The Mighty Logo

Why a Messy Bed Can Ruin My Whole Day

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

In that moment, when she told me it was ridiculous for me to get upset when my children messed up my bedding, I was hurt. I felt a ping in my chest because I actually do need my bedding to be a certain way on my mattress. When it gets messed up, it irritates me. A lot. Maybe it’s because of my anxiety — I know when I get ready to go to bed I’m going to have to remake the whole thing. Or maybe it’s my obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) because I can’t move through my day peacefully knowing that my bedding isn’t the way I left it.

My children see my bed as a giant jungle gym with blankets to pile high and cannon ball onto. I understand that. I understand their joy. I understand their desire to seek out new adventures. I get it. And I love them for their curiosity, creativity and wild imaginations. But knowing that my bedroom, and especially my bedding, is a mess can affect me all day long. I need to be able to leave my bedroom a specific way and climb into my bed at night in a certain way. It’s just who I am. It helps me feel in control when so many things in my life are out of my control.

Most days, I cannot go about my day knowing that some things are not the way I left them. My mind is chaos every day, and it’s hard enough to organize my thoughts. I don’t want to worry about chaos in my bedroom — my sanctuary. I am a single parent, and I am the only adult in my house, so I have reign over all the functions of my household. My children’s room is messy with toys 24/7, and I can, mostly, tolerate that as long as we clean it up at least every couple of weeks. 

Their toys find a way into the living room, my bedroom, the bathroom and the kitchen. I can handle their toys being in the living room and their bedroom, but any other room in the house? I just can’t deal with it. It irritates me beyond comprehension. Being the only adult in the house means I am the one who cleans every single room. My kitchen needs to be tidy and toy-free so that I can cook and clean in peace. If not, I get irritated. My bedroom needs to by organized and tidy. If not, I get irritated. I love my children, and I love every single thing about them, but I am also human and I deserve to have my space, my sanctuary, peaceful and left the way I want it.

I do my best not to let my irritation get to me. I do my best not to lash out at my children for things that truly shouldn’t be their concern. So, when you tell me that I’m being ridiculous for wanting to keep my bedding tidy, it hurts. Being a single parent and struggling with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression is not a walk in the park. My emotions run high almost every day, and if one little thing goes wrong, or if something unplanned happens in my day, I can turn into this emotional ball of fire. If it’s not planned, not organized, or unexpected, then my anxiety kicks in, my OCD kicks in and I often have a panic attack. I need to be able to control as much as I can throughout my day, so that if something unexpected happens, I can make my best effort to stay calm. Having my bed tidy as often as possible means that during the day when I am feeling overwhelmed, I can direct my thoughts to my bedroom and it brings me peace. It reminds me that wonderful, tidy bed is waiting for me to climb into and caress me with coziness. It brings a calm to me in the middle of a storm.

These things may seem silly to someone out there, but I assure you it’s real. Every single day. It’s a struggle for me to keep things organized in my life. For those out there who identify with this story, if there are any, let’s all take a deep breath and think about our beautiful beds, with their endless coziness waiting for us at the end of a long, exhausting day. On the days that we can sleep, I’m sure we want our beds to be perfect, so let’s not let anyone else’s opinions ruin that glorious moment for us.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via rakoptonLPN

Originally published: November 7, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home