Another Update: Not positive (Journal#020)

I want to turn this dog into a psychiatric service dog

I want to turn this dog into a psychiatric service dog. She’s the only one who can break through to me right now.

I had no idea how right I was when I posted that I could tell my mood was sliding and was going to be down for a long time.

It’s just getting worse and worse. I refrained from posting yesterday and it went even worse. I feel like I can’t breathe sometimes. Things are losing their point and purpose.

It begs the question… What the hell happened? I was stable for a long while! What the hell changed?

I hoped and was sure it was just a flu at first. Next, I was sure it was a sugar issue. But when I think about it altogether, it’s been consistently down and I’m alienating everybody. I really screwed up this whole holiday. I’m getting more and more irritable and cranky. I talked with my mom. She said she’d have called it PMS except of course it’s not the right time of the month.

My mom wants me to get to a psychiatrist ASAP. I don’t have one yet. I need to find one fast. Because the negative thoughts are already getting pretty severe (I give up on life pretty easily). And I ruined this whole vacation with my cousin visiting and my brother visiting and a bunch of relatives on the other side I’ve only just met.

My only other theories, aside from flu and sugar, is maybe I’m deep down sad that I wasn’t with my parents this Thanksgiving? Anything is possible. Also, my paternal grandfather died today. After I heard, I fell asleep on my floor for half the day. It was not a surprise death. He has been mentally dead for over a decade (severe altziemer’s) and was just recently having a lot of trouble with a urinary tract infection and pneumonia. He got moved into hospice just yesterday or something. Today he passed away. It is still very sad, although it was not a surprise and in some ways is a blessing. Because he wouldn’t have wanted to live like that, you know? He had a DNR and everything. He didn’t have much quality of life for the past years, not any fault of the facility or family or anything, but he would just be placed in a wheelchair and sort of ‘walk’ his feet around and around this stairwell all day, not seeing or thinking. It was very hard to see. We all love him very much. And we always will. We all always wanted the best for him but his mind had other plans. He was the gentlest, kindest man. I do wish I could go back to my childhood just for a week, just to visit them again for a week. But the memories are still with me, so I can sort of do that.

Anyway, I was down before I learned about that. I am accepting it now. It’s not a flu. It’s not just the excess sugar (though that didn’t help, believe me). I just have to accept that my depression is flairing up and I need to take life more gently and not hold myself to the same standards. Maybe I slept half of today and maybe I botched the entire family visit but I can’t hate myself for it, as easy as that is to do. I need to relax and rewind and start at the beginning again. My mom is going to call me in the morning tomorrow to help me get to the Meditation Center again. Although my cousin is leaving tomorrow morning, and I want to be with him all the way to the airport, I think it is healthy for me to attend the Meditation Center. I am much more depressed than anyone here knows.

They know I’m “in a funk” and irritable but I don’t think they could know the amount of hopelessness I feel. My uncle did mention it tonight, that I’ve been in a funk for days now and what’s going on. He wants me to go see a psychiatrist too, although he still hopes I’ll go off the medicine. That sure as hell isn’t going to happen now, sadly.

Venting; might want to steer clear of this one (Journal#019)

Hypoglycemia: A Hidden Hell

**UPDATE x3** It is confirmed. My cousin confirmed that those sweets last night were loaded with sugar!!!!!!!! Gah!!! No wonder!

**UPDATE x2!!!!!!** OMFG I just realized something. I had four deserts last night!!!! I ate the vanilla almond-cream for myself, and had a little more than usual. But then my aunt’s relatives were sharing these AMAZING sweets from China and I had 3 of them. They were made of rice and bean paste so I thought they didn’t have sugar content.

But I feel like SHIT today and am dragging and feel drugged and hung over and everything is BLACK.

I had too much sugar!!! That’s why my emotions went so far off scale. I’m hypoglycemic according to one doctor, called pre-diabetic according to another. My body doesn’t handle loads of sugar well. I get all kinds of out-of-wack. My pancreas over reacts and pumps out extra insulin and tucks away ALL the sugars from my bloodstreams. It overreacts. Just like my mood in response…haha. I’ll have to look up how that all works again.

So basically, y’all did hurt my feelings last night and I felt left out like I was an insignificant speck of dirt on a dog’s butt, but my extreme REACTION and crying and wanting to run away, I think was sugar-laced. I still physically feel TERRIBLE today, just like I was sugar poisoned. Damn. Gotta be more careful.

