Who is Rid It & Reap?

I’m Julie.

From Leeds, West Yorkshire. I live with my husband Ben and our two border collies, Beau and Bear.

Blogging is fairly new to me, but when you feel like you’ve had a bit of a lightbulb moment in life you sort of feel compelled to share it with whoever will listen; and wonder if it could possibly help other people too.

So, let’s get to the nitty gritty of Rid It & Reap.

In complete honesty, I spent a lot of my twenties in despair. I don’t think I even realised it myself at the time. I just thought it was normal life.

I was overwhelmed, tired, constantly worried about something… anything… Self-consumed, angry, selfish, always poorly, probably full of self pity. Sounds great doesn’t it? Looking back now, I dread to think how it looked from the outside.

It wasn’t all bad, I loved life, it was the naughties after all. I had some amazing times, but my brain was always niggling away at me.

What I didn’t actually know was, I was unwell. At some point during that time I was told by a medical professional that I showed symptoms of OCD but nothing went any further and I just carried on with life.

I always thought I was just a bit of a perfectionist. I remember a time when I was about six years old, and all my coloured pens fell out of their case (I loved stationary even back then, I mean, who doesn’t?!). I was inconsolable and when Mum suggested we just put them back in the case, I explained through my tears,  that it wouldn’t be good enough; We would never get them back in the exact colour order they arrived in… now you’re probably thinking, okaaaaaaay?

Even in recent times, I barely had visitors at my house, I always thought they would judge if things were out of place. It made me incredibly tense and unfun, I couldn’t even relax in my own home! Deep down I know now that the reality is they wouldn’t even have known if something was out of place… because how would they know where things were kept in my house?!

Imagine constantly cleaning the same things over and over, but then running out of time, so the rest of your home gradually becomes messier, dirtier and more cluttered. I was moving things round to different piles, in different rooms but never finding an actual home for them or getting rid of anything, hoarding. This was my life, and my home was basically a pig-sty… even though I was constantly cleaning! I could never find anything, I’d end up buying things again and then finding the original item a few weeks later and so on.

It didn’t only impact me at home, I would worry constantly about how I looked, was dressed, my hair, my weight, how I walked, would people judge me for my disability, did I say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing? The list was never ending but the reality was it all came back to perfectionism… being judged… OCD.

I even stopped blogging for a while because of it. Every time I posted, I would have a few hours completely filled with dread about what people might think, or believing no one would read it, or thinking someone might comment something negative.

Finally, I went back to the doctors with a list of all the things I was struggling with. I wrote it all down as it was easier than saying the things out loud, because out loud they sounded stupid. The doctor was so understanding and I was prescribed something to help, then PING!!.. My life was changed for the better. Well, it wasn’t actually instant but after a month or so, it was like a weight lifted.

That’s when the real fun began; The real lightbulb moment!

The overwhelm dissipated, and this meant I could tackle things head on with a clear mind. I was able to stop hoarding and start organising. It’s almost like the benefits of having OCD were freed, I’m good at organising, but the niggle in my brain went away. I started to ‘enjoy’ sorting out my home and my life. But rather than feeling the constant need clean and organise, without ever achieving the desired result (perfection), it just became a normal life.

And this is where I am at now. A long way from perfection, something I probably do still desire deep down, but the chaos is lifting. I am embracing my own version of minimalism through decluttering, and I am enjoying making my home feel good again. I’ve even had visitors… unannounced visitors!

And that’s why I decided to take up this blog again. I thought it might be worth sharing what I’m doing, plus I love writing! Vlogging on the other hand, scares me to death… I have a few friends trying to persuade me into that but it feels like it’ll be a while away yet.

As it stands, I guess I will be documenting my ‘journey’, I’m not sure if I like that term, but I can’t think of another one right now.

My aims are to slow down, stress less, live simply and enjoy it. I want to take the time to think about the why’s and what’s of things I’m doing rather than just being dragged along by the chaos that is life. It all sounds a bit ‘hippy’ on paper, but the great thing these days is that I care much, much less if people might judge me on that!

Live Organised. Live Positively. Live Intentionally.

Rid chaos, Reap rewards. Oh, and here is my face…

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No one ever truly feels like they have everything under control... do they?

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