Thursday, October 20, 2011
Confessions of a hoarder
I am starting to realize I am NOT actually emotionally attached to the stuff per se... It is my attachment to the creative process and ideas I had when choosing that particular item. I am attached to the creative energy generated from that object... When I get rid of something, I feel like I am killing my creativity. Like I won't create ever again if I can't make that thing I have been saving that lace for ... Nevermind it has been in a box for 15 years, and now it truly IS vintage.... and I have not used it in all these years... I still have the idea... So... evaluating my need for the stuff... constantly comparing my stuff to my family and relationships... is this stuff more important than a happy family. Does it replace time with my family... does it hug me, make me a better person? If someone... say the police... came in my house tomorrow and said "Choose now, the stuff or your family." I would like to think that I would be able to let all the stuff go... but if I answer honestly, I don't think I could get rid of EVERYTHING. I get sick to my stomach when I think about it... I can't even have the discussion with my husband, because it stresses me out so bad I get a horrible headache and can hardly function...
I bring this up, because so many people I know are like me... Houses chock full of stuff, and yet it is never enough. Is it the creative process? Is it the need to collect and surround yourself with ideas? What is it? I would really like to know.... I struggle so hard with this.... I want to be better... I am getting better... I am getting rid of so much... and yet at the same time, it feels like it is not happening fast enough. I can't just throw it all in a bin./. There are tax records and memorabilia and family photos mixed in with the stuff. It is fairly organized, but so packed full it is difficult to find things... I am finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.... I think after this sale coming up on Sunday, we will really have a handle on it... It feels better already. I feel lighter and happier. I have been creating more... Making holiday gifts, and participating in swaps. Completing projects for class proposals. Spending time with my new art friends. I am happy. And all of this stems from a lighter load...
My mom does a meditation in her class, where you have to picture yourself getting on a train to take a long trip. You can never go back to where you are coming from. What will you take with you? You picture yourself filling large black trash bags with all your stuff and tying it to your belt. I had about 70 bags. I was pulling a freakin' train of bags... huffing and puffing along... Telling people, "I'm coming... I will be there in a minute... I just have to drag these bags along..." It looks so ridiculous when I think of it, that I laugh out loud... Who would really do that? Pull 70 garbage bags of crap around with them? Well, I guess I do. The stuff I have is my 70 bags. It weighs me down and keeps me from really moving forward in my life. Thanks to therapy, and some life challenges that have required downsizing... I am finally doing it... I think I will succeed this time.... I feel different. I imagined myself throwing the bags into the incinerator on the train, and fueling it for a long trip. Then I went and sat by the window, next to my hunny, and enjoyed the view...This is the only ride I get with him... This life... and I really want to make it count.
To those of you who struggle with hoarding or addictions of any kind... You can conquer them. You can overcome them and have a more fulfilling life... It just takes time, patience, and determination. Be kind to yourself in the process. Honor where you are at, and celebrate the little steps you are taking to attain your goal. You will get there.... and the closer you get, the more you will start to see,
life on the other side looks pretty dang great!