This weekend will mark the anniversary of our house fire, truly a life event that propelled us onto a completely different course and altered the timeline of our lives.
I haven’t written in a long while. Harvey happened and my entire city felt like I had been feeling for 8 months, lost and sad and mourning. Luckily our rent house didn’t flood, only a minor leak in the garage which we caught in time to save the things we were storing there. During Harvey we did loose our grocery store, favorite restaurants, my daughter’s school, our grocery store, doctor’s office, therapist’s office and bank. Our resources were gone. I was exhausted.
I ended up spending over a month running a distribution center out of a church, receiving relief supplies from all over the country and distributing them to every area of east Texas that got hit. I met some seriously amazing people and I truly got to see (again) how God works in the midst of madness.
Issa didn’t end up starting school until October, and only because another school was lending them space in their building. It’s February and they’re still not back in their building. Our therapist is finally back in her office as of the end of January. Our doctor was operating out of a church building for several months, but made it back into their offices after Thanksgiving. Our grocery store and bank opened back up right around Christmas. One of our favorite restaurants opened back up before Thanksgiving, the other one is still undergoing renovations.
The only resource that didn’t flood was Issa’s dance school, however they had to close their doors just after Christmas because enrollment had dropped over half after Harvey.
In the midst of all this I resigned from working with one of my larger clients.
Suffice to say, the last 12 months have been a series of loss and regrouping and stretching and adjustments and patience.
We did finally demo and start the rebuild of our home shortly after Harvey, but that’s all for another story.
In the week between Christmas and New Years I was sure 2018 was going to usher in some sort of relief. I was sure it was going to be better, that this was the change and newness we were waiting for. 2018 would prove to be better and fresher a time of peace and calm.
January 2nd at 1:30am I received a notification on my phone that alerted me to the fact that someone had indeed stollen our credit card. It was an easy fix, a call to our bank and a few retailers and changing our number on anything that auto charges after we got the new cards. In the scope of the year it was merely a blip on the shit storm radar.
On the evening of January 2nd I got news that someone I love very dearly was diagnosed with an obscure disease and the doctor had told them they had at best, 5 years to live.
Category 5 shit storm.
On January 3rd I stared a whole30.
For a solid two days I cried. Issa kept asking what was wrong but I couldn’t tell her. I hadn’t cried like that in a long time. Its a hopeless cry, it sneaks up on you, like when you’re lying on the table at the chiropractor, or driving home from dropping your kid at school. Your eyes fill with warm tears and they don’t stop for a long time.
On January 5th I started to regroup. I went to counseling alone to work through it. I got more info on the disease and I truly decided that doctor was a quack and we needed a second opinion. I stopped crying.
Fast forward a few weeks and we have a second opinion and we have hope because that doctor is not willing to commit to the diagnosis at all. At this point I started to think maybe 2018 isn’t the turning point, maybe it is the 12 month mark of the fire.
Every time I do a whole30 it shows me how truly powerful I am. It shows me that I do have control over some things, it allows me to take control of just one aspect of my life in the midst of true chaos.
We’ve spent the last 11 months fixing our minds. Therapy is legit. I had some really dark days and a lot of prayer and a lot of therapy and a lot of love from family and friends has brought me out of it. It has not been easy. I’ve cried a lot. I’ve beat myself up a lot. I’ve played the day over and over in my head, a lot. It’s so hard to forgive yourself. So so hard. I left the candle lit that burned down our house and killed our dog. I forgot. Today, I can say with confidence that it was an accident and I cannot blame myself for what happened that day.
In the time I’ve spent fixing my head, I’ve neglected my body. Before the fire I was practicing yoga 3 times a week and running. After the fire I had to simplify. My brain could hold so little, I was barely functioning. In January I decided it was time to work on my body.
Today we joined a gym. I’m now officially a member of two gyms. I know it’s weird, but I really love my yoga teacher and she teaches at both and now I can go to yoga every day (sometimes twice) and the cost of the two memberships is cheaper than any yoga studio I could find. Plus, now Bill and I can go together which we used to do when we were first married and it works well for us.
Today I went to yoga for the first time in almost a year. I told my Yogi what had happened (the last time I was in class was the day before the fire). I went through the class. It was frustrating. I had gotten so far in my practice and the class today just showed me all I’d lost. More loss.
At the end of class my Yogi walked up to me, “You heard what I said at the end of class, yoga is not a competition, not even with yourself.”
She clearly could see my frustration all the way from the platform.
“You know yoga is a journey, you have to be kind to yourself. Speak life inside your own mind while you’re practicing. You’ll get back to where you were and it won’t take a year.”
I almost started crying as we were talking.
I told her the only thing that’s still on point is my forward fold. It’s the only pose I’ve done almost daily since the fire. Her response was awe inspiring. “Your body knew what your mind needed. Forward fold and inversion poses are calming and stress relieving. You did what you needed at the time.”
I’m sore this evening. My lizard sucked and I could barely hold a plank, even my balancing poses were questionable at best. But my forward folds are rocking it and with some time I will get back to where I was, and I’m not doing it alone this time.