Wednesday, December 02, 2009

No rotting pumpkins here!

I just watched my first episode of Hoarders, and my first reaction was, "wow, I guess my house isn't so bad after all."

If you haven't heard of it, the show profiles people in crisis because of a mental illness that causes them to "hoard" stuff - useful stuff, unuseful stuff, broken stuff, dangerous stuff. They send in a professional organizer, a team of cleaners, and someone who specializes in hoarding (a therapist, an organizer with training in this, etc.). The goal is to get them past the crisis moment (usually eviction, house being condemned, etc.) and on the path toward recovery.

It's painful to watch. And, also, strangely compelling. In the same way as the show Intervention, where addicts are asked to come out of denial and take a step into a new life, we're coming in at a turning point for these people, where their problems are no longer private. Can't be private.

These people have such a fragile sense of self that they have to prop it up with external stuff, even when that stuff is dangerous to their health or well-being.

The next time you're having trouble getting motivated to clean the house, watch an episode. You'll either get super-motivated or decide you can wait a whole lot longer before you hit worst-case scenario.


Blogger The back of the hill said...

Savage Kitten likes the show also.
During her first exposure to it, she kept likening me to the characters on the show.
Now she finally realizes that I am rather mild, compared to the seriously problematic people featured.

There are no dead cats under piles of trash. No broken fixtures from the last ice-age. No weird ods and ends.

Just stacks of reading material, and a twenty five year supply of pipe-tobacco.

Whatever is in the refrigerator is safe to consume. The moment either of us doubt this, out it goes. The phrase "but that's still good!" has no currency in our household.

A quarter of a century's worth of pipe-tobacco is normal. Trust me.

1/12/2010 9:30 PM  

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