Sunday, 30 September 2007

Compulsive hoarding

Compulsive hoarding or pathological hoarding is a term which is used to describe extreme hoarding behaviour in humans. It involves the collection or failure to discard large numbers of objects even when their storage causes significant clutter and impairment to basic living activities such as moving around the house, cooking, cleaning, showering or sleeping.
In other words, a real messy garbage collecting wanker.....

The reason why i'm interested with this topic is because a few nights ago i was watching the telly with me mum. We were watching a program about compulsive hoarders on discovery health and living (or watever that channel is called). The show mentioned that compulsive hoarding is a psychological condition that can potentially be fatal. In fact, in the case of the infamous wealthy Collyer brothers, this condition had led to their deaths!
The show also talked about a current true life study of this girl called Melodie. Her apartment is a complete mess. She's lives alone in a relatively small apartment and there's barely any walking space. the entire apartment is filled with so many shelves full of stuff. Its really scary cause there's NO PLACE TO SLEEP but between 2 shelves. The pathway to the kitchen and bathroom are virtually blocked. You can't reach the fire escape (let alone recognise it!). If the shelves were to fall on her, she would be crushed to death in an instance!
What intrigued me most was when a professional organiser interviewed her on why she is a compulsive hoarder, her reply was simply the following:
1. should never throw away things that could be used and
2. certain things bring forth certain memories.
When she gave those replies, it occurred to me that, THAT I TOO AM LIKE THAT!
Like her, I keep so many things because they remind me of certain memories like school events, parties, camping trips, etc, etc. There aren't exactly collector's items that will fetch me loads of moolahs one day, in fact, one look at them, they look nothing more than a pile of garbage! Yet they are my prized possessions!
For the love of God, I can never keep my room neat. It is always full of clutter. (Same goes to my office space!) I have so much stuff, that there's no place for a bed... hence why i sleep on the floor! However, its not as bad as the case study i.e. Melodie.
I suppose this habit is hereditary. My grandma is like so as you can probably find newspaper from the 1960s in her house! My dad has a similar habit (however he is Mr meticulous as his rubbish are all neatly kept). My sister is no better as her collection of wrapping paper and plastic bags can virtually fill up 1/3 of my room!!!
As for me, i collect rubbish and i'm messy which is a sure recipe for self destruction!
This bad habit of mine started very young as I remember my very first collection. I was probably about 5 or 6 years old. One of my Aunts from London, bought us loads of chocolates and this very cool packet of toffees. The toffees' wrappers were very cool and pretty. So what i did was i cleaned them and made my very first scrap book! i now have all kind of scrap books!
In general, most people collect things. It could be a stamp collection, coin collection, comics, figurines, books, dvds, magazines, calenders, coasters, coffee mugs, key chains, cars, etc, etc... I'm no better. I collect stuffs too. The only problem with me is that i collect EVERYTHING!
I have a sizable coin and stamp collection, comic books, more than 400 liquor / beer glasses/goblets, more than 200 books, more than a hundred coasters, over a thousand dvds, virtually all the hotel cards of the hotels i've stayed at, 50+ action figurines and related toys, etc, etc....
Those arent the problem... what seems to be the problem is my collection of unnecessary items such as bags... i still keep the bag i used in kindergarten...
however, my real problem is my collection of what i call Slacker's memorabilia...
I have kept virtually every single movie stub of the movies i've watched over the years. I even have the paper ones from the old cinemas like Rex and Odeon. I have all my flight tickets, ferry tickets from all my trips be they domestic or overseas, all kinds of tickets for events such as the MTV awards, the numerous festivals like the recent rainforest and salsa festivals, all my concert tickets and i mean all... from deep purple to my favourite concert ever, Pearl Jam 1994... to both the Alanis concerts, the No doubt concert, and the most recent one, Gwen (don't know why i was there - must've been the company!).....
I have all the wallets that i've used since i was in primary school... all kinds of rocks that i've collected from all my camping trips... all kinds of Media / party lanyards from the various events such as Paul Van Dyke, Tiesto, Kent fresh freakouts, Terminal 1 party, F1 - B&H rave zone, PD raves, Genting raves, etc, etc, etc....
I still have my very first Eternity perfume bottle (i'm still loyal to CK's Eternity).... i still have the box that came with it!... I have all these program booklets from all the campfires / gatherings / jamborees from my scout days, all the program booklets from all the musical i've watched in malaysia/singapore... hell i have all the wrist bands from all the events such as Rentak Asia and salsa 101!!!!!
I have all the newspaper clippings where my face / name was mentioned....
I have an entire collection of items that relate to Kek Yee (the moron i nearly married).... including the parking ticket of the last time we went out..... the water bottle she left in my car the day we broke up.... and all kinds of movie tickets /chains, letters, etc,etc...
I have so many posters including those that used to don the walls of my room back at the old house... i have all these calenders from my primary school days.... i have kept every single watch that i've ever owned.... every single name card i've ever received, my prized Lego set, kept every single greeting card i've received, the ribbon from birthday gifts, EVERY SINGLE BIRTHDAY GIFT (and wrapper for that matter)... all kinds of Christmas gifts that were never used.... etc,etc,etc
OK, this is gonna sound gross.. but i still keep the parts from inside my nose that was surgically removed in a jar during the surgery back in 1997....
I even kept all the pencil boxes i've used since kindergarten... Jesus Christ! I HAVE A FREAKING HOARDING PROBLEM!
After watching that program with my mum.... I realised that its time to part away with these things as such i'm in the midst of throwing all these things away. Its painful to a certain extent... but its something that MUST BE DONE....
i just discarded all these pencil cases, program booklets, movie tickets, concert tickets, party lanyards, collection of keychains, rocks, stamp and coin collection, sea shells, many gifts that needs to be discarded... all the wrappers and plastic bags... etc,etc.... (and i still have a long way to go)...
I think i'll just keep things that are practical such as my action figurine collection, beer/liquor glass/goblet collection, comics, books and dvds... and of course my VINYLS!!!!!
i realise that I have a long life ahead of me. No point holding on to the past. Let me keep the memories in my head and heart... remember them at parties and social gatherings... material stuff are only for the insecure... So its time to bury them as I discard them with the trash... perhaps now, i'll be able to enjoy the comforts of my room!

