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Why I have little faith in psychologists and other professionals
Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2015 12:32 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16327


For years, I have been seeking help with clutter. I have consulted psychologists, LCSWs, hoarding specialists and professional organizers. I joined two clutter support groups. I read books. I watched videos and dvds. To no avail.

This weekend, I had two Ah-ha moments. The first was this. This weekend, I have been moving boxes from one of my balconies. My condo complex is being painted, and the balconies must be cleared of items. I have had boxes stored from 2005 and earlier. I did not even know what was in the boxes. When I opened the boxes, what I found were papers. Not junk, but papers. Mail, professional journals, magazines, newspaper articles, lab reports, receipts, tax information, etc., etc., etc.

The other Ah-ha moment was finding some photos of my home from 2001. My home was clear of clutter. Something happened around that time, between 2001 and 2003, when I noticed a big problem in functioning. What happened, was my cognition took a hit. But I was not aware of the significance at the time.

The point is, neither did any of the MANY professionals I consulted. In 2003 I had neurocognitive testing, which diagnosed depression and "cognitive disorder. " This was glossed over.

None of the professionals put two and two together in order to conclude that the clutter problem was a cognitive impairment problem. I was treated as a person with a neurosis, and given "contracts" to sign and "psychotherapy," which was useless. Actually, worse than useless, because I began to feel bad about myself. Very bad. I began to feel hopeless. Things were very bad for me. I had suicidal ideation.

Fortunately, I have a strong belief in Christ, and I know that I do not have to feel bad about myself. I was able to turn myself around.

I spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in bogus "treatment." I wasted much time. What has truly helped me, is understanding that I do have a cognitive impairment which affects my reading comprehension and my decision making. I realized this on my own and from my readings in certain books, certain websites, and from the postings on these message boards from fellow patients and from caregivers.

What I will do now, is take care of this issue on my own. Once the painting project is completed, I will be able to go through the papers and discard about 99% of it. There is important material interspersed throughout, including cash.

Thank you very much, fellow members!
No thanks to the "professionals."

Iris L.



Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2015 7:23 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2855


I never had any faith in those folks as I made it clear in my book. Those folks are designed to be good listeners and to point you to fixing yourself based on many of your own ideas or what they may say. I also have become a hoarder and leave it all over the place. I believe part of the problem is I don’t know where to put it and I am also afraid that if I do I will not find it. My house is a mess. I never had a mess and everything had a place, and I do meant everything.


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2015 8:15 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


All my life, like most people, I was taught that if you get sick you go to the doctor because they know how to fix it. Then I got sick, and thus began a 6 year journey from shrugged shoulder to shrugged shoulder. To my surprise they tend to blame you if they don't know, only one doctor in all those great many doctors ever had the backbone to say, "I don't know."

I learned that doctors prescribe medicine...so if you know what you are sick with and you know what medicine you need, great. But that doctors know very little about how our bodies work. They now next to nothing about autoimmune anything.

Good doctors are worth their weight in gold, bad doctors (like you said) can make you feel really bad about yourself and your situation...and (like you said), like you want to die.

I am so glad that you were to work these things out for yourself, and that you could get the help you needed. Neither MG or Dementia were on my radar.

Some things are harder to get rid of than others. Especially those things you might one day use and don't want to have to buy again. My mom hoarded some and before I got sick I was able to box and move the excess to the back room. Now that it has been there for years, she is ok getting rid of it. So that is the next step...cleaning out that back room. I have a lot of respect for how hard the process can be for someone.

Doctors, I think, are frustrating for everyone, so you are definitely not alone in that.


Unforgiven
Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2015 11:59 AM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2637


As you may know, Iris, I struggle with hoarding and clutter issues myself, having been raised with clutter from childhood. Sometimes the mental professionsls are worse than useless. My mother had a psychiatrist who actually told her that her extreme clutter was a sign that she wasn't ready to die yet, and that when she was ready to go,bher house would be in complete order. That or course gave my mother permission, even encouragement to continue to live in chaos. Two homes later, with two of her hoards that I had to deal with myself, and we have the same problem. She seems to want to create visual clutter despite the fact that such an environment creates more confusion. It is almost as the mess shields her from something she doesn't want to see.

