Things in Erin’s Head 

 

Have you ever felt like you were surrounded by so much stuff that you couldn’t STAND it any more? I have been in that zone since I moved to South Florida ten years ago (holy cow that’s a long time). For large chunks of time I will ignore it. Shove the feeling of suffocation off into a crevasse deep down somewhere. But every now and then, like this week, I feel like I need to slough off things that no longer serve me, like week old skin peeling off your back after basking unprotected in the sun. 

I set my mind to eliminating:

Scrubs. I don’t like wearing them and I only bought them because it was the uniform for ONE massage center I filled in for about eight years ago (it’s literally two sets). 

Capri pants. My old massage “uniform” that I wore as professional armor. I also don’t like them (they are also too small) and I haven’t worn any of them in at least two years.

Two binders of paper. One was from a course I took and I originally kept the papers so I could “see how far I’ve come.” Except I KNOW how far I’ve come and I certainly don’t need to compare myself to myself… because living in the NOW is what matters.

The second binder was from the months immediately following Jerry’s liver transplant where we tracked his vitals and insulin every day. And it has all of his prescription information and changes. 

“So why don’t you get rid of it?” you ask?

I’ll tell you why. 

HOARDING DISORDER.

This is what happened to me this week: I made the decision to declutter these specific items while I was in the shower (where I do a lot of my best thinking) and when I got out, I went to the drawer with the scrubs, I opened it, grabbed a set, and my throat constricted. I thought, “This is stupid, you haven’t worn these since before Covid,” but I felt like I was choking so I closed the drawer. 

Fine. I’ll deal with the capris. I opened a different drawer (which I literally haven’t opened in three months because it’s filled with long pants and there is NO WAY I’m wearing long pants in the Florida summer heat). Same reaction. Felt panicky. Closed the drawer. 

Pulled out the binders. Figured old paper would be easy. But the same response bubbled up.

My brain dusted off old generational wounds oozing with thoughts of:

“But what if I need this…”

“I can’t replace this.”

“I might fit into this again someday.”

“It’s still good,”

and my favorite…

“What if I throw it out and then I need something like it and I have to <insert dramatic music here> BUY IT AGAIN?”

While environment and life experience plays a big part, Hoarding Disorder is a real thing and it may very well be genetic. I don’t know exactly when my Nana’s hoarding began, but I was certainly raised around it, I saw her disease progress, and I witnessed the panic my Nana felt when anything was moved, disturbed, cleaned, or if anyone tried to “help” in any way (including pulling weeds). My mother and her siblings spent countless hours, dollars, and tears managing the volumes and volumes of mess after her passing. The beautiful 1910 home was filled basement to attic with junk my Nana viewed as treasures and couldn’t bear to part with. Old clothes from her maternity shop, all of her children’s toys, newspapers – decades worth of newspapers – that surrounded her like a paper fortress. She had set intention and purpose for everything, but most of it never came to fruition.  

While the hoarding tendencies in my family have been significantly diluted over the generations, on occasion these thoughts rooted in lack, still invade my brain.

My growth is focusing on the FACTS: 

Have I ever thrown anything out and regretted it and / or missed it? I can say with 98% certainty, “No.”

If I make a mistake and throw something away and need to buy it again, will it be the end of the world? “No.”

Will I REALLY repurpose / repair / rejuvenate this THING? Most likely NOT. 
 

This is also where EFT / Tapping has really helped me. I’ve been able to create scripts like, “Even though I throw out perfectly good stuff, I deeply and completely love and accept myself,” and tap through the pressure points to interrupt the invasive and non-productive thought pattern. The thoughts don’t vanish per se, but they lose their emotional charge, which makes it much easier to move forward.

I also know that when the panicky thoughts come up, that I need to just close the drawer and move on to something else. While I did not get rid of scrubs, capris, and binders, I did shred a lot of paper and I destroyed a lot of old photos (all the blurry ones / were of people I don’t know / people I haven’t talked to in 35 years). The task was instinctive and fast. If I had to think about it, I left the photo in its sleave. Which made the TOSSING much easier because I didn’t have myself worked up into a frenzy of “what if?”

It made the space around me feel better. It made my heart feel lighter. It created feelings of ease, flow, and love.

Because it’s all about love…

Spaces are limited so secure your place today: 
CHAKRA BALANCING WITH EFT: TAP INTO YOUR INNER HARMONY
Tuesday, July 16, 2024
6:00 – 8:00pm

Body & Soul Ministries 
720 NE 3rd Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

$44

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Because it’s all about love.