The declutter project

I love my apartment.

Which actually serves as an art studio as well for the past few years.

But the thing is that I have lived 13 years in my apartment; all these years while having OCD.

I like keeping things, but I am not a hoarder, even thought I can seem like one. My problem is that my home is full of triggers, many of which I didn’t hve the courage to deal with up until now. And even if I dealt with some of them, new ones came in.

I decided that it is time to fully declutter my home/art studio! Wheeee!

The biggest issue is the clothing, I wear everything only once amd then I have to wash it. Also, I have to wash everything that’s getting triggered (bags, shoes, etc, etc). As you cam imagine there are quite a few piles of clothes.

So, yesterday I started the process of decluttering clothes, objects, accessories, shoes, things I don’t usually a lot, art supplies, everything!

And for the things that are sentimental for me, that have a stpry behind them and I want to let them go but it’s hard, I decided to tell a short story about them. I am going to take a photo of them and tell their story in a post.

Stay tuned and pardon me, I have to go and continue decluttering 😊

Diary

Summer of 2019 started with my need for rest and relaxation. So, I decided to spend a big part of it with my family, in the house where I grew up.

Well, let me tell you that didn’t go as I have planned. I realized a couple of important things about my family (and the way certain things have eventually effected me), my OCD and I did a lot of work with my art. Hadn’t planned any of it. But things came that way. And in the end I think that in reality I was in the right place at the right time.

So, I have many things to deal with, the project of “living with/out OCD” still in progress, a lot of new artwork done and inspiration to help me create even more.

Tomorrow, I will be back home. And the first thing I’m going to do is a super decluttering! I live in a small flat that’s both home and art studio. I’m definitely a maximalist, and I have many corners/objects that are considered a trigger for my OCD and I keep avoiding cleaning them. And now it feel like such a good timing to do so.

A super decluttering is on the way!

And a new beginnings already happening!

Reinventing happiness: Mac & cheese

For the past few years I have been through some difficult times (disease in the family, mental health issues, etc, etc). All these eventually left me lacking happiness.

It’s not only hard for me to feel happy nowadays, it’s almost impossible. No, I don’t have depression (but I do have OCD). I feel something like happiness, but it isn’t it!

After a lot of thought with myself and conversations with my therapist, I decided what my next step would be.

Reprogramming my brain so it can feel happiness, in some way reinventing it.

Paying attention to small things I like, looking in the past and in the present, giving myself tasks, trying new things.

I’m going to document all these here, starting from something quite simple: a dish (ok, I had 1.5 dishes) of mac and cheese!

And here’s a selfie after having a very good mac and cheese….

Happy!

Health first (a diary post)

My everyday life is quite full usually: I have my two handmade jewelry brands (@daily_art_by_angelina & @psychotrinkets) , my art (@drawing_tales), my photography (@a_mavrogianni_photography), my home/ art studio that always needs something done, my – practically fresh- significant other (we don’t live together, but still there’s quite some time devoted to him), my grandma and her second husband next door to me who are both in their mid 80s and have things that have to be done for them. Plus, I live everyday with my OCD in the background. And for the past 4 months I have stopped (the proper way) my medication which I have been taking, for my OCD, for almost 3 years.

A couple weeks ago I made a decision: to try to chill more and focus on my mental health. Just for the tough period of going off the meds (my sweet little brain has to re-adjust, but until then it shows no particular mercy). A wise decision to focus on my mental health.

I didn’t turn off everything, but I try to do less, so I have time to relax and take care of myself more.

I am a control freak, a multitasker that feels like I’m doing something wrong when I’m not doing something 24/7. But, I realized that I had to somehow take some time off, so I can feel better again, after going off my meds. But, still balancing things.

  • Posting less on social media (main way to promote my work my work).
  • Creating/working less (so, I have a less strict schedule, and more time to relax).
  • Not pressuring myself to do a lot of things during the day.
  • Trying to keep up with my relationships (but not doing so much that I will feel pressured).
  • Doing… nothing (I never do “nothing”, I practically can’t, but I realized that my kind of “doing nothing” is to chill out, do the things that feel good, go through YouTube or Pinterest, not saying to myself “you have to do this and that”, chiiiill; it’s so soothing and relaxing during this tough period).
  • Giving some responsibilities (grandma related) to other members of my family, taking a break for a while from them.
  • Taking a break from things that put too much pressure on me.

