Everytime I watch that Hoarding Reality show on television I cringe. Here are these helpless, fearful and anxious people being bullied, cajolled and guilted into changing their lives by well-meaning family and professionals. What the public doesn't understand is not what is obvious. Yes, the hoarding behavior is harmful and can cause health issues to the Hoarder. That it isn't logical that they live surrounded by garbage and things that are suffocating them.
What they fail to understand is the subconsciously powerful impulse and urge to feel safe. And the 'things' hoarded represent safety and familiarity. And we all hoard something in our lives, whether it's a relationship, old clothing, or an attitude.
I want to have a clean, uncluttered life. Again, that's a thought. And if there is a belief about your not having control, that you are not capable enought, smart enough, confident enough, good enough, then you find control wherever you can. In the case of hoarders, it's control of your home and what you put in it and keep stored inside it. The lose of the control is likened to the loss of the self and all that is important to you and what defines you. A hoarder doesn't define himself as a hoarder. He defines himself as someone who needs to hold on to things. For emotional safety.
So, to heal this pattern of behavior one needs to examine the powerful engine behind the actions. To seek help to heal the past and not just what is happening in the now. To address the issue directly is like pulling weeds and expecting them to be gone forever.
The root is still below the surface and regrows with any stimulation. It's like looking at an iceberg and seeing only the tip. But under the surface exists its vast bulk, below the level of what the eye can see.
Know that each of use has the ability to change our minds. But we must first arrive at the point where we ask ourselves, "Have I had enough yet?" We can clear out the debris that surrounds us or drown under the weight of the same debris disguised as protection. Find help that involves reaching into the inner mind that can and will change. Know that the process is wrought with emotion but sit in the knowledge that whatever caused the hurts were survived for the proof is that you are here.