Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Relocation – depression?

9 months ago I was “relocated” from the retirement village I’d lived in for only 5 months. My dog, Jordie, had been on the lease at the start, but she was kicked out after 4.5 months… why?? I moved into Eagleby, a fairly decent (albeit not the best) unit underneath a house where Jordie could definitely be… until, 9 months later, I had found out that the unit was “illegal”. The owner had never got approval from the city council. I had to move. Again. Why?? I wrote a post about this on 25th August, and again on 1st September.

The first day I looked at a one-bedroomed unit, same price as I was paying, but I didn’t know for certain that they would accept Jordie. Two days later I turned away from it, even though I had filled in an application. I had no idea where would accept Jordie, I couldn’t move without her.

I looked at 6 other units in as many suburbs, ranging from $230 up to $260. I couldn’t afford an increase of $30 a week. Even those which didn’t mention pets on their ads told me that they couldn’t accept “them” – meaning a dog as big as Jordie. I looked at an NRAS unit, $10 a week less than what I was paying but two staircases to get up to it (no elevators) and NO pets. I had four more units on my list - until I received a phone call from the agent: my dog was accepted!!

I felt shock. This was the first place I had looked at, which I had walked away from. It was one-bedroomed, but the back yard – small – was fenced and they would accept Jordie. That same day I received another phone call – the two-bedroomed unit I had looked at – which was $30 more a week than I pay now – said that the owner would accept Jordie! OMG! One bedrooms, she was accepted. Two bedrooms, she was accepted. I had to consider the costs. I had to, also, consider if I could fit into one bedroom.

Last night took so much thought. The three units. One bedroom, same rent, Jordie allowed. Two bedrooms, more expensive, Jordie allowed. Two bedrooms, a beautiful balcony looking over a paddock with horses in it, but two staircases up and Jordie not allowed. In the end, the cost of where I would go and the acceptance of Jordie, were the main things I had to think about. This morning I accepted the one bedroom.

I told the agent that I wanted two weeks rent free (I had already stopped paying) and the owner to pay for removalists to shift me. She’s talking to him, but I don’t think he could refuse. I would take him to QCAT, if I needed to. I don’t have enough cash in the bank to move myself. I don’t need to move myself. I didn’t ask to move. I didn’t ask for higher rents, but I am accepting a unit smaller than where I am right now, because they accept Jordie. I don’t know how longer she will live – she’s 15 years old, she had arthritis in her front shoulders and hip dysplasia in her back hips – but our celebration is on 17 February 2018. I will have had her for 10 years since I adopted her from RSPCA. She will be 16. I absolutely count on that celebration, so Jordie must come with me.

Relocation can cause depression. Compare My Move said “There will be an unsettling period of disequilibrium and with that can come a certain (normal) level of anxiety.” I think I suffer a bit more than “normal” anxiety. My Moving Reviews said “It is believed that the toughest stage of a move is the tricky period of dealing with a post-move phenomenon known as relocation depression.” The problem is I’ve been through this before. This time is again. One guy in NY Times said that “he moves a lot because he is always looking for a better deal, a better space, a better neighborhood.” I know about that. Except I seem to be moving downhill. Quotes for Removals in UK said there are five main common emotions when shifting: regret, anxiety, loss, sadness, fear. I understand each of those: I feel each of them. Domain Aus said “It is one of the most disruptive, stressful and chaotic of life experiences. It can also be really expensive.” I know all about that, especially when relocations have not been my choice. A blog, posted on Arrohome talked about how to make your “new” home feel good: grab some houseplants, fill the house with food, try to add something, and warm the house with friendly faces. The first three I could do… the fourth one isn’t something I could do. I’ve lost friends since my aneurysm and stroke. I don’t really know how or when.

So many websites which talk about getting used to relocating. I had Googled “feeling about moving homes in Australia” and found far too few responses which I could relate to me. I needed a response from Beyond Blue, or Mad Dog, or any other support group. I added a word – “depression” to the Google search: “feeling about moving homes in australia depression”. Beyond Blue ran an online forum about moving house anxiety. R U Ok said “there are changes in the social supports that we’re receiving and the connections we have with people in our lives. It can occur suddenly … through a sudden relocation.” I know that. They also said that I should “seek the support of others. Reach out to say you need some help.” I don’t even know how to do that any more.

So I am getting myself relocated, with no help from “friends” or even “family”, because I have no idea any more how or where I fit in with them. I live alone. With my BFF dog, Jordie. I am moving into a one bedroomed unit the weekend after next.

Just me and Jordie.

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