Recovering Hoarder Talks About Her Experience: 'Total Embarrassm - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Recovering Hoarder Talks About Her Experience: 'Total Embarrassment'

SPOKANE, WASH. - Most people probably don't think of opening a door, all the way, as progress. But Judi Manuel's different. Progress is an open door and the small stacks in her Spokane Senior home. Until November of 2009 she lived her entire life on the East coast, and while there, the last few years she spent in the middle of a mess in the heart of her very own home.

"I always thought well tomorrow I'll get it cleaned up," Manuel said.

But tomorrow was always worse than the day before and before long things got bad to the point where her stove became a pile of trash and her closet was nothing but chaos.

"For over a year it was total embarrassment for me, I didn't want people to come in," Manuel said.

Yet Judi still wouldn't accept the fact that she was a hoarder, until she got in a pinch, literally.

"I was sitting in the chair I normally would sleep in and my knee got wedged between two pieces of furniture," Manuel said.

She had to call fire and rescue for help and it turns out they helped her in more ways than one as they got her out of her home.

Living across the country Judi's daughter Ceci Garrett didn't often see her mother's house, but she knows it was never as bad as it was just two years ago.

"When I saw that she didn't have running water, that she didn't have a working toilet, that she had no heat, that she couldn't sleep in a bed, that she had no where to prepare food, it was very difficult to see her living that way," Garrett said.

Ceci's the first to admit that her relationship with her mother has never been perfect, but at this point she knew she had to do something.

"Basically she was sitting a cave of things," Garrett said. "It was really hard, and even harder to know that she almost died in that same cave."

She just couldn't let that happen so with her mom's blessing she brought her West to let her start over in Spokane. Since then she's been doing well living in a senior home with some supervised assistance. Still she struggles with collecting some things, but Manuel knows at the end of the day progress in life sometimes takes time.

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