Thanks to a friend who who responded to my email seeking aid I found housing on Saturday [January 22]. It was a huge weight lifted off of me and things were looking much better.
Until the panic, anxiety, paralyzing fear, tremors etcetera started attack cycles.
It is Tuesday [January 25] and working tonight should provide a desperately needed respite from the relentless attack that has been going on for three days.
Panic has me struggling to get a full breath; panic or anxiety or both have me shaking like a leaf with sweat pouring out of me. The fear is literally paralyzing, locking my muscles up – an extremely disturbing experience. Stomach muscles seizing; jaw muscles locking up resulting in pain on the excruciating side; my body wracked by trembling.
I feel exhausted, beaten and defeated – a prisoner in my own personal hell. It is a debilitating process wearing me away physically, mentally and emotionally. To make matters worse the mess my mind is in has me forgetting to take my medication – exactly what I don’t need to do under these circumstances.
After being free of the urge to stuff my face and take comfort in food, and losing considerable weight as a result, I nearly bought eight litres of ice cream. I was saved because my small freezer has no room for anything that large.
It is not that I have not experienced these effects previously but never this consistently. Shortly after reaching a point of calm, my brain hijacks my thoughts and drags me back into gibbering hell.
I began working on the stuff in my place but haven’t made much progress because shortly after I begin working I run into a wall of panic or anxiety et al and quickly find myself struggling to get through the attack.
When my mind wouldn’t quiet and let me take a pre-work nap, I grabbed an old Hilroy school notebook and escaped into journalizing what was happening until the alarm went off to tell me it was time to eat and head to work.
While focusing on the words of what was taking place didn’t let me sleep it did serve to provide a restful quiet.
Contemplating what words would be adequate to paint an accurate picture of the monster I was unable to find any words I felt adequate and decided that a visual tour of my residence would be the best choice.
Standing there discombobulated and taking the pictures for the tour, reality ripped away my wilful denial [“it is not that bad”] leaving me face to face with the monster under the bed. Until I was forced to acknowledge the monster under the bed I had always told myself “it isn’t that bad” and “that cleaning it up was a pain but doable by myself”. But now I had to accept the reality of the Hoard and acknowledge the size and scope of the monster.
While that recognition did not bring relief from the cycle of panic, anxiety, fear, etcetera that keep cycling through me, hopefully acknowledging reality will make it possible to act effectively.
Finding housing had removed the barrier protecting me from the monster that had taken up residence under my bed when the universe flooded my basement suite a number of years ago.
The drain for my porch is tied into the weeping tile system. When debris slowed the rate of water flow the system backed up onto my porch, Because the property is inclined my porch is four feet below ground level with a concrete wall retaining the soil. Long before the water rises high enough to overflow the concrete walls it escapes through the house.
I was home when the flooding started to flow into the suite and avoided a total disaster; but while the entire floor didn’t get soaked the carpet along the porch walls was soaked and although my shop vac kept it from spreading across the entire carpet everything on the porch side of the room had to be moved to the dry side.
The problem was made much worse by the failure of the landlord to quickly or effectively address the flooding.
In fact I was forced to determine where the flooding was coming from and had to seal the drain with hydraulic cement to stop the flooding. I also had to shop vac the carpet to get the water up and borrow a dehumidifier to finish drying out the suite.
Sealing the drain prevented any further flooding but it also prevents the porch from draining so anything on the porch gets wet from rain or snow blown in or that falls on the stairs severely limiting the ability to place any belongings on the porch.
It was during the flooding, with all the stress and trauma of the flooding and its aftermath that the monster was born.
Prior to the flooding my place was organized and kept that way. Once it ceased to be organized…well, once started down that hill it was an accelerating ride.
As I sat there yawning as my shift wound down Tuesday my intention was to print, edit and share the words when I returned home from work. But once home Wednesday morning I could not stop yawning and was unable to stay awake without a nap.
I woke from my nap almost 24 hours later [9 AM Thursday] which provided testament to how much the three days between Saturday evening and Tuesday evening had taken out of me.
After taking my medications, food, fluids and perusing the news I set about proof reading my words – waking when the alarm went off to get me up and to work Thursday.
The brain is a very strange beast.
The Tao of James notes that Reality does not care about what we want to be, Reality simply IS and no amount of denial will change Reality.
I did a ‘Buried in Treasure’ group about hoarding, but that did not prevent my living in the land of denial “it’s not that bad.” Fortunately, while I clung to denial part of the course material I absorbed and adopted was the idea of not adding to the Hoard. I shudder to think what additional years of acquisition would have created.
I had planned to rent a shipping container, using it as a place to sort my stuff but without the blinders of denial on this seems unlikely to work as there is more Hoard that needs disposing of than there is stuff I want to keep.
In light of the newly recognized reality and knowing my current landlord would be speaking with the new owners I asked him to see if they would be willing to give me until the end of February to move and they said that was OK.
Given the volume of the Hoard I think my best option is to get the use of a pickup or cargo van and keep loading the vehicle full with everything but what I want to keep [books, electronics, clothes, kitchen supplies, towels, bedding – but nothing that would not be of use within the next six months], haul it to the dump and repeat.
I used a service to haul away the material on my porch last fall but with all the costs of moving I do not have the funds to pay some to remove the Hoard.
Although the certified professional accountant in me winces at throwing away the many usable items making up the Hoard the hoard has to go.
If I take my new place as of February 15th I can use the vehicle to pack and haul what I am keeping to the new place over a number of days spreading out the physical labour required to make and move.
The problem is that while the extra time is a bonus, given the now recognized and admitted extent of the Hoard I have serious doubts that, at seven decades of age and diabetic, I have the physical strength or stamina to physically move all that needs to be moved, – even given until the end of February.
More importantly, I am seriously concerned about the effect trying to move all that material will have on my health.
While dying of a heart attack would solve moving issue, at least for me, I am really looking forward to reading Crowbones in March and the second book of L E Modesitt’s Grand Illusion duology this summer. My books hold such emotional value to me because at the very lowest points in my life looking forward to reading a particular book provided a reason to be alive.
Contributing to the difficulty is that the social distancing of COVID, in shutting down socializing, served to sever connections and relationships and shut down people my [and others] ability to network and to seek out advice, options, resources and help.
I don’t know what resources or help can be mustered to facilitate the removal/disposal of the Hoard or relocation to my new domicile.
The video tour of the Hoard shows the size of the challenge the Hoard presents in moving and the physical demands dealing with the Hoard will cost.
It is that cost that has me concerned about the possibility [probability?] of negative health consequences.
Seeking assistance is about survival and the possibilities that still being here presents.
Hmm……. you know……. I do have a box of 100 black Glad regular size 74 L plastic bags with which to create souvenirs, appropriate and substantial, of the Hoard. The Hoard – [100 x 74 L] = serious progress.
FREE HOARD SOUVENIRS !!!
Don’t miss out – only 100 ASTOUNDING Hoard Souvenir packages available – and they’re absolutely FREE!!! FREE!!! FREE!!!