Today is the sixth month anniversary of TJ and I leaving the shelter. Having my own apartment made me realize just how many things most people take for granted.
I no longer have to sign in and out to leave the building.
I can have guests over.
I can stay out overnight. In the shelters, we had strict curfews and weren’t allowed visitors.
I don’t have to worry about unannounced inspections. It is such a great relief to be able to take a shower in peace and not worry that some case worker is going to barge into the room.
I can have all my possessions with me. The rooms at the shelter had limited space so most of our things were in storage.
I can cook proper meals. I have an oven. I was able to bake cookies for the first time in years. In the shelters we were in, we only had hot plates. Cooking a full meal on a hot plate takes time and a lot of patience.
I can decorate how I want. The shelters prefered you didn’t put anything on the walls.
I can bring in alcohol. Alcohol wasn’t allowed in the shelter.
My daughter can have sleepovers, she can go to sleepovers.
We can sleep in. The shelter preferred you spent the day elsewhere.
We decorated for the holidays.
My daughter has loads of space to play and dance. The previous shelters were so cramped and uncomfortable.
I can buy lots of groceries and fill my fridge. In the shelters all we had was a mini fridge which didn’t have much space.
I have proper furniture!
Privacy. So much privacy.
I’ve had less stress so I’ve been able to start drawing and reading again. Depression saps your creativity and energy and I hadn’t been able to enjoy my hobbies in years.
I have a view! It seems trivial, but in the shelters I had one window and my view was the building next door. In the apartment we have several windows and on a clear day the view is pretty great.
Six months may not seem like a long time but it seems like forever ago to me. Every day the fear I’ll be homeless once again, becomes a bit smaller. My daughter tells me she hopes we never go back to “those tiny, yucky rooms in the shelter”.
I’ll make sure we never do.