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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


My entire life I've dealt with varying degrees of depression.

In high school, I survived a suicide attempt. 

After Bugster was born, I dealt with postpartum depression. I began feeling suicidal and started having horrible thoughts about hurting our baby. It scared me to death. I got help and worked through things until I was out of trouble, but it's something of which I've always been acutely aware, because I never, ever want to get to that point again.

A few years ago, I found out that I had a severe Vitamin D deficiency. Since I started supplementing with Vitamin D, I've found I don't go as deeply into the depths as I have in the past, and I'm so very grateful for that. The antidepressant I've been on for several years has helped as well, but the Vitamin D definitely had more of a positive affect on me than it did.

I know that depression will always be a part of who I am, and I know that there are certain situations, and unfortunately, certain people I must avoid to keep my head above water. I struggle with having to limit my friendships with certain people, because I do know that everyone needs a friend, but I also know that I can't always be it. It quite literally is for my own self-preservation.

When I was dealing with the postpartum, I had a friend who lived across the street from us. She and her husband were having marital problems, and she constantly harped about how horrible he was. I don't recall her saying more than a handful of positive things about him or their relationship. Granted, neither my husband nor I had a really high opinion of him, but that wasn't the issue. The issue was that the more I was around her the more I found myself finding things wrong with my own husband. Things that I used to just take for normal quirks and differences soon became arguing point.

I was shocked when I realized how contagious negativity was for me and how I had allowed myself to be drawn in. I slowly started to distance myself from her, because I didn't want our friendship to interfere in my marriage. Thankfully, we moved away less than a year later, but before we had a chance to get out of there, my 'friend'  cheated on her husband and ran off with another guy.

I felt like I had betrayed my husband's trust by talking with her, by venting to her about every little thing about my husband that annoyed me, and it devastated me knowing I played an active part in it. I know the postpartum played a role in all of it, but it was still no excuse. I allowed myself to be drawn into her train wreck, and our marriage could have easily become a casualty. 

Don't get me wrong. I know that not all marriages are good marriages. And sometimes, people need to vent. To confide that things aren't going so well, because they're scared, and they need advice, and they want reassurance. I get that. But there's a huge difference between an occasional venting and someone being negative about their spouse with almost every word they speak. 

I knew then that the only way our marriage would work would be for me to stay away from people who were willing to regularly trash their spouses. It makes my heart heavy, and I want to help, but I can't. My husband and our marriage means the world to me, and I just can't go there. And to be blunt, Hubster is much more important to me than their problems and even than the friendship in which I may have an investment. 

I made that mistake once, and I'm never going to allow it to happen again. My husband and our marriage is always going to come first. Because we really are that good together, and because he means the world to me.

Because we are worth it.

It's all a matter of self-preservation.


  1. Wow. You are one tough lady in the best sense of the word! I'm someone who has a hard time saying 'no' to people and not helping etc. etc., so I can imagine how hard it must be to have to keep away from people who need help because they drag YOU down. I really admire the way you've stood up for your marriage like this. It's a hard choice, but I think we all have to do that from time to time. I know I've had to let go, or distance myself from certain friends because their self-destructive behaviour was hurting ME so much. It was the hardest lesson I've ever had to learn, but you can't help someone who doesn't want help.

    HUGE kudos to you! :-)

  2. I was just thinking about how negativity is SO viral, and how it roots itself into people. Good for you for realizing what you need to do and taking the steps necessary to ensure that negativity doesn't adversely affect you and your marriage.

  3. You are very together to realise how this negativity was affecting you and your own relationship.

    I rib my husband and I have my complaints, but generally I am happy and I think he is too.

    However, we did go through a bad patch and coincidentally it was when I was suffering from sleep deprivation from my youngest son's newborn stage. I remember my SIL visiting and she too was having problems with my BIL. It was a venting session x 2 and I can see now that the negativity feeds on itself.

    Sadly, my SIL has divorced my BIL. For us, I got some sleep and things are much better now, and I don't think I would vent like that again. At least I hope I would never the need to (not to that extent anyway).

  4. a tough thing to recognise , I am so glad you did. well said start to finish

  5. I have always been so bothered by hearing other women talk about their husbands in derogatory terms.

    Um, this is the guy you chose. Most of the time, these women not only chose to marry him, but to have him be the father of her children.

    So it's her job to build him up. To make him happy to be hers.

    Old fashioned? Dunno. But at nearly 31 years married, it's working just fine for us.

  6. Hi,I'm a little older than you but you sound like me-are you sure your not me? jk---my name is Judy and I know I'm a closet hoarder- I just told my neighbor yesterday that I have to find some boxes before the director of the hoarders shows appears at my door. SINCE I'M A LITTLE OLDER I HAVE TO MAKE A NOTE TO SELF WHERE I FOUND YOU AND TO COME BACK AND VISIT [ I FORGOT TO TELL YOU I ALWAYS FORGET TO TAKE MY LOCK OFF THE CAPS BUTTON---LOL

  7. Crystal-thanks. :) You're right. It's impossible to help someone who doesn't want help.

    Tiffany-Have you ever noticed it almost becomes a contest between people to see who can be the most negative? :(

    Sleep deprivation will do that, won't it, Shelly? Sleep is a good thing! :)

  8. Thank you, Fern. :)

    Ami-It bothers me, too. There is such a big difference in an occasional venting to a dear friend, because you're needing advice or strength, but to have it be the topic of nearly every conversation is heartbreaking. I think I must be a little old fashioned, too. :) Congratulations on your 31 years! You're definitely doing something right! :)

    Judy...I have to tell you, it seems weird to see my name up there posting like that! Hope you find your way back for a visit, and I hope you found the boxes you needed! :)


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