December 4, 2020
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Returning home is bittersweet

By: Dawn Dolan
June 28, 2019

The past few weeks have marked the beginning for many of a bittersweet return to the homes that had been destroyed during the 2017 fires.  Moving into a newly rebuilt home can bring the excitement and pleasure of upgraded appliances, windows, flooring, etc. and perhaps a new structural design.  The changes can also remind one that you can never return to the exact same home after leaving in such a traumatic and life-changing manner.

No one here or in any of the surrounding counties has been unaffected by the fires and their aftermath.  The social impact is still with us in the form of PTSD getting triggered by moving back to their old neighborhood which is now unfamiliar in that it no longer looks anything like it did before.  The economic impacts are also still with us in the form of extreme housing price increases due to the shortages and job losses.  Many are still unable to recuperate their losses or replace their former lifestyle.

It is encouraging to remind ourselves that we are resilient.  The ‘Sonoma Strong’ signs can still be seen in many places around the county reminding us that we can come together as a unified community when the need arises.  There are still many resources available for those who are finding that they have not fully recovered as yet, whether it is from the mental and emotional trauma or the economic losses.

Dawn Dolan, MA, ACN is an advocate for integrative healthcare, consulting with medical doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, psychotherapists, body workers, massage therapists and other healthcare professionals. She can be reached by email at