AB³ = Body Mind Spirit forum: YOU are my rehab!!

 
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ImageChicotSherry
Mar 1, 2010 8:58 AM CST
Southeast Arky - zone 8a
Friends Supporting Friends' Cubits
YOU are my rehab!!
Positive attitudes are sincerely appreciated.
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ImageChicotSherry
Mar 1, 2010 3:53 PM CST
Southeast Arky - zone 8a
Friends Supporting Friends' Cubits
My personality is addictive, filled with highs & lows, often set off by my addictions - the most difficult being food/drink/cigarettes/clutter, which might be a result of other combined addictions. With an addictive personality such as mine, I can overnight acquire a new addiction. So, self help is for me because I want to do things the cheapest, fastest, easiest way & for me, that meant at home.

It took me several years to reason through & sort out my life & face the reality, that I couldn't have even one glass of wine, because when I did, I would eat everything on the table, whether I liked it or not. Another difficult blow was when I realized that exercise alone wouldn't do it.

As I was going through the difficulties of facing myself in the mirror of life, I discovered that I'm a bionafied clutterer. This was another serious blow for me; hey, I'm reasonably neat & tidy. After watching the TV show Hoarders, I learned that I'm fortunate, my clutter was clean & organized, nevertheless it was/is clutter & is a work in progress.

Cluttering is not something I've researched, & I do not fully understand it, or know why I have the addiction but my only sibling has it too, although our folks did not. What I do know is that it's a strong addiction & was very difficult to break, for me. I'd be interested in your thoughts as to the causes/cures, etc.

This I know: Managing my weight was not successful until I faced the cluttering addiction & dealt with it. Do you think cluttering might be the result of other combined addictions?? I have an open mind, please share your thoughts.

What I'd like is to inspire discussion, which might lead us to healthier lives, with more fun & less stress.






Positive attitudes are sincerely appreciated.
Beta Cubits.org Owner: AB³ = Body Mind Spirit & American Idol
[Last edited Mar 1, 2010 8:56 PM CST]
Quote | Post #89002 (2)
Imagezuzu
Mar 10, 2010 3:09 AM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
It's interesting to look into the reasons for the cluttering syndrome, Sherry, because it really could highlight the reasons for other excesses or flaws.

I'm a compulsive collector. I decide I like something and then collect it to the point that it becomes ludicrous. I bought a little wooden rooster figurine at a garage sale once and that was the start of a collection so large that I had to build an extra room onto my house for all of my roosters -- on rugs, paintings, tapestries, stained glass, cabinets, dishes, etc. The silly wooden rooster cost a quarter, but you can imagine what it cost to build a new addition to house the subsequent collection.

I have 1500 rose bushes on a half-acre lot. I have more Cloisonne than a Chinatown gift shop. I have more Holocaust books than any library and certainly more than I could read in what's left of my lifetime. I have hunted down every single Linda Ronstadt album ever produced (including the ones she made as a member of the Stone Poneys and as a guest artist on albums by other singers) and I have most of them on vinyl and on CD, although I have no explanation for why I would need both. At the present time, I have 25 cats -- well, actually only 23 because I'm boarding 2 of them for a friend -- but who needs 23?

But you see what I mean? Why am I doing this? If I figure out the reason, will it help me in some other area of my life?
ImageChicotSherry
Mar 10, 2010 4:08 PM CST
Southeast Arky - zone 8a
Friends Supporting Friends' Cubits
Right on, Zu!!! Yes, I see exactly what you mean, it's like looking into my own eyes. I think we're drawn to each other because we share similar personalities, independent with similar likes & dislikes. As I've mentioned, I have an unusually addictive personality. I didn't realize that collecting turns into hoarding, which turns into clutter, which ends up junk (within reason - but you get my drift), etc. I've always called my collections, projects, and I always have a project in waiting, which bleeds out of the project on the wane. I also have chickens, 12 adults & 15 babies & 5 ducks, and my glass chickens all over my house.

Because we have the first sunny day since last week, I'm pressed for time today having spent 7 hours with the cable guy, so I will be able to TiVo & watch Idol tonight. Attached is a simple site re cluttering syndrome. I'm not sure if they mention it in this article, but cluttering crept up on me & when I started examining different areas of my life requiring improvement, I realized I could not move forward without de-cluttering, that realization swept over me like someone had thrown a bucket of cold water at me. I required a helping hand, and my cousin & I worked our way through it together. I hope this site it helpful, I didn't get to read it all, let me know what you think:

http://www.onlineorganizing.com/NewslettersArticle.asp?artic...

