Wednesday, July 6, 2005

The Turning Point….Taking Action!

What was it that finally led me into discovering and taking action with respect to expressing my patriotism? If I am to be truthful, it came from a dark place within me. It was after that horrifying day in American history, September 11th, 2001.

I have always been sort of a scardy cat, worry wort… call it whatever you want. I openly admit this aspect of my personality. As I sat watching the events unfold on live television of our Country being attacked, I was forever changed. Every fear I ever had, was suddenly being realized. I wasn't safe, my children weren't safe, my family, friends, community and every other American was no longer safe. Immediately after the events, I walked around in a daze… a true state of utter fear and disbelief. A few nights after that dreadful day, I was asleep (which didn't come easy for me) I heard loud booms outside. I jumped out of bed shaking and sweating, believing it was bombs falling from the sky and we were again under attack. I ran to my window, scared to pull back the blinds for fear of what I might see. I soon realized it was only an Autumn storm moving in. I never did get back to sleep that night. After days of jumping at the sound of airplanes, becoming obsessed with the news, watching the events over and over on television, I didn't realize how far down I was going. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months. I was becoming more afraid than I ever had been. Panic attacks and fear were a part of daily existence.

After six months of things becoming worse and worse, I went to my doctor at the insistence of my husband. Apparently he was watching me deteriorate and I was completely unaware of it. I couldn't even go to the doctor by myself for fear I would be given Anthrax (yeah, I know.. wacky). He went with me and I cried in the office as I explained, with my husband's help, what I was feeling. I was humiliated, embarrassed, and scared out of my mind. To my shock, not only did my doctor understand, but said I was about the 20th patient he had seen that week with similar experiences and feelings. I was experiencing something called PTSD. Ultimately, I was given an antidpressant and anti-anxiety medication.

It took quite some time before my fears dissapated and turned into rage. Rage that I had never felt before. Rage at those who done this to me, to so many other fellow Americans and to my Country at large. I walked around angry all the time, jumpy, snappy, irritable… just plain crabby and sometimes hostile. This was no way for a Mother of 4 to be acting. I found myself needing help. I called a therapist and spent several months in therapy to work through my feelings. While it was helpful, I still felt it wasn't enough.

What could I do with all the anger? All the typical suggestions weren't helping much. You know the good ones: exercise, eating right, yoga, etc. and the not so good ones: drinking alcohol, taking those anti-anxiety meds more than I really needed. What the hell was I going to do? I came to realize what I needed to do . It was the answer; the answer to all of my fear, anger, frustrations, self-destructive and useless forms of help.

I became a Patriot. I found something that changed me into a better person and solved all that I had been searching for. Strangely enough, it started out of another loss of life, not even that of anyone I knew personally. It had been right in front of me for so many years and I'd never seen it. So simple, so easy, so damn clear! Ah, it doesn't matter that I didn't see it before, I'm only grateful that the door was finally opened.

Today, and every day, I believe there are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, I need to remind myself to have faith that the answers I'm looking for will come when I am ready to hear them. Even when I don't have the patience to wait. Often times unexpectedly and sometimes at a cost. I am just sorry that it took September 11th for me to wake up and that this cost was so high.

So, it is my Patriotic Quote for the day:

"The meaning of America is not to be found in a life without toil. Freedom is not only bought with a great price; it is maintained by unremitting effort." ~President Calvin Coolidge

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Comments on The Turning Point….Taking Action! »

Monday, July 11, 2005

Anonymous @ 4:33 pm

You hit the nail on the head in that there are so many ways a person can be a Patriot and serve their country without Military Duty More Americans need to realize this. When we Americans fail to serve in some way we dishoner those who have galiantly fought and have died for our Freedoms.

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