Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Self realization can be a (bad name for a lady dog).

I'm hosting book club tonight.

I would be excited, but I'm too busy drooling on my keyboard. I've been averaging 4 hours of sleep per night, and I can barely see straight.

Why, you ask?

Because I'm an idiot.

And because I work 40 hours every week.

But mostly because I started watching the show Hoarders. And I recognized myself.

"Kurt, I have bad news."

He glanced up from his textbook, and his gaze was arrested by my horrified expression. "Babe, what's wrong? Are you ok?"

I shook my head.

"What is it??"

I swallowed. "I'm a hoarder."

I don't have 41 dead cats living in my garage, and I don't think throwing away my dog's fur will speed up her death (mostly because, you know, I don't have a dog).

But I am a hoarder.

I'm not hoarding things right now (except craft supplies). But I am a hoarder the same way a man who hasn't had a drink in 5 years is still an alcoholic.

I look at their homes, and I see how it started. Maybe they never really unpacked, and the mess just grew. Maybe they started shopping, and simply had no place to put everything. But they kept on shopping. Because they know what it's like to be poor, and they know, they know that if they don't buy it now, they might not have the money to buy it later. And what if they need it one day?

Most of them have been extremely poor. I have been extremely poor.

It was like looking into my own head. It was like looking into my possible future. And it scared the shit out of me.

You might think I'm being dramatic, and you're probably right. I am sleep deprived, after all.

But that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

According to the show, hoarding is a mental disorder that effects approximately 3 million people. 3 million!

I have no plans to hoard rotting food, or keep my used toilet paper (and I'm only on episode 4!!). But I could. If I'm not careful, I could.

Not now, of course. Now I'm young, and (relatively) sane. I can throw stuff out with ease. I don't get attached to worthless things.

So maybe I'm a "Pre-Hoarder"?

Hang on, let me look it up...Ok. According to Wikipedia, I'm hovering somewhere between a a level 1 and a level 2 hoarder. For now.

My problem is a motivational one. I let things build up again and again until the task of cleaning and organizing is so huge, and it would take so long, and I'd rather just ignore it and do something, anything else.

I might never become a level 5 hoarder. But the pattern is set, and the tendency is there. If I'm not careful, I might end up with a VW bus full of junk in my backyard. Which I'll live in, because I won't be able to fit into my house once the tunnels I've dug under my piles of junk have collapsed.

(This happens sometimes)

We all have our challenges, right? Mine just happen to be slapping me in the face right now.

And so for the past few days, I've been cleaning. And organizing. And decorating. And buying organizational stuff (and possibly more decorations).

Since I'm at work all day, my crazy organization parties can't start until I get home. Then they go all night. If only I could take a mental health day, and just focus on this. That would be so appropriate, don't you think?

Again, let me explain one thing. This fear and determination is not because I am hoarding right now. It's because I know that if I'm not careful, I will be hoarding one day.

And I just can't let that happen.

So once The Great Clean of 2010 is over, I have a plan.

"Stay on top of this."

Ok, so it's not much of a plan.

But it's a start.



Anonymous said...

"Stay on top of it" sounds way better than my plan.

Wanna car pool to the Hoardaholics meetings?

Leslie said...

I told my husband the same thing! I told him a am a craft hoarder! I have one room full of crafts stuff or things that I think I will use for my crafts and you can't even get into the room! I have tried several times to clean it out, but every time I just get way overwhelmed and end up shutting the door! I know I have a problem, but I love my crafting stuff! Yay for you for getting yours under control!

elizabeth @ twelvecrafts said...

When you're done organizing over there, can you come over here and do it too? Please . . . please . . . please!

Shauna said...

I just got done watching that season! I said the EXACT same thing! Ive had all of my stuff taken from me. Now I have a difficult time getting rid of things to a point. But I recognize it now and thats what matters. I can avoid it now! You can too!

beka said...

Seems I'm a tad bit out of the party here.
My mom is a hoarder.
I prefer the short, concise term: pack rat.
Aaaaaanyhow, :D I like things spartan, mostly.

