I'll never be a hoarder

Borrowed from Bookshelf Organization at craftime.com

I am preparing to give my first hour long presentation to a group of psychiatric nurse practitioners on hoarding, growing up as a child in the hoard, and what the mission and vision is for the Adult Children of Hoarders recovery group I'm starting here in Spokane. So...I couldn't get a group of pastors or school counselors who aren't so well-versed in matters of mental illness to speak to first?

No. Apparently that is not what God has planned.

So I've been neck to nose-deep in literature from professional journals, books, and almost anything else written by someone with serious credentials in the field of OCD and hoarding making sure that the portion I present on hoarding is highly scholarly and not just "hearsay of the child of a hoarder". Besides, I've always had a weird fascination with mental illnesses and brain disorders, so this isn't that bad.

Today I was reading about hoarding and its similarities to Impulse Control Disorders (ICD), like compulsive shopping or gambling, and kleptomania. I found the comparison interesting because I could see how, as Dr. Frost calls it, "a psychology of opportunity" taunts both hoarders and compulsive shoppers/gamblers. I've seen my mother buy something that she had no present need for because it was a good price today, and when she was ready to use it, she might not be able to find such a good price.

The catch is that, of course, whatever it was never got used rendering ANY price not good enough for sitting buried and unused. But that seems logical to you and me, and yet I am slowly beginning to understand how deeply skewed the brain thought/logic process in a hoarder is different.

I'm digressing from where I planned to go...a feature of distraction that many hoarders are infamous with...sigh. Back to why I know that my gift for being easily distracted is not enough to give me good concern about becoming a hoarder one day...(Did I mention that ADD/ADHD is marked with distractibility, and I've read that having children kills a portion of your memory permanently? I've had five! I can't believe I know my name all the time!)

I don't generally battle with controlling impulses that are potentially dangerous or harmful to me. In fact, I'm almost the opposite in some ways. I can go to the mall to buy a black skirt for a performance. I know a few "simple" requirements--it must be below my knee, and allow me great flexibility in movement. And yet, I can try on ten different skirts and not buy one! Why? Because the price is too high on one, the cut isn't right on the other, and yet another requires dry-cleaning which is inconvenient. I can spend hours trying on clothes and "shopping" without buying ANYTHING.

And it's not just shopping that I can "deprive" myself of willingly. I've been battling with extreme fatigue since our youngest was born last Thanksgiving. I am starting to do the right things behaviorally, take the right vitamins to boost several deficiencies, and I'm feeling much better. Yesterday morning, I was still tired--not groggy--just tired. My husband offered to let me take a nap. I went downstairs, laid down in the bed, and immediately sat up. Although I knew that nap would feel glorious right now, I knew it was a behavior I needed to monitor. Instead, I got up and cleaned. I took only a brief 30 minute nap when the babies were napping :) I knew that depriving myself of that nap that was appealing right now was more helpful to my body in the long run. Delayed gratification.

I'm not always good with delayed gratification. I'm horrible at saving money. Ick. I admit it. And I'll eat that bowl of ice cream now and never think twice about what it may do to my body tomorrow or next year. But overwhelmingly, I don't have major issues with impulse control. And I refuse to let myself develop a problem.

And that, my readers, is why I'll never be a hoarder.

(That and I crave beautiful organization like the above bookshelf! Ha!)


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