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secondary benefit :)

(27 posts)
  1. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 16:07:38
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    I was in therapy for a few years, and once my therapist talked about the "secondary benefit" of anxiety, depression, bad things happening to you, etc. Basically it's the psychotherapeutic term for finding the unexpected silver lining in that dark cloud.

    I am sensing a lot of anxiety of the forums today, several people seem really upset. So let's talk about the secondary benefits of bedbugs! I'll go first...

    When I began Project Cleanout, I was forced to confront my oversized wardrobe and admit that I had an embarassingly huge amount of clothing that I didn't wear or even really like. I ended up donating two entire cars full of (boiled and baked) suits, dresses, sweaters etc. to two charities. I can't believe how many tee shirts I owned. A person just does not ned that many clothes.

    Regardless of the BB situation or how it ends, it feels really good to be rid of all that unnecessary stuff and it is nice to know that less fortunate people will benefit from my past excess.

    And we sometimes forget it but yes, there are people less fortunate than we, the Bedbug Warriors.

  2. BBsBlow

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 16:12:34
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    Oh, I totally agree. I am so much less materialistic than I used to be. Before I buy things now, I do think if I really need it. I'm also a lot cleaner than I used to be- not that I was a pig before, but I realize being neat and organized benefits me in the end.

    -Blow

  3. buggedoutinbaltimore

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 16:13:36
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    i like your style, itchy. but i think you're asking for a lot! i kid in solidarity, of course.

    i have discovered that i CAN match all of my socks when washing every stitch of clothing. after years of mismatched ones, i now proudly sport a matching pair every day.

  4. aye

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 16:23:20
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    one benefit is that I get new furniture! when I moved into my place pretty much everything was secondhand and mismatched and old. now I'm getting new stuff, luckily with financial help from my sympathetic mother, who would not otherwise buy stuff for me (hence the original secondhand furniture).

    another benefit is knowledge. I've said it before and it's cheesy but knowledge is power! even though they've taken an exhaustive toll on my life the past few months, I am actually glad that I had this bb experience because now I am in the know, and I'm much better equipped to fight should the little bastards dare to come back.

  5. Lelaine

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 16:40:12
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    I also am glad to have cut down on the clutter. Another benefit is that I now understand how to travel while doing everything possible to minimize exposure to bed bugs. Except now I am afraid to stay at hotels.

    Itchy, thanks for helping us all accentuate the positive.

  6. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 16:47:52
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    How many of you guys have lost weight? I lost three pounds the first weekend I began cleaning. I also did not gain any weight over Thanksgiving. That is definitely a positive.

    I wonder how much we have lost collectively? We could be a team on The Biggest Loser.

  7. BBsBlow

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 16:55:24
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    I better not be on the team- I gained weight! LOL A lot.

  8. Lelaine

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 16:56:38
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    I lost about 6 pounds.

  9. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 17:09:53
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    I lost 5 pounds over the course of 3 weeks. (And I even quit doing my aerobics cause I didn't want them following me into the basement!)

  10. stamps

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 17:24:36
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    I learned about baking shoes!

    I also learned that my mom is the GREATEST (she drove an hour to come help me scour my apartment -- brought her steamer, whole closet of cleaning supplies, heavy-duty vacuum, etc).

    Other benefits?

    Like many of you have said, drastic reduction of clutter and un/under-used knick-nacks.

    I learned a lot about bugs and may even see a business opportunity . . . if I can manage it, I may try to start a thermal treatment company in Denver. Doesn't seem like a whole lot of competition here, and I'm sure I'd make more money doing that than I currently do teaching (sad as that is to say)!

  11. bummedindenver

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 19:15:35
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    I love this thread!!! Thank you guys!!!! Yes, I too am glad to reduce my clutter and to finally have a legitimate reason for getting rid of well-intentioned but inappropriate decorative items. And there was so much stuff in my storage closet that I never use. And yea, the clothes that I would never wear ever again.

    Hate to tell you guys, I'm already thin, so I didn't lose weight and don't need to

    And Stamps, I would SERIOUSLY consider investing in your business venture. Really. Not joking. Seriously. PM me if you wanna talk about it.

    Anyway, thanks for the thread. I appreciate it.

