I try not to be on the computer too much, because I find that I get stuck on here and can't seem to get off. So I try to only get on once a day. If my back is killing me, and I need to sit with my heating pad, I am more likely to turn it on and try to relax. Long story short, I check my news on my phone, so I'm less apt to get stuck in the sticky World Wide Web.
I was so saddened when I saw this article show up on the local news on my phone this afternoon. Apparently, an elderly couple in Chicago were found buried under mounds of debris that they'd hoarded over the years. They hadn't been seen in roughly 3 weeks when a neighbor called in a welfare check on them. They were found alive, although one of them was only semi-coherent, and they've been hospitalized in critical condition. There were several citations written against the house, so that emergency cleanup could begin. I just pray that all works out with them. I just can't even imagine.
Or maybe I can to a degree. Maybe that's what scared me so much when I watched my first episode of Hoarders. That 'thing' which made me go back and watch every episode I could get a hold of as quickly as I could. That 'thing' that made me identify with the people on the show and see myself in their situations.
It doesn't take much for grief, an injury, or an illness to sideline a person, so they can't keep up with everyday life. We've sort of struggled with that our entire married lives together. Twenty four years and counting. Our lives have been filled with more stress than the average. And while it was coming hard and fast at us all the time as our children were younger, it was easier to handle. It was once things settled down, and we found ourselves in a life of relative ease with the girls that the struggles seemed to slow us down more.
So 3 years ago when our lives were flipped upside-down by Scooter's back surgery, my dad's death, my back injury, my young nephew's unexpected and tragic death amongst countless other things, life slowed to a crawl. Grief and stress were so encompassing that things piled up incredibly quickly. Before I knew it, we were dug so deep in a hole that I wasn't sure we would ever be able to get out.
However, I will never allow things to get that bad. I can't. My family depends on me. So as hard as it is to take the before pictures, the after pictures will be easier. And as much as my body aches to get through some days, I'm getting through them. And as hard as it is to breathe some days, we're already breathing easier with what we've gotten done since we started this journey back in January. It's much easier to breathe and to live and not just survive when you don't have so incredibly much weighing on your shoulders.
I want to breathe.
I want to breathe life in deeply.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.