Name this Phobia…
I am obsessed about death. Well, not about death, itself. More about what happens afterwards. No, this is not going to be a religious rant.
I am worried about dying and people subsequently discovering what a horrible slob I am.
I have an anxiety that I will die one day, and people will go through my house and declare, and rightly so, that I was a very mess person. Why I would care after I’m dead, I don’t know, but it’s a fear. Apparently not a well-documented fear, as I discovered when I Googled it in a failed attempt to find an actual name for this fear. (Ataxophobia, the fear of clutter doesn’t quite describe it. People who suffer from that condition apparently actually clean on a regular basis.)
For those of you who know me, let me assure you that I don’t plan on this happening any time soon (the dying part).
Anyone who has seen the very untidy state of my house would probably doubt that I have ever given cleanliness a second thought. However, I think about it quite a bit. I just don’t actually act upon it as often as I should.
I think it started with C.S.I. When they showed graphic pictures of people who had been horribly murdered on the street, I didn’t blink an eye. But when they showed dead bodies in houses full of clutter, that kind of made me think about the uninvited people who get to wander around your house after you die – particularly if it is a not-so-normal expiration.
The onslaught of reality shows like Hoarders did not help to alleviate my phobia. Most people that watch that show are thankful that their homes are not that bad. Conversely, I watch that show and begin to hyperventilate. Sure, you can walk through my house now without towers of old computers falling on top of you, but I bet the people on T.V. had a time before the piles overtook them, too. Could that junk drawer in the kitchen where I keep old birthday candles signal the beginning of my descent into Hoardership?
Some weekends I will frantically empty out entire closets and fill up bags of things for Goodwill, energized by the fear of dying with mismatched Tupperware strewn around my pantry. I clean out drawers, organize shelves, and dump out boxes. Only to find that they magically disorganize and clutterize themselves again within a matter of weeks.
The good news is that I will never commit suicide because I’ll never think my house is clean enough.
There has seriously got to be a name for this. I can’t be the only person that suffers from this syndrome/phobia/virus thing. I am trying to sensibly confront my fear, but it would help if it had some kind of clever moniker like Triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number 13 – God I love that word!). Your job is to identify this disease and, more importantly, let me know if you, too, suffer from it!