All I have to say is, I still like you. Don't worry. :)

Macey said...

I know exactly what you are saying, sista!
There are times where I leave something out, and then I just put something on top of it and pretty soon I'm like, "I don't wanna put that crap away."
And it get's worse. My husband is a compulsive neat freak. He puts stuff away behind me. "thankyaverymuch I was using that cup."
Anyway. I get where you're coming from you crazy chick.

viewfromdownhere said...

You can do it! Dare I say, this would make a good Motivation Monday post? Motivating yourself to unhoard?

Sara Strand said...

Aw... sad. If I were there I would clean your place up and force you to be organized. It's my thing. And I wanted to be a professional organizer until I realized I would mostly be working with hoarders. And they make me gag. But I love the show and yell at them on TV often.

Wait until you get to the episode where they lady lost her dentures in the mess... then put them into her mouth. I threw up. True story.

FreeFlying said...

Is there a disease that is the opposite of that? Because I for sure have it. Like, if I see a box or bag that I haven't opened in 6 months, I deposit it directly into the trash. Without looking to see what's in it. Because I know that if I went 6 months without using it, I can go the rest of my life.

I also refused to accept any wedding presents because I was so concerned that I'd end up with picture frames and candles and stuff that would take up space in my house. My mom was horrified. Apparently all of her friends "owed her gifts" from all the weddings she'd been forced to give at. She's pretty sentimental too. ;)

Unknown said...

Arg, this was like reading the inside of my head. (if that's even possible...) because I too am the EXACT same! Except, I really think I'm probably more like a level 2-3 hoarder. I totally get it.

I think it's hereditary. You should see my dad's garage. :)

Vanessa said...

Hilarious post, I am RIGHT THERE with you. Except I'm at the office for 50 hours a week (here...now...) and then I go home and work some more. The housekeeping gets neglected. The stuff piles up. Not to Hoarder level but any amount of clutter isn't good.

I am donating boxes upon boxes, simply giving away art I haven't sold from shows because I don't want to see it anymore...change must come!

I've also been on a Hoarders marathon to keep motivated. It must be done, I can see a tiny bit of myself in these people!

the thrifty ba said...

everytime i watch that show i start having trouble breathing.
and yet, i have 2 on my dvr ready to watch.

Anonymous said...

Scary show, Hoarders. I live in a small apartment, and I seem to quickly accrue lots of stuff in record time. I'm constantly rearranging my closets and cabinets and throwing stuff out....and why...to make room for more stuff...that I will have to throw out later on....to make room for still more stuff.
Maybe we can't help this hoardy thing. Now I am scared.

Chantel said...

I think that since you aren't getting paid right now anyway, you might as well take a mental health day!

I'll try and help you not get to level 5, unless it's secretly a dream?

I have some hoarding tendencies too...

Alexandra said...

See how perfectly your life is working out?

With not working for awhile, you have the time to clean up.

This is awesome.

Thank you, God.

Amanda said...

The show scares the living CRAP out of me! I mean there's so much potential for me to become a hoarder. My desk has a huge pile of stuff that probably needs to be thrown away, but the thought of going through it gives me anxiety. I know that I have potential to be a hoarder and I too {since I'm obsessed with the show} have been on a MAJOR organization kick. And I chant a little I will not be a hoarder chant as I throw things that tug at my heart away.... especially the used toilet paper. KIDDING! LOL

P.S. You're LDS! So am I :)

Adam and Jess said...

Oh man Helena, you've got to be one of the funniest people I know.
I'm sorry you're out of a job, that totally sucks! But look at the bright side, now you can hang out more, clean up more, and have more time to exercise like you've been wanting. I really hope it warms up a little soon so I can get out and exercise outside. If I go, you should come with me!
I loved your post about Kurt's affair and I've been concerned for Adam at times too;)
I wouldn't want to change grown ups diapers either, no fun. Adam makes me laugh when he says, "but I don't want to". wtf? Who WANTS to change diapers?

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