Dr. Marion Somers
It is almost 20 years since the events of 9/11 and the Twin Towers fell in New York City. During this time, our country and the world has seen the ramifications of Covid-19, food and water shortages, floods, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados and political unrest in its many manifestations. Many of these events or topics bring up for the individuals and populations a sense of vulnerability, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear, anxiety, depression, and/or survivors guilt. I personally was to have an early breakfast on the top floor restaurant of the Twin Towers on 9/11; meeting with clients regarding business and personal topics. I called the clients up and rescheduled our breakfast meeting to 9/12. After this event, I spent many days, weeks and months going to funerals, helping grieving families and giving community service and support. This is the first time I have mentioned this dramatic instant to anyone with the exception of my children who knew I had planned to have breakfast 9/11 at the Twin Towers. Until that moment I did not understand survivor guilt or any of the other ramifications that go with the trauma of tragedy.
What I have learned, in my growth process, is what I want to share. I found the following helpful: to practice self-forgiveness; grieve privately as well as openly in a communal setting such as funerals and memorial services; focus on the good that is all around you, it is there if you seek it out; listen to others from their point of view; reach out to your support systems be they family, friends, therapists, religious communities, as well as the happy and positive people in your life; walk in nature; walk your pet or walk a neighbor’s pet; do something that really makes you feel good, it could be as simple as hugging a tree or going to the latest comedy movie or getting a massage. Understanding all the while that much of what happens to us or around us is caused by circumstances beyond our control.