Mental Health, Mind, Selfcare

Other people’s houses

I haven’t written for a while. Things have been a bit busy. And disorganised. And, well, tough. You see, I forgot where I lived earlier this week.

A few weeks before that I drove to the wrong house.

On neither occasion was I drunk. It’s just that I wasn’t consciously thinking about it and so drove to where I used to live. That was where I lived 2 houses ago. Or a month ago, depending how you count it. And this week I literally couldn’t remember where I needed to drive to in order to get home.

You see, I’ve been living in a post “worst hurricane ever, everything mash up” world over here in the BVI, and one of the things that got mash up was my house.
Then we’ve had island struggles and island time impact the speed at which it got fixed. So I haven’t really had a home. In several respects, I have been homeless.

BUT I can finally talk about it as it is almost finished… like really almost finished not now in a minute several days still nothing type finished. Actual nearly finished whereby I can move back in nearly finished.

Thank fuck.

It’s not been easy. For many reasons I wouldn’t have expected. Like having to think about where you are going to in order to be able to go to bed for example. Interestingly I recently learned that there is something called the “Muladhara Chakra” – the root/foundation. It is the first of the human chakras, and responsible for your sense of safety and security. It is the foundation on which many other things are built (the other chakras for example). Don’t worry, I am not going to get all woo woo on you, but I’m sure you can understand the principle. If there is no foundation, it is hard to build something strong enough to last, or to withstand a storm. Without a foundation, there is only so much stability that can be attained. And having been without my ‘root’ has made me more unstable than I realised. It has been tough. And I’ve only recently acknowledged to myself quite how tough it has been.

I don’t want to dwell on the bad stuff. Every cloud right?? So, here is the positives I have identified from the experience. I have survived a tough few months and achieved some awesome stuff, as well as just generally getting on with life. Big up myself.

I am extremely thankful for all of the wonderful friends who have let me stay with them at some point, or offered rooms and sofas. I feel lucky to have an amazing network of people making sure I was never truly homeless at any point.

I’ve been able to see different views of my beautiful caribbean island in the mornings and appreciate each of the views a little bit more.

I am also thankful to all those that have listened to me when I have been upset about not having a house or about the lack of progress or the fact I basically have been living out of a suitcase (OK, now three suitcases, and a few boxes) since September and that I can’t hang up my clothes. Being able to speak to someone else about the frustrations has been ever so helpful.

I’ve also become more adaptable. Have to have a certain type of pillow or sheets or some other ‘comforter’ to get to sleep? Not me. No specific bedtime routine. No familiar noises. Not much familiar stuff really. So I can sleep almost anywhere now I reckon. Definitely a useful life skill.

And I can sleep through more random noises. Which is definitely useful as houses have noises. All houses. Different noises. And it can freak you out to begin with, particularly when there is no one else in the house… So maybe I could say I’ve got a bit braver too?

Finally, It has made me think more about what makes somewhere a home. Now I know there are some challenges if we are overly attached to too many material things, but I do believe the familiarity that things can bring is important. They help with memories. (I wrote about things in a blog post last year ). They can be external representations of parts of yourself. I miss my pictures. My pieces of art. But I do not miss a lot of the stuff that I had so I know I can live with less. So it’s not just things that make a home. I also agree with the quote “Home is not a place, it’s a feeling”. That feeling of coming home is the best. Of getting into your own bed, in your own room. Your own space.

Straight after the hurricane many people said to me “Are you going home?”, or “You can always go home”. They meant the UK, as far as I could tell. I have had to explain numerous times that as far as I was concerned the BVI was my home.
For the last few months I have been asked why not just find another house? Just live somewhere else. Why keep waiting? But I had chosen the house I was living in because it felt right to me. The house I was living in was my home. I wanted to go home.

And tomorrow I am going home. I can’t wait.



Photo credit: Photo by Gleren Meneghin on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *