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Flooded basement, emotionally drained and eating like a rabid raccoon

Friday, April 24, 2020


I’m sure that blog title gave you all pause for thought! A special shout out if you’ve never been to my page before but just had to because you wanted to meet the “crazy one”

“Flooded basement, emotionally drained and eating like a rabid raccoon” - pretty well sums up my life right now. Last week our hot water tank ruptured in our finished basement and we ended up with water everywhere! Add in the my husband is a bit of a hoarder and the this is the family home and you have a whole lot of things to “wade” through.

Luckily, we do have insurance and there is no deductible because we’ve never had a claim. They connected us with a restoration company and the two gentleman from there seem to be genuine sweethearts. They’ve given us tips, had a talk to John about hoarding and have been reassuring to us. It really is a blessing in disguise because it is forcing us to deal with clutter. Thus far we’ve filled 1 1/2 dumpsters! We will also end up with a more modern basement, laundry room and bathroom.

The emotional toil is hard all the same. I think this is forcing me to deal with emotions I thought I had locked up. There are so many things to deal with that I’m assuaged by emotional guilt. Am I tossing things or memories? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself. Do I need to keep such and such? Am I doing a disservice to the memories by throwing it out? Too it all off, I’m also dealing with my mother’s twice daily calls suddenly asking where everything is. For example, “I hope you’re not tossing your brother’s tape recorder” or “ where are those pillowcases you’re grandmother embroidered”. Mind you this is the same grandmother (her mother-in-law) she claims ruined her life and who she refers to as an evil, nasty person. That’s quickly followed by “you’re so much like her”.....

I’m torn between thinking mom is losing her marbles (sorry for making light) or whether she is stressed to the point of madness. Her first appointment with a psychiatrist was cancelled due to COVID-19, sadly. She is living in a long term care home (she is 80) and has since she was 69 because mom needs somebody to take care of her. Then I feel guilty because society tells us to worship your mother!

The basement issue combined with trying to deal with buried emotions (ones I really thought I had dealt with) are providing excellent fertilizer for my, barely under the surface, struggles with emotional eating. Up until a month ago, I was doing great. Meal planning was working out for us and I was walking daily and drinking enough water. My freggie intake was the best it had ever been and I felt good.

Then COVID-19 struck and it’s been one thing after another. I hope I’m not coming across as complaining - I honestly write these blogs to get my thoughts on “paper”. So, what would I tell a friend, if he or she came to me with the above scenario?

Dear friend: Wow, you’ve certainly been coping with a lot over the past month. Flooded basement aside, this is a time of uncertainty and stress for a lot of people. Didn’t you just get laid off, as well? I also believe I’ve heard you say before that your depression tends to go into overdrive during March-June each year? Now coupled with that you have to deal with a flooded basement that was filled with memories, a husband who finds it hard to part with things and your mother’s mental health is not stable .

Give yourself a break! This is not a time for perfection! Look at the positives. You are drinking plenty of water. You are sleeping well each night. You are helping others by making free masks. You are staying connected with your friends and family. You are getting exercise either through walking, moving things and lifting boxes. You are managing to deal with clutter. You have call display - you can choose when to answer (or not) your mom’s phone calls, Your husband loves you and is very supportive.

Focus on one aspect of your eating, if that’s bothering you. Aim for adding in 2 freggies a day - it is a start. Make that your goal evert day. You can do this - I believe in you!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have stress eaten for far less cause than you have, dear friend! You wrote yourself the perfect letter and gave better advice than I ever could. Just know that we are cheering you on and praying for you. You rock!
    148 days ago
  • KAYDE53
    149 days ago
    I am sorry you are going through all of this. Please be kind to yourself and follow the advice you gave your "friend"
    149 days ago
  • JAMER123
    You wrote an awesome letter to yourself. This is some of the most stressful days of our lives and you appear to be handling it better than most. Good for you. The flooded basement gave you the opportunity to have a new place to relax, after then mess and clutter is taken care of. You toss what you need to and hope to keep what you cherish for you and your hubby. Thank you for sharing the trials and tribulations.
    149 days ago
    I agree with 1CRAZYDOG. These are unprecedented days. I love the letter
    to yourself. It's great that you will end up with a brand new basement and
    with less clutter.
    Hang in there Susan. Stay safe. You will get through this. emoticon emoticon
    149 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    149 days ago
    149 days ago
    Give yourself a break. You are doing your best and that is a good thing. emoticon
    149 days ago
    Remember we are going through extraordinary times the likes most have never had to deal with. Then add the stress of flooded basement and all the memories stored in it (besides the other “stuff”), your mother, and being laid off work—I would be have a meltdown for sure, eating everything in site—good/bad and even the ugly. Just do what you can do and I love what you would tell a friend—that is how we all should be talking to ourselves. Pat yourself on the back and count your blessings—you have a loving a supportive spouse, getting exercise, and drinking water. You will get back on track big time. ((HUGS))
    149 days ago
    Susan it is so good to get your thoughts on paper, it gives a release..take your own advice, because it is good advice. This is a hard time for all of us, and some like you and me with compound problems. Just try to remember there is just one you, so deal with things as you can. The round will be starting up soon, and that may give you a little lift. I'm so sorry your going through so much, Take care and know your Spark Sisters are here for you.

    Big Hugs
    149 days ago
    Love your advice to yourself. I too find it hard to part with clutter (memories).
    149 days ago
    Your blog set me to thinking - and then when I got to your letter to yourself, I almost cried! You are hardly the "Crazy one"! Your sound like a very sane one who is coping with an emotional and very real case of overload! Take care of yourself and do what you can do to maintain your sanity! Know there are many of us who are facing some of the same challenges and we support you and are willing to listen to you when you need to share!
    149 days ago
    You have been though a lot. You have a great "friend". You in your heart knows what is best for you.

    It's hard to get rid of memories - but if your not using it and it is worth saving give it to a family member or if you know who the article belongs to have them come and pick up their stuff. Sounds like you have got your hands full.

    You have friends here at Spark people. Be kind to yourself, and just take one day at a time. emoticon

    149 days ago
    Believe that letter you wrote as to a friend.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    149 days ago
  • no profile photo CHAYOR73
    Sorry about the flood, I had that experience some years back, be patient it will get better. emoticon

    I'm happy to know that you have a positive attitude, emoticon
    149 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    I have never had a flood but I have had water in my basement and it definitely is not for the light hearted. You have had more than is reasonable for one person to handle lately. Be kind to yourself!
    Your letter to yourself is a good step in the right direction.
    Maybe this was a blessing in disguise with now being able to get rid of the clutter.

    Good to hear from you Susan.
    149 days ago
    WOW.... beautiful friend you had a LOT to unpack in your blog!!! The BEAUTY of your loving letter to self.... THAT is your sweet spot !!! Send her FLOWERS ASAP 💐 #friendthatamazingwomanNOW
    149 days ago
    Bless your heart! Thanks for sharing! The struggle is REAL!!! Join me on the Eat a Rainbow Challenge. I'm making salad in a jar. KISS = Keep It Simple for Success!
    149 days ago
    I like the letter you wrote to yourself as if talking to a friend. THAT is helpful.

    So sorry for all you've gone through. Indeed, these are unprecedented times.

    HUGS. Stay well, stay safe, keep the faith.
    149 days ago
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