I realize that clutter and disorder are one of my severe triggers. Living in disorder, like during a renovation project when cupboards and bookshelves have to be emptied, makes me very edgy. I react more strongly than I probably ought to when my mother insists on cramming yet another piece of furniture into her already crowded room, or her surfaces start to fill up with paper and knick-knacks.

Sorting through things requires so much decision making that even I can do only so much of it in a day. Conversely, I feel a sense of calm when I look at an empty counter.

My best trick for cleaning up clutter is to watch a rerun of Hoarders. I clean like a demon watching Matt or Dr. Robin deal with a fight over a pile of magazines discovered buried in a corner under McDonalds wrappers.

The more stress you have in your life, the harder it is to make those decisions. I'm definitely feeling that myself. The bigger picture is how much easier it is to function in a streamlined organized environment once you've put in the time and the work.

PS to Iris, if you ever have the need, please PM me like an AA buddy for moral support when you find yourself overwhelmed by a box or whatever. Because I've been there and done that. I can laugh at myself vacillating about throwing away ten year old receipts, but I would not laugh at you. It's a real thing.

llee08032
Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2015 12:08 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Iris))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2015 11:36 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16327


Thanks everyone who responded. I have been working all weekend, moving boxes and cleaning. I'm exhausted. I never want to do this again.

Unforgiven, every patient must develop insight. The problem is, the psychologists and other professionals do not have insight themselves in this area, in order to guide the patients. They make stuff up.

Also, Unforgiven, I just might take you up on your offer. That is so generous of you! Be on the lookout. I am going to see how far I can get after the painters have done their work. Once the paint is new and fresh, I want to be able to keep it that way.

Ilee, thanks for the hug.

Iris L.

llee08032
Posted: Monday, September 14, 2015 7:46 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Nice clean fresh paint and a fresh new start. You WILL feel better after all the work is done! I do believe some of the hoarding, clutter and disorganization for us has to do with cognition and difficulty with decision making. (((((Iris))))))
Don't forget to give yourself a break and rest. This is really hard work!

Unforgiven
Posted: Monday, September 14, 2015 10:58 AM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2637


I will be happy to help you, Iris. I rather miss the old A&E duscussion board for Hoarders. I have a system for clearing out clutter that works well for me, but I still stuggle too.
Iris L.
Posted: Monday, September 14, 2015 9:34 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16327


I feel like today, September 14, 2015, is a new birthday for me! I have been working for three months, and I finally got both terraces cleared and vacuumed and swept! All by myself!

I had not been on my back terrace since 2005. There was 10 years worth of dirt and dust piled up. I had most of the stuff covered in plastic trash bags. Plastic does disintegrate, and it does not take 100 years.

Guess what? The painters did not show up today! walked all around the complex, thinking they might have started at another section. But no painters! Was this a ruse to get us homeowners to clean up our patios and balconies?

I also got rid of a wasp's nest. I am sorry I had to kill them, but I could not think of another way to move the nest. I am on the second floor, so I could not just move them somewhere else.

Anyway, it's done. I rented a storage unit to place my items. Now I can take my time and go through my many boxes. I think I must have bought ~100 boxes from Staples.

Part of my problem is that I have had such an interesting, unconventional life, and I think I will resume my life. But I can't go home again. I cannot live in the past. It just does not work!

Ilee, already I am enjoying the space and uncluttered look. Unforgiven, I used to participate with that online hoarders' support group to. Cory, the leader, even made a home visit to my home to help me in 2011. I had a manila envelope from 2001 that I just could not get rid of, even though I never looked at it. He wanted me to start with that one. I could not, at the time. I can proudly say, I have gotten rid of it, even though it took me four more years!

Happy uncluttered birthday to me!

This is really a start. A lot of what was on the balconies is now in my living room and den. But that stuff is going, too!

Iris L.



llee08032
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 8:15 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Iris,

Great job! I think the storage space idea is a good one so you can take the needed time to through everything and come to your decisions about what to keep and not keep. It is a process and not an overnight project. Feel free of your stuff that does not need to be in your home!

