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Hoarders Helping Hoarders
Hoarders help each other in the obsessive-compulsive disorder support group MaryBeth Hieronimus goes to. She talked about that a bit on today's program about hoarding. After the show she mentioned that sometimes group members will actually go to each others houses to try to help one another clear away the hoarded piles.
MaryBeth went to another woman's house to help. It was insightful. She was stunned that the other woman simply couldn't recognize that what she'd accumulated had no value.
"She couldn't see that the plastic bag of plastic bags could go to Fred Meyer, or to the dump," says MaryBeth. "I get the paper," she said. "I let mail store up, and there might be something important in it."
"I was agitated by her inability," MaryBeth said, "but do I apply that to my stuff? No, because my stuff — it has memories. It has life."
She said it in a way that made clear she didn't want to feel that way. But she does.
MaryBeth has not yet invited any support group members over to try to help her.