Well my weekend soul-searching session was filled with plenty of tears, anger, and enough would-have-could-have-should-haves to cover everyone for a few years. Alas, I'm no closer to knowing which path to pursue. I feel like my granddaughter -- I want to do it all! I realized I'm going to need some help with this part of the process so I'm trying to work in the budget a few sessions with a Life Coach. I think I would benefit greatly from an objective viewpoint and some assistance with goal-setting, building an action plan and being accountable to someone other than myself right now.
What the hell does a Life Coach have to do with hoarding?
If you follow me on Twitter, you know or will soon know that I'm a huge fan of the show Hoarders on A&E. It's a show about people who literally hold onto stuff. No matter how unhealthy their homes become they cannot, and a lot of times, will not part with their stuff. The stuff can be literally destroying their lives, relationships, and careers. Yet, even with the help of experts, they have a hard time letting go of the stuff. Their junk and filth is familiar and comfortable to them no matter how disgusting it is to everyone around them (and us looking in). A lot of them are embarrassed to have "outsiders" visit and see the real them. The anxiety they experience when experts try to help them make their homes habitable again is very real. You can see it in their faces. To us voyeurs looking in through the camera, it's crazy-looking to say the least. Just throw the crap on the 800-Got-Junk truck is what we're thinking.
Well, I realized I'm an emotional hoarder. Some of the habits and coping mechanisms I learned as a child are extremely unhealthy for me as an adult. Yet, I can't make the leap to get rid of the stuff. I understand it on an intellectual level. I've read enough self-help books and been to enough therapists to understand how I got that way (I could probably set up a boot-leg therapy service -- hey another path?) Yet, I can't seem to toss it on the 1-800-Got-Emotional-Junk truck for them to haul off.
I see the low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and that little bitty (or humongous depending on your P-O-V) need to control everything and I want to throw it on the truck so bad and have it hauled away for good. Like the Hoarders on TV, I recognize how destructive it is, how self-defeating it is, how it gets in the way of me moving from one part of the house (i.e. my spirit) to another yet I can't seem to put it on the truck and get rid of it. I can rationalize every piece of emotional junk and give it a pretty important place in my life ... I never know when I might need to use it again (that's that constant chaos thing I'm good at). Truth of the matter is, it's all stuff that can be hauled off. It's only going to keep getting in the way and keep building up until I'm figuratively buried in it.
That's what I want a Life Coach to help me with. I don't want to rehash why I'm holding on to the stuff, I want someone to help me toss it on the truck. I could probably do it by myself with time but I've learned from Hoarders, that it's so much easier when the 1-800-Got-Junk trucks roll up and haul it all away at once.
Some of the Hoarders are ready for the big clean up. They're tired of the mess but just aren't sure how to go about cleaning it up. That's when the professional organizer and clean up crew can really handle some business. The Hoarder just need a push in the right direction -- help with setting the goal. They need someone to help them break the mess down into manageable sections -- tough work regardless but somewhat easier as they have a game plan for getting it cleared. That's what I need now. A push (and some encouragement until I build up my confidence). If I can find a Life Coach that will help me break down this emotional-hoarding mess into easier to manage pieces -- pieces I can't see right now through all the clutter -- then it will be money well spent.