Unforgiven
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 11:00 AM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2637


Good for you, Iris! Now, enjoy the sense of peace you get from seeing those uncluttered and easy to keep clean terraces.

There's another feeling I've grown to appreciate -- the sense of freedom when I toss something into the trash or donate it to charity. It's like a small weight lifting from my shoulders.

Also, keep the decisions simple when you're in the sorting stage. Paper that might contain important information (old bank statement and paid bills)versus utter trash (junk mail or food wrappers). Right now I'm organizing books before putting them back on the shelves, and the first sort is simple -- fiction versus non-fiction. The idea is to not have to think too much until the very end. It's the decision making that trips us up.

Cory was nice. My biggest nightmare was having to deal with Matt or Dr. Robin. Sometimes a man does need a lot of hoes (which every serious gardener knows). lol

The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 11:02 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Good for you, and happy birthday to you too! Hopefully you have a chance to enjoy something nice for yourself as a reward and treat for the day.

It is so true, we can never go home again.


Jo C.
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 11:23 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10579


Hello Iris, had to mention, I do not think the painters not getting started was a ruse at all.

As you can see this morning, it has been raining cats and dogs where we live, and painters cannot work in that nor can they get started and have new outdoor paint end up in a disaster right after they have painted.

Next week it will be hot again, and out they will come. BUT; there is also a point at which if it gets far too hot, painters must stand down again as it affects the paint.

However, in the meantime, the two balconies are now emptied as mandated by the Association. Since you are renting storage, it is a perfect time to get the boxes out of your living room, etc. You could hire someone to do it. Sometimes the senior center will have men who do odd jobs, and colleges often have a list of students who will also assist for a fee. You live not far from Cal State and LB Community College, so there should be no problem finding someone.

Also, if you attend a church, there are always good people who will come with their truck and move items.

It will be lovely to have your space be yours again and give you a chance to breathe freely; what an awesome feeling! Great idea to rent that storage unit.

J.


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 1:06 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16327


Yes, I awoke this morning to the sounds of rain, so I understood why the painting project did not begin yesterday. LOL. At least, I accomplished what I set out to do.

Ilee, now I will be able to go through boxes, one at a time, and discard. I am ready.

Sun, my reward was to be able to go to bed last night without this huge project hanging over my head. What a feeling!

Unforgiven, that is a great tip about making the decisions easy. That's what I was thinking last night--how to decide what makes the cut?

I do not experience a sense of freedom from tossing--I feel anxiety. Nevertheless, I have learned that the anxiety does not persist for long. It has taken me years to learn this, which I learned on my own, not from the professionals that I paid to help me.

Meaning, there is anxiety over the act of discarding. There is a term for this, which I cannot think of right now, which means practicing doing what you have anxiety about, and gradually increasing the activity, until you have no anxiety about it. So I will start with easy to discard items. I do not have any old food wrappers, but I do have old political flyers from years past. This will be easy to start with.

None of the professionals discussed this with me. I learned this from books about ridding oneself of fears and phobias, such as snakes. I do not have a fear of snakes, but I thought this technique could still help me.

Another anxiety that I had was about learning new material. Because of my cognition, I had trouble with new material. I was afraid that I could not keep up. I still have my "How to Learn Windows 95." Why did I keep an obsolete manual? I thought that if I came across a problem, I could go back to my Windows 95 book and find the solution, because I felt comfortable with that material. My cognition was stuck at the 1995 level.

But, over the years, I have learned that I can learn new material. None of the professionals told me this; in fact, they mocked my concerns about my memory and cognition. "There's nothing wrong with you memory," they said.

Now, the obsolete material can go too!

Johanna, I have had advice to get outsiders to help me before, but I could not follow through, and I did not understand why not. Before I began my medications and Best Practices, I had great difficulty in ordinary conversation with people. There was no way that I would approach a stranger with this issue because I could not speak well. I had a hard time making myself understood with the professionals, so how could ordinary people understand me? Now, my speech is better. But I still am not comfortable speaking with strangers about anything important.

