If your house and cars did not flood, it’s OK to feel guilty.
If your garage and cars flooded but your house did not, it’s OK to complain.
If your house got a few inches of water, but most of your furniture was spared, it’s OKto be upset.
If your house flooded and you lost everything you own, it’s OK to be angry.
If your kids are finally going back to school while others won’t start till September 25, it’s OK to feel relieved.
It’s OK if you can’t donate to every school, organization, or personal friend that needs help right now.
It’s OK to return to pre-hurricane activities like work, exercise, and being with friends. It’s OK to leave your kids with a baby-sitter and go out to dinner on Saturday night.
It’s OK to feel how you feel.
Acknowledge your emotions, whether it’s anger, sadness, or relief. Only by allowing yourself to feel how you feel will you begin to process what has happened. Especially watch out for SHOULD thoughts, for example, “I should be appreciative of what I have” or “I shouldn’t complain.” This type of thinking creates unrealistic expectations and gets in the way of actual healing.
Harvey was devastating. The past two weeks have been difficult and like nothing our city has ever seen before. For most of you, the physical tasks of cleaning out, packing, and moving are completed, but there may be emotional work to be done. By acknowledging and expressing your feelings, whatever they are, you are taking the first step toward rebuilding your mental health.