Who we are at "Stepping Out of Squalor" Jun 3, 2008 4:58:08 GMT -5 Quote Select PostDeselect PostLink to PostBack to Top Post by CourageouslyLion SeeksSerenity on Jun 3, 2008 4:58:08 GMT -5 Note: this thread was started in the summer of 2008, based on my perceptions at the time. I'm not a moderator. The moderators have since then clarified things in a way that has evolved. If you have further questions, please ask the moderators/administrators. Their info is here:takeonestepatatime.proboards.com/thread/3990Who we are at "Stepping Out of Squalor"There was a question made by a newcomer on another thread, as to what level of squalor our members are currently at.In the past, an occasional newcomer to Squalor Survivors had somehow assumed we had all overcome and "Survived" our squalor.I suppose that's an understandable (although incorrect) assumption. I had originally been confused by the name "Squalor Survivors", although I later read the history of the site and the membership, and learned some of the context.I imagine this will come up again, so I thought I would write a generalized post that could be read at any time.-Oh goodness! We are not all out of squalor here. Not by a long shot.Countless members are currently struggling.If you look at the "Degrees of Squalor":www.squalorsurvivors.com/squalor/measuring.shtmland scroll down to where it starts with "First Degree" and then read all the definitions,.... our membership is at all ends of that spectrum.There are some members who have overcome their squalor, moved on and come back here to support one another in maintenance -- and they give support to the newcomers struggling to come out of a deep level of squalor.For that matter, everyone is supportive of everyone else ... those who are still living at moderate or deep squalor are just as wise as everyone else, and often offer wonderful insights that help everyone. Everyone here, regardless of "level of squalor" can share support and wisdom with everyone else. Some read every day but rarely post. Others post every day. Note: the level of participation has nothing to do with the level of squalor. People participate or not based on whether they feel comfortable talking or not.You might notice that some people aren't comfortable mentioning their squalor ... and they are only posting supportive comments to others .... but ... if it isn't mentioned, it still may or may not exist. There is no requirement for publicly announcing one's level of squalor. Some do and some don't.I myself was at Level 4 when I first joined Squalor Survivors. I began posting the day I joined, and posted every day. I have posted some of my horrible truths about my squalor, but not all of them. I didn't even begin desqualoring until after I had been here for nearly 2 years. Why? Because I had never cleaned, and had no concept as to how to clean, and never had been interested in cleaning .... but wanted to learn how to change my way of thinking. I knew that I needed to read the concepts every day, and discuss them, to get them burnt into my brain. Once I had re-oriented my brain, I was willing to start clearing up the mess. I am finally beginning to learn the next hurdle, which is maintenance.Others came to the Squalor Survivors community and lurked for a long time, and gradually began desqualoring, then finally posted one day.Some members desqualored long before they discovered Squalor Survivors, but found on that website a community of intelligent women and men with whom they enjoyed having insightful conversations.There were members of the Squalor Survivors Community (and who have now come over here) who live in moderate squalor, who are gradually clearing out, one piece of trash and one dirty dish at a time.Some came, found the site, cleared out a humongous mess within about 8 weeks, and managed to stay cleared out ... and never posted again. Others come back regularly for support.Some clean out completely, then relapse. They are not judged. Just given more support as they start again.Some are compulsive hoarders. Some are mild clutterers. Some are disorganized. Some are messy. Some have moderate amounts of stuff, but their homes are filthy.Others have way too much stuff and it's stacked several feet high, but there is no dirt.There are some members who have an OCD desire for perfect cleanliness and are totally grossed out by cleaning dirty dishes or toilets. They have swapped ideas with others in the Squalor Survivors community to brainstorm new ways of coping, such as wearing a mask and rubber gloves, and using tongs -- so that they can get stuff done.We fell into squalor for all sorts of reasons. Some due to undiagnosed physical health issues, such as thyroid imbalance or anemia, which made it difficult to get up and do anything. Others due to known physical limitations or illnesses. Others suffered from depression and other mental challenges. Some had a traumatic life event occur. Others, like myself, don't have a "reason" .... other than I never wanted to clean, and never learned how.You can read about some of these causes here:www.squalorsurvivors.com/squalor/causes.shtmlI would say that "perfectionism" and "demand resistance" are big factors for some of us.Demand Resistance is explained here:takeonestepatatime.proboards.com/thread/16221There were/are some members who have have survived squalorous parents and/or grandparents ... but they are not here to gripe about that. They are here to learn how to clean up their own messes so that they can find new ways of living.The members of the Squalor Survivors Community were a conglomeration of all of the types of people I discussed. Each member was unique, with their own circumstances and their own perspective.On May 17, 2008, it was announced that the main Squalor Survivors website (the part that tells about the causes and types of squalor and gives out information about methods of overcoming it) .... would remain OPEN, but .... the community forums and blogs would be closing at that website.The current forum you are reading now ("Stepping Out of Squalor") was formed on May 19, 2008.NOTE:Stepping Out of Squalor is not legally affiliated with Squalor Survivors in any way -- it is an independent entity.The beginning core of our membership was the same group of marvelous brave women and men who were members of Squalor Survivors. There are also some who left the old Squalor Survivors forum years ago ... learned about the changes and have come to this new S.O.S. forum ... to start posting again.Many members here at S.O.S. are brand new ... and have never posted anywhere before. All are welcome.The only thing that I would like to emphasize is that our purpose is getting out (and staying out) of our own squalor. You are welcome here if your purpose is that.Some of us are still considering whether we are ready to get out of squalor yet. We are just reading and learning, until we are ready to make changes. Others are ready and active now.We also welcome those who sincerely wish to learn about the causes of squalor and hoarding as per the following links from the moderators/administrators:The "Community Policies" at Squalor Survivors are listed here: www.squalorsurvivors.com/site/purpose-policies.shtmlAlthough we are a separate entity, we are following the same guidelines.UPDATE EDIT: This Stepping Out of Squalor forum now has its own guidelines written here:takeonestepatatime.proboards.com/board/5Read all the links there,and Specifically here:takeonestepatatime.proboards.com/thread/4037Disclaimer: I am not a moderator or administrator here. I am just a member who has my own perspective, from having spent a couple of hours reading and posting every day -- for a few years -- (on this forum and the prior forum).The opinion expressed here is solely my own, etc.I've been around this forum here (and the prior forum) since 2006, and I've read three years worth of posts. But the history goes back to a forum before that ... all the way to 2001. I never read all the years of posts that came before I joined.I am sure that each and every member has her/his own perspective. Each of us might perceive things differently, because each of us is unique.This isn't the old Squalor Survivors forums. But it was modeled after them in many ways. As this forum here has grown, it has evolved its own style and traditions.Welcome to Stepping Out of Squalor.