MOTORCYCLES AND LIVING WITH PTSD

On September 11, 2001, I watched the World Trade Center fall from the neighborhood where I lived. After it fell, I went to Brooklyn Hospital and volunteered until 5 o’clock the following morning, went home to my apartment contaminated by the dust, and later got sick and lost my job. I lived for ten years in denial that 9-11 had affected me. It took heart arrhythmias and the ten-year anniversary to convince me to go to the World Trade Center health clinic. Another 6 months later, I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In early 2013, I started learning how debilitating PTSD can be and decided to write about it. Reason 1, to give myself a project that is motivating, as living with PTSD can be like living with no motivation. Reason 2, to help others with PTSD by sharing experiences and ideas. Helping others is motivating in itself.

If you have PTSD, you are not alone.

Though I’ve since healed tremendously and no longer have the same debilitating mental struggles, I try to document as much as possible about living with PTSD. Sometimes I write about other topics besides PTSD.

Before 2013, this blog was almost all about motorcycles and riding them. I enjoyed sharing information about them, especially since I owned vintage bikes that few mechanics knew how to fix. Little did I know how much motorcycles had been helping me cope with a psychological injury I didn’t know I had.

Welcome to my story.

4 thoughts on “MOTORCYCLES AND LIVING WITH PTSD”

  1. Kiai, my daughter is a recent graduate of Vassar. I am very touched by your story. I have suffered from PTSD for years. I was diagnosed pre-9/11, but my condition was exacerbated by my experiences on 9/11. I also live in lower Manhattan. I saw the second plane hit the tower that day and saw people jumping from the towers. I have had some real success with EMDR. Have you ever tried it? It is a non-invasive electronic vibration therapy that simply transfers flashbacks from one side of the brain to the other. The process does not erase flashbacks, but it does dull them enough to just make them manageable memories. The level of anxiety and physical reactions became much more manageable for me after these treatment sessions. I highly recommend that you investigate this if you have not already done so! Good luck!

    1. Hey, Nancy,
      I tried EMDR. It made me feel really stressed. It did not heal my anxiety, but it helped me recognize it. I was able to practice Sensory Regulation on triggers I was previously unaware of.
      Hope you are well,
      Kiai

  2. Hi Kiai
    I had no idea you were there during 9/11 – I think I met you after in LA-nice blog-i like what you said about the coorilation of PTSD and having no motivation-I have experienced this too from having it for events in my life as well-good to figure out what gets your GROOVE back! XO Inge

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