I Broke Down Today

I broke down today.

The weight of this week hit me. It all started last Sunday. There was a hurricane forming out in the gulf and it was projected to hit the panhandle. Headed right for me. It formed fast and it grew powerful. Cat 2. Cat 3. Fuck, Cat 4. Three MPH from being a Cat 5. 155 MPH winds slammed into the panhandle and took everything with them.


I broke down today.

Today, I went to the gym. To coach. To workout. To get my mind off this week. The thing is, this week built a wall and I slammed into it head first. I’ve never felt so heavy.

The past two days our little Operation PB&J and hugs have drove thru hell. Heather, Trina, Chris and I set out to help. Everything is broken. If there isn’t a tree on the house, the roof is blown off. Miles upon miles of pine forests are broken in half. From the beach to above I-10 they are all broken, in the roads, on houses, on power lines. People have been left with nothing. They have no home. No power. No job. No food. No water. NOTHING. On Friday, we only saw the power crews, the local police, first responders and one Salvation Army bus. But there were civilians, coming from everywhere to help.

Operation PB&J showed up. Friday morning, Heather and I went to Ft. Walton Beach and donated blood. Then, we went to Walmart and loaded up on food, water, baby formula, diapers, everything we could think of. Picked up, Trina on the way loaded all she brought, no room left in the car, we headed east. We crossed the bridge into Panama City and it was like a bomb went off. EVERYTHING is broken. We found the Salvation Army in the Calloway Walmart parking lot. They’d run out of food when we got there. The police thanked us for bringing in supplies. We handed out apples and bananas and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that we made on the ride there. We left them with a lot of supplies and headed back out to the community. People surrounded by destruction said they were fine. They were sure there were others worse off than them, they said. We gave more hugs than food that day. We listened to their stories. My heart hurt.


I broke down today.

I fell asleep on the sofa. I had to stay away today. My list is long. I haven’t unpacked my hurricane prep or evacuation stuff yet. My house is a mess, the yard needed to be mowed. But I slept. The wall was sitting on me. I couldn’t hold my eyes open, so I slept.

On Saturday, I coached, then went back to Walmart. Heather and I stocked up on toothbrushes, tampons, wipes, baby formula, water, food, dog food, cat food, underwear and socks. We made more PB&J’s loaded up Ryan’s truck. Heather, Chris and I tried to go to Mexico Beach. We were stopped at the edge. They were still dealing with the dead and we were turned away. Tyndall AFB is leveled. Of the 600 homes, none are habitable. We went back to Lynn Haven. Everything is broken. We made stops and gave people a ride. They had first contact with their mother who had their kids. They were safe. We left our supplies with Allen Chapel in Lynn Haven. Wonderful people who had a ready smile and liked big hugs. We went home.

I broke down today.

I started the mower and looked at all the pine needle that had blown all over the yard. Needles. I had to deal with needles. They have the whole fucking tree. The guilt hit me hard. If that storm shifted by 30 miles it would have been me. It would have been us. My whole world would have been broken. But it’s not. I have my bed. I have my roof. I have my world. I broke down today.

I woke up today.

Artist, dreamer, lover of life. Former gym owner redefining me.