Mental Health · Perception · Random thoughts

Post Hurricane Ian Update

I thought I should write a post-Hurricane Ian update blog. Since I am writing this, I think it is safe to say I survived unless it is the end of the world, and there is a zombie apocalypse, and instead of eating the flesh of the living, I write blogs. I don’t mean to jest, though. Over 100 lost their lives, and thousands lost valuable property and sentimental items. My community and surrounding communities in SWFL took a hard hit. Speaking just for myself, primarily stress and financial insecurity has been the most significant impact. I also grieve for my community. The stress of going through the storm was pretty traumatic. I honestly thought my roof was going to cave in at any moment. It sounded like that inside my closet where I spent 10 long hours with my dogs. The damage, while not as extensive as others, is, to me, still significant. That is perhaps one of the most annoying things about going through any type of natural disaster. People, instead of offering empathy, say, “well, it looks like you fared pretty well.” Or, “It could have been worse.” Or, “At least you…xyz.” A lot of comparative suffering is thrown around for some reason. Where did this habit come from of being unable to provide empathy? Instead, they negate what you are going through because they deem what you are going through as less significant than what others are going through. While it is good to keep your problems in perspective and there is no value in living in a space of self-pity or victim mentality. It is still OK to feel what you are feeling. It is OK to feel upset by the stress of the event you when through, the damage, however minimal you encountered, the expenses you incurred or will be incurring, the fear of the unknown, the grief for the impact on your community, and the inconveniences you are experiencing. It is OK to feel whatever it is you are feeling.

My work was one area where I was particularly stressed. My manager reached out to see how I was doing but instead of offering empathy, any type of empathy, or saying, “hey, whatever you need, take care of that, you are covered and supported.” I got asked if I would be driving to my parents. If you are curious about how this was perceived or how it felt, it felt like when can we expect you to be back to work. In fact, later that same day, I straight out asked him if I was supported by the company or if I needed to be concerned and that it felt like I was needing to stress about how soon I could get myself back online. Once confronted with this blunt question, he said yes, I was supported. It felt forced. American corporations are fucking ridiculous. This attitude of what have you done for me lately. Did you know in India they give people two weeks off for a death in the family? If they lost power, water, and internet, they would not be expected to bail on their house and migrate somewhere so they could work. They would be allowed to take whatever time was needed to get their house in working order and provide support to their community. American culture sucks. My boss’s boss reached out yesterday, my first day back since the hurricane, and said what I had wanted to hear from my manager, which was to do what you need to do and that it should go without saying you are supported. I replied and thanked him for that and said perhaps it should go without saying, but having it said makes a significant difference.

I got an email from the electric company yesterday that supposedly 95% of my area should have power restored by Saturday. We shall see if I am included in that 95%. Then once the power is back on, I can see if my internet is also restored. I am ready to go home and start the restoration. I am ready to get my oasis back into some resemblance to what it once was and figure out what I need to do to get it there. Last night I couldn’t sleep, I realized I left a steak in my deep freezer in the garage, so I kept thinking about it rotting. Also, I had put a bunch of ice in my freezer in the kitchen, and although I emptied all the food out of it before I left, I keep thinking I should have emptied out the ice. So now I am envisioning it pouring out all over the floor and maybe even short-circuiting or damaging the fridge in some way. Sigh. These are the types of things my anxiety will hold on to. During the last hurricane, hurricane Irma, I had to get a new fridge because I hadn’t emptied out my food before I had left town. Oh, the other event that occurred, I texted the treatment lead to let her know I would be out of town for a month and that I had to leave because of work and school. Her reply basically was that she was going to give away my treatment position. She is not a fan of mine. I think this is due to a situation that occurred at a meeting not long ago. She was getting aggressive towards a committee member, and I cut her off and basically asked her why she was getting loud and aggressive. Just seems like someone else who went through the same natural disaster would express a bit more understanding or empathy.

Perhaps this email sounded like a complete bitch fest. And perhaps it was, but this is me feeling my feelings. I won’t park in this space. In general, I am grateful. Grateful that while I had to leave my home and incur the expense of driving north for work and school, I am happy that I am not without power or hot water at the moment. I am doing my best to trust the universe that all will be well and will work out. Reminding myself that every hard time in the past has passed, and things always end up ok somehow. I have one big assignment for school due this week, and then I’ll officially be done with this class. Losing my treatment commitment, I am also trying to give that up to the universe. I am grieving that loss because I really liked that commitment. I am going to put faith in the universe that this direction is for my and others’ greater good.

To end this on a positive note. I purchased my ticket to go see my girlfriend in April. I had purchased it before through Expedia, but one leg of the flight had gotten canceled so I had to get a refund and try again. I am excited to see her and spend time with her. It has been 12 years since I’ve seen her in person.

I hope everyone has a good Wednesday. Wishing you all peace in present moments.

Cover Photo by Mark S on Unsplash

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