I’ve watched a few of those crazy hoarder shows and wondered how does a person let things get so out of control? And then I took a look around my own home. Every room has a degree of messiness. Some may think that is perfectly understandable in a household of 6 with 4 children aged 6 and under. I’m now realising it is a sign of my ongoing battle with depression.
No one likes to admit that they have a mental illness. The stigma that is associated with it and the manifestation of doubt in a sufferer’s mind often delays attempts to seek assistance. I am no different.
For me, my depression began after a verbal assault by a trusted family member. About 8 weeks after giving birth to my fourth child, my skills as a mother were called into question and although my husband assured me that the accusations were completely unfounded, it was the simply the identity of the abuser that made and continues to have such a detrimental effect on my psyche. I’m not going to name the person but suffice to say that I no longer have any contact as a way to protect myself from further unprovoked attacks.
The timing and circumstances of this event could not have been worse. We had moved house when I was 36 weeks pregnant and the intention had always been to have this person help finish unpacking and sorting. I still have boxes I can’t look at, a ‘dining room’ full of unsorted clothes that I hide behind closed doors and maternity/baby goods that really should be cleared out. But I find myself overwhelmed, unable to make a start, sick to the stomach at the thought of even knowing where to begin.
I have an unwillingness to have visitors. I get anxious about talking to people. I find it extremely difficult to sleep. I shut down and shut myself away. I have even not taken my children to school or kindergarten because I can’t face leaving the house.
Hoarding in my house is not because I covet the stuff that has accumulated. It is simply a silent scream, and it is time to seek help and turn that scream into a primal yell of empowerment.