I am doing so well on my own. I think I will continue on my own. What boxes are in my living room, I do not want to put into storage. I want them to go directly to the trash or to donation. But probably mostly to trash, because they are mostly papers.

I am eager to get started in discarding, but I am anxious at the same time. Well, step-by-step I go!

Iris L.

llee08032
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 8:50 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Iris,

I think you may be referring to what is known as desensitization therapy. You start out small and gradually work yourself up to the bigger items. You can use this in conjunction with graded muscle relaxation or even something like yoga to help lessen your anxiety around discarding your things. You will feel anxious with discarding things. I think its important to pace yourself at a level your not overwhelmed with.



Desensitization: The Most Proven Method for Reducing ...

www.csulb.edu/.../Desensit.htm
California State University, Long Beach
Using desensitization therapy, you will be able to think about your target behavior and imagine it vividly without feeling anxious for you will be in a totally relaxed ...



Unforgiven
Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 9:28 PM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2637


Iris, I am still running about 50/50 as to whether throwing something out causes me anxiety or a sense of relief. I'm still afraid my decision will cost me money or grief down the line, but once it's gone, it is a relief. A load off my shoulders. I agonized about getting rid of my National Geographics going all the way back to an article titled "Mamie Eisenhower Gives Us a Tour of the White House" in case they might be worth something, but when I couldn't even sell them on Craigslist, that was my clue. Now I feel better, and I'm getting rid of a lot of old magazines. I figure any information in them can easily be found online with much less effort and no storage space on my part.

Desensitization never worked with my arachnophobia. Just saying.

In case you haven't guessed, it helps to have a sense of humor about our eccentricities.

Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 12:34 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16327


Ilee, that website it great! Yes, desensitization therapy is what I was thinking of. Many times I have been able to discard easy items, but I could not work my way up to the harder items. That manual of self-help may help me. There is a list of phobias, but they did not include "disposophobia" which is a term I learned.

Thank you for the reference! None of those clueless professionals ever suggested this to me.

Unforgiven, your Mamie Eisenhower NG article gave me a chuckle! Yes, humor is very necessary.

I have realized that after I dispose of something, I do not think of it again. But I have only been discarding easy items. I must work my way up to the harder items.

It poured again during the daytime, and I do not know the weather forecast for tomorrow, so I do not know if the painters will be able to start work tomorrow.

When my balconies were full, it seemed like confirmation that I used to have a good life. Now, when I glance at my empty balconies, it is like I never had a life. If seems like I need tangible evidence to remind me of my past. Otherwise, my past never happened.

I am already forgetting parts of my past. My items helped cue my memories. I fear that if I discard my items, I will not be able to recall my fading memories. Then my past will be gone forever.

This is a very real anxiety that I have. No answers from the professionals for this question.

Iris L.





llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 6:51 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Iris,

There is a connection to the past with keeping items. Andy Warhol referred to all his boxes as time capsules. You can keep some items to connect with your past that are of value to you. Of course what you keep has to be contained and scaled down. Sorted and sorted again and again until you come to your decision of what items hold the most value for you in relation to your past. Have you ever heard of the Container Store? What you decide on keeping can be organized and labeled in containers for storage.

Unforgiven
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 11:21 AM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2637


I understand the cueing of memories. I get the same feeling from typing my credit card charges into my computer financial program when the statement comes. It's like a memory tour of the previous month. I'll see a fast food charge and remember we had fun that day.

Of course you're allowed to keep things of sentimental value. You wouldn't believe some of the things I keep. But they really can't make you smile if they're lost in a box that is buried under a pile of other boxes. That's the problem with disorganization-- it keeps you from the things you need and robs you of your time, which is the most precious commodity of them all. So there's two ways of looking at a problem. Memories are great, but not so great that they should keep us from living life and making new ones.

I think you have a life right here and now as a voice of wisdom on this forum, and that is worthy of respect. I hope that you can stand out on your cleared balconies, take a deep breath and enjoy the view and the weather and the feeling of peace, and that will become a cherished memory.

