(May be triggering )
How truly incredible this thing called the internet is! It is through this that I was able to discovery a online support group based on the mainland of Australia. Facilitated by those who have and are managing their hoarding I assume. It was like so many things easy for me to type in the interest in joining the support group and I was relieved when I was accepted. (not being in the state and it is a state health organisation operating the support meetings, I was unsure if I would be accepted). It turned out I am not the only interstate attendee.
Only one meeting in and it was at times a bit stilted as we all I guess dealt with our own anxieties about this meeting. My levels of anxiety were so extreme. Yet I set the alarm, and abnormally for me I had no desire to go and do anything, as in flee or not connect. My more normal response to new situations.
The fact is knowing that hoarding is a major issue in many countries, and impacts individuals, families and communities is one thing. I knew other people hoarded. I knew! Really I knew!
What I felt in meeting these other people was wow, I am not alone. I am not incompetent, I am not a failure, I am non of the things I have beaten myself up about or labelled myself; ashamed of how I Live and how I have somehow let my whole home become a place that bewilders me everyday.. and yet I manage to live in it. I make meals, I rarely eat out and the meals I make in my kitchen are fresh and tasty but I would not cook anything for anyone else…my kitchen is a hoarders, my meals do not make me ill. I wash my clothes, and dry them at present over my stair rails with the fire going, (winter here ). I can shower, and my toilets work.
The other major thing I have done, is asked for someone who specialises in helping clean and organise hoarders homes.(at least that is the blurb), I sent a message honest explaining my mental illness and I am a hoarder, how ashamed and full of anxiety I am just to ask for the quote. I received a lovely response which helps a little. I now wait for the person to contact me and hopefully make a date and time for doing the quote. Knowing that when that comes emotions will again surface and anxiety.
Being on a National Disability Insurance Scheme Pension does give me some funding for support. I did not really understand much about the support, and agreed to have house and gardening funding even though I really REALLY did not want or need it. As it was for a few hours a month. I am fortunate that my psychologist appointments are funded on the scheme. Something I will be eternally thankful for.
I ended up sending a request to my co-ordinator asking if instead of the monthly hours and cost/payment could the amount be utilised in helping me deal with the hording. My co-ordinator was so happy that I had asked for help..I am to send the quote to her and my hope is they will cover it. Now my anxiety is about how much it will cost. I have to breathe deeply as I write as I can feel myself going down the vortex of all the other what ifs, etc.
I now having made the calls, and the MASSIVE STEP to ask for help publicly announcing my situation even though I have shared with people neighbours and friends others that I am a hoarder, this, This step a business specialising in hoarding..really seriously I don’t need that I can do it
I will for my own coping mechanism have to take the person on the journey I had with a previous attempt to assist me clean my home and get rid of the ‘rubbish’ which destroyed my trust and made my hoarding worse. It is the only way for me to begin to have to trust again someone coming into my home and respectfully supporting me through a big step I know is not going to be easy. I know is going to be so bloody hard at times. But I also KNOW I am ready, I know for my mental health to continue to improve my home can not remain as it is. I can not live anymore like this, and it is so wrong for my dogs; who are not at risk or are they suffering, neglected or any other concerns anyone may have. My dogs are the highest priority in my life believe me. It is also wrong for me.
My dream is to have a plumber come in and fix my leaking kitchen pipe (not sure how many years that has been there but at least 2 or more) It is basically impossible to wash up in my kitchen. I may also be able to finally find the leak in my kitchen wall and have that fixed! Such very small things. The leaking pipe was not the reason I have become a hoarder, but my hoard is why neither of these things have been fixed. Not being able to wash up properly has let the kitchen basically become perhaps the worst room in the house. Ahhh here I go running off ahead of myself. Stop STOP..the contact with the person has not happened yet. Just for a quote. Breathe breathe.. feeling nauseous. what if the person does not ring, what if the quote is too high…breathe stop breathe. Be proud. I have asked for help. I have sought and found support. One step at a time. breathe.
blessings to You, Tazzie