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.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My skewed perception of things.

During a conversation the other day, a friend asked me how much I'd gotten done in my dehoarding process. When I started listing everything, she gently interrupted me to clarify. What did I have left to do to finish dehaording the house?

Upstairs, (which is really just the main level and not actually up), I still have the porch and garage, as well as the study. I guess I should add the storage shed in there, too, but I did dehoard it fairly well last Spring. I just want to go through it again and purge it of the things I know we will no longer use. Downstairs, the boxes of books need to be unpacked and put away in the workout/book room, and the big room that will be part craft area/part family room still needs done. 

She asked me what it felt like to have so little left to do overall. I was a bit stunned. Not because of what she asked, but at my reaction to her query. I was dismayed at all that I could see that still needed done. It didn't help that it felt as though I haven't gotten a thing done since Mom left last April. Granted, I have had a lot going on. The wedding. The hospitalizations. The guardianship. But I felt like I failed, because I just haven't acomplished a single thing for months.

I chewed on our conversation for a few hours. I just couldn't get it out of my head. Then a thought popped into my mind. I remembered the 40 boxes of paperwork that I worked so hard to sort in October and the first part of November. It was such a relief to know that I had actually accomplished something monumental in the last several months. Granted, I still have a monumental climb in front of me, but at least I'm starting from over halfway up the mountain this time. I'm not at the bottom looking all the way up. 

I thought about a lot of things during and after our conversation. I was a little surprised to realize that aside from the study and the remodeling that needs to be completed in the bathrooms that I have successfully dehoarded the main level of the house. Granted. There's light cleaning and dusting that needs to be done, but maintenance is to be expected. It took me a bit of guard when it dawned on me that none of the rooms I've already dehoarded need more than a picking up and a thorough dusting. None of the upstairs rooms should take more than a couple or 3 hours to be thoroughly cleaned and ready for the holidays. 

Now, if I could just stop procrastinating the whole getting started thing, I'd be in good shape.


Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Maintaining. My grip on reality.


Like I've had any real grip on reality lately. 

My anxiety meds had to be upped, because my stomach decided to do the roller coaster thing and not turn off once again. I've had to take the faster acting anxiety meds more frequently than I would like, so I'm hoping the full effect of the higher dose kicks in soon. I hate feeling like this.

I recognized one of the major factors to my anxiety the other day that, for whatever reason, I couldn't see before. Adding to the stresses of the guardianship situation, is the big unknown that begins in January. 

Since Hopper is 21, she is aging out of the school system, and she graduates next week. At this point, she's been on a waiting list for services since she turned 14. Unfortunately, she may still be waiting another 5 years. Granted, the wait could be over in 6 months, but we won't know until we know. You know? So it means that she will drop from going to her day program 5 days a week through the school to going only once a week through private pay. 

I'm afraid it's going to be hard on her. She loves going to 'work', and even though we're trying to prepare her for what it's going to be like, I don't think it will really sink in until she's stuck at home most of the week. My stomach turns when I even think about it, because I don't want it to be hard on her. After 18 years in the school system, there's bound to be an adjustment. Who knows? Maybe she'll handle it better than we're imagining.

In the meantime, I've been trying to keep my mind off things and trying to keep busy. I've got some deep cleaning to do for the holidays, and we've still got to decorate and put up the tree, but I've been struggling with it all. I need to get back on my Vitamin D again, since  don't have regular exposure to the sun this time of the year and I'm feeling the effects of SAD. Hopefully, the D will kick in and help me kick this thing.

I helped Scooter clean her bedroom last week. It wasn't too bad compared to what it used to be like, but it was the worst it's been since I got it dug out at the beginning of this journey. So we cleaned it from top to bottom. Dusted. Vacuumed. Swept the floor. Rearranged the toys. 

It took less than 2 hours total. That was exciting and encouraging. It used to take the better part of a week to get it clean, and it would quickly revert back to chaos within a week or two. To know that her bedroom has been maintained since last May is amazing to me. I spent so many hours over the years trying to get to this point that it still seems a bit unreal that I'm 'here'. 

It's probably because I'm not 'here' everywhere else in the house. Still, I'll take what I can get.

Yesterday, I got her winter clothes out of the plastic boxes in the closet and put her summer clothes away. Then we went through her closet and dehoarded. Once again, I was surprised at being done within 2 hours of starting the job. I bagged up a kitchen trash bag full of clothes that will be picked up tomorrow. 

The bag included several clothes that Scooter no longer wears, but the best thing is that I was ready to get rid of some clothes from my childhood. I wore some of them when I was in junior high and others when I was in high school, but I no longer feel it necessary to keep them around. I realized that Scooter will never wear them, but best of all, I realized they no longer had a hold on me.

After Scooter left for school today, I did go back into her closet and got rid of 5 more things that I know she'll never miss. She had chosen to keep them, but she hasn't worn any of them in over a year or had outgrown. I know she will never even know. I could have probably taken even more out without her knowing, but I only took the things I knew for sure she would never wear again.

One was a Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt that she wore to school at least once a week about 5 years ago, and she wore it around the house all. the. time. She loved it , but she only wore it on one occasion last year, and I know that it was time for it to go. There was a little tutu looking skirt that she's outgrown in the last few months, but she has another one that fits, so it won't be like she even notices it's gone. There were 2 long sleeved t-shirts she wore under other clothes to add an extra layer when it was cold, but we just got her several light weight long sleeved thermal shirts a few weeks ago, so she doesn't need them. And lastly there was a little black shirt that had been Bugster's when she was much younger. Scooter's worn it less than a handful of times in the last few years. 

Time to pitch it!

We'll go through the clothes again when I put her winter clothes away and get her summer clothes back out of storage in a few months. Hopefully, we'll be able to get rid of a few more of her unused clothes then. 

I'm hoping to get the house ready for decorating this weekend and maybe even get the tree up. 

I'm thinking little bit of Christmas should chase the SAD away...