Recalibrate After Accute Stress
If you watch the news at all then you know that the past week has been pretty traumatic. I happen to live in the Chicago area, in a house my husband and I moved into exactly a month ago. It took us over a year to sell our last house, then we lived with my parents for 6 weeks between houses, so having our own place again was finally starting to feel normal and I was beginning to de-compress from the stress of selling/buying/moving.
Then we got that damn storm. We don't live in a floodplain, in fact, we have a sloped backyard with a storm drain right in the middle. However, the storm sewers were so backed up that they were actually pumping water INTO our yard instead of draining water out. We ended up with 30 inches of water in our basement. The water was buidling up in our window wells and caused one window to bow in and another to shatter completely. The water was coming in so fast that in the span of an hour we went from having 5 inches of water to 30 inches. Our basement is over 2300 square feet, so we are talking about a TON of water.
I just can't seem to shake the anxiety I'm feeling about what happened. I keep picturing the water coming in those windows and re-living the fear I was having that it would reach the first floor and ruin absolutely everything we've worked for. We don't have flood insurance (this is really the first time it has rained at all since we moved in) and, even though our town was declared a federal disaster area, so far my research has said we're not going to receive any help. We've had to replace the windows as well as install a new water heater and furnace because of this storm. We lost the furniture we had down there, which luckily was not a ton, but still significant financially.
I don't know how to de-stress from this event. I've tried breathing exercises, but the anger and anxiety just keeps coming back. I'm so mad that this happened to us. Our last house flooded 2 days after we moved in, but that happened on the first floor (not the basement) due to defective plumbing and was "covered" by our insurance. I don't know how to stop feeling angry about this.
Its just stuff. You can buy new crap if you want to, or not. As for the news, stop watching it, it is designed to cause stress and fear in the name of "staying informed."
This could be a big horrible tragedy that ruins your life, or it could just be another event that you deal with, just like everything else you already dealt with. It is just stuff, and if it is really necessary it can be replaced, but I bet that most of it won't be missed.
Well, I guess that's where I don't agree. Yes, it is "just stuff" but the most expensive things are things that I must replace (the windows, furnace, water heater). Those items are expensive, but necessary to keep our house functioning. I'm not upset about the waterlogged couch, I am upset that we're about $8,000 poorer because of this. We wanted to start a family which meant I would be changing jobs and making much less money. Now we cannot do that for a long time becuase we need to save $8,000.
So, it's not the stuff I am upset about. It is that I have to change the plans I had for the future and postpone things I was very much looking forward to. If I wait much longer a family may not be possible at all. I'm upset because seeing the water rushing into my house in and of itself was traumatic. It was scary. It caused a lot of fear and anxiety that has nothing to do with "stuff."