**UPDATE (first update)** It’s a while later now. They’ve gone to bed from their private party. I did not say goodnight or anything to them; I was hiding in the dog room and they did not see me. I texted with my mom for a while and she tried to calm me down (but couldn’t). Finally I pulled up some Jimmy Kimmel street interviews and then some stupid Ali G interviews, and I feel much better now. Well it helps that there’s no longer a private party going on above me. That I used to be invited to but have since had my invites revoked. But at least I can think about it calmly and rationally now. I did have a good cry, too, which maybe helped regulate my body chemicals? I don’t know how that all works. Something worked and I’m calm now. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep but at least I’m not on the verge of running away at present. I’m not going to post tomorrow, by the way. Just because.

—-Original post follows——

Autumn Tree

Autumn Tree

I am upset. You might not want to read this. I haven’t decided what to screen out of my own words/thoughts yet. Rest assured, the following is just a self-pity party of nonsense.

I am upset. I talked with you for forty minutes last night about the hurt I was feeling on That Topic, and how left out I feel, and all sorts of how screwed up I feel on That Topic. I TOLD you.

And you and he went upstairs to your private party and there you are, and he shared it all with you, everything he won’t let me touch anymore, everything he would talk with me about for hours on end only to decide it wasn’t good for me after all and I can’t. But you can. And he can.

Like I’m the child living under this roof and I can’t speak up for myself as an adult because of it.

I’m so blessed to be here and there are a thousand positives, but this ONE. THING. ALONE. makes me want to leave.

I’m healing here, I KNOW I’m healing here. But maybe I’d heal somewhere else, too. Maybe this is not healthy for me. I don’t know how to deal with the downs. I don’t know how to deal with the hurt. I don’t know how to deal with being pushed aside like I don’t matter. Like I don’t exist. Like I wasn’t the one who started the whole damn thing.

I’d rather you throw rocks at me than do this. Behind my back, like I wouldn’t even know. Or like I don’t even matter.

Or you’re both just so selfish that you really don’t think it would bother me, you’re just living your own lives and doing what you want to do and I didn’t cross your mind, so how can I feel left out when it wasn’t considered for me to have been included.

I KNOW I’m over-reacting but it hurts so damn bad.

Maybe there is just something wrong with me today. I didn’t connect with anybody at all today. I don’t feel like I belong and I want to run away. I want to crawl into a hole and die. Maybe two nights of clonazepam contributed to my not-connected feeling? I did go on an awesome walk today with Maddy and my aunt and cousin. I really enjoyed it, but I also couldn’t shake the worry that I’d invited myself on the walk (I did invite myself) and that maybe they had been wanting some mother-son time alone.

How can I have felt so middle-of-the-road so recently, and now feel so low? It’s not healthy. I’m doing something wrong.

I have an ISSUE with feeling left out. That I REALLY need to work on.

Sometimes you need a little help from your frien–er–Self! (Journal#018)

You are not alone

You are not alone

Dear Me,

I know you are in bed, listening to the footsteps up above, and all of the voices. They are milling around and it scares you, but it’s okay.

Put on some music so you can’t hear them anymore. There! 🙂 That is nice. It’s just you and me now.

Now get out of bed. It’s just us. We’re going to pick out some clothes that we like. Should we shower? Nah. You showered just a day or two ago. Okay, so let’s go to the restroom and use the toilet and sponge bath your armpits and brush your teeth and brush your hair. Then get dressed in these clothes that you like.

After we’re ready for the day like that, we will have to go upstairs. We could place a little tissue paper in your ears so the sounds don’t intimidate you (there’s going to be a lot of commotion up there). You won’t be alone, love, I’m right here. I’m not leaving.

We have to take your medicine then and eat breakfast. Then, we will head out to a store for the one recipe you’re going to attempt for tomorrow’s dinner (tonight’s dinner is being made by other people we’ve never met).

See? It won’t be so bad. Before you go to the store, it is safe to look around. These are ALL people you love VERY much. It is okay to take a minute to greet them and ask how they are doing. Smile. It’s okay to feel love toward them. But then leave before the commotion overwhelmes you.

You’ll be fine! I’ll be right there with you. ❤

Holidays and the meanings they once held (Topic#032)

Drawing of a dog carrying a candy cane

Drawing of a dog carrying a candy cane. Drawn for my parents’ Christmas card this year.

