Omgaan met hamsteren tijdens een pandemimei 4, 2020
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is easy to focus on the things we have lost. Those who hoard are vulnerable to feeling loss even more deeply. Loss, grief, trauma, deprivation, fears, and isolation are impacting Elaine Birchall’s clients significantly.
The world is sharing what those who hoard have always felt—overwhelmed and helpless in the face of an insurmountable situation. Even when “physical distancing” is required, our personal need for human contact doesn’t adjust to accommodate.
What will non-hoarders do in the future to soothe their stresses and anxieties? In the 19 years that Elaine has specialized in hoarding disorder, she has never met someone who set out to become a hoarder. If you find yourself becoming less confident in making decisions about how much of anything you need, how long you must hold onto it, or make decisions about what to keep and what not to, please take the quiz “Are You a Hoarder in the Making?”
Worldwide, people are experiencing grief and loss at not being with loved ones during their passing. Inability to be with loved ones, receiving comfort at the funeral is excruciating and can become a lifelong trauma.
In the 10 minutes it took Elaine to research the coronavirus death rate for this post, it went from 76,226 to 81,623. In the half-hour it took to edit this post it became 81,688. This virus is not finished. Financial loss adds to the fear and is becoming a reality to many.
In a previous post, we pointed out that at the same time bad things are happening to us, there are also gifts and positives. This is the time to decide whether to obsess on the negatives or look for the reality-based positives to mobilize our strength and determination to personally survive and join efforts to reinforce community-based safety nets which will help others do the same.
It is also the time to join one another by whatever safe methods we can, whether it is via phone calls or video platforms. These calls can bring everyone together and alleviate missing each other. Please remember people you know who don’t have many others in their network. Or hang a sign with a “togetherness” message on it. It is uplifting to do it and receive it.
A person suffering from hoarding disorder is often affected by co-morbid factors such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, ADD, ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Many others, on their best day, fight what we are all experiencing now. If you have family or friends who live with hoarding, I ask you to include them if you reach out. They have a special need to be accepted and included.
But perhaps this crisis has also provided opportunities. As we are isolated in our homes, perhaps this is the time that we might see life as more fragile and precious. We might consider where to reach out to make changes in our own lives.
We want to end by celebrating the worldwide extreme dedication and courage of frontline workers, medical staff, and the people providing for us by simply stocking shelves. Not to be missed is the kindness by total strangers helping each other. Let’s look out for one another, and get beyond our cultural, socio-economic, regional, or political differences. This is a together moment!
Our takeaway learning from current times is that we are all citizens of this planet. Clearly, we are not as different or separate from each other as we thought or would like to believe we are.
In very short order, the choices I make will affect you, and your choices will affect me. We can cost each other our very lives.
Elaine and Suzanne firmly believe that there are better days ahead. If we pull together, more of us (your loved ones and ours) will live to see those days. If we work by individual agendas, fewer of us will.
Grandma Helen House at her 90th birthday party
Source: Suzanne Cronkwright private photo
We have the power to change the outcome for ourselves and everyone else. Our choices will make a difference.
This week’s post is dedicated to Helen House who passed today April 7th, 2020. Her 96 years of life were dedicated to enthusiastically loving and supporting her family, church, and friends in every way, and for crazy dancing at weddings, often being the last person to leave the dance floor.
Suzanne Cronkwright is bereft today. Sue would have moved heaven and earth to be there with her grandmother. Helen’s last weeks of isolation in the nursing home due to coronavirus deprived her of daily family contact that sustained her. Helen did not die of coronavirus. Even so, only nine people can be with Helen during the funeral due to CV-19. Think of Helen and Sue today, their entire family, and also the thousands of others who this painful loss has happened to.