I didn’t expect to get a phone call a few weeks ago informing me that there had been “some” water damage to my apartment. Of course, in reality, “some” water damage was actually an apartment that was half destroyed, so submerged beneath dirty, gross water that it was deemed unlivable by the local fire department. Half of my belongings were instantly wiped out — and, on top of that, I had no where to live.
Thankfully, I had some really lovely people who took me, my dog, and my boyfriend in while we were technically homeless. It helped.
But the situation still sucked. We had no where to call home, for starters. But mostly, it was overwhelming that the life my boyfriend and I had created over the last four years of living together was seemingly wiped out in one fell swoop. It had taken us years to accumulate all of those seemingly meaningless belongings, but they were gone, and — in a way — so, too, was our sense of security. We were blindsided and we had to start putting things back together, one piece of clothing at a time.
Things are (mostly) back to normal now, but here’s what I learned from that bad situation.
- Let yourself feel bad when faced with an unfortunate situation. Sometimes you just need to be sad (or angry or really, really annoyed).
- People will try to comfort you — but sometimes the things they say will be slightly insensitive. They mean well. Let it roll off your back and move on.
- Take things one step at a time. If you think of all the things you need to do to rectify your situation, you’ll feel like you’re drowning. Baby steps.
- Some days, things feel hopeless. It happens. Tomorrow will be better — and if it isn’t, try again the next day.
- Try to remain positive about whatever you can. Sometimes that’s just telling yourself, “Things will be better when this is all over.”
- Take care of yourself. Don’t neglect your own health and wellness because of stress. Eat well, exercise, and overall do whatever you can to make yourself feel good.
- Find ways to decompress. Find out what will help you take a load off, and do that thing.
- Accept help. You’ll need a break from all the weight you’re carrying on your shoulders. Let someone else carry the load for a bit.
- You can do it. Even when it feels like you can’t. You got this.