Several weeks ago, I joined a small crowd to watch as the historic Jones House was on the move to its new location. On the surface, it was quite an event for those of us who braved the cold and wind that Saturday morning to watch. But deeper and more personally, I came to view this day as a crossing of new beginnings: one for the Jones House, the other for me.
For the next few days, I found myself thinking about the house—how it had once been new, maintained, cared for, and full of life. How the years had taken their toll on the house; how it fell into disrepair and was left for dead, abandoned, and nearly wasted away and disappeared into the emptiness of history. But someone came along to bring hope back to the house, to save it from crumbling upon itself, to give it new life, and to commit to restoring it to its former glory.
That cold March day saw the house perched on wheels and headed to a new home—the place where the real restoration work will take place. And a lot of work it will take to get the gutted old house back into proper shape when it can be called home again.
That day also marked a big milestone in my own struggles to rebuild myself. I can easily identify with and draw personal similarities to the Jones House. I, myself, had once been full of life, but the last few years have definitely left me feeling empty, abandoned, and struggling to simply survive the harshness of life. I had been close to disappearing and becoming a memory, but there was just enough love to keep me around.
My being there to witness the big move was more than just curiosity. It was a therapy session, and the first time in probably eight to nine months that I was outside of my house for any extended period of time (other than a few visits to my brother’s house). I’ve been struggling with severe anxiety and enough agoraphobia that leaving my house without being on Xanax was very difficult on the good days.
That's why I feel that connection to the Jones House. The day it was headed to its new home, I was enjoying my first major success in my own recovery. The house had a long journey ahead to get it back in shape; I still have a lot of therapy and work ahead of me before I’m back to normal. The house will one day be a home again; I will one day be myself again.
There are many stigmas attached to mental disabilities like mine. But in this dusty corner of the Internet, on this local Patch site, and in my humble little blog post, I want people to know that this stuff can happen to anyone. You never know—it could be the guy standing next to you while you are watching a house roll down the street.