The Emotional Side of Moving: “I can’t do this again”

This is the 2nd part of the moving post. Click Here to read last weeks moving post.

As I have mentioned before in this post, physically moving is not the part that sucks. I mean it is definitely hard, but it is not the hardest part.

You see, there are two parts to moving: The physical part and the emotional part.

I am here to talk about the emotional part. And I am here to tell you how I do it with an Anxiety Disorder.

Basically I am going to walk you through my entire mental process of how I made it through this last move. I started out really really low, got to an emotional high and was excited and ready for it, then I hit rock bottom and had multiple panic attacks the week we left.

So, here we go.

If you don’t already know, 2 months ago we packed up and moved from San Deigo, California to the East Coast of North Carolina. This was NOT an easy move.

The weekend before the move we packed our personal items and got mostly everything set aside for the movers. Put “Do Not Pack” stickers on things, bought food for the road, canceled things, got the cars ready, and more.

The week we moved was BUSY too. Of course we had about 10,000 things going on. And guys, this was NOT an easy week. I was the driver of the struggle bus.

Monday Morning: Bright and early, at 7:30 AM, Brendan was getting promoted to Captain (woo!). And it took all of about 90 seconds. So we got up early, got all dressed up (well I did), got to base, I slapped his new patch on, took a picture, and then left. Did I mention that the movers contacted us and told us they were going to pack TWO days early??? Hahaha. We told them no and they came only one day early.

I got to my car and it was 7:37 AM. I then had to go get my car weighed for the move. Did that, came home and ate, did a bunch of other stuff, took a nap (in a dress), had bouts of anxiety, cooked the last supper in my favorite kitchen, and then went to celebrate the finale of “The Bachelor” with some of our friends.

Long day. But this week was just getting started.

Tuesday Morning: Of course, Brendan had a 24-hour duty, so I was left to tie up the last of things all by myself, as per usual. I also had my last therapy appointment that morning. I woke up this day feeling anxious, and on and off ALL DAY LONG. I had a friend come over for dinner and we watched the finale (again) of Peter the bachelor (horrible ending, am I right??). I didn’t tell her this but I was very close to having a panic attack just moments before she came over.

Thankfully, talking to her made it better. Plus she is hilarious so she made me laugh.

I went to bed knowing that everything would change the next day and our things would be in boxes.

Wednesday Morning: This was a HARD DAY. I woke up FILLED with anxiety at 4:50 am. I couldn’t really fall back asleep, so I decided just to get up and take Kylo, our golden retriever, to doggy daycare as early as I could. I came back home at 6:10 am and tried to get some more sleep before the first round of movers came.

Lol, my anxiety made SURE that didn’t happen. So I get out of bed, trying to eat breakfast and all I can do is walk around and breathe and pray. Breathe in breathe out. The movers called and they were going to be there soon. I texted Brendan and asked when he would be home that morning and told him I was on the verge of a MAJOR panic attack. He called, said he would be home as soon as he could.

I cried on the phone and couldn’t breathe. I hung up and had a panic attack. Hard crying, hard breathing, my heart rate was through the roof, and I felt like I was going to pass out. I couldn’t eat, I was nauseous, and felt like I needed to scream.

Brendan got home and hugged me. The panic slowly started to pass. Then the movers got there and we walked them around to pack everything and I somehow made it through that morning.

PHEW!

I was able to take a 2 HOUR NAP that day. PRAISE THE LORD! I could hardly sleep all week from stress and anxiety. And after that nap, I felt tremendously better.

Thursday Morning: Second round of movers come. Yep, packers came one day, and then this day they came to put everything in the truck and send it off. How was my anxiety you ask??

Well, I was on the verge of a panic attack again because the movers got there unexpectedly early and we were still in bed haha. I ran over to my neighbors house to cry and let it all out. Thank you God, for nice neighbors. We chatted and had a heart to heart for about 30 minutes. I went back feeling a little less overwhelmed and handled the movers again. Before I knew it our entire house was empty {again}.

This was a HUGE sigh of relief. One of the hardest parts was over. Every time on the day the movers have come, I have a panic attack in the morning. Every. single. time.

Its the culmination of all the preparation and stress. Your items are left in the hands of people you don’t know, without knowing a date of when you will see it again.

I feel a sigh of relief just writing the end of this day. Still so glad that it’s over.

Friday Morning: The last full day in California (this makes me sad just writing it). The cleaners came, the carpet guy came, we packed our cars, Brendan checked out of his station. Shortly after that, the DOD called a halt on all military moves (thank the LORD we made the cut), we grabbed dinner, ran the last few errands and went to our neighbors house.

We hung out and exchanged gifts with our wonderful neighbors, who we were practically best friends with, and said goodbye.

Our dogs were true best friends

I went to bed that night on an uncomfortable air mattress. Knowing that when I woke up we would leave California behind and start the journey toward North Carolina.

Saturday Morning: Moving day. As I woke up on this dreaded day, my first thought was, “I can’t do this again.” I thought that many times throughout the morning.

We packed the last items into the car, did a few checks through the house and said goodbye. The entire morning I was working on controlled breathing because it was the only thing keeping me from another meltdown.

We left the keys on the counter, locked the doors, and hopped in our cars. We drove up our neighborhood road one last time. I prayed for safety.

As we exited the neighborhood and turned onto the interstate, I felt a rush of anxious energy, nerves, excitement, fear, and sadness, all hit me at once. I started to tear up. As I thought to myself one more time, “I can’t do this again” I felt so discouraged.


As we drove across the country my anxiety subsided. We were able to camp, see new places, meet new people, get feathers from a Peacock named Griswald, visit old favorite places, see old friends, call family and friends, and more.

And then we safely arrived in our new home State. North Carolina. We will enjoy calling you home for a while.


Moving is not the hard part, its stressful yes. Packing isn’t the hard part, but it does suck. Saying “see you later” to friends and family members is hard, but its not a goodbye. Driving across the country is fun, but at the end of it there is a destination.

That destination is always an unknown beginning.

THAT’S the hard part.

Somehow you have to muster up the energy to do it again. And again, and again, and again. You have to let your heart and mind open up to new experiences, new people, new neighbors, new restaurants, new doctors, new schedules, new EVERYTHING.

And for me, I have to do that while managing anxiety and panic attacks. Let me tell you, it ain’t easy.

But guess what? Here I am, two months later. I went through that whole process, during a global pandemic, while having panic attack after panic attack, one anxious thought after another, 8 days on the road, 11 states driven through, 11 nights in a hotel, 10 days in our new house without our household goods, sleeping on an air mattress and sitting on lawn chairs, and I’m here.

I’m doing just fine.

Even though it’s hard, I do it. Even though panic attacks still throw me for a loop, I do it. Even though starting over is difficult, I do it. Even though I can’t go anywhere due to a pandemic, I find new things to do in my home. Even though sometimes I feel as though I can’t face tomorrow, I wake up and do it again.

EVEN THOUGH I TOLD MYSELF I COULDN’T DO IT AGAIN, I DID IT.

And one day, I will do it again.


You guys, I didn’t ask for anxiety to come by my side and play such a huge role. I didn’t imagine myself moving around the country with my husband as much as I do. I never imagined doing hard things. But, what I did do is CHOOSE the life I am living. Even though troubles come and go, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, arguments, whatever it may be, I CHOOSE it.

Even though it’s hard, I will choose it again.

You know what the best part is? You can choose to do those hard things too.

James 1:2-4 NIV “Consider is pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Thanks for reading,

~Erin, The Short Wife

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