It is that time of the year. Thankfully, tax time is not upon us, yet. However, now is the time to make your New Year’s resolutions.
What kind or resolutions do you usually make? Are they about weight loss, getting more exercise, going back to school or maybe finding a new relationship?
Most resolutions are about improving your quality of life. And, the concept behind the opening keynote address for the 18th International Conference on Hoarding and Cluttering in March is no different. The first session is a solo performance by Hilary Kacser. Using humor and sensitivity,
DisordR, The Play, tells the story of a fictional character, named “Pakrat Patty.” Based on Hilary’s own personal lived experience, Patty’s struggle and progress managing her own hoarding inspires understanding, advocates against stigma and helps viewers experiencing various mental health issues to move forward and to facilitate recovery.
Patty’s story shows many different people living with their individual experience of hoarding and clutter. Relationships like these can greatly motivate us toward recovery and good mental health: we are social beings, and we all need each other.
We also need to laugh: a new cognitive neuroscience book, Ha! The Science of When We laugh and Why, says humor enhances health, and comedy aids comprehension. Giving voice to an issue, which remains largely hidden, this play uses humor to bring hoarding out of the clutter closet, while always maintaining humanity, delicacy and respect for a very sensitive subject. Hilary and her character Patty will always struggle with this challenge, but the most important thing is not to give up hope. To quote Patty in DisordR:
I’ll never be ‘cured.’ I’ll always have to manage it, just like diabetes or high blood pressure. Even recovering alcoholics still have the disease. How many people are in denial? How many people does Stigma keep hiding in the clutter closet? Maybe the real question is not what do you let of? Maybe the real question is what do you keep? And, how do you keep it?
MIchael Spigler, CHES, former International OCD Foundation Program Director described Hilary’s performance as a ”Unique learning experience,. . . .Greatly enhanced the benefit [attendees] received from our conference. Multiple attendees listed DisordR as being one of their most favorite parts of the Annual Conference.”
Sophie F. Clark, former Executive Director, NAMI DC described DisordR as “Facilitation recovery, educating as it entertains, and destigmatizing, her play provides a peer-delivered service to the community. . . .Ms. Kacser’s original performance epitomizes a self-help recovery method. . .Both funny and poignant, Ms. Kacser’s autobiographical exploration of Hoarding Disorder advocates on behalf of sufferers.
Attend this exciting performance and make expanding your knowledge of hoarding disorder your new year’s resolution. Or, resolve to strengthen your connection with other professionals and experts in the field. Or perhaps, just treat yourself by finding new motivation to move forward with your work to manage your own clutter by learning new approaches to de-cluttering during our two-day conference. Whatever your resolution, join us for our 18th International Conference on Hoarding and Cluttering on the University of California Berkeley campus March 22-23,2018.