Ooooops, I must say that I should have read the article more closely. My clutter was not all that obvious to others, and all my stuff is organized - BUT, had almost every piece of clothing I've ever owned, as well as shoes, hats, belts, bags, etc, & stored, unused collections, silver, glassware, etc.
Positive attitudes are sincerely appreciated.
Beta Cubits.org Owner: AB³ = Body Mind Spirit & American Idol
ImageSugarweed
Mar 10, 2010 4:46 PM CST
Name: Sidney, Zone 9A and 9B
Okeechobee, Fl
Giving Audubon Sanct. Tours Soon.
Oh dear ladies I think chickens and roosters are a sign. I am right there with both of you. I have both.
Then there's my "Just the Right Shoe" collection, and several other shoes including Fenton.
And 3 different wardrobes. One construction, one dressed, and loads of casual clothes all for both North and South climates.
Coleus and any plant in the Spring.
I see a sale and I may become an instant collector.
I have been thinking about why I collect and end up hoarding way too much.
A multi-medium artist will have a heyday here when I die as I have a room full of art supplies and another room full of fabric, quilt, and notions.I likely have 1,000+ yards of fabric alone some of it very organized and less not so.
Got to dash!
Smiling
The difference between adventure and adversity is attitude. Be positive, be happy.
Imagezuzu
Mar 10, 2010 5:53 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
Oh, don't get me started on clothes. I have one closet completely devoted to white and beige lace blouses, but I almost never go anywhere anymore except into my garden to pull weeds.
ImageChicotSherry
Mar 10, 2010 9:03 PM CST
Southeast Arky - zone 8a
Friends Supporting Friends' Cubits
Why are so many like us, this behavior is popping up every place - I had no idea cluttering/collecting/hoarding was so widespread. Mind you, all I wanted to do was drop a few lbs & treat my body more responsibly. What a shock when I realized, for me, the loss of weight depended upon breaking all my addictions. There was only one solution - replace the bad addictions with good addictions - this is a good idea, why isn't that ever mentioned??? Once I removed the clutter, breaking the other addictions wasn't as difficult as I imagined & everything I'd been working toward for several years, fell into place. Let me tell ya - the loss of a dress size is lots of fun!!!!!
Positive attitudes are sincerely appreciated.
Beta Cubits.org Owner: AB³ = Body Mind Spirit & American Idol
Imagezuzu
Mar 10, 2010 9:52 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
Hey, Sunshine, do you think that dahlia we just bought will be the start of a collection? And will it be a collection of dahlias or of every plant we can find with an animal's name in it?

(Explanatory note for Sherry and others: Sunshine and I are in a bulb co-op and we couldn't resist Dahlia Giraffe.)
ImageChicotSherry
Mar 10, 2010 10:03 PM CST
Southeast Arky - zone 8a
Friends Supporting Friends' Cubits
LOL. I have other animal collections, camels, elephants, Dalmations, Goldens, animal shaped teapots & cups, and I collect animal print fabrics, & cow hides, & Russian hats made from skins (those are gifts because the guy said he KNEW I'd buy them if I had been there - he was correct). I told ya, I have it bad...
Positive attitudes are sincerely appreciated.
Beta Cubits.org Owner: AB³ = Body Mind Spirit & American Idol
ImageChicotSherry
Mar 10, 2010 10:09 PM CST
Southeast Arky - zone 8a
Friends Supporting Friends' Cubits
Great post, Zu!! And yet another reason we are pals, what you describe is so me.

And, the answer is yes, figuring out why one is compulsive, with an addictive personality is of benefit, it's changed my life. I think/suspect, that an addictive/compulsive personality leads to cluttering, collecting...
Positive attitudes are sincerely appreciated.
Beta Cubits.org Owner: AB³ = Body Mind Spirit & American Idol
ImageButterflyChaser
Mar 14, 2010 8:54 AM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
I'm overcoming my addiction to things as I work towards a better understanding and a more minimalistic life. I've always been a collector. I collected ships for my living room decor, teddy bear figurines because I thought they were cute, books (I'm an English major and had to keep every book I ever read since I was a kid), etc. If I picked up a hobby, I acquired every possible tool I might ever need for it, whether I knew how to use it or not. When I did ceramics, I had lots of fired bisque ready to paint and paint in every color imaginable. When I took up scrapbooking, I acquired an entire room of papers, cutters, inks, stamps, and other tools and supplies. Everything is neat and organized, but still it's just excessive. Even my gardens show signs of compulsion. My ENTIRE yard is a botanical garden. I have no lawn; it's all plants and mulched paths all the way around my house.

