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EnglishInvader
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Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,003
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

12 Sep 2021, 10:51 pm

I have problems with hoarding and self-neglect to the point of "safeguarding" intervention from social services. It came to a head recently when a contractor was unable to carry out a routine electrical safety test because of the condition of my home.

This is something that has gradually got worse over time. I rely on my two friends for food preparation and washing and bathing because I'm unable to use my own kitchen and bathroom (they both have the same issues, though not as severe as me, so they understand).

I'm in social housing and my landlord has also been very understanding and is arranging for a hoarding specialist to help me. The catch with it is that there is a Grenfell Tower agenda attached to the support which adds an additional pressure I don't need. My worry is that there will be a gap between the point where I feel I've regained my independence and the textbook fire safety social services will expect. I know this is a very first world problem compared to what many people have gone through in relation to GT but it's still affecting me.

The good news is that I have a clear idea on how to proceed and think I've found a way to keep my various collections while also satisfying fire safety requirements. The situation looks a lot worse than it is because a lot of space is taken up by empty cardboard boxes and bric-a-brac that isn't actually that important to me and I should be able to squirrel most of the important stuff away so it's not causing any obstruction.

I guess the reason I'm posting here is that I need to get this off my chest because it's affecting my sleep (I'm typing this at half past four in the morning after spending most of the night stressing out) but I would welcome any insights or relevant experiences that people have.



A_minor
Snowy Owl
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Joined: 23 Jul 2021
Age: 53
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Posts: 140
Location: Netherlands

13 Sep 2021, 9:42 am

EnglishInvader wrote:
I guess the reason I'm posting here is that I need to get this off my chest because it's affecting my sleep (I'm typing this at half past four in the morning after spending most of the night stressing out) but I would welcome any insights or relevant experiences that people have.

Three years ago I had my place (a four room flat) cleared out, cleaned, painted and repaired where necessary, after my autism coach contacted social services who hired a specialist company. Much to the delight of my neighbours. About time too, in hindsight.

The place was filthy and filled to the brim, partly with useless stuff I had never thrown out, partly with my collection of guitars, amps, keyboards and recording devices. The situation was also hazardous because of the myriad of electrical connections. I actually had shortly before managed to prevent a starting fire from spreading. Kitchen and bathroom were no-go areas.

Work was done on my terms, meaning everything that was not to be thrown out was clearly marked (all my music stuff). A team of four people came to my house for five consecutive days, I was there every day to oversee and make sure they didn't throw out stuff I wanted to keep, and handled my guitars etc. with respect.

The whole thing was stressful but I had also looked forward to it.
When they were done the place was light and roomy, it looked great and it felt as though my head was also uncluttered.
I then realised I didn't need or use a lot of my guitars, amps etc. and started selling most of them, which resulted in paying off a substantial debt I'd had for years. I actually play more now because I have better overview and everything is clean, so more pleasurable to handle. I have actually bought a piano and started taking lessons.

Just to say that this really needed to happen for me, I feel much better for it, it has helped with my depression, anxiety and sleeping problems, my diet is also a lot healthier now that I can prepare food myself.
It's a lot easier to keep the place tidy now (even easier now that I use dexamphetamine for my ADD).

I hope you will also enjoy the benefits when the work is done. Accepting this kind of help is really worth it.


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ASD, ADD, Avoidant Personality Disorder and Dysthymia, diagnosed 2017.