Yesterday was the first 9/11 I didn’t feel angry or depressed since that fateful day. I’m still having trouble sleeping without Penny right next to me. Each night I try letting her sleep by herself, but eventually call her over. And I realize I still have a hard time concentrating on one writing task for a long period of time, especially in my graduate school work for clinical mental health counseling. But concentration has been getting better and better each semester. I learned that I’d been feeling resistance while doing school work, perhaps the same feeling I had when wanting to withdraw from society. I wrote about this feeling in a class discussion:
“Even now I feel resistance about this course … This resistance I feel is something else I must regulate and if I think about it now, I can feel pressure on my kidneys, my jaw is a little tight as if wanting to clench my teeth, and I feel energy radiating off my back. If I allow these sensations to evolve on their own staying conscious of them without trying to do anything with them, the feeling of resistance will go away, and permanently. Incidentally, I just took a minute to allow them to change and I felt my jaw loosen, the radiant energy change and move through my upper body while decreasing, a little nausea, and a little headache. Now I feel calm and no longer feel resistance.”
Improvement comes every time I do this sensory emotional regulation. And every time I think maybe I’m all healed until something else comes up.
I cried at the airport two days ago, but I tried to regulate it and I felt things in my body that were like what I felt while answering the hotline on 9/11, particularly weakness in the legs, something stuck in my throat, and upper body tension. I didn’t sob though, which is an improvement.
Yesterday was also the first day since 2012 that I stayed in New York on a September 11. On the west coast, people carry on business as usual, planning events like happy hour. I don’t want to go to happy hour on 9/11, even now.