“Hello, my name is Hilary and I am a recovering hoarder.”
I’ve watched the show “hoarders”, and have friends who are also. But I never seriously considered myself to be one until March 2018, when I had to move out of the 2 bedroom apartment I had lived in for 17 years. Now, realistically speaking, most folks will have some old stuff after living in a place for that long. But I had STUFF! I wasn’t one of those with only narrow aisles surrounded on each side by towering mounds of things. But I had stuff.
And I know why I had stuff. I was depressed and emotionally drained.
Back in 1997, my friend and love Bill, died from AIDS. I had taken him in and hospice him for the last 4 1/2 months of his life. I have no regrets about what I did and would do it again, but I was emotionally trashed afterwards. Then, new guy came into my life and moved into my apartment without really asking me if it was okay. His ex had found his Valentine’s day card to me, confronted him, made him pack his shit and moved him into my place. He called me while I was at work (night shift) at 1130PM and told me what happened. I admit that I wasn’t it any state to deal with this as I was at work and also sucked dry. I was actually glad to have some company. This happened about 6 months after Bill died so I was still in an emotional coma.
We broke up in 2003. But man after man came into my life and they all sucked me dry. I had nothing more to give. So I bought stuff to fill the holes in my heart. Books, cooking stuff, craft supplies, movies, CD’s, etc.
This recent move showed me how far gone I had become. I cried some while moving because I saw the pain I had been in. The energy was all tied up into those things. It’s no wonder my wife told me she didn’t want that stuff in the new place. It was surrounded by negative vibes. I gave away a lot, donated 12 boxes of books, trashed a lot more. It was painful and hard but it was necessary. I had to break the pattern I was in so I could move on.
Now we live in a much smaller apartment and there is no room for such things. We do have a storage locker for the big items that we’ll need once we decide to move into a larger place (dresser, credenza, some shelves). And for seasonal items like clothes and footwear.
But I have no intention of going back to that place again. I’m in the healthiest relationship I have ever had, I love and am loved by a remarkable woman, and am on the road to recovery.
I had to look into the mirror and see myself truthfully though and that hurt a lot. This will be a lesson I will remember for the rest of my life.
“Hi, I’m Hilary and I am a recovered hoarder. I have forgiven myself and have moved on.”