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November 07, 2009


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nicole 86

Hi, unfortunately I'm living in France and New Jersey is too long a way.

Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed.

Nicole, I don't think they would go to France, but if I ever hear of a show that would, I'll be sure to post it here!


My mom is in desperate need of intervention. Her house is extremely cluttered from hoarding. There's a 2" wide pathway that allows for some walking around the house but as you can imagine that causes a lot of falls and injuries to happen. I'd really like a show to be willing to come to Raleigh, NC. My mom is open to having her story told on TV if it means she'll get counseling for her hoarding problem. I'd be really excited if this show would come to Raleigh.

Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed.

Mel, your situation sounds exactly like what they are looking for. The first step to contact the producers and let them know you are interested. Be prepared to send photos by email ASAP as well.

Contact Cecile at:

Email: cecilebou@gmail.com (out of town November 7-16)
Phone: 917-592-5856 (in New York)

I wish you all the best,


This may be either the dumbest or smartest thing I've ever done. I haven't always been this bad at being chronically disorganized. In fact I look at photos as recent as 2-3 years ago and wonder what happened. How my life exploded. I collected but I could always blitz clean my way out of it. Now I just can't. Two and a half years ago my mother had a stroke. The ink was barely dry on the paperwork that made me power of attorney for both her and my quadriplegic father. My husband and I were also raising our then 14 year old autistic son. To further complicate matters I had been suffering with an unknown disease for the past 7 years and developed symptoms of a new disease which turned out to be Lupus and Crohn's Disease. I was also working full time for our state's unemployment program at the beginning of the recession with management refusing to hire any new employees until midway through the recession when I was separated from my job. A few months before losing my job my father died and mother with whom I had previously been very close, changed due to her stroke and wanted nothing to do with me. I couldn't keep up with my house and was too embarrassed to tell pretty much anyone.

I even tried hiring an organizer, but in the room in which she helped, the bedroom, it is actually worse than before she did anything. Every time I even think about doing anything, I get this overwhelming feeling of stress and fatigue. I just want to fall asleep and often do. I am not like this. I know I had a really horrid couple of years but this is something else. I keep bringing stuff into my bedroom. There are little footpaths through it. We trip over the junk and I'm worried I may hurt myself one of these days. I buy from ebay, craft stores, amazon, book stores; you name it. If it is online and accepts a credit card then I am willing to buy. I try to buy small stuff so I can buy more. I hate throwing the boxes away even though I know it isn't logical.

And now my son keeps getting the flu and I know it is because I can't keep my house clean. My mom has even offered to hire me an organizer but I'm worried it will be like a fad diet. You diet and then when you get off you gain that much weight and more. I will lose the clutter but get that much back and more.

And no matter how bad the clutter was, I was always organized in my own way. And I was always on top of things. Now I forget appointments and I feel like I'm losing my mind. Please help me find me if you can. I need help. I wasn't always this way. I'm also very afraid because I've never even told my therapist some of this stuff but I didn't think he would understand about the house mess part.

My house is a fall risk but I've been lucky. Do you think my story is one they might consider?

Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed.

Hi SA,

Your bravery in stepping forward and asking for help is so admirable. The horrible thing about shame is that it keeps us stuck where we are...in terrible pain. All because we imagine that the pain of exposing ourselves and becoming vulnerable will be even worse. I can only tell you that every time I've moved out of shame, and opened up to others, I've never experienced anywhere near the level of rejection or criticism I imagined.

Actually, in most cases, it's brought me closer to people. And ultimately releasing shame has brought more self-acceptance and love into my life. With the right support system in place, releasing shame can be one of the most spiritually healing experiences you could ever have. Most people are compassionate... and want to help others. Those that judge you harshly aren't worth having in your life anyway.

If you do decide to participate in the show, you might even be shocked to find out how many people you may already know have a similar problem even. I still am finding out that people I've known a long time have ADD themselves and never shared it with me. Shame leads to isolation which magnifies your problems. Whether you release yours through the show or by sharing with your therapist or with us here...every step you take out of isolation is good for your soul.

The producer of the show called me last night while I was reading your comment..and I gave him your email address. They are interested and he will contact you for an initial confidential discussion. No promises...but there is hope.

If you would like to work with me as your coach to support you through the process, you can contact me directly here. http://www.lotusbridge.com/about/contact.html

My heart and prayers are with you...and I wish you all the best.


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