PS -- a thought just came to me about paper memories. I don't usually recommend the digital storage tactic, like taking a picture of a sentimental item and then discarding it, because it's one extra step that can cause a bottleneck. But in the case of documents that remind you of your past life, scanning, labeling, and storing them in an easily identifiable file in a series of folders will save a lot of physical space and make them much easier to find if you need them. I'm talking about folders called, My Childhood, College days, Good Friends, Professional, etc. The trick is finding the time and energy to do it. But it is the same amount of time and energy as physically moving boxes, and a large capacity disk takes up less room than two balconies of boxes.

Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 12:49 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16327


Unforgiven wrote:

So there's two ways of looking at a problem. Memories are great, but not so great that they should keep us from living life and making new ones.



Unforgiven, I think this is the crux of the matter for me. I was told by the neuropsychologist who tested me, that people with AD do not make new memories. I have not been dx'd as having AD, but the concept of not making new memories has floored me. I suppose, psychologically, that is why I cling to my old items so tightly.

But in the years since then (200, I have discovered that I am able to make new memories. I am able to have a life. I want to have a more fulfilling life. I have been working on rehabilitation of my disabilities on my own, and I am recovering. Now is the right time for me to step up my efforts to declutter and organize.

I can consciously release many of the old items so I can focus on the best of the old memories, and also so I can make new memories.

Ilee, I have approximately 300 cardboard boxes from Staples, and also have some items in heavy-duty trash bags. My aim is not to have a lot a stuff in in boxes, but to get rid of what is in the boxes, by discarding or donation.

Paper--out! Old magazines--out! books--donation! old clothes--donation or out!

If I were to focus on going through one box or one trash bag a day, it would take me over a year. So be it. The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

Although the weather was clear today, the commencement date of the painting project has been postponed until next Monday, Sept 21. I am so glad that I am ready!

I am feeling optimistic about this declutter project now. Thank you, everyone, for the tips and the encouragement. You really are a blessing to me. You have done more for me than all those professionals that I paid.

Iris L.





Jo C.
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 7:32 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10579


Sometimes unexpected opportunities arise in mysterious ways and this may be one of those times. Thank heavens for the condo/townhome painting project and the mandatory need to get stuff off the patio/balconies.

Though it must have been very, very difficult, you pushed through and rose to the occasion and got the two balconies cleared . . . 300 boxes and multiple heavy duty garbage bags just from the outside stuff. That really is a HUGE accomplishment that has many complex dynamics and feelings attached to it. You must be exhausted and pretty achy from doing all of the physical part plus the stress of the letting go, but you are a champion!

All of the boxes and bags are now inside your apartment. I am really glad on your behalf that you have a plan to get rid of a lot of it very quickly. I understand how difficult this has been and is being for you and the back and forth unsettled feelings this brings.

One of the reasons I am glad you are going to be getting the boxes and bags out of the apartment soon is regarding your safety should heaven forbid, a fire break out. Such an amount of goods in one place also increases the risk of fire.

I do not want to be a Debbie-Downer, but I care about you and I would be very remiss if I did not mention this should anything happen.

Iris, I certainly admire you in stepping forward and accomplishing such a herculean task when it was over the moon difficult to do so. I also want to thank you from the heart in your willingness to share these dynamics openly.

There are many others in the same position who may be Members of this Board; AND there are also literally thousands of other people who "lurk" to read but who do not sign on. Your openness may well help many others; you may not ever hear about it, so you will not know those persons, but I can assure you, they are there and you have reached them.

Big soft hug coming to you,

J.


alz+
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 7:56 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3555


Junk and stuff and things of value.

I have wanted a clean house and may be getting one. I can not make art projects, or clean easily, or think properly when first thing I see is too much stuff and every where. I cannot write in a messy house. This is beyond messy, unsafe for walking with bad vision, and unclean, and damage that needs to be repaired.

My husband does not clean up his messes (rooms full) but now that he sees the joy in not having to stay with me through another winter, he will have to take all his stuff some place else. That will give me a start.

I have moved past the clinging to most of my stuff, books, and trinkets. My son and his wife will not bring my grandkids to see me - they are busy and I live too far away.