    For me, and some of you will no doubt hate me for saying it, I feel that this experience, if nothing else, helps us understand what life is like for the rest of humanity. (You can start hitting me now).... I mean, I think it is fair to say that MOST humans on this planet have to deal with something like what we all are dealing with. Only, we, as Americans, in our coveted position as the most privileged people on the planet, at least the last couple generations of us, haven't had to deal with stuff like this. As a result, we feel entitled to a life free from such things. But MOST of the billions of people on the planet don't feel that way because they can't. Havinig to deal with pests and bites is a part of life. It just is part of the human experience.

    Hey, I'm the first to acknowledge how much this experience sucks, (IT SUCKS!!) but in a sort of global, humanistic way, this experience does bring us closer to our human brothers and sisters living in not quite such privileged conditions. And that can only make us better, more compassionate people, I think, if we let it. Now that we know how bad it is, perhaps we won't be so complacent when we hear how bad life is for people with the misfortune to be born in sub-Saharan Africa instead of suburban U.S.A. After all, they are people, just like us. We were just luckier to be born in (or move to) a richer country.

    Let the whipping begin....

  12. goingaway

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 20:36:08
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    Good thread idea

    I am often frustrated, but it is good to count the positives. For me I think the biggest positive is that I was already trying to live a more spartan life when it comes to posessions, plus I was planning to divest myself of a lot of my stuff because I plan to travel and I don't want to have a ton of stuff to store. I was all for getting rid of stuff but kept thinking up exceptions... now my list of exceptions is miniscule!

    Compared to the risks of having to do this all over again, or worse, visiting this plague upon loved ones, none of my furniture or appliances are worth keeping save one smallish heirloom.

    I also feel that I will know better how to protect myself when I do travel. I plan to utilize plastic bags, laundry, and sterifab type products (or rubbing alcohol in a pinch) to keep from picking them up or transporting them anywhere else. So I agree that knowledge is power.

    The stress and overwhelmed-ness has also really forced me to examine my priorities and speed up my time tables for embarking on the path to fulfilling my dreams.

    If I can manage to keep the bites down for the next month or two and leave without taking them with me, I'll be pretty happy.

    PS- Oh one more! Since the couch is the worst, I've been a lot more motivated to get stuff done rather than being lazy at the end of the day.

  13. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Nov 29 2007 9:44:07
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    I get up earlier for work! Because I have to spend 20 minutes going through ziploc bags to cobble together an outfit.

  14. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Nov 29 2007 10:47:06
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    Last year in the middle of fighting off the first waves of the assault I went from 154 pounds to 141 in 6 weeks. I got nervous and saw my doctor and had a series of test to find out that it appears the weight loss was due to stress and working hard etc...
    The good thing that in the process I lowered my cholesterol 50 points. A recent doctor visit found me healthy and my blood is super with cholesterol down another 20 points now I a below 200.
    Go figure.

  15. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Nov 29 2007 10:54:54
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    When they sucked your blood they sucked out plenty of cholesterol, too!

  16. angie

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Nov 29 2007 11:53:05
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    I also find that while I haven't really lost much, I haven't gained any. The constant cleaning and laundry and all the searching that I do keeps me busy. The only time I really sit is when I am on the bedbuggers. I run an at home daycare so I take extra precautions so my kids don't take them home with them. So it has been positive in that aspect. Other than that I have also gone through all the clutter and have trashed stuff that we have accumulated over the years. It is nice to be able to find stuff without having to dig for it. And 80 percent of the kids toys are out in our garage and slowly I go and throw more away. They will never know! As far as this being a great experience, the jury is still out on that. Maybe when I get to buy my family new beds and be able to sleep peacefully, then I will be more positive. The floor sucks!! We needed new furniture anyway but at least at the time we had beds to sleep in and couches to sit on. I am very thankful for this site cuz I get alot of support and great advice here. I have even passed some of it on to my PCO. I sent her a link to this site cuz she is lost at how to fight this new epidemic. Hopefully she'll learn something like I have.

