Laundry Day Progress

My wife is back in town, and we celebrated by … catching up on laundry.

It’s been hanging over our heads for some time now, but between travel out of state and sore backs and general malaise, we’ve let it pile up. (Again.) Apparently events while visiting her dad made laundry a necessity pretty much immediately. On a related note, my wife changed her first diapers in over 20 years while on this trip.

Because the trip was so rough on her, I wanted to alleviate as much of the stress of doing laundry as I could, so we deviated from our usual system this time. Normally, when there’s this much laundry (don’t laugh, you put laundry off too) I take one basket down to the car and she takes the other, then she drives to the laundry facility on site to start the wash, drives back to the apartment, drives to go trade the washers for the dryers, drives back to the apartment, then drives to go pick up the clean and dry laundry so we can both take it upstairs and both work to put it away, me working on folding clothes and her working with the hangers in the closet. This time I went with her to the facility and helped load the washers, went with her to help move the clothes from the washers to the dryers, then went along to empty the dryers and take the clothes back for us both to put them away.

This is an important step for me in that I’ve somehow worked myself into a panic about laundry. I’m willing to help by carrying a basket down to the car and bringing one back up and putting away the clean clothes, but I’d gotten it worked up into this horrific thing in my head about actually going to the laundry facility. While I was there loading the washers, I had to fight down a panic attack, and the whole experience was just overwhelming to me throughout. I made it through, however, and I didn’t die, nor did anything bad happen the whole time.

It seems silly to make such a big deal out of something as simple as laundry, but then again, I’ve managed to put a lot of everyday activities into that category of “too scared to do.” I still don’t drive unless I have to, and even then it’s almost always back home from dropping my wife off at work, then to my therapist’s office and back home, then from home back to my wife’s office to pick her up. Almost all of that driving is on surface roads, except for a stretch of feeder road from one exit to the next between home and my therapist’s office. Getting back and forth to the airport for my wife’s trip was an exceptionally difficult thing for me to do and I was fighting down panic the whole time.

So today, a little progress, and a little celebration. It was a nerve-wracking day, but I survived.


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