Two years ago I was homeless. I had lost my job due to downsizing, there was no work in the area, and I couldn’t make the mortgage payments on my home. I was trying to stay with my father, and my CPTSD was in a downward spiral that I couldn’t stop.
I had my car and $200 in the bank and no where to turn to. Most of my friends had lost their jobs as well, as we had all worked in the one factory for about 60 miles. Resources are already thin in small communities, but to have the major employer close up shop quickly evaporates anything extra there may be. It wasn’t just me that faced this, but I was facing it alone with a mental disease/illness/disorder that I barely understood.
Sleeping in my car in the heat quickly lead to dehydration so bad that at night my whole body would just tremble. I would go to parks to get fresh water from fountains, but with each trip costing gas I couldn’t make a lot of them. This was very honestly one of the lowest points in my life. I was on bottom.
I got to the point where mentally, I saw dangers everywhere. I couldn’t trust anyone in my mind. They had all left me out to dry again. If you have never experienced it yourself, I don’t know that there are words to describe this. It got to where being around people was painful. I couldn’t see through the filters my mind had applied. I had no hope then.
Eventually a stay in a hospital to help mind and body got me at least functioning in the world again. I had to move hours away to find a shelter that took in women, but I found it and got up the gas money to get there. I was able to stay there, find a job, and start rebuilding my life to what it is now.
It is a different feeling to have lost everything at once. I lost my home, my possessions, and a lot of my mind during that time. The good thing is that once everything has been reset to zero, the only place to go from there is up. It’s not an easy thing, and it’s something that marks you a little bit. I know others who have been through this, and you can see it in their eyes. You can tell they know what it’s like to have nothing, not even hope.
That is why now I celebrate the hope I have. Yes, things still get hard. They still get tough. But I’m not on rock bottom. This is why I am thankful every day for what I do have. I know more than most that tomorrow it really could be gone.
So smile when time get tough. You are getting through them.