Tuesday, August 25, 2009

i see the edge, i look, i fall

Like some glutton for punishment, I've been watching the TV shows Obsessed and Hoarders on A&E. Good grief. I really want to know and understand how & why I became a hoarder. I thought the shows would be interesting, obviously fascinating and, hopefully, insightful or at the least inspiring.

Yeah, right.

I watched the season one finale of Obsessed about Richie, an excessive compulsive hoarder. For that hour, I was anxious and upset and crying. Richie was speaking his truth; in it, I heard my own: how difficult it is to throw out a piece of paper, how emotionally attached he is to most everything in his home (paper, books, magazines, stuff). It was heart-and gut-wrenching to watch.

Then, Hoarders started. Good grief. The first show focused on a couple who were on the verge of having their children taken away because of the clutter/hoarding in the home; the other segment was a woman who is a food hoarder threatened with eviction. Let's just say it was horrific, at best. Thank God I'm not a food hoarder! But her 'logic' or reasoning for the clutter aligns with mine - throwing out stuff is throwing away money. Boy is that a thought I struggle with...it's my Mom's voice ringing in my head: don't waste this or that, money doesn't grow on trees, etc. The one good thing about these shows is that I've opened up to people, shared my 'dirty little secret' (no pun intended). The more I share, the more I expect people to judge me. However, the more I share, the more accountable I feel; the more compelled I feel to do something.

Several weeks ago, I opened up about my hoarding/clutter to my friend B. She shared her experience with hoarding - her aunt is a compulsive hoarder who slept in a chair because it was the only place with no clutter. B offered to help clean up/clear out. I (as usual) thanked her profusely and politely declined.

Last night, I started to watch the new episode of Hoarders...that anxious feeling returned; and so did the tears. I asked B for help. Her first piece of advice? Stop watching those damned television shows! "You're emotionally cutting. The shows aren't helping you." I deleted them from my DVR.

B is coming over on Saturday. I/We are starting the process. :::exhale:::

My goal? To have people in my home by the end of the year. For the first time.


the slackmistress said...

One of the things I really love about blogging (love may be the wrong word - appreciate is a better word) is that it humanizes us.

I think it's incredibly brave to open up. My guess is that there are a LOT more people with the same issues out there, but are afraid to speak up.

If anyone can beat this, it's you.


Lori said...

Good for you! Try not to look at it as falling, but as having the courage to take the leap into something that was previously too scary. I'm proud of you, both for dealing with it and for talking about it here.

Reese said...

Thank you both! Very, very much. I'm tackling step one tomorrow...