I am on clonazepam again tonight, so I don’t know if I’ll make it through this post. Clonazepam is my nighttime anxiety medicine that also helps me to fall asleep and suppedly has an 0ff-label use of helping with restless leg syndrome, which I have. It’s also one of the few anti-anxiety medicines that doesn’t leave me with a hangover feeling the next day, so I like it. This marks the second time I’ve used it in over a month.

Holidays. How did they get to this? What meaning did they once hold?

When I was a child, Christmas was the pinnacle of holidays. I had so much anticipation and excitement wrapped all around it. We hung stockings by the fireplace, although I was never sure if they should be near the wood stove or the more decorative fireplace. Only a couple of times did my brother and I place out cookies and milk.

Personally, I thought it was stupid because Santa was going to have access to SO many cookies by the time he reached our house, there’s no way he’d want even more. But I figured I’d eat whatever was leftover the next morning.

Christmas time was special for me. The lights were special (except any green lights, which scared me thanks to horror/scary movies). The little, fake tree with the lights was special. Hanging up the same ornaments on the tree each year was special. But the most special of all was the music. My whole family would gather around the piano and play and sing Christmas carols. Somehow, that included, “Those Were The Days”. My mom and I could play/sing that one over and over and over again and it was very special for me.

I slept downstairs, in the room next to the fireplace. Sometimes, my brother slept downstairs with me, too. Before I fell asleep, I would stay up for long periods of time, praying (remember, I was not raised to an organized religion. I had built up my own religous/spritiual beliefs and they were extremely strong and meaningful to me). I prayed. I meditated. I sat in peace and joy, watching the patterns of the Christmas lights strung sloppily around the walls (I was not a perfectionist about hanging them up). I’d watch the tree lights. It was peaceful, private, and wonderful. Although it would be hard to fall asleep, I slept soundly and never heard a thing. Somehow, presents were deposited in the room by the fireplace.

It was terribly exciting but also, I did not feel I deserved any presents.

We always spent the day together as a family. We had a special breakfast and lunch, courtesy of my mom. We nearly always went on a ski that day. It’s part of the tradition. For dinner, we often either ate at our neighbor’s house or had the neighbors come to our house. It was wonderful and peaceful. Sometimes we played card games after dinner.

MARRIAGE. Marriage. At first, we tried to preserve our own traditions and meaningful times. We struggled between attending his parents and my own parents. On our first year together, I think we tried to hit both at different times.

I haven’t yet mentioned that holidays stress my ex out very badly. The first holiday didn’t work for me. Splitting between two families was too stressful and hectic and left no quality time for either location. So we decided to alternate. One year here, the next year there.

But something changed and could never go back to how it was before. Holidays became more of people walking on eggshells, people making small talk, people just trying to get along. The meaning was lost. It was just a meal or a ski and the pressure was high and the stress was palpable. Nobody could relax into the old way of being. It was just different and tense and stressful.

I could no longer connect spiritually. I couldn’t have a moment in silence to pray and contemplate the Christmas lights and the tree and the peace and solitude and personal meaning of it all.

That was all gone for me. I greived for a while but after several years had given up. For me, holidays became meaningless aside from just another meal with the family, which was fine. But no special significance or meaning.

I tried to do some reasarch on my own; study religions-of-the-world on my own, but the feel was gone and it was just a ball of grief and giving up. It because just another day.

In one of the final years of the marriage, I did suggest we make our own holiday traditions — have our own dinner and find our own way. But that did not go over well, because certain parents could not forgive our absence. We were controlled by my in-laws, literally (in more ways than just that).

How could I connect in any spiritual way when spending that time with a family who spent most of the time with raised voices, getting angry with the children and each other, and being very particular about the food (not eating anything my husband brought, which was very hurtful. Granted he CHOSE to disrepect his mum’s decision to stop eating bell peppers and cooked with them anyway. So). It’s all so complicated.

The worst part was how stressed my ex got around holidays. He was almost on the verge of panic (aka rage) at all times. I remember once we were driving home from a dinner and his car was making this annoying clicking noise up in the dashboard somewhere. It had been doing it on and off for months. But on this night, he just lost it and started punching it hard. It didn’t change the clicking of course, but he did damage his knuckles. And lost ever more trust and respect from me, sadly.

So now? I don’t know what to think of holidays. Mostly, I feel they are a time to get through rather than to relax and enjoy. I’m scared of the potential things that could happen. People get drunk here and could say things they should keep private. There’s going to be a lot of people at this upcoming meal who have never met each other, and there’s always the chance that they won’t get along.

