It’s been three months since I’ve been in housing. With my twin boys and our dog Faith, we had slept in a PT Cruiser, a church youth room, three years at a cheap hotel then two years in an RV. Now, here I am in a studio apartment getting used to what normal is to most.
Anxiety, insomnia, stress and teaching others to like larger dogs have consumed my past three months. Decorating on a dime has been fun and making my apartment mine. Some wonderful people helped me furnish my apartment with furniture, odd and ends and everything in between. Saying goodbye to people because I was moving to Nashville was hard, but we still try to stay in contact. Now I am experiencing new people, new things, new sounds and a new life.
The first month was filled with a lot of anxiety, fear of being kicked out. The residents didn’t care for my dog, Faith, as she is a large dog. I didn’t give up and asked a friend to work with Faith to get her more under control. Finding out how food motivated she is made the additional training easier. Being consistent with Faith helped create a more trusting environment – my neighbors now know she is a safe dog and won’t hurt anyone.
At the same time I had been dealing with insomnia like nothing I’ve ever had before. No sleep for two days at a time until a couple of naps helped ease the issue. Nightly rituals helped ease the anxiety and finally sleep came. It was almost like telling my body it’s time to sleep.
Grocery shopping is certainly different.
Before I’d shop daily and that is so expensive. While living in the RV, I shopped every four days (still not ideal). Now I can do my shopping for the month! I make a grocery list buying in bulk since I have a place to store my food safely. This has created a wonderful way to save.
Heat has become another interesting thing. In winter, my feet had never actually thawed out. I’ve got neuropathy in my feet so having warm feet is such a gift to me. Having warm feet in winter is just amazing! In a home they are warm and I can feel them for the most part.
I recently had the flu and firmly believe being in a home helped me get over it quicker and easier. I was able to rest, hydrate and do what was needed to get better.
Lastly, I want to touch upon affordable housing, which is the end of homelessness. Affordable + Housing = End of Homelessness. If you get into affordable housing, then you’ll always have a home. Your rent cost is based on your income. There is no more trying to afford something I can’t. No more robbing from Peter to pay Paul. No more homelessness.
I still have anxiety around the 15th of the month, afraid I won’t be able to pay the rent and will be evicted. I don’t think that will ever leave me and maybe that’s a good thing. Living in an affordable housing community means that I’ll always be able to afford the rent.