Feeling the effects

October 19, 2007

Experienced an odd sensation the other day. There is a corner of the bedroom where I am keeping the stacks of boxes full of things that I want to get rid of. I’ve been having some success lately with selling on ebay and forcing myself to throw things away. The stack is noticeably smaller now, and I am starting to bring in more boxes from my storage unit to sort through.

As I stood there looking over the pile, the reduced physical volume of stuff hit me with a feeling like something was missing. Something I was used to having around was misplaced, and I desired to find it again. The feeling surprised me, since my goal is to absolutely rid myself of every last item in that pile. I’m definitely a packrat, although I don’t know if I suffer from the condition of compulsive hoarding. I can begin to understand the severe disorientation that a hoarder feels when they are evicted or family members come in and haul all the junk away. When my discard pile shrank, it was like my sense of personal identity was reduced in some way. My first instinct was to stop what I’m doing and maintain my environment to retain my sense of self.

What I should learn is that not being comfortable is a healthy feeling. It means I am making progress. It will be magnified a great deal as I move forward. I wonder if I can imagine what this room will feel like when all the boxes are really gone. What will it be like when I finally stop renting my storage unit? Will I feel relief and freedom — or will I miss having a big pile of junk with my name on it?

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