What does it take to overcome the ultimate challenge?
Recently a friend of mine achieved something that most of us would never even dream of attempting. He cycled over 320km in a single day. He rode from Melbourne to Wodonga.
“Why?” That’s what people asked. Because he’s wanted to for a long time, he would answer.
“You’re mad!” would be the next comment. This quiet achiever’s answer was a wry smile.
Now he’s done it, on the first attempt. No mean feat.
But he didn’t just get up one morning and decide, “Today’s a good day to ride 320km”. He planned the route. He checked the weather. He trained. He serviced his bicycle. He sought support from his crew member in life, his wife. He carb loaded with a beautiful lasagne the night before. He said no to his usual beer as well. Everything was prepared with thought and care to increase the chance of success.
If he had never achieved that success, it would have been ok. He might have felt a pang of disappointment, but he would still have a loving family, a safe place to live, and a happy life.
Unfortunately, some challenges are not so easy to face and overcome. For someone with Hoarding Disorder, the challenge they face in overcoming the results of their hoarding – the extreme clutter, the risks they endure, the struggle to let go of things in spite of the inevitable anxiety, the strain on family relationships.
They too hear “Why?” and “You’re mad!” but it’s usually said in a very different tone of voice.
The same things that helped my friend achieve his bucket list dream will help someone who hoards face the biggest battle they’ll face in their lives – the battle to beat their hoarding. Things like
- Foreseeing the barriers
- Creating a plan
- Doing small things and building confidence and competence to do big things
- Having a supportive team of well-meaning and well-trained people to help
One thing is for sure. Overcoming hoarding and making a home safe will take much longer than a single day. Long lasting change comes from sustained effort. That effort involves doing uncomfortable things. Doing those uncomfortable things will lead to success.
Imagine this. What if my friend had faced a barrage of negative comments every time he mentioned cycling? What if he had been threatened, “You better do that ride or else I’m going to take your bike away”. What if he started on the ride, and then it got hard, and at the first hill, someone started shouting, “I knew you couldn’t do it!” What if he felt discouraged and his wife said, “Well if you don’t do it this time, don’t expect me to help you again.”
Overcoming Hoarding Disorder can be the struggle of a lifetime. Make sure to support someone in the best way.
At Hoarding Home Solutions we are on a mission to provide practical, affordable, easily accessible, online training that empowers people to work effectively with confidence and compassion to resolve a hoarding situation.