Until this year, the mental disorder that I have was not in the book of Mental Disorders. Now, It has it’s own number. To top that off, statistics state that between 2 and 6 percent of the population are with me in this disorder. I feel so much more secure being in the book with millions of other people.
Wedged between 300.02 Generalized Anxiety Disorder and 300.7 Hypochondriasis (which is fancy speak for hypochondria ) is the newly minted 300.3. It is part of the family of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders.
Yes, friends I am a Hoarder.
I worked all last summer on getting things out of my garage so that I could store things from the house in the empty spaces. Now all the spaces I made in the house have been filled and most of the spaces in the garage no longer exist. Guess it is time to start working on the garage again. Hoarding is an endless cycle of acquire, store, sort, categorize, move, store, sort again.
I feel that a lot of the cause of my disorder is because my parents and grandparents lived in a world where you worked hard to acquire items, the items were built to last and should they break, you would have them repaired.
They also lived though the depression, a time when money became scarce, things became precious and only the people who had saved things or money survived. So they instilled in us the need to economize, to save, to put things by for hard times.
Modern life doesn’t help much. Now, things are shoddy made, so I when I strip the working parts off a broken item and store them, I usually do get to use them. As luck would have it, even if the replacement is the exact same thing, the spare parts don’t fit. Or the item has a design flaw that makes it fail in the same part as the first one. Now, I have two sets of spares, but I still don’t have what I need. Or worse yet, if I do have the part, the way they made the item does not allow for a repair. Right now, I am trying to figure out how to put a lamp back together that I ‘fixed’. The big frustration is – I used to make lamps in my youth, so this should have been a piece of cake – but that is a another story for another blog.
Things come in boxes that don’t allow them to shift, there is lots of bulky Styrofoam, bent cardboard and hard plastic anchored with twist ties. These things fill up my recycle bin like crazy. I had to call the city and request a second blue recycle can because they do not pick up every week. I fill one up in a week. The cans from food, junk mail, newspaper, boxes from groceries, plastic from every thing I buy in the store. Some days it is way too much.
I watch the program Hoarders as a cautionary tale. Some of the people I understand, some are downright scary, even to me, a person who has the behavior ingrained into their being. I will never get to the level where there are dead animals under layers of garbage, but I might have a room (or two or three) full of clean clothes in baskets, extra food in my pantry and piles of books, papers, mail, office supplies and miscellany.