.

But I was still routinely late paying medical bills and others that couldn’t be paid automatically. I had several severe health problems as well, so there were a lot of medical bills. Continue reading

Why I Can’t Take Chantix to Quit Smoking

Several of my doctors are really pushing me to quit smoking. I know – intellectually – that I do need to quit. The problem is, in 1999 I quit for three years and never got to the point where I was comfortable. I wanted to smoke every single day of those three years. Finally I couldn’t stand it any more and started up again.

This dramatic failure – and the fact that I really enjoy smoking – are two huge factors playing against my even making another attempt.

Still, I was willing to try bupropion (generic version of the antidepressant Wellbutrin and the anti-smoking aid Zyban). This was a major disaster.

I do have e-cigarettes, but they aren’t satisfying (maybe I bought the wrong brand?). Then they died, I couldn’t find the charger, and it took weeks for the company to send me a new one (promised in 3 days). That kind of killed my interest in using them.

My ashtray at the end of the day

My ashtray at the end of the day

But I smoke a lot: at least 2 packs a day. I have developed wheezing when I lie down. I really don’t want COPD, and I was told that smoking could have contributed to the attack of ischemic colitis I had a few years back (which could have been fatal, though I didn’t know it at the time).

There’s one more drug that has a very good record in helping people quit smoking: Chantix. But my doctors refuse to prescribe it because of my bipolar II disorder, and I agree with them. My current meds’ control over my BP and anxiety is precarious enough without adding a drug known to cause problems to people with mental illnesses. Continue reading

Clutter versus Chaos

A cluttered table

A cluttered table

I did a little web searching before starting this article, using the term “difference between clutter and chaos.” I found almost nothing except one site that equated chaos with hoarding. Sorry – chaos is not hoarding, even though hoarding produces chaos. Hoarding is an illness under the category of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and while it may be chaotic, you don’t have to have OCD to live in chaos.

Disorganization is a fundamental lack of structure. It’s often associated with perfectionism – “If I can’t do it right, I won’t do it at all.” This inevitably leads to clutter, because you don’t have good places to put things. But it’s possible to be organized and still live in clutter or chaos.

A clutterer doesn’t just have things sitting out because they have no place; the storage spaces that do exist are also cluttered, with things thrown into drawers or placed in cabinets haphazardly, making them tough to find. A clutterer also tends to get things out and then not put them back.

Personal organizers are invaluable for clutterers because they provide the needed structure. They gather like with like and store it all together, most often in labeled bins. They demonstrate the efficiency of keeping similar things together and make it easy to put things where they belong. It’s really quite amazing to see how personal organizers can transform a cluttered home into an organized one – as long as the new storage structure is used.

But chaos is something else again. Continue reading