So it was really hard to give away all the books and toys and stuff I had planned on sharing with them. I find crying helps me acknowledge this is another loss and it is sad for me.

The family heirloom stuff, things were treasures to me - vases from my Grandma and aunties, handmade quilts, some costume jewelry, even old photographs. My children could care less. It feels like tiny deaths to just donate it, even telling myself it will go to someone who wants its and can enjoy it. Like my life does not matter to anyone.

When husband leaves he will probably take the dog as she needs many walks a day and I can sometimes do 1 or 2 but in winter - cannot imagine it.

Giving it away is better than having it taken away but for me the anxiety was from not feeling the loss on its many levels so now I weep. I stop myself from rationalizing everything and just cry. It is much better for me, staves off Depression to not hold back misery and painful memories and thoughts.

When what we SEE is what we USE our brains relax. My desk is covered in stuff I can not use so I go no where near the desk. Since my back is too painful to sit at desk, I suppose desk should go too.

I watch the people fleeing wildfires and coming back to burned down house. They are alive, the will rebuild or move on. I am just living in a burned down life.

When a day comes you can clean out, go for it!

Iris do your cats love the boxes? I read a book called Sacred Space on decluttering and wish I could find it again. maybe it will turn up when husband takes off in my car with my dog.


llee08032
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 8:07 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


When husband leaves he will probably take the dog as she needs many walks a day and I can sometimes do 1 or 2 but in winter - cannot imagine it.

alz+ this concerns me (you being w/o Heidi)! Is there some way to work around this with a dog walker maybe? Or just letting her out o go the bathroom in the frigid weather? I am having a hard time fathoming you w/o your girl!

Jo C.
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 8:45 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10579


Dearest alz+,

I send my heartfelt concern and sadness on your behalf, but it also comes with a very big soft hug for a dear person who is feeling so much sadness within herself.

Please keep coming here to talk to us, you are loved and we truly do care.

Fondly,

J.


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 9:02 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Yes, please consider a tie out for the yard to let the dog out to potty in the winter. I used to shovel a spot for my old guy in the winter.
alz+
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 11:30 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3555


My dog is a 90 pound Ridgeback mix. Her whole life she has been leash free and runs at 30 mph. On a leash? I would die at end of long drag through woods.

She has never pooped in her own yard. In winter the snow can be 3 feet deep outside my front door, roads are ice. People do not have dog walkers up here.

Something will happen. I may not even be alive in winter, why worry?

Just adjusting, keeping my intent on making a peaceful end of life. To do right by myself for as long as possible. No expectations of anyone else.

I love that so many of you care and know about my dog!


llee08032
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 8:55 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Love to you and Heidi alz+!


llee08032
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 8:55 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Love to you and Heidi alz+!


Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 9:45 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16327


We do love our pets, don't we? My cats are bewildered by the emptiness of their balcony--they are only allowed on one.

Alz+, will your dog come back when she's finished? My cats come back, but sometimes they do not come back when I call them, and they wind up staying out all night--usually the males, not the females. When the painters are here, they will have to stay in, because I do not want them interfering in the paint process.

Johanna, the majority of the boxes and items are in the storage unit. I have my shelving units and bulky items inside. When the painting is done, they will go back outside. There will not be any boxes. I will keep the balconies as playrooms for my cats.

I am still exhausted and somewhat sick from all of that lifting and carrying work.

One thing that has been difficult for me to accept is that I just do not have interest in many activities I was interested in before. This was something I tried to get away from, because "loss of interest in usual activities" has always been one of the criteria for depression. But I have resisted a dx of depression, because I did not feel sad.

If I look at loss of interest in former activities as a characteristic of growth, it does not seem like a detriment, but a benefit. I will develop new interests. And I do have new interests. My interests are more focused now, whereas, in the past, my interests were over a broad span of activities. This is a great revelation for me!

Thank you all again, for helping me psychoanalyze myself!

Iris L.

llee08032
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015 5:49 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Thank you all again, for helping me psychoanalyze myself!

