It’s a Process

Last week, I talked about how I stumbled into realizing that I had, if not hoarding disorder itself, hoarding tendencies. It wasn’t easy, and I want to thank everyone for their kindness. As much as I try not to shy away from talking about my struggles with my mental health, it is embarrassing to actually show through video what’s going on.

As I mentioned last week, after realizing that I had, or at the very least was developing, a serious problem, I decided I needed to do something about it while it was still within my control. I enlisted the help of my friend Pup to help me get rid of things.

The biggest culprit of clutter in my life has always been my crafting space. I’ve always been a crafter, even as a young child. When I hit the lowest point in my depression about 5-7 years ago, I lost the motivation to work on the vast majority of my projects. The desire was still there; I wanted to do these things and I thought if I could just find the motivation to do them, I would “snap out of it.” I ended up buying a lot of supplies hoping that if the means were readily available the motivation would come.

The motivation didn’t come. I kept buying and buying and buying, but all that happened was I felt more and more overwhelmed by my incomplete projects, which just made the depression worse. Eventually, even if I did have the motivation to work on a project, I didn’t have the space to do anything. I could do a few small projects while sitting on my bed—the only clutter-free area of my room—but otherwise everything else was deadlocked.

I decided I needed to start with those craft supplies. I had boxes of craft supplies stacked everywhere. The tabletop couldn’t be seen for the piles on top of it. They’d began spilling into other areas of my room: the closet, the bookcases, my desk. If I didn’t get that stuff cleaned up and decluttered, I would never be able to adequately organize the rest of my space.

Let me say this: This. Fucking. Sucked.

I knew there was no way I could keep everything. I’d have to prioritize things—really prioritize them, rather than tell myself that I have a use for every single little thing. Top priority had to be tools and machinery. My sewing machine, my Silhouette cutter, stamps; things that could be used over and over, indefinitely. Those things would stay. That was the easy part.

After that, I made a list of all the projects I could think of that I wanted to do and ranked them in order of what I most wanted to do to what I didn’t really care that much about. Then I made sub-lists of everything I would need to complete those projects, right down to the little accoutrement. Honestly, this part was kind of fun, too. I’m a compulsive list maker, so anytime I get to create lists I’m happy.

The hard part came when I needed to sort things. I grouped all the needed parts for each project together in boxes (generously provided by Pup). Once everything was boxed up and my craft area was completely clear, I would put everything back starting with the highest priority and working my way down until I ran out of space.

Anything left over had to go.

There were a lot of things I actually didn’t even have projects for. Those things were gotten rid of before we even started. I pared down some of my tools (stamps and stencils in particular), only keeping the ones I really liked and used. Surprisingly, I was able to keep the majority of my projects, probably thanks to getting rid of things that I had no projects for and just took up space. The only projects I had to get rid of I really didn’t care about and only planned on doing so I could use up the stuff I had for them.

In addition to cleaning out and organizing my craft stash, Pup also took away piles of things that I had planned to sell, but couldn’t possibly work my way through anytime soon. That made a huge difference, as well.

Everything I got rid of was stuff I didn’t need or even really care about at all.

I cried over it. Pup and I did this over a weekend and on Sunday I bawled my eyes out after everything had been taken down to either the trash or Pup’s car to be dropped off at Goodwill. I didn’t care about these things at all, but I hated to let them go. As much stress as they put on my life, having them also gave me some strange comfort.

I didn’t need them. I didn’t even really want them. But I’d had plans for them. They were a part of my life and a part of my future, in however small a way. Letting go of that was painful.

This was a lot harder than I expected it to be. For the first week or so after we removed everything, I felt a lot of remorse. All that wasted potential. All that wasted money. I had to resist the urge to replace some things or buy new stuff for new projects.

That’s the hardest part, I think; not refilling that empty space. It’s so empty, now. I want to fill it. Even now, three weeks later I desperately want to fill it, even though I know that will just put me right back where I started. But that urge is strong. It is really, really, really hard to say, “No, I don’t need that,” when my mom offers to buy me something when we’re out. Even though I don’t need it–I probably wouldn’t even use it. But fucking shitting goddamn hell, I want it because I have space for it and space exists to be filled.

