On the Flip Side

I am sorry if I left all of you hanging about how the anniversary actually went. I’ve been tired this week and now am finally feeling some respite. So now, I’ll tell you about the rest of my week and how it’s been.
First of all, I have to say how utterly and absolutely grateful I am for the support I received on December 9th. A number of friends called or texted me to see how I was doing and to offer their love. I can’t recall ever having had this much support on an anniversary. It was very healing for me to have people around who actually know me and my story, have entered my life, and were offering me their support. I didn’t have that when my sisters were killed, and to have it now made this anniversary so much different.
I think that might have been part of the reason that overall, the day of the anniversary wasn’t overwhelming or terrible. I felt sad and tired. But I didn’t feel heavy grief like I have almost every year preceding this one. I had funny things happen, though. That morning as I rolled out of bed onto my knees as I usually do in the morning (I pray the 7th step prayer every morning) I hit my head on my bedside table. Well, technically not my head; technically it was right between my eyelid and my eyebrow. I was still half-asleep and was thinking about my previous day’s resolution to be sincere each morning in my prayers. To make one sincere request each morning (Eat, Pray, Love again… I know). And BAM. In the face. So the first thing I had to do the morning of December 9th was go and get stitches at the Urgent Care. At the time, I was pissed. I almost cried while I was laying there waiting for them to stitch me up. But I was also grateful that I didn’t go to the ER. That, I couldn’t have handled.
So they stitched me up and I went about my day, somewhat pissed off. I had a therapy appointment set for that afternoon. That was where the majority of my tears happened for the day. I don’t want to talk about it yet, but there will be a post in the future about it. I think my next therapy appointment might be on the exact same subject as this one was. There was a lot of feelings involved. When I left I felt raw and sad, but in a good way. A clean way.
So that was my day. I made it. I survived.
And on Wednesday night I had the privilege of attending, for the first time, a meeting for shooting survivors. It was started by a group of Columbine survivors up in Denver, about an hour away from me. So I drove up to Denver and went. That was a magical experience. Just like in recovery for addiction, when in recovery from a mass shooting there’s some things that only others in recovery would get. We laughed about our experiences with the press, all groaning when someone mentioned having a listed phone number. We ALL instantly knew what that meant. It was such a cool experience. I remembered how, immediately after the shooting, Good Morning America tried sending us gift baskets at the hospital (really?). I’m laughing about it now. So hilarious. And I have to say it’s so relieving to have a place to go to talk about this stuff. I don’t talk to my family about it. But I talk to these people; I’ve been in connection with them for a year now since I found them after the Newtown shooting. They had a Facebook group that I dug up somehow, and instantly felt so much relief over. I had been trying to find connections in this area for so long. It’s a miracle.
Being in that group also validated my extreme anxiety. I’ve been struggling with some massive anxiety in the past few weeks, and I was really close to drinking because of it. Anxiety was mentioned there and suddenly I felt normal. Okay. Like it’s completely understandable that I freak out about tiny things and get overwhelmed. I’ve been through a harrowing experience (or several!) and it’s not really a surprise that I try to manage things to perfection. I’m still wondering about going on medication. Right now I’m trying to see if I can deal with it in other ways again first.
Today’s news about another school shooting in Denver is sobering. I had some intuition about it on Wednesday night as I drove home from the meeting in Denver, and that is hard now to remember. At the time even I shoved it away because it upset me, and I had the silly idea that my intuition would make it happen. It sometimes just feels like a week of horror; last year, Newtown happened (a year ago Saturday). It’s hard to see another one in the same week.
But I’m glad it wasn’t worse than it was. It could have been so much worse. But it’s still hard that other people have now experienced what I find so familiar. At least now there is a place they can go. Hold space and light a candle for them tonight… it’s going to be a dark night for some people and they need your light. Or maybe go out and laugh, like I’m going to do, so your happiness can send some good energy in their direction. We’re all connected; don’t forget.
Love to you all – all of you that I could think of were on my petition last week. 🙂 Hope you are well tonight.

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One thought on “On the Flip Side

  1. I’ve been bumbling around your posts all day today and want to let you know how cool you are. Your story and candid openness is really inspiring. I find it incredibly difficult to open up about the truth at the core of my pain, or to even recount personal tragedies – Your blog is really amazing. Stay amazing.

    Big love and Tim Tam slams from an Australian in LA. ✌🏼️✨

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