This weekend my mother and I watched a 20/20 about children of Hoarders.
I found that as we were watching I couldn't breath, my anxiety was elevated, I was feeling clammy and gross, and I had no idea why. I was scared. It wasn't until I got back to my apartment on Sunday night from the cottage that I realized that I have an apartment that is at the early stages of a serious Hoarding problem. (I would like to make clear that all my clothes are clean and I can still find my bathroom, living room and dining room, but what I can't see is my floor, my coffee table and a good deal of my dining room.)
I feel so ashamed that I live like this and I don't know why I can't deal with it. I have a senior level job that is stressful and I manage to do well. I am acting like a functioning human being on the outside, but on the inside I am a mess.
I think that this started in December of 2009. I had had a breakdown while we were away in Jamaica before the holidays and when we got back I hosted a Christmas Party in honor of my youngest sister (#londonsis) in my apartment. My tinsel, sparkly, large 8 foot silver Christmas tree is still standing, as are the 3 littler pink trees surrounding it from that night, December 23, 2009 - still decorated, still standing, like a big trophy for my inability to manage the life that I have behind my apartment door.
There are 3-4 piles of cookbooks, which I seem to have an absolute obsession with purchasing whenever I see one I like, a number of piles that represent past clients that I worked with in 2009 that I haven't been able to deal with given the way that that my work suffered when I was really ill in the fall of 2009, a pile of ironing waiting to be tackled on top of my ironing board that has not been put away in months, a huge pile of laundry that needs to be done, my shoes are in a big pile on my bedroom floor and things like my handbags surrounding me at my front door everyday....
How did this happen? I think I just became unable to deal with life in December 2009 and this is the long term effect of that. I don't share my space with anyone on a regular basis, so it has been easy to shut them all out and not have anyone see what a state my internal life is.
The challenge is now what am I going to do? I have written this very open post because I think that it will help a bit to release some of the guilt and shame I am feeling. I also hope that it will allow me to think about how I am going to manage my "mess". It is no easy task and I'm not sure what the next step is, but I am meeting with my psychiatrist on Wednesday and I am going to try and be honest with her about the situation. Maybe she has some ideas, or can help point me in the right direction. Who knows? I just feel like this is one more thing that I am hiding from the world that is impacting every aspect of my life that I can't seem to deal with.