Sometimes, I feel even crazier than I did before. I find myself reasoning, “I’ve gone this long living in that space. I don’t really need to invite friends over. Climbing over stacks of literal garbage (literal. bags. of. stuff. I. plan. to. throw. the. fuck. away. actual. fucking. garbage.) to get to my clean clothes isn’t that big of a deal. Do I really need to wear clean underwear today?”

Yes. I do need to wear clean underwear today, because goddamn it I’m not going to let myself turn into a disgusting little garbage troll.

So, I’m trying. I’m trying very, very hard to get used to having space. I told myself that I wouldn’t buy anything for any new projects until I’ve finished at least a few of the old ones. There’s one project I’ve been sitting on for at least six years, now. It’s first on the list, as soon as finals are over.

It’s been a few weeks since Pup hauled away the casualties of my decluttering. I haven’t had a chance to work on the other spaces of my room (the desk is next and will be handled in roughly the same way as my craft table). Even so, just having organized the craft area and removed about half of my “for sale” stuff, the appearance of my room has improved drastically.

Right now, I’d say it’s probably a 2.5 on the Clutter Image Rating Scale. The bookshelves bring the score down (or up?) significantly. They’re next on the list after my desk.

It’s going to be a long process. Not just getting all of these spaces organized, but resisting that urge to fill them back up.

A lot of people make jokes about hoarders, or say they don’t understand how someone can “live like that.” I’m telling you first-hand that it’s not that easy to “just throw stuff out.” These things, however insignificant they seem, mean something. Anyone struggling with any mental illness, including hoarding, should be treated with respect and compassion.

I’m trying to have compassion for myself.

I love you all.

Let’s keep in touch! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Are you awesome? Do you like awesome things? Then stop by my Zazzle shop to pick up a t-shirt or mug and let the world know how awesome you are (but not in a braggy way)!

Like my content? Consider buying me a coffee. Less time worrying about paying my bills means more time creating content.


Fuck Your Price Gouging: A not-so-Christmas interlude

It takes a lot for me to post on a day off. I have a lot of things on my plate, especially right now trying to balance the holidays, finals, and editing my novel. And trust me, it didn’t help anything when I received the following email from WordPress dot com’s techno thugs:


Let me paint you a picture of everything wrong with this situation:

  1. WordPress dot com’s customer service is subpar at best. I haven’t met anyone who’s blogged on the platform who doesn’t have a stack of complaints against them. I’ve personally had questions and problems flat-out ignored, never received a response, nothing, zip, zilch. It’s certainly not worth the $96 a year I’m charged for it, let alone the $116 they’re trying to extort from me.
  2. The features I get for paying $96/year versus the $48/year for the next lowest plan?
    –Site monetization through Wordads, which hasn’t worked correctly since the day I signed up (and was, in fact, 100% of the reason I upgraded to the premium plan). The ads they run plain suck. They look straight out of an online safety video about viruses. There is nothing appealing about them to garner clicks.
    –Advanced social media, which I’ve never used, so far as I can remember.
    –Simple payments??? I don’t even know what that means.
    –VideoPress support, which basically means I can upload videos with the rest of my media. I’ve used this features exactly once and I could just as easily host on YouTube and embed that.
    –Unlimited premium themes, which is nice, but only cosmetic. If I really want a premium theme, I can make a one-time payment to buy it which is definitely cheaper than the cost of the premium plan for one year.
    –Advanced design customization is really only good if you know CSS. Otherwise, the “advanced” features are also pretty basic and limited.
    None of those features beyond site monetization are worth nearly $100 a year, let alone the $116 it would cost with the domain cost added in.
  3. At their current cost of $18 a year, WordPress already charges more for custom .com domains than most (if not all) of their competitors. Arguably their biggest competitor, Google’s Blogger, charges $12 a year for a custom .com domain. When WordPress jacks up the rate to $26, they will be charging more than double for the exact same product as their competitor.
  4. I received this email on Dec. 5, leaving me only two weeks to come up with $96 to renew my plan… four months early. My renewal date isn’t until April and my plan expires in May–I’ve only had this plan for seven months (not even–it will be seven month on Dec. 18). WordPress wants me to decide just barely half-way through my experience if I want to shell out money for renewal. If I don’t decide before having a chance to determine if it was even worth the cost to begin with, I’ll be charged even more for the features I’d originally been told would be included. That seems shady as hell.
  5. The old URL is still active on an empty site directing people here. I haven’t received any offer to renew it early (it will expire on July 1, 2019) to keep it at that current rate. So, only certain payers are being given this option, which is unfair to other people who also pay good money for that (what I would consider) premium feature.