I have one dish I’m going to prepare. I’ll buy the ingredients tomorrow afternoon (our main dinner isn’t until Friday). People are arriving already. My aunt and my brother both arrived today (and my cousin arrives soon). And already, I was not connected to reality when my brother came in. Not for any particular reason, but I was fixated on the fact that the dog I was walking had a TICK in her skin, and I got so absorbed into that that I failed to notice that my brother had just come down the train steps and was standing beside me!!! What a welcome from me. “OMFG IS THAT A TICK?!” Yes, it was, and had obviously been there a long while. Even though I groomed her just the other day and didn’t notice any lumps at that point! So what the heck.

So we are having a meal tomorrow with some relatives I’ve never met, and the main one on Friday, with many people I’ve never met.

So I need to come up with something positive to focus on. First of all, the food is going to be amazing. Second of all.

I’m stressed because That MFing Topic came up tonight. I was with my aunt in the dog area, helping to clean and vacuum the whole area, in case of ticks. When we finally finished that, I went upstairs to see my uncle and my brother sharing That Topic!!!!!!!!!!!! Is there any point anymore? And they were about to go Upstairs to their own private party. Thanks a lot!!! I know, I KNOW, I am being so ungrateful. Just be grateful I’m allowed to live here. I don’t have to be included.

Included in things that I MYSELF STARTED but you’ve forgotten about that and now don’t allow me to participate. But you showed my brother! I’m not allowed to tell a SOUL but you went and showed my brother behind my back.

Yeah. Fucking topic. I’m SO so done with this. The jealousy, the pain, the feeling SO left out and pushed to the outskirts and left alone and ignored and forgotten. That’s what comes up in me. It isn’t rational, but it’s there. This topic is going to cause me nothing but pain. It has to stop. I MUST come up with a way to be at peace with it and accepting of it.

What you told me was “ours” and were so excited about, you later tried on your own while I was still at work, and did that again and again and again, and then when I finally swallowed my hurt enough to inquire about it, you declined sharing and said it would not be healthy for me.

It’s feeling like I am a brainless child, unable to make my own decisions about myself and my health that bothers me.

BUT, to calm the FUCK down, I have to remember, I’m the one who came here falling to pieces. I’m the one prone to mental illness.

But if I was going to live a life where other people decide for me what I can and cannot do, I may as well have stayed married. I may as well NOT be trying to start a new life for myself as an independent-ish adult.

BLAH. Sorry for the dump of negativity. I’ll bounce back again; I always do.

Back to the positives to focus on and get me through! First, the food is going to be amazing. Second, my brother is here and I can talk with him. Third, my cousin will be here and maybe I can get to talk with him

and maybe he’ll invite his friends at some point too, and I can talk with them again. Lastly, family. Acceptance. Be at peace. Try to just listen to others talk. Just listen and be present. Go down and pet the dogs as needed.

To self-injure or not (Journal#017) with 2 updates

Gray Autumn Tree

Gray Autumn Tree

By the time I’m here, posting, it’s already in my head and won’t go away. The choice is made. I already have the knife with me. I’m already in a private location.

I took clonazepam at least 40 minutes ago. So the anxiety has subsided. But the self hatred is still here. Maybe I can talk myself through this until I no longer feel this way.

What happened? I came home from work late. I chose to stay late, off the clock, to write the post about washing dishes. See, I wash people’s dishes as part of my job at work, so it was on my mind, and I was super excited to write that post. So instead of coming home, I stayed and wrote.

I made it home and was talking with my mom on the phone. She had questions for my uncle. He was home so I put her on FaceTime so she could ask him directly. That all seemed fine.

But then there was a little incident where she asked me if my brother knew that we’re not doing Thanksgiving until Friday. So I had the mental image of him arriving a day early, so I said hey, I’ll write him right now. So I minimized the video window and went to text him. For those of you with an iPhone, it doesn’t stop the FaceTime — you can still hear each other like a regular phone call. You just can’t see each other.

Well my uncle freaked out. I can’t repeat the words because I’ve forgotten them. But it was basically a tantrum of sorts. DON’T WRITE HIM NOW. WRITE HIM LATER. I’M TALKING WITH YOUR MOM. I froze. I wasn’t moving. I wasn’t writing him and I also wasn’t switching back over to FaceTime video screen either. It raises a stubborn bit of me and I sure as hell wasn’t going to switch back with him screaming at me and panicking. As with any animal training, you respond back in the calm times, not the enraged times. Of course, I am not a human psychologist and he did not calm down but freaked out even more, yelling at me not to write him, not to write him, stop it, why aren’t you stopping it, what is wrong with you, just do it, switch back, I have to see her in order to talk with her. He was finally just going to walk away. My reaction is basically, and meaning no offense to y’all, but Jesus Christ. Calm the fuck down and talk to me like a civilized human being. I had stopped all actions — I WASN’T writing him — I had NOT even pulled up a text window — why was he still panicking?

