Just recently I started recording TLC’s hoarding shows again. I did this in attempt to inspire me to get to work on my own to-do lists and get me in the nesting phase of my pregnancy (I love that phase!).
When I first started watching the shows a little over a year ago, I could barely make it through one without needing to get up and start cleaning my own house.
Just to be clear, I am in no way a hoarder, but I am certainly no neat freak either. I consider myself somewhere in the middle. My house will always look better when I have visitors expected, but sometimes I can get lazy with general clean up and there have been times it’s time to do laundry or dishes because there aren’t any clean ones left (well almost, never 100%… I actually run out of counter space in my kitchen for dirty dishes before I run out of clean dishes). But to get to that point I would have had to have an injury or be sick or depressed – normally I can manage to maintain everything in a manner that wouldn’t have me feeling like I’d be totally embarrassed if someone popped by unannounced.
That all being said, there are some tasks (like dusting or cleaning mirrors or glass doors with kid finger prints) that get left behind and watching a show like Hoarders inspires me to clean those items as well as organize something I may have put off.
Fast forward a few months and the show didn’t quite inspire me as much. I started focusing on watching the family confrontations and all the dysfunction there and I found it kind of depressing me because I could relate to family conflict and the aggravation of when people really don’t understand or hear each other.
Because the motivation to clean was no longer, I stopped watching.
Now when I watch the show, I do find more inspiration again which is good, but sometimes I’ll watch 3 episodes before I finally get off my butt to start my own projects.
Because of the baby we’re expecting, I have several to-do lists that I have in mind to complete before her arrival and know I need to get to them seeming sometimes when I get one thing done, it opens up even more tasks to get done. As an example, since we discovered we’re expecting a girl and not only has it been 7 years since we had a baby & our first is a boy, we really have nothing for this little girl – especially clothes. My sister turned me on to a Facebook page for a local mom’s resale and I’ve gotten some great deals on clothes. My average is about $1 per item which even beats Goodwill prices and these are nice clothes with hardly any stains. So yes, I could check off “get baby clothes”, but then I had to add on “wash baby clothes”, “inventory baby clothes” and “put away baby clothes”… so one thing lead to 3 more things. I never mind about how I cleaned out 11 bins of boys clothes that I now had to take pictures of in hopes to sell on the resale page – that takes hours alone!
When my to-do lists get longer, I tend to feel a bit overwhelmed and I tend to want to hid under the covers so-to-speak and not even start dealing.
This is why I started recording the Hoarding shows again.
But what is scaring me now is how empathetic I now feel towards the hoarders. Instead of focusing on the grossness of the mess, I’m listening to their stories and I for once can totally relate to how one day leads to the next, how easy it can be to ignore the problem, how one day the mess is so big you are overwhelmed so you never start to clean it… I TOTALLY GET THAT. At first you are looking at these people like “how the hell did you let it get THIS bad???” and I related to the family members who were upset, distressed or just disgusted… well no longer, I can see through the eyes of the hoarder and it’s FREAKING ME OUT!
Some of these people where completely “normal” and sometimes were even people that prided themselves on how clean their homes were, but all it took was some tragedy or a couple tragedies to completely mess with their head and then the hoard/mess starts.
For how “normal” I see myself, who’s to say I wouldn’t go off the deep end if I had some tragic loss in my life? You can’t predict that. It’s just scary to think about.
It doesn’t help that my mood just went down into the pits yesterday. I had a total “woe-is-me” moment about getting the news that I failed my 1 hour glucose test.
Why is the possible diagnosis of gestational diabetes (GD) getting me down even though I’ve dealt with it before? Let me tell you…
I’m the kind of pregnant person whose taste buds/food cravings go completely opposite of how I was eating just prior to getting pregnant. For my first pregnancy it really worked out that I was eating like crap and gaining weight prior to getting pregnant (because I was depressed over a miscarriage and overstressed at work) because when I got diagnosed with GD, the diet change needed was no big deal and I found it easy because all those healthy foods were the opposite of how I was eating prior to getting pregnant.
This time around? I’m screwed.
I’d been on a health/weight loss kick for practically 2 years prior to getting pregnant this time, so I wsas living on the “good stuff”. I never had (or really wanted for) white bread, regular pasta, ravioli, tortellini, chips, tons of fruit, fruit juice, sugary cereal, etc.
So guess what turns me off while pregnant this time? Lean proteins, veggies, healthier bread options and even nuts.
What do I like to eat? You guessed it: white bread, regular pasta, ravioli, tortellini, chips, tons of fruit, fruit juice, sugary cereal, etc.
I was OK with this because I’ve managed to stay at or below my conception weight, which was always a goal of mine (achieved that my first pregnancy).
It is actually physically hard and completely unappealing to me to eat the lean proteins and veggies that used to frequent my diet. None of the “good stuff” is my go-to food… it just isn’t.
So dealing with a GD diagnosis has me completely depressed because I already know every word they are going to tell me, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with preparing and cooking healthy foods for the next 3 months and staying away from the exact foods I long for or like better at the moment.
I can’t help that my taste buds are completely out of whack. Things I used to enjoy (like chicken, avocados and pistachios) don’t even taste right to me anymore. I feel like I will basically hate everything I will have to eat for my health and my baby’s health for the remainder of this pregnancy. Worth it? Of course. Going to be a cinch? Hell no.
I truly hate being this “opposite eater” compared to my usual self – it is NOT making things easy. I am literally going to have to force myself to eat the good stuff even though it kind of repulses me still (had a HARD first trimester – so much so that even entering my kitchen, let alone opening the fridge made me want to hurl).
Also, not getting the GD diagnosis was one of the first of four planets (no GD, estimated weight not too high, baby’s position correct & spontaneous labor) I needed to align to give me a chance at a VBAC this time around. GD complicates things because of weight estimates and also where they assume your baby will be fat and conclude that they won’t fit vaginally, even if they actually could… you don’t even get to try.
So as you can see, my head went into a sullen, whiny mode yesterday and ever since then, I could find myself relating to the hoarders.
Thoughts like that scare me… should I consider myself more susceptible to becoming a hoarder because I can related to them so much if something, heaven forbid, tragic happened in my life?
Then I look at my mother who in a lot of ways feels like she’s lost just about everyone in her life (not to death, but disagreement) except me and I catch her saying things about ending it all if something else bad happens (mostly financial) and yet, she hasn’t turned to hoarding and her homes were always way more crowded and knick-knack laden than my house has ever been… so yeah, that gives me hope… at least genetically.