My disappointment in their service has only grown since I started paying for all the fancy stuff. I had assumed that paying for special features would mean a higher quality of service. That’s just basic business; you keep your big spenders happy.

And before anyone says, “Well, you aren’t really a big spender. There’s a tier above premium,” my dear friend Allen was subscribed to their business plan, the highest tier. Yesterday, he cancelled his plan (with a month left–that’s how upset he was) and moved his blog The Midnight Goose over to Blogger (official launch on Monday 12/10), for the same reasons I listed above.

So, I’ve already begun researching alternatives to WordPress dot com. I’m considering using and going self-hosted, but that’s also not an inexpensive route. I’m also looking into a move to Blogger. I used Blogger in the past and wasn’t thrilled with the service, but it does offer more freedom for free accounts in regards to monetization and the like, and a lot of the problems I originally had with it I believe I can work around, now.

Rest assured, I will let everyone know what will be happening with From Adie, with Love and when. I’ve been blogging all over the internet since I was fourteen-years-old. More than half of my life has been spent as a blogger of some kind. I will always be here.

In the meantime, you can connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

I love you all.

Let’s keep in touch! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Are you awesome? Do you like awesome things? Then stop by my Zazzle shop to pick up a t-shirt or mug and let the world know how awesome you are (but not in a braggy way)!

Like my content? Consider buying me a coffee. Less time worrying about paying my bills means more time creating content.

It’s a Trauma Itself, Really

I’ve always been very open about my struggles with mental illness. I talk about my depression and anxiety, and I made no qualms about sharing my PTSD and agoraphobia diagnoses in October. I’m a big advocate of self care and am not ashamed to take time away from things that exacerbate any of those problems. The only way we can end the stigma surrounding mental illness is to talk about it.

However, there has been one thing I’ve struggled with that I’ve yet to share: Hoarding. Read More

A Triumphant Return!

Happy December! Thus ends National Novel Writing Month and my hiatus! After the emotional exhaustion of the story I wrote for this year’s project, I am really looking forward to getting back to blogging!
Read More

On Vacation, with Love

Hey all! I just wanted to schedule this friendly reminder that From Adie, with Love will be on hiatus during the month of November for National Novel Writing Month!

In addition to not updating the blog, I’m also blacking out on social media. This means I won’t be updating or checking the @adiewithlove Twitter or Instagram and I will be avoiding Facebook like the plague. I also apologize in advance for inevitably slipping on reading everyone else’s updates. I’ll try my hardest.

If you’re curious about my NaNoWriMo progress, you’re still in luck! There are some places you can still reach me through NaNoWriMo (and beyond).

  • I’ve officially signed up on the NaNoWriMo website, so you can view my official profile here.
  • Since I know I will forget to log on to the NaNoWriMo site, but check WordPress every hour, I’ve created a WordPress site for my writing and photography that I will post updates on. I will continue updating this after NaNo.
  • I’ve created a secondary Twitter account (@ammickle) for writing updates/promotion, photography promotion, and general off-brand fuckery. I will continue to update this after NaNo.

After NaNoWriMo ends, I’ll post a little more information about these secondary accounts and how they relate (or don’t relate) to From Adie, with Love. It’s safe to say you can expect some changes to how I utilize my social media going into the new year, though.

Alright! I think we’re covered! Wish me luck, dear friends, and I will see you on December 1st (which is a Saturday, but we’ll pretend it’s Friday and totally on my usual schedule).

I love you all!

Let’s keep in touch! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Are you awesome? Do you like awesome things? Then stop by my Zazzle shop to pick up a t-shirt or mug and let the world know how awesome you are (but not in a braggy way)!

Like my content? Consider buying me a coffee. Less time worrying about paying my bills means more time creating content.

Watch-This Wednesday: Creepshows

It’s Halloween! And while this marks the end of Blogtober, it also marks a time to celebrate by getting our terror on! Whoo!

I’m sure some of you have epic plans for the evening; going out, spending time with actual living(-dead) people. But, if you’re like me, you’ll probably spend a good chunk of the night at home.