In the meanwhile, life happens, and it’s not always easy to keep up with my decision. But, having set the goal to focus on my mental health is important. Each single day, I try to care of myself, my emotions, my mood, and not let go (keep working towards the better days that are going to come). And some days (who am I kidding, most days), it’s pretty difficult, but the bottom line is loving myself and showing myself this love and care.

The world (and everything) will be here even after this tough period ends!

Happiness vs mental health

Adulthood definitely comes with a cost, ok. But what happens when your mental health becomes… let’s say distorted?

What happens when you have mental health issues that end up getting in the way of your life?

I remember that back in the time, before the past years (full of mental health issues, sickness in the family, etc.) happened, my main goal was to be happy.

And here I am, after relationship disasters, a mental breakdown, an OCD diagnosis, caring for sick family members, caring for old family members, realizing that I have never been more far away from that “being happy” goal. Realizing that I have basically spent the past three years surviving and not living, and definitely not being happy.

You see, after two years, it was time to go off my meds and along with great amounts of tears, and endless hours of all kinds of bad mood, one good thing that happens is that my brain thinks kind of clearer. I see things for what they really are, see details I wasn’t able to notice while being on anxiety medication. It’s like being in the middle of a tornado, trying to survive, and then when all the mess stops, you’re left wondering what you’re going to do with what’s left.

Time to pick up pieces of yourself that you left behind, add to your life things that came along afterwards, find new balance.

And for me, there’s something more now, go on to accomplish that older goal of mine, “being happy”! Of course things have changed and I have changed, so it has to be done differently.

Plus, it has to be done while living with a not so cooperative brain sometimes.

I basically have/want to find happiness while dealing with mental health issues…!

Hey there, it’s ok

This one is for all of you out there that know how anxiety and its disorders feel like.

For all of you out there, that are like me. There are things that we should hear more often, and that’s what this post is all about!

  • It’s hard. Eveyday is hard. Some days more than others. And no matter how easy you make it seem to the outsiders, it’s hard.
  • You’re amazing just for keeping up and keep going with this heavy weight inside your mind!
  • You feel broken sometimes. It’s ok, you’re fine, after all, who isn’t broken (even a bit)?!
  • Definitely you have thought that you’re some kind of problematic human being, even some kind of monster. You’re not, you’re just a human being, and not everyone could handle things in such a great way!
  • Keep going. Always. It’s worth it.
  • Those days that you want the world to stop? Pause, take your time. Relax, eat your favorite food, do nothing if you need to, do whatever it’s good for you. But, never go against your own self, it’s just a bad day. It’s fine, everything and everyone will be there after your short break and better days are going to come!
  • You know you’re a fighter that is surviving his/her own mind, right? How amazingly courageous is that?!
  • You feel fragile, because you are and there’s nothing wrong with that.
  • I know how it feels, we are many, many, many out there. We know. We feel. And we keep going!

Living with/out OCD (no.3)

Things are going well!

I’m not paying attention to so many triggers during the day, but still keeping my limits so I won’t freak out and relapse. And step by step I’m expanding those limits too!

But, I realized that I almost made a huge mistake.

Yes, I’m almost off my medication for my OCD and I’m reacting so well to the absence of it! I’m taking my pill every other day and the days without it feel so much better at this point (even through there were some tough ones before).

Yes, I’m working on paying less attention to my triggers and even when I’m doing a compulsion I do it as simple, casual, task, without obsessing about it too much, or giving it too much energy and thought.

Yes, I feel more relaxed, and many more things that I can’t put to words yet. After all I have been living with OCD my whole adult life and I basically don’t know life without it, I’m starting to get a glimpse of it now!

And here comes the “almost mistake”. For the last couple of days, that I’m spending with family in the house where I grew up, I’m exposing myself to triggers almost everyday, and my childhood room is a comfort zone of sorts, but not the same as my flat. So, I’m basically too exposed! And I’m doing fine, but…. I realized that even though I haven’t thought of it at first, still, my brain slows down a bit. In general, when there’s a trigger, it feels like my brain goes into a “numb” phase so it can process the problem/trigger. It usually takes a couple of minutes, but now with my “living with/out OCD project” it doesn’t feel so strong and it turns out that it’s so much difficult to reliaze it even happens!

But, yeah, my brain still goes on “numb mode”. Just a pinch of it, making it harder to concentrate and creating a weird feeling.

That’s the mistake I almost made! I almost underestimated my OCD. Yes, things are going great, but it’s still here, and I shouldn’t underestimate its power over my brain. Apart from that, we continue living life together and working towards a future with more freedom (for me)!