  17. bugobsessed

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Nov 29 2007 12:29:42
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    As much as this is an awful experience, a lot of great things have happened to me too. Decluttering, trashing unwanted furniture, and weight loss (the last 5lbs I wanted to get rid of!) are the ones that others mentioned. But a few more things have happened to me as a result of this.

    I've gotten to know and bond with a couple of my neighbors. I've seen just how much of a team my husband and I can be-- he's worked just as hard as I have at battling the bugs. I never run out of clean laundry and always have fresh linens. I never get dust bunnies from cat hair because I vacuum and sweep so much; thus, my allergies have improved. I sleep through the night because the cats don't wake me at 4am now that they are banished from the bedroom. And best of all, my husband and I are planning to buy our own home by the end of the 2008-- by then either the bugs will be gone, or we'll vikane our stuff and make sure they're gone. Either way, in our own place, we'll be in control of our own destiny!

    Hooray for secondary benefits!

  18. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Nov 30 2007 15:50:28
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    Hey gang. Saturday, December 1 (tomorrow) is World AIDS Day. While we are all cleaning, bagging, obsessing, laundering, itching and vacuuming, let's think about the 33 million people worldwide who are living with HIV. That will put our bugs in perspective.

    BTW, if every single person in Marland, DV, Virginia, Delaware and New York were HIV positive, that would be 33 million people.

  19. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 12:49:55
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    Uh oh, people seem stressed again.

    Positive thought of the day: I have already raised awareness in my circle. Based on my advice, several of my friends have changed the way they travel. It feels good to know that, through my research, I may have spared them some drama and heartache.

  20. aye

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 13:29:20
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    the stress comes in waves I think. at least for me, it's a vicious circle of anger, stress, fear, defeat ... and then it cycles back to anger.

    my positive thought of the day: it's the six week anniversary of my first treatment, and I've had no bites since! but I am still so f-ing paranoid ... oops, positive thoughts ...

  21. nomorebugs

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 17:48:31
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    Six weeks without bites is great. That's a long time, they would have bitten you now, perhaps relax a bit.

  22. newlybuggy

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 21:15:43
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    I too am on the bedbug diet and have experienced the bedbug Total Body Workout when given two days notice to have my apartment ready for the PCO. There are twenty stairs up to my place...I raised my butt two inches.

  23. Bites44

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 22:34:24
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    I get up sharp at the tone of 6 am every morning now.
    I watch less TV as well, not sure what my recliner has within it.
    I lost about 5 pounds too from climbing stairs to do the laundry.

    Have learned how to put my hearing aid into a clean zip lock bag every night (seriously)

    I used to have lots of small worries, now I only have one (tee hee.)

  24. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 22:35:03
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    I've been reminded that life is indeed one day at a time, comfort is not guaranteed and that's OK. Though I've lived homeless before and am accustomed to unsettled living conditions, the BBs remind me that even with the highest expectations, life is modestly uncertain. And that humour can be found in everything. (See my Flickr posts.)

    I have whittled my possessions down to about a half dozen boxes and no permanent furniture over the past 10 years. Those boxes are now plastic and the contents are bagged. The furniture is always purchased new (and cheap at BigBox) for temporary use until I move towns again. The boxes go with me. I will return to frequent and fastidious cleaning and laundry of all areas, where I lapsed somewhat in my bachelor laziness. I do not clutter, but I will be even more sparse in my affairs. I will be ever watchful for the Bug.

  25. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 10:58:05
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    Wow, it must be liberating to live like that. You could pick up and move anywhere in the world on a moment's notice! I could never do that.

  26. aye

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 11:03:11
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    nomorebugs: yes, it is quite a milestone. I am finally starting to let the guard down a bit in my apt, I don't scan the carpets and the walls and the ceilings so often any more. but as I am still living without a bed or a couch, I am still very uncomfortable at home. I have been trying to save up my paychecks and I think I will be able to finally re-furnish in the next couple of weeks. so hopefully that will help me get back to normal.

  27. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 20:36:49
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    Liberating mostly, but sometimes I wistfully ponder a cabin in the woods. And it's not entirely my choice. Due to health issues I tend not to have the income I once had, so I don't settle anywhere due to the cost of loans and property. If I have to rent, I shall be footloose and fancy free. Especially now that I am dancing around my suite on the lookout.


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