The number one question I get asked about my hoarding clients is “ What is the worst thing you have ever seen!?”
I don’t like the question, and my answer would go something like this. “Well, if I’ve seen feces, rotting food and dead mice once, I’ve seen it a million times! If you really want to know, I HAVE seen some of the most interesting people I will never forget. I have worked with doctors, politicians, engineers, and teachers suffering from hoarding disorder. I have met people who have been through more than anyone should have to go through in a lifetime. Car accidents, rape, death and divorce. They are surviving and battling a serious mental illness. That is the worst I have seen!
I wonder if you want to know the worst hoarder case I’ve seen, so you can feel better about the number of jeans and shoes in your closet? Do you want to feel better about the dust that has accumulated under your couch?
Hoarding is about the people. Not the junk. Not the clutter. Not the trash.
Why are people so fascinated with the worst. The horror story. The shootings, the terrorist, the gloom and doom?
So much negativity in the news every single day. Why are we all still watching the news? When asked, people will tell you they like positive, feel-good stories. The media knows otherwise. They know we pay more attention to the negative.
I understand negativity bias and the appeal to danger and destruction. I get it.
It takes a lot more effort to be perceptive. Be optimistic and put more effort into positive, attractive thoughts. Be aware of what your asking. Choose positivity.
Build people up. Don’t tear them down.