i was watching hoarders: buried alive last night and my heart ached for the people going through the anxiety of letting go of their things. i know when we watch this show it sometimes seems silly to us that someone needs to keep old cereal boxes and a broken rocking chair from their childhood, but these things have become a part of the people holding onto them and they fear that by letting their stuff go.. they are letting pieces of themselves go.
this one woman in particular was struggling more than usual and everytime the organizer tried to sort through her stuff, her anxiety would sky rocket and she'd yell at the camera crew to turn off the cameras and she told the organizer that she couldn't deal with her touching her things and going through all her stuff. it was overwhelming and painful. she wasn't able to mentally handle everything coming at her. it turns out that it wasn't this woman's choice to have an organizer come in and help. her family was forcing her.
i knew the intervention for this woman wouldn't work. she wasn't ready. she wasn't committed. she wasn't invested. she didn't actually want to change.... at that exact time. maybe in the future, but definitely not at that moment. she felt backed into a corner and that's not enough for someone to change. it takes a lot of courage and strength to face, head on, things that scare and impact your life. but that courage doesn't come from being forced to have it. i remember my husband telling me to "get over my anxiety" and just "stop worrying about things so much." he was so confused as to why i couldn't just 'turn off' the worry switch and stop the painful and exhausting panic attacks and anxious feelings. well... if it was that easy, we'd all turn off the switch, wouldn't we!
not everyone understands what others are going through. my husband will never know what it feels like to have a panic attack. i'll never know what it feels like to hoard until my house is buried beneath things. but what we do know is how to support the people we love. we can't force change. i was never going to heal from anxiety until i was ready. no one could tell me to just "stop" or "knock it off." i had to be ready to take the long journey and commit to changes i would inevitably need to make. i'm not gonna lie, some of these changes were horrifying. i had to face lots of fears! but how else would i know i could do it? how else would i help myself? and that's why people can't be pushed. you need to be invested in your journey and committed to your own change and growth.
so how committed are you?
how badly do you want to change your life? to live your life? first, know exactly why you want to change. then take small steps of committment to bring these positive changes to your life. COMMIT TO YOU!