I like to live as though everything is normal, because, for the most part, it is. I go to work, play my with kid, wait in line at the bank, do the shopping, try to squeeze in workouts and time with friends, all the normal life things, fun and not-so-fun. This week I had a reminder that even though it’s been almost a year, I’m still processing that monster Irma.
I have, by island standards, a beastly commute. The family leaves from the east side of the island to drop Husbae to work at the extreme west part of it, then the baby and I head back to town, which is right in the middle. It’s about an hour and a half of driving every morning. So much time at the wheel isn’t that unusual back in Southern California, but remember, Tortola is only 21 square miles. After years of being able to walk everywhere, all that time on the road was really tough at first, but I’ve embraced it. The baby usually naps, I listen to music or a book or podcast, and I often have the road to myself.
One day this week we had an unexpected squall. I was driving on a gorgeous flat road along the sea but all I could see was rain. They were big fat drops too, so they sounded like an avalanche of rocks hitting my little mom-mobile. A few gusts rocked the vehicle and suddenly I found myself crying, heart pounding, pulled over on the shoulder. It only took a minute or two to collect myself, but for a hot second there, I couldn’t think straight at all.
Especially as news of Hurricane Lance on the other side of the world fills the news, I know that I’m not alone in feeling like I still have some work to do when it comes to my personal post-Irma recovery. To my friends who went through it, we are still healing. Yes, we are #BVIstrong, but it’s okay to ask for support. Talk to friends and family and, if you’re in the BVI and you need help or just aren’t sure, talk to the nice folks at Community Mental Health, who are there to help us all.