Your welcome Iris! I hope you have benefits from your time on the couch here on the board. I appreciated all your honesty about this issue. My hoarding messes are hidden in garage and closets! I have no desire to work on this as of yet.

Lot's of work mentally and physically. Rest aching body and do something nice for yourself!

alz+
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015 10:59 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3555


I envy your clean space and painters!

My dog was about 3 when we adopted her and had her ways. She walks/runs with a person and does her business. She has 8 neighbor dog friends and they all say "hello" in each other's yards.

The loss of interest in old activities - my sense of that in my life is my brain has so much fuel so it does not take many side trips anymore.

I am getting myself gel pens and adult coloring books. I loved to draw but a blank page was too much, then someone on forum mentioned the coloring books and WOW - they are beautiful!

Well done on clean out, may it energize you for years to come! Love you all so much, hugs and GOOD JOB to each of us.


Jo C.
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015 2:26 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10579


My gosh Iris, how in the world did you get all those boxes moved? It must have taken forever. I cannot even begin to imagine; you must have eaten your Wheaties! I'd be flat on my face. I am glad to know they are in storage so I won't worry on your behalf; I hate the thought of fire. You are now our resident Wonder Woman!

llee, you made me smile when you mentioned closets. I have my walk-in that is anything BUT a walk-in most of the time. I need to get in there and purge, but just cannot motivate myself. My latest "excuse" is that I would do it, except it is too hot; I will wait for colder weather. I am sure I will not run out of excuses when colder weather comes. I hate cleaning closets. I don't mind the purge; but for those things that need to be kept, then I have to find a proper place for them. Annoying. Yet; it looks so nice when it's all done.

It is interesting alz+ in that I just saw a TV ad for adult coloring books and have also seen them in print ads. They look like fun and I think they would also be calming to do. I did not know they took gel pens; that would make the colors brighter. Great idea, wonder who thought of doing that . . . they will make a bundle. Some of the pictures really turn out to be very beautiful. I think they would make good Christmas gifts.

Well; got to go do some laundry since I cannot get it to do itself. I just wish it could fold and put itself away. Wouldn't that be one heck of an invention. Ah well.

J.


Iris L.
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015 3:35 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16327


I have been working on clearing out the balconies since the middle of June, so about three months, doing a little every day. More intensely in these last few days. I learned that cognitively, I can conceive of a major project and carry it out.

This is confirmation to me that Best Practices works!
I was not able to do this in 2009, when I began my medications.

Even people who are cognitively intact have no interest in decluttering. Why is that? I used to enjoy straightening up and organizing, years ago. Now I have absolutely no interest. But it seems that others have no interest, either.

Well, I enjoy the results of organization, even though I do not care for the process. It will get done.

I had some gel pens. I used to enjoy rubber stamping. I never tried the coloring books. I might look into that.

Iris L.


llee08032
Posted: Sunday, September 20, 2015 8:55 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


The family heirloom stuff, things were treasures to me - vases from my Grandma and aunties, handmade quilts, some costume jewelry, even old photographs. My children could care less. It feels like tiny deaths to just donate it, even telling myself it will go to someone who wants its and can enjoy it. Like my life does not matter to anyone.

I too am sentimentally attached to such things that others may not care about. Husband, Grandmom and mom's stuff. I only have a few things. My vulture sister in-law took everything of value before mother was even buried. I was still reeling from death of husband only 3 mos. before. I asked for mom's pictures, Xmas decorations and sewing machine and got nothing. I save greeting cards also. I have some of her costume earrings and a beautiful tapestry of grandmother's & that is enough. I bought pretty boxes for pictures of granddaughter.

I make excuses about the heat and purging also! I would like to clear space in garage for when the snow comes so I can park car. hate cleaning ice and snow off car! Maybe when the weather cools!



Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, September 20, 2015 9:25 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16327


I have very little of what could be considered to be family heirlooms. My brother has my parents's things.

There is material on the internet on senior downsizing. I will have to see how helpful it is.

As far as the two balconies go, I am getting very used to looking at the empty spaces, and I'm loving it!

It is not about loss, but about FREEDOM!

Iris L.