Hoarding is still on my mind

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I wanted to deny I have a problem with hoarding.

Recently, in utter frustration with being surrounded by stuff and not having an uncluttered area in which we can entertain or prepare food without moving things around, my sweetie threatened to move into an apartment.

It wasn't a question of love, but total frustration with my accumulation of piles of stuff encroaching on living space.

I love my sweetie. I didn't make the connection that my actions were saying that my stuff was more important than my relationship. What a realization!

My denial is a big obstacle.

I don't know if any of you feel anxiety or panic at the prospect of not accumulating stuff you might need someday and dehoarding or learning how to make better choices of what to keep or let go of.

I am hanging in there and have put a stop to accumulating more by not buying anything which isn't on my list.

Went through a whirlwind weekend, but am back on track. If I don't do an average of an hour a day, I don't see progress and tend to lose momentum.
My counselor explained how important it is to dehoard (one item at a time) for one hour daily regardless of how I feel.
Facing hoarding on a daily basis is supposed to lower my level of anxiety about accumulating and about letting go of things.
I asked my counselor if hoarding ever completely goes away. He said no. Under stress, my need to feel safe using things may trigger the desire to insulate myself with stuff. Darn - I wanted guarentees.

BUT he reassured me that hoarding IS manageable.

Okay - so no magic fixes. Just apply myself daily. For today, I can do that. Today I WILL do that!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My hubby and I both have a lot of clutter. i started thinking that a task for next few month is to go through each room and find a way to start using things (we have a fondue pot from when we got married 7 years ago that we never used) or give away what is in good shape or toss it!

    i suppose we aren't accumulating too much, but it gets easy to lose track.
    3584 days ago
    Hello -

    I just found this blog, searching for some insight/solutions to my hoarding problem - I am totally frustrated, to the point of paralysis, with being surrounded by clutter...

    I like the counselor's advice to devote an hour a day to confronting and eliminating clutter - I tend to go at it sporadically in fits and starts, and then burn out.

    It is motivating and hopeful to think that steady progress will lower my anxiety levels. I really do feel more comfortable when I have a place for everything, and everything in its place - I have experienced that in the past, but disruptive events led to utter chaos!

    Thanks to everyone who posted comments to this blog!

    OK, up and at it! Deal with it, before I absolutely HAVE to!

    Cheers to all emoticon
    3597 days ago
    I am having some successes and some failures at decluttering. Getting my paperwork done was a big success. But, I threw out some things that I regretted the next week or two. So this is quite a learning process.Good luck to all of us. emoticon
    3655 days ago
    Good luck stopping your hoarding. I didn't even know it was a problem but I do now. When you cannot find a surface to dust, you've gone overboard. To tone down my accumulating, I stopped going to yard sales and I decided to collect smaller things Still need to get rid of stuff but it is not easy. Church sales are great for sharing good stuff you really do not need. I find I move my stuff around more than I dispose of it. Watch out for that and really let it go, it feels better. I don't miss my stuff as much as I do accumulating it. It's a very hard battle but once you assign real value to the things you really want, it is easier to let go of the junk. Keep at it and I bet you will be proud of yourself and your reclaimed space.
    Never give up,
    3667 days ago
    I took a big step to stop buying things. My car needs some repairs, but instead of repairing it, we are getting rid of it. Without the extra car I won't be out shopping, I'll still be able to go and buy what we need but won't be hopping into the car to get one or two items and coming home with lots of extras. I wish there was a guarentee also but I think it may be in the genes because my parents have 2 storage units full of things. Hopefully you will get things under control. Remember one small step at a time and take it one day at a time. We cannot change ourselves overnight (although this would be nice).
    3667 days ago
    At least you are doing something about this. I think we all have problems and obsess over something, food, drugs, alcohol etc...Whatever it is we must have or feel a need to fill this big empty hole in our soul. We must first recognize that we do have this problem and second realize that without our higher power we are powerless to do anything about it. If we could it would already be done, right? Thank you Lord for your power to help us right where we are at, with exactly what it is we need to accomplish what it is we need today. Live one moment at a time. Call upon your HP whenever you feel overwhelmed. You can do this. emoticon
    3667 days ago
  • RENA1965
    My husbands hoarding of all stuff that was air marked for museums almost cost us lossing our children.. He hung on to things for a rainy day etc.. Loss the clutter and keep your partner. Or wake up one day with a aha moment it is too late..
    I loved my husband but it was impossible to clean or even set the table for dinner.. Have one room as your hobby room and remove the clutter from the rest of the house.
    I have ADHD but my husband gave me OCD for cleaning from steer frustration. He never did get alot of stuff to the museum and when I asked if they would have it-no thanks we have a example. It all had to be tossed in a huge rubbish container as I lost our family home when he passed away. I couldn't and wouldn't take it with me to a appartment of 42m2..
    I have cleaned out efter my dad, my mother in law (huge job she really hoarded everything from plastic bags, rubberbands and empty plastic containers) and now my husband.. I am totally exhausted from people hoarding. I could understand if you have lived in the 1st and 2nd worldwar and lived on nothing but please be kind on your loved ones. Think over telling to a therapist about your need to hoard. If my husband was alive he would have been ordered to therapist because his need was unreasonable and not fair on me or our kids. Touch a pile of papers made him frustrated, but sometimes because of my youngest son degree of astma I had to move stuff and dust... Make the spare room your hoarding room and stuff not get past the door way..
    3667 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/6/2009 1:17:10 PM
  • LHLADY517
    One item at a time, one step at a time, one ___________ at a time. That's really all we can handle isn't it.

    God bless you on your journey.
    3667 days ago
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