11 comments:

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

wahlau eh..haha i used to collect the movie ticket stubs as well..now i throw everything on sight..well almost everything except this n that n those..

anfield devotee said...

I'll believe when i see it. Plus maybe that will trigger yer sis to do the same. I could buy five fooking houses and it will still be filled up by the weekend.

cirnelle said...

I never took you for a sucker for sentimental value, Ruben. But then again, having a husband who hoards, not everything is there for sentimental reasons, I know. Most are just because there are articles he hasn't read yet... since he bought the newspaper a year ago. Argh!

SLACKER said...

joe: u're no better k'

anfield: hey she and u both k'

cirnelle: hahhaha... btw - i am a sucker for sentimental value... i actually have a scrap book for everything... from kindergarten to now... scrap book for every trip i've been on... etc, etc, etc...

btw - my sister just called to say 'how can you throw away the damn key chains!!!!' she collect keychains too... lol...

SLACKER said...

btw - joe havent u been to my room? u can ask kristy la.. she's been there before... its generally not messy coz everything's neatly kept in boxes and shelves... just that its really alot of things.....

AngryYoungChild said...

Man! I thought i had a problem trying to keep my room clean, but you..You are like WHOA..no offense. =p but seriously, I like my room messy. can take picture of your room? HAHAHA...

aaesya smith said...

I certainly feel your pain. It was heart wrenching when my mother mentioned that my room would be turned into a maid's room when I left, thus the need to dispose all my 'junk'. My book, watch, wallet, handbag, photo, keychain collections are no more. What was more devastating is the disposal of my collection of love letters since I started dating at the age of 15. I couldn't bring my life here, obviously. I realise that was more important were the memories we create. Those memories need no trinkets or souvenirs. Therefore, I must first thank god for the creation of softcopies. Secondly, I pray that I won't go senile.

SLACKER said...

ayc: err... its very empty now... lemme organise it a little bit more.. then i take a picture of a nice clean room!

aaesya: babe... u r senile... muakz

AngryYoungChild said...

heh..got your room organized yet?

SLACKER said...

hey there ayc... well my room is pretty much organised.... however i would like to now sort out the finishing touch buy buying a new amp for my vinyl player... and also sort out my clothes... *chuckles*... lastly.. i need to wipe off all the dust from 1 particular shelf...

problem now is.. i seem to have misplaced my multimedia player... damn!

AngryYoungChild said...

Rofl...i shud really learn from u and start cleaning my room..>.<