On the Road Back Toward Ground Zero

After three and a half years in San Francisco where I found a therapist who helped me go back to work fulltime, a therapeutic technique to heal most notably panic attacks, and where my friend who helped me with a place to live and food in my stomach became my best friend and boyfriend, I am returning to New York. San Francisco is a beautiful town but I felt part of me was missing. Granted, part of me had been missing since 9/11, but now I’m more aware of what part.

In the book Soul Keeping: Caring for the most important part of you, John Ortberg writes that the soul integrates the mind, will, and body. For a long time after the disaster, I had trouble doing what my mind and will desired. I wanted to work at the media agency, but my body went into high anxiety, which disabled my mind. It reminds me of the biblical passage when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, “The mind is willing, but the body is weak.”

With PTSD, the soul is shattered and unable to integrate these three important parts of us. To heal it, we need to find things that bring solace. For me, one of those things is living in small spaces. In San Francisco, I found the most solace in my last apartment, a 240 square-foot efficiency studio. But at a rent twice as costly as mortgage and maintenance in Brooklyn, the rental was not sustainable. Wanting to put my soul back together and be able to save money rather than drain it with San Francisco rent, my boyfriend and I decided it would be best for me to return to New York.

A moving truck took my bed and some boxes and I loaded the car along with the dog to embark on a cross-country journey home. Since finding joy in the little studio, I’ve grown a fascination with tiny house living. Tiny House Nation became my favorite TV show. So, along the way home, I am staying in tiny houses and will blog about them here.

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