I am a big fan of A&E's show Intervention. I think it is a great window into addictions of any kind. From drugs, to alcohol, to shopping, to overeating; anything is game. Nothing is made to look pretty, or be hidden. It is the life of the person, and their family, for everyone to see. Anyone who watches this show and continues to do, or begins to do, drugs of any kind, must have watched with their eyes closed. Last night's episode was one of the best I have seen. Two brothers addicted to more than drugs, to each other. Talk about co-dependency.
Now, A&E has a new show, Hoarders. Unbelievable. I couldn't turn it off. Last night's episode focused on a family with the wife a compulsive shopper and the husband a hoarder. They were in danger of losing their children due to the condition of their home. There was not a single inch of floor visible, they ate meals on the bed because it was the only available surface, the kids climbed on desks and dressers to get to their beds and toys. Their front porch was the spill-off area for things that couldn't fit in the house (I think there was a bathtub on the porch), and the yard housed much more (such as a unattached/unusable deck).
The other woman the show followed was also a hoarder, but a food hoarder. Her landlord had given her an ultimatum of clean up or be evicted. She had numerous rotting pumpkins and other gourds in her home, 6 month old yogurts in her fridge, bags upon bags of rotting apples in her living room and probably many things that could not be identified. At one point, she found a rotting cabbage, peeled back the outer leaves, seeping with juices and mold, revealing leaves with their original purple colour. She then proceeded to put the cabbage back in the bag saying it was now completely edible. I think I threw up a little at this point, even the professionals had to leave the room after opening a drawer in the fridge that housed rotting, seeping meat. One professional said he had never smelled anything as wretched in his whole career of helping people. Every item of packaged food, unless it was puffed out, was to be kept; Sour Cream could never be bad since it is already sour. This woman did not like to think that food would be wasted and that most people were afraid of the expiration date, as many foods are perfectly edible long past that arbitrary date.
Like Intervention, the bring in a team to help the people..organizers, cleaners, psychologists, whatever it takes to help, if they want the help. The couple were able to get their house organized and de-junked and avoid having their children taken away from them. The food hoarder was able to avoid eviction so long as she continued to make progress on cleaning out her house. The teams are only given 2 days to get in and make a difference...I figure they must not sleep in those 2 days because I don't think I could get it done in 2 weeks.
I think this might be my new favourite show...so long as I can stomach it. Check it out, Monday nights, A&E, you won't be disappointed.