The character Sheldon is pivotal – a man dealing with probable autism, OCD and more. And in last tonight’s episode he revealed his “fortress of shame” a place where he stores everything he has ever owned. Some may call him a hoarder.
Although his girlfriend felt the situation was a little silly, as most close friends and family do when dealing with someone with hoarding tendencies, she said “I’m here if you need me” and “just take baby steps”. I was so happy to see that. No mockery, no shaming, no taking over and throwing things out. She allowed him to share his feelings, as irrational as they may seem, and did not judge.
Similarly when I am working with someone with a little clutter or a lot, my method is the same, one step at a time – let’s start with a drawer, a shelf or a box.
I just loved that a popular show brought to light the hidden reality of so many. They showed the shame felt by those with hoarding tendencies, the patience and love needed from family, and the need for a little humor. Sometimes you need some outside help to start looking at your stuff through someone else’s eyes to see how it doesn’t make sense to live buried in your clutter.
Be like Sheldon and take a baby step and if you can’t ask for help.
Episode reference: Season 9, Episode 19.