Washington Post Journalist confronts his hoarding

Michael S. Rosenwald of the Washington Post wrote a a brave piece about coming to terms with his hoarding condition.

Later, I would learn from Frost that I keep my stuff on tables and in piles because having everything in plain sight provides comfort and, in a sense, a form of organized disorganization. If I can see it, I know it's there. That was the practical explanation. But as the students questioned me — about the pleasure I feel acquiring stuff, the anxiety I feel tossing it — I sensed that there was something deeper, more philosophical. And it was this: All of the stuff I pile up is a sort of second body, my twin. I am Michael Rosenwald, and those piles — the books, magazines, fountain pens, inks, newspapers, everything — are also me. The more I have of it, the more I am me. Up there in front of the class, I was beginning to confuse myself, and then I felt as if I might cry.

I blurted this out to the class: "What would I be without it all?"

The mess he made: A life-long slob decides it's time to get organized