In analyzing myself, I've come to learn that "things" filled a hole in my soul. I suffered a lot of trauma as a child and quickly learned that people could not be trusted. Things don't hurt you; people do. Over time I became a bit reclusive, turning to things to soothe and heal me where people would not. I spent most of my life hiding from people and surrounding myself with beautiful, wonderful things.

Now at 46, I'm learning to let go of the things. It was really hard at first, but I started with small steps, letting go of what I could. Some things were just impossible. The thought of letting some things go, like my books, would feel me with gloom and depression. It was crazy, I knew that, to be so attached to the books. But I think books had always been my refuge. I was an A student in school and college, and books were my "happy place". So I started by getting rid of just a handful at a time. It took years to clear out the 1000's of books I had, but once I did, I felt relieved at not having to dust them or move them when I rearranged furniture. And it was a blessing to get rid of all those bookcases.

I've evaluated and re-evaluated every little thing in my house. And I've gotten rid of just about anything that doesn't serve a real purpose. It's great therapy actually to give up something this week that I couldn't even think about parting with two months ago. And the more I cull out, the more I want to cull out. I'm constantly going thru drawers, closets and cabinets and tossing items in boxes to be given away or sold.

Selling many of my items has really helped me stay focused on de-cluttering. Money is my reward for overcoming this addiction to "things". I spent over $200 this morning on groceries, vitamins and other necessaries, and all that money came from some of these "things" that I sold. So it felt like a free shopping spree. LOL

Another motivator is thinking about what my loved ones would have to deal with should I die suddenly. Since that was a very real possibility a few years ago, they spurred me into action. No one would want all the collections I had. If I thought of anyone who would, I boxed up the collections and gave them to that person to enjoy; he/she didn't have to wait til I died to "inherit" them. And watching someone else treasure something you treasured is quite nice.

As I become physically and emotionally healthier, "things" are much less important to me. I need my gardens, another hobby or two, my morning walks, my dark chocolate, and my fruit smoothies. Most of the other stuff is unnecessary, and I'm becoming more able to let it go. I've even quit being a compulsive shopper. I do go thru a store and gather up things, probably compulsively. But before I get to the checkout, I go thru my buggy to see if I REALLY want these items. Often I put back several or even half of what I gathered up. Facing my compulsion this way, and overcoming it, is liberating.
ImageSugarweed
Mar 14, 2010 2:48 PM CST
Name: Sidney, Zone 9A and 9B
Okeechobee, Fl
Giving Audubon Sanct. Tours Soon.
I can see those 3 Giraffe Dalias with some Defiance Coleus and ???
Last summer when I didn't get thrilled with 3 flats of coleus I realized that buying more was stupid.
I need to put a good 3 week push on getting this yard done.
I have a 4" thatch of sword ferns, dollar weed and even a runaway grass runner here and there. We had the hardest freeze since 1999 here in January. Makes it real easy to find the weeds. They are the only plants green.
I know I've gone through times when I had creative yearnings and nothing to work with.
Then there's being out of town working where fabric shopping was an easy past time and honestly my fabric will be the last to go. I have many quilts to make in my retirement.
At one time I relished taking almost anything and decoupage, paint, cover or reinvent it. My fire hasn't gone out but I've collected way too much stuff. When I get too much stuff I can't find what I have. It drives me crazy and I'm not going to grow old buying more of what I already own.
I sorted my tools and found 14 screwdrivers, 8 hammers, and 20 some pliers alone. I have been in heavy construction for over 30 years and these tools weren't pilfered, they were purchased.
At this writing I am searching for old tax records. I have important work box, a tax info box and a file. I also have a trash can with a shredder and another with out. I am getting rid of MUCH!!! Smiling
I might as well get this paperwork out of the way.
Smiling


The difference between adventure and adversity is attitude. Be positive, be happy.
ImageChicotSherry
Mar 14, 2010 8:37 PM CST
Southeast Arky - zone 8a
Friends Supporting Friends' Cubits
Nice to have you here, ButterflyC! I have a cuz that does 6 meals & has lost lbs & she exercises. A light breakfast & filling meal in the mid to late afternoon does it for me, I do munch on healthy snacks, Quaker minis, seeds, white chocolate peanut butter, raw veggies, sometimes dip, Kettlecorn, already popped, popcorn, and other low cal treats, as I find them. Eating my mid afternoon meal out helps me too, I get more variety, I have to be out anyway.

