Hello, good people, I need you... Jan 19, 2023 7:41:40 GMT -5 Ally, nonchalant, and 1 more like this Quote Select PostDeselect PostLink to PostBack to Top Post by AnEchoOfWhispers on Jan 19, 2023 7:41:40 GMT -5 Hi. As with many folks, I've dropped in on this site many times, and even registered ages ago, intending to post and get some help, but I've never quite sat down and done it. I kept thinking I'd be able to tackle my mess with just the many inspiring stories, and very practical and often gentle suggestions so many of you have given to other people, but little has changed. So, of course, it took a bit of a crisis to make me take the step of entering this community for real. Here's what happened (and, spoiler, everything was fine, really):Last night my SO went to make some dinner, while I was in an adjacent room, working on my computer. Our son was in another room, on his computer. The cat was on the couch, snoozing. I began to get a weird headache, which I thought was just because the stuff I was doing was difficult. At some point it kind of entered my head that I was smelling a bit of a natural gas smell. Reminder: everything was actually fine. However, after a series of events that included an argument with my SO over whether there was actually an issue with the gas, and me leaving the house and standing in the driveway calling our older son for some advice about how to proceed, we ended up first *all* standing in the driveway, watching both towns (we live on the town line) send emergency vehicles to the front of our house, and then with a house full of rather uncomfortable firemen, and one gas company technician, and lots of equipment in use measuring for gas and carbon monoxide. And one rather annoyed cat locked in the bathroom.Have you been in that situation where people are looking at your mess, and kind of trying not to look at it at the same time? Where you can see them trying to keep judge-y looks off their faces, and figure out how to make polite conversation about something else? It was all only about 15 minutes, and then they all left, and, as I said, everything was fine. One part of my brain was telling me "It's not that bad -- the firemen did have room to get through with all their gear without actually stepping on stuff, it's not like there wasn't access. The only thing that really was in the way was our son's bicycle out on the porch (which he moved after one fireman knocked it over), and the cat tree that always makes it a little challenging to get through the basement door. And we don't have bugs or mice, it's just messy." But the more realistic part of my brain was trying to take a hard look at what the firemen were seeing: a house where there are almost no available horizontal surfaces, where every room has haphazard piles of boxes, and papers, and *stuff* encroaching on the living space, and where there are piles of clothes on top of things (the ones out in the main rooms are clean, and just haven't gone where they ought to go in other rooms, but they've been there long enough to get quite untidy), and SOOOO many books and magazines, and dust, and spiderwebs, and furniture in need of replacement, and, well, I'm sure many of you know, intimately, what kind of scene I'm describing. It's probably not the worst house they've ever been inside of. It's not so deep in junk that the fire chief is going to send us a warning about future access. But it's a problem, and all of us standing around trying to figure out if last night was really a life-threatening situation knew that this mess is a problem. They were quite kind, and didn't say a word about that aspect, but the clutter elephant was looming very large in the space. So, I'm left with the light of a new day, an oven that needs its igniter replaced (though the stovetop is still working, which is helpful), and a feeling of determination to actually get some help with my elephant. I humbly ask for your support.--EchoOfWhispersP.S.I also had, already, a referral for a therapist, after talking to my doctor last week, but I wasn't being very pro-active about pursuing that. I've tried to work with therapists before, and they just didn't get it. They would go through the "if you haven't used it in a year..." approach, or the "get three boxes..." approach, or the "call a professional organizer..." approach. Maybe this time I'll be able to politely reject working with any therapist who can't help me tackle my difficulties with discarding and/or giving away much of anything.