So basically I let the conversation go on a bit longer (I turned the video back on) and then said look, hate to cut this short, but I have to go to the bathroom. He suggested to keep my phone and continue talking with my mom but I wasn’t having that. If they wanted to chat still, they could have called each other back on their own damn phones but I wanted to go into my room and cry in the dark. I wasn’t going to keep it together much longer.

I took my clonazepam then, and kept it to just one tablet, as tempted as I was to take extra and just sleep now through tomorrow. I’d like to stay asleep for days. It did cross my mind to research if overdose is possible on clonazepam alone, which is one I haven’t researched in quite a long time.

HERE’s the real moral of this story:

When you are starting to allow yourself UP times — like the times I’ve written about with the moments of peace, of contentment, of joy, of gratitude, of bliss…. Well with that, I’ve opened myself up to a shit ton of possibilities of getting hurt emotionally. It’s like, opening the chest up slowly and the good starts to come in… But the excessive sensitivity and quickness to feel hurt is right up at the surface, too. I wonder if really it is more useful to live in a numbed state. I don’t know if I can handle the ups and the downs.

On the plus side, writing this all out has actually removed my about-to-cut status. I’m going to pee and then go to bed. I’m already in my jammies and have brushed & flossed my teeth. What more is there to life? I will certainly meditate again tonight.

**UPDATE** It’s the next day now. I just talked with my mom about it a tiny bit, because she was on the phone when it happened. She didn’t take my uncle’s reaction that seriously. She knows him better than me (they did grow up together). Most people just shrug it off. She thinks it’s possible that he freaked out because I broke his concentration when I grabbed the phone to multi-task. He’d been in the middle of talking about the upcoming menu. [At the same time, I also just learned that my brother *didn’t* know about dinner being Friday and would have changed his plane tickets had he known, and his girlfriend would have been able to come too. So he’s annoyed now. But is literally just getting onto his plane right now (and he only just now found out about the Friday dinner).] But yeah, I do feel guilty now, for having freaked out my uncle who is very ADHD and maybe did panic a little because I broke his train of thought. It’s possible. Ah well, such is life. Can’t win every day.

**UPDATE x2** I am sort of wondering, now, seeing this written out, if some of the desire to cut came from my feeling the loss of control over my own actions (where I wasn’t allowed to move or anything for a moment there). It isn’t just self-hatred — I KNOW that because I feel self-hatred over loads of different things and it doesn’t bring up the urge to self-harm. I’m going to keep my eye on this theory in the future.

Seed word “Flight” – Respond with 5 sentences fiction (Fiction#001)

Thank you to https://followingthegoldenquill.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/five-sentence-fiction-flight/comment-page-1/#comment-885 for this idea!

Ocean

Ocean

Word: FLIGHT
My five sentences:
Exhausted, I climb the boulders, higher and higher. My muscles tremble from exhertion and I don’t think I can make even one more upward movement. But I’ve reached the plateau, scrambling forward on shaking legs, barely keeping me upright. I stand at the edge of the cliff face, surveying the beautiful, lush valley below, the sunbeams and shadows of clouds playing across the land. Forward, I lean, more and more, until my nose has passed my toes and passed the cliff and there is nothing but the falling and falling and freedom of the very moment….until the transformation occurs and my arms turn to wings and the feathers hold the wind and I am free.

Washing Dishes the OCD Way! (Topic#031)

Running Water

Running Water

This is not really how everyone with OCD washes dishes! Just me! This is meant to be a comical rendition (although it’s 100% true).