Shine, I identify with the fabric obsession & since I've been de-cluttering, I've gathered all the fabric to one place, I'm using more of what I have, rather than buying more. That's a good thing. Gathering up, and keeping all of collections I'm keeping his helpful too, and way more interesting than having a few here & there. Hey, I found several stashes of stamps - yip, I'm a stamp collector.

My Hub has been exercising longer than I have, he walks twice a day, 4-8 miles, and exercises, yet still has too much tummy. The only difference in our activity is that he exercises more than I do, and continues to eat some fast food/gravy/bread/pizza. So, I'm thinking that many, like myself, have to exercise & cut calories drastically, which was the only way I could improved my abs, and, gulp, in order to maintain it, I don't get time off from exercise & I simply cannot have that occasional can of condensed milk, or wine, or fried chicken, or Krispy Kream, or a pan of buttermilk fudge. I do hope that eating correctly, to maintain my weight & health, has become an addiction!!!!!!!!!!!
Positive attitudes are sincerely appreciated.
Beta Cubits.org Owner: AB³ = Body Mind Spirit & American Idol
Imagezuzu
Mar 14, 2010 10:04 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
Oh, Sherry -- Are you talking about sweetened condensed milk, like Eagle Brand (my favorite thing on earth)? When I was a child, we lived near an ice cream factory. There was a fire there and all of the ice cream melted. The stuff at the bottom of the vats was the most delicious thing imaginable. The factory owner gave my mother several big containers of it because he knew she had three children. Years later, I tasted Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk and it brought it all back. That's exactly what the ice cream tasted like after it had been through a fire. I refrigerate the can and then eat it with a spoon.

Darn it, Sunshine, you reminded me of something else I have to do: Get my tax records in order. All last year I kept throwing things in a box instead of filing them away in the proper places. Now I have to file all of them at once and find all of the tax-relevant papers.

NancyAnn, you bring up a very good point: "Things don't hurt you; people do." I would bet that's part of the psyche of most collectors of things or animals. Sherry, I think you pointed out that these things are hereditary as well. I have a combination of these motives. My mother collected things, but many of them were stupid things -- rubber bands, paper bags, plastic bags, styrofoam meat trays, fruitcake cans, etc. She also was a compulsive buyer. I remember one time when she was moving to a new home and the movers asked her just how many sets of sheets she owned that had never even been opened (there were hundreds). She told them she couldn't resist saving money and bought them whenever they went on sale. One of the movers politely but pointedly informed her that she had just lost all of the money she'd saved by having to pay the movers to transport all of those huge boxes filled with sheets (not to mention the huge boxes filled with paper bags!) from one house to another.

So I have the hereditary thing, but with a major difference. In contrast to most people, I always despised my mother. She was a thoroughly horrible human being and I never wanted to be like her in any way. As a result, every rubber band or styrofoam tray I come across goes straight into the garbage. I like to think I'm collecting desirable objects rather than practical ones.

ImageButterflyChaser
Mar 15, 2010 8:33 AM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
Sherry, is your hubby under some stress--at work, financially, healthwise or is something else bothering him? Does he get enough sleep (8-9 hrs nightly)? According to the doctor, belly fat is a sign of some form of stress. When we're stressed in any way, we retain belly fat. So if the rest of his body is pretty firm and the belly is the issue, it could be he's producing too many stress hormones that grow the "omentum"--the belly fat.

I can see where collecting would could be hereditary--or rather a "learned" habit. My mom is a hoarder. She'll save ANYTHING! She has canned foods that expired many years ago. She had bottles of OTC drugs that had long expired. When she goes to the hospital for some treatment, I go thru her cabinets and get rid of these expired items which could potentially harm her. She has a room 1/4 full of empty boxes and Christmas wrap from all the presents she's been given in the last few years. She NEVER gives gifts, so why she clings to things, I don't know, but she won't let anyone touch them. She collects salt shakers, baby dolls, toys, etc. (She doesn't even have any grandchildren or great grandchildren young enough for the dolls and toys.)

My mother also has no friends and never goes to visit anyone. Her life has been guarding her "things" for as long as I can remember.

I have been a collector too, for as long as I can remember. I too like to believe that I collect desirable objects. But in reassessing my collections, I've come to find that so many of them just take up unnecessary space and time. I also don't want to be like my mother; I want to have friends and family. I want to be outgoing and sociable. I want to have dinner parties and I want people to feel comfortable hanging out at my house. I want my focus to be more on people and less on things.

So now, much of my things must have a REAL purpose. For instance, for decor, I use unique photo frames that match the decor of my room. My living room has a nautical theme, so I've found seashell and lighthouse picture frames and I display family photos in them. I only have 3 or 4 of them, not a collection of 20 as I would have done in the past. Instead of buying a bunch of pictures and wall decor, I paint my own paintings.

