It wasn’t all that long ago that I felt trapped in a maze consisting of loss after loss. One day my home caught fire, and the next week my family’s home caught fire as well. It was all such a devastating event that sent us all into panic mode as we scuffled around trying to figure out what to do. My family lost everything, furniture, clothes, tv, everything. My belongings were severely smoke damaged, and luckily the smell went away a few days later. I gave my belongings to my family, which consisted of 7 people, as I decided that it would be much easier for me to start over.
The journey was rough. I didn’t have renter’s insurance, and my savings quickly evaporated after hotel stays while waiting for my landlord to rebuild. Ultimately, I moved in with family until I was able to branch out on my own again. During this time, though, I became increasingly withdrawn and depression set in heavily. It felt as if the world was and had crumbled beneath me. It felt like I was trapped with no way out. My husband and I had separated and lost contact. What more could happen, I thought? Well, there was more.
Depression set in so bad that I was drained mentally, physically, and emotionally. I quit eating. I was in the slumps. Until one day, it all came crashing down! I was rushed to the emergency room and hospitalized for 5 days. I remember the doctor sitting on the floor beside my bed and telling me everything was going to be ok. I just wished it was over. I wished that I didn’t wake up to the same life. I actually didn’t want to leave the hospital because that meant that I would have to face the same problems all over again, and I just simply wasn’t ready. But I don’t think my insurance company would have paid for my staycation either.
After returning home, I needed to recover by being gentle with myself and taking time to readjust differently so that the same spiral didn’t occur again. I did simple things like color in an adult coloring book, in which I love by the way, and other things that didn’t require me to think a lot about what had happened and what was still facing me. I allowed myself time and space to adjust to realizing the most important aspect of all that had transpired, and that was I still had life and could begin again.
So I made up my mind one day that I wasn’t going to lay down and die in that space. I gathered resources to assist me in starting over again with an apartment. I moved to another state within 40 minutes of drive time from my family. It didn’t sit well with me though. I didn’t feel comfortable. I was alone in a new place and still healing. I moved back and got another place in the same city as my family. I didn’t like the place though. It was subpar to where I previously lived. I was determined to have better. I started saving and working on my credit with the intention to buy my first home. I gave myself a deadline of of 12 months, the end of my lease. At month 10, I entered into contract on a home that was being built! That’s right, I was a buying a brand spanking new home!
My home is 3-4 times the size of what I lost. I went back to help my grandmother who was also split up from our family due to her house fire. She was 79 years old…no need for her to start over. She decided to spend a night, which progressed to a weekend, which then progressed to, “Keiwana, I’m staying!” It was the happiest day of my life! To be able to recover like I did, mentally and physically, and to be able to provide a very nice home for my grandmother who had raised me. Talk about full circle moments!
Whatever life throws at you, wherever you may be, do us a favor and don’t you quit! Take a break, yes, but quit, NO! Let my story serve as inspiration and motivation. Mental health is a serious matter, and giving yourself the time to heal and feel is imperative. There is recovery after loss.
Keiwana Eaton is an authentic life coach and author of Align Your Current Life with Your Dream Life in 5 Simple Steps. Signup for her goal smashing workbook on her website.