  1. Pull out your designated “kitchen” rubber gloves.
  2. Let the faucet water get warm (catch the cold water to use for house plants or pet dishes).
  3. If your sponge (or rag) has any odor or extreme discoloration, throw it out and pick up a new one (or pull out a freshly-laundered one).
  4. Either way, rinse the sponge thoroughly with water as hot as you can stand (referred to as “warm water” in the rest of this post, but is preferably slightly scalding).
  5. Place a drop of Earth-friendly dish soap on your sponge.
  6. Take a deep breath and assess the situation.
  7. Try to arrange things so that the larger bowls or pots are near the bottom and are going to collect soapy water (unless you already have a sink that plugs and is filled with warm, soapy water).
  8. If anything might have had raw meat juices (or raw egg) touch it, or is extremely greasy, place those aside for now. They won’t be going into the soapy water, and won’t be touching your sponge yet. Because you don’t want to contaminate the rest of the items.
  9. Let’s go with utensil for now, because it’s on top.
  10. Scrub your sponge over every part of the utensil. Make sure fabric gets between every tine or nook or cranny. The handle, the sides, the bottom, everything. Do it several times, just to be sure it is clean.
  11. Check it in the light and make sure all bits are smooth and nothing remains.
  12. If you have one side of the sink empty, place there and collect all scrubbed items there for now.
  13. If you don’t have one side of the sink for this purpose, go ahead and rinse your single utensil now.
  14. Do so over the bowls or tub so that it will collect your soapy water.
  15. After rinsing, check item in the light again and make SURE it is spotless.
  16. If it’s not spotless, go back to the scrubbing step.
  17. Place utensil in drying rack so that the part that touches your mouth faces upward and can certainly dry (or sideways, if that’s how your drying rack is designed).
  18. Continue with more utensils in the same manner.
  19. If you have a handful of the soapy utensils, go ahead and rinse them now.
  20. Hold them all under the faucet so you can pretend you are not wasting water.
  21. Make sure to spread each one individually beneath the running water to make sure all soap is removed.
  22. Make sure your gloves have no soap on them.
  23. Run your (gloved) fingers over each utensil as if helping to remove all soap, while rinsing.
  24. Place mouth-side up (or sideways) in dish drying rack.
  25. Spread items out and arrange as much as possible to allow optimal draining and drying.
  26. Continue on with the next item. It’s a Tupperware. Oh. No.
  27. Anywhere that the plastic pulls inward, spend extra time scrubbing.
  28. Anywhere that there may be a ring, indention, or groove, spend extra time scrubbing.
  29. Really make sure you fold a corner of your sponge and run it in along each groove, to make sure no bacteria remains there. Lids are especially challenging.
  30. Collect to the side or rinse as before.
  31. By now, you should have nice warm, soapy water collected in a bowl, pot, tub, sink or whatever.
  32. Place any remaining small items in that water to soak as you tackle the next, larger items.
  33. You can use that soapy water to wet your sponge and the item you’re working on.
  34. By now, it’s time to add another drop of soap to your sponge. Because the old soap is surely worn off.
  35. Repeat.
  36. Now you are done with all of the non-raw-meat dishes. It’s time to tackle the meat dishes.
  37. Now it’s okay to get the raw juices on your sponge and in the sink.
  38. If the item is extremely greasy, rinse first to spare all that grease from going into your sponge.
  39. (You have wiped off all excess grease, peanut butter, and other thick substances with your (gloved) fingers, to spare your sponge from getting dirty prematurely.)
  40. Scrub as before, and rinse, and use your (gloved) fingers as it feels right to “help” the cleaning along.
  41. Add more soap to your sponge.
  42. Keep scrubbing.
  43. Rinse for a very long time.
  44. When you are done with all dishes, now it’s time to rinse your sponge. A lot. Because of the meat juices.
  45. You’re almost done! Now it’s time to wash the sink itself, and the strainer, and the counters and any other place the meaty dishes might have touched.
  46. Do so by loading on more soap to your sponge.
  47. (If you have a different chemical you wish to use for this, do so, but remember to switch to a different, dedicated sponge for that chemical).
  48. Scrub.
  49. Rinse well.
  50. Keep rinsing, because you put way too much soap on that sponge.
  51. Now rinse rinse rinse your sponge again.
  52. Squeeze as much water out as you can, and place sponge where it has a chance to dry (NOT inside of your sink!!!).
  53. Hang your gloves so they can dry.
  54. If any drop of water got inside, hang them upside down so they can drain, too.
  55. Survey your work and feel pleased with the squeaky-cleanness of it.
  56. Go into another room where your living partner says, “How could that have taken you two hours??? How about I wash the dishes from now on and you put them away?!” Okay! ❤
  57. Two days later, go to grab a dish the other person cleaned, find a speck of food on it, don’t say anything, just set it back down and grab a different one…

**UPDATE** I forgot to mention the Tupperwares filled with moldy food! Either just throw them away or, if someone else is home, ask them to take care of it, outdoors. Mold spores are not to be breathed in. Maybe you can take care of it yourself, outdoors, if you have your gloves and a mask.