It’s been more than seven years since we vacated our home. Our mold crisis taught us a great deal, not just about mold, but about life. If you’re in the middle of a crisis, I hope these lessons encourage you.
Our mold journey has been longer than I’d hoped and filled with unanticipated twists and turns. The knowledge I’ve gained is one of the benefits of traveling this road. Thankfully, mold is not in the forefront of my thinking now, and while we do have some lingering issues, we are no longer consumed with our health. I do, however, remain vigilant and aware, and I am always learning.
Lessons I Have Learned From Our Mold Exposure
1. Take care of yourself and your family.
When we first left the home, I wanted everyone to know about mold. This drive to educate others drained me of energy. It also dictated some unwise decisions. If I had it to do over, I would spend less time trying to convince others and more time learning this ourselves. I would not spin my wheels trying to keep this from happening to others. We could have easily sold our home “as is” with full disclosure, but we were too traumatized to see that being up-front and honest about our home was enough. We lost valuable resources trying to protect others and lost momentum on our own recovery
2. Keep moving forward.
It’s easy to find yourself looking back with regret.
- If only I had known . . .
- I wish I had . . .
- I should have done . . .
- Why didn’t I . . .
As much as possible, use your knowledge to propel yourself forward. Maybe your next step is to test the home. Perhaps it means tossing some books or clothes that are causing you problems. It may mean a radical step like sleeping outside. It could mean hiring a qualified remediator. It might be a diet change. Whatever moving forward looks like for you, don’t drown yourself in “what ifs;” just use your experience to take the next step.
3. Don’t jump ahead.
When evaluating a course of action, it’s easy to think too far ahead.
- If I test the home, I might have to leave it.
- If we hire a mold remediator, it might not work.
- If I spend money on this step, I might not have the money I need in the future.
The scenarios are endless. If your house is on fire, there is no time to think about the long-term implications. Unfortunately, an unhealthy building is far more complicated. As much as possible, focus only on your next step and keep yourself from becoming paralyzed by the “what if” scenarios.
4. Embrace the process.
After we left our home I put time limits on our recovery. As a result, I felt behind schedule and sure I wasn’t doing enough to get us well. The self-imposed timeline made me vulnerable to those who touted a specific remedy, supplement, or treatment. With time, I learned there is no magic pill when it comes to the recovery process. Once I relinquished my sense of urgency, I was able to enjoy subtle changes and small victories. I gave it time, and seven years later I’m glad I did.
If you’d like to learn more about our journey or have questions about toxic mold, check out Is Your House Making You Sick? A Beginner’s Guide to Toxic Mold.