I have fibromyalgia and depression, neither of which lend themselves to keeping my apartment clean or standing up for long enough to do the dishes. I have a tiny kitchenette with no automatic dishwasher. So the dishes tended to pile up.
I looked up portable and countertop dishwashers -- too expensive. I only bought two of each utensil and only one fork, hoping that having fewer utensils would force me to wash them immediately. It turns out depression doesn't work like that. So I got a foam mat to stand on. While that helped a little, it was not nearly enough, and my arms and hands would still hurt from washing dishes.
I was spending too much of my limited energy reserves on feeding myself. Dirty dishes meant it was hard to prep food. Washing those dishes was exhausting, so by the time I was done, I couldn't prep food. I could never seem to clear the sink, and the untidy environment took a mental toll because it reminded me of my failure and frustration.
I spent a little while debating disposable dinnerware as an option, because plastic isn't good for the environment. However, it changed my life so fundamentally that I am fine with shouldering a little more guilt if it means lifting this massive mental and physical weight. I can wash the plastic silverware if I want (paper plates not so much), and I still have my regular dinnerware. But if I'm in the middle of a bad day, I don't have to. Just knowing that I don't have to is such a relief -- even on the days I do reuse the plastic forks.
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