Here are some creepy suggestions to make the most of this spookiest day of the year. Read More

Tasty Tuesday: Semi-Homemade Chocolate Croissant

I’m a cook and baker by birth. I come from a long line of women who spent hours in their kitchens, slaving over their stoves and ovens to provide their loved ones with delicious, homemade meals. It’s a tradition I am happy to uphold. If I love you, I feed you. Hell, if I even only mildly tolerate you, I feed you. If you’re going through a hard time and I don’t offer to bring you an ooey, gooey lasagna in an aluminum pan, I probably hate your guts.

And I love to eat. Thanksgiving is probably my second favorite holiday, because I love that Thanksgiving spread. Turkey, mashed potatoes, broccoli, rolls, all covered in gravy. Not to mention to cheese and crackers, and deviled eggs, and chips and dip put out to snack on while cooking the main course. And pie for dessert. Honestly, just give me the food and no one gets hurt.

Here’s the thing. I’m also really freaking lazy. Or maybe I’m not lazy and it’s just the depression sapping my will to put any effort into anything. Either or.

So, I cut corners. I don’t do a lot of real from-scratch cooking and baking anymore, because it’s just me and mom in the apartment. Maybe Pup. It’s too small and crowded to invite my friends over. We have no one to impress.

Enter: Semi-homemade goods. Thank Providence for things like Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, because I make all kinds of delicious stuff with those! Like today’s masterpiece. Read More

Music Monday: The Spooky Spirit

T-Minus 3 days until Halloween! This is not a drill, people!

In honor of the impending holiday, I wanted to share some of the music that gets me in the Halloween spirit. Funny enough, this post could alternatively be titled “Music Monday: Classic Rock” because no one evokes an aura of witchery like classic rockers, apparently.

Seriously, every song on this list is older than I am.

Let’s get to it, shall we? Read More

Sunday Spirit: Samhain

We’re coming into the home stretch of Blogtober and I’m pretty proud of how I’ve done, thus far. Scrapping the fashion posts aside, I stuck to my “theme” each day, was only late posting one or two posts, and even managed to get some things queued in advance (instead of rushing around at 3:00am to write something up… or writing it the day of). A pretty big step up from last year. Maybe next year I’ll get everything written and queued in September so I can just take October off!

The end of Blogtober means the end of October which means Halloween! For those of us witchy folks, it also means Samhain, the end of the witch’s year.

Samhain (pronounced: sow-in) historically marked the end of the final harvest of the year. In some Pagan practices (particularly Wicca), it marks the death of the old God and Goddess in her Crone form mourns him for six(ish) weeks, before going into Yule (the Wiccan/Pagan new year).

Samhain is a time to honor the dead. It’s said that the veil between this world and the next is thinner during this time, if that’s your thing.

In honor of the upcoming Sabbat (it creeped up so quickly!), I wanted to share some things you can do to celebrate. Read More

Saturday Share: Back on an Upswing

I told my therapist on Thursday that I’m having an upswing–feeling good, getting things done. She calls that “the And place.” Read More

Friday Free-For-All: Follow Friday

Back when I first started prepping for Blogtober, when Saturdays were supposed to be for fashion posts, I initially intended for the last Friday Free-For-All to be a kind of diary post of what I’d been up to this month. Then I nixed the fashion posts in favor of diary posts and had to come up with something else to do for this last Friday!

I didn’t have time to do another craft post or anything like that. I thought about posting some photography, but I’m actually planning to post my photography on a different site (details to come when I’m back from my NaNoWriMo hiatus).

What to do, what to do?

How about spreading a little love, huh? I have had so much support over the last couple months and I’m so grateful.

Last time I did a blog recs post was back in January. You can check that out here (and be sure to follow all those wonderful folks (the one’s who haven’t deleted or stopped posting, anyway–I’m so sad, some of my favorite people have gone inactive). People with real lives to take care of aside, there are still incredible active bloggers on that list and you should go give them some love!

But, my list of blogger friends has grown this year and I think it’s time to do another recommendation (especially since even last time that was hardly every one I could recommend to you). So, this Friday Free-For-All is a Follow Friday! Whoo! Read More

Thankful Thursday: Mental Health Help

You know what I’m really thankful for, lately? All of the mental health assistance I’ve received over the last month and a half. The last six weeks (and the last two weeks in particular) have honestly been kind of life-changing for me. Read More