With books, I keep them for as long as I am using them. My scrapbook and gardening books are currently reference resources. As I learn the info, I give up the books. Entertainment books are read once or twice and then passed on to someone else. I no longer hoard books.

When I buy hobby supplies, I do stock up a bit. But when I change hobbies, I sell all the old hobby supplies to buy new hobby supplies. I've learned that with most hobbies, I don't return to them once I start a new one. Scrapbooking, gardening, and painting are the only hobbies I do consistently. Others were phases.

I regularly re-evaluate all my stuff. If I don't use something often enough, I get rid of it. Often it's easier to go buy a new one IF I should ever need it again. So many items have, in the past, just sat in a cabinet or closet for years, unused and forgotten. No more.

I also complete those "DIY" projects that I have hoarded materials for. So I've been able to clear out a lot of room in my storage room this winter by installing items I bought for a remodelling project. And some items I realized I'd never get around to using, so I listed those on Craigslist. So now there's no reminder of an unfinished project.
ImageSugarweed
Mar 15, 2010 10:26 AM CST
Name: Sidney, Zone 9A and 9B
Okeechobee, Fl
Giving Audubon Sanct. Tours Soon.
It's my DGM's Home and Garden Club from the depression;
Use it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do, or
Do without!
When she died she had two ball's of string. One was long pieces and the other was pieces too short to save.
She had clear glass jars that she kept the rubber bands in and nails in one and paper clips in one. All so neat.
She didn't have to have "pretty paper clips", or any of the hundreds of stupid things I over the years have stupidly purchased.
She only purchased fabric when she was going to use it. When she made a quilt the only fabric purchased was the connecting and backing fabric, the rest was from leftovers from making clothes. All her seven kids had one or two sewing clothes in their family. They all took their scraps to her. She sorted them according to size and they all had been washed and ironed.
I don't think she had more than 5 'occasion' dresses and maybe 4 or 5 cotton everyday dresses. She had a homemade "smock". She wore that over her clothes when she did chores. It had long cuffed sleeves up and buttoned-up all the way.
Those are the lessons I need to remember.
I have a couple that are always scraping for their next dollar. I wince when they buy new ink cartridges at $25. each, yet I was about to ignore my stash of printing ink. If I wasn't going to use it, why did I buy it?
I need to find a happy medium!
I guess I'm just ranting and hoping if I type it, maybe it'll sink in.
All of you are inspirations to me.
Smiling
Back to taxes. Smiling

The difference between adventure and adversity is attitude. Be positive, be happy.
ImageButterflyChaser
Mar 15, 2010 12:53 PM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
I think typing it, saying it, thinking about it does eventually sink in. Also practicing it helps it sink in. And commending yourself on letting something go makes you take notice of what you're hoarding and what you let go. Each little step makes a difference. And it's all a process.

I have a policy now that if I bring something into my house, a similar item must leave. So if I get new clothes, old clothes must go. If I get a new piece of furniture, an old piece must go. A while back I decided I wanted a new living room suit. Since I don't use my living room much, I went ahead and got rid of my old couch and chairs. A couple weeks later I saw an ad in the newspaper for a nice, used leather sectional. I was able to buy it and bring it home and immediately put it in the living room without having the other furniture in the way.
ImageSugarweed
Mar 15, 2010 3:32 PM CST
Name: Sidney, Zone 9A and 9B
Okeechobee, Fl
Giving Audubon Sanct. Tours Soon.
I love it when faith is rewarded like your affordable leather furniture.
I am trying to toss ten out for every one in.
I am also putting a lot of stuff in the trash.
if I get a hole in a sock,undies,or pajamas, I toss it.
I believe I have all the papers for getting these taxes done.
I have awesome guardian angels.
Thumbs up

The difference between adventure and adversity is attitude. Be positive, be happy.
Imagezuzu
Mar 15, 2010 3:36 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
I love throwing away lingerie with holes in it because I grew up in a household where my grandmother darned socks until they were nothing but darns.

I've also learned to throw away anything that breaks. I used to put the object in a drawer, assuming that I'd get out the super glue someday and fix it, but when things started accumulating in that drawer at a rapid clip, I threw them all out instead.
ImageSugarweed
Mar 15, 2010 3:39 PM CST
Name: Sidney, Zone 9A and 9B
Okeechobee, Fl
Giving Audubon Sanct. Tours Soon.
Hurray!
I am glad someone mentioned Craigs List
Hurray!
The difference between adventure and adversity is attitude. Be positive, be happy.

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