Blankness

Recently I returned to the New York City World Trade Center Health Program after a dismal experience with the national 9/11 program. Everyone at the program in NYC made re-enrollment a breeze, in spite of the program now being overseen on the federal level. During my intake appointment for psychological …

Service Dogs Rock (Some People Suck)

Sometimes I think my dog is super smart. Last night, I had trouble falling asleep. Usually, I call her and she puts her head on my arm and I fall asleep. Last night she just came over on her own and put her head on my arm until I got …

Zombie Mind

On Friday, I pushed myself to finish a project for work that was due at the end of December. I didn’t want it to be more than a week late. The project involved documentation and required a lot of mental focus involving writing, editing, organization, and digital publishing work with …

An Aging Benefit

With aging comes experience (most of the time). And as we and our parents or children age, the more family members within two generations can understand each other. My parents have become elderly in the last several years, and I returned to Brooklyn partly to help them. Perhaps my experience …

Dissociation Breakthrough

My therapist, Eamonn, always asked me what went through my mind whenever I had dissociated. (I use “disassociate” and “dissociate” interchangeably; whatever feels comfortable in the moment. Both mean disconnecting from the real world.) Most of the time I could not recall where I went in my head. My disconnections …

Photo by Riley Briggs. Downtown Des Moines, Iowa

PTSD is a Mental Illness

There are some times when it is blatantly clear that I have a mental illness. I went to the store today to pick up some items: pasta, olive oil, mozzarella cheese, and milk in a glass bottle. (The glass bottle is irrelevant to the topic, but I was happy to …

Stumbling Block

My plan to write about the tiny houses where I stayed during my cross-continent trip from San Francisco to Brooklyn is on a backburner. That is because the moving company that left with 13 items of mine arrived in Brooklyn with only 12. The missing piece is a print, called …

A Letter to WTC One and Two

Dear Twin Towers, Fifteen years ago today, you became no more. Since I bought a picture of you until today, your image stayed visible in my living room. For at least the last several years, this picture sat on my piano. I would look at it and remember how much …

On the Road Back Toward Ground Zero

After three and a half years in San Francisco where I found a therapist who helped me go back to work fulltime, a therapeutic technique to heal most notably panic attacks, and where my friend who helped me with a place to live and food in my stomach became my …

Feeling more like home

My anxiety level had been going up slowly for about a month before this trip to New York. Every year around this time as September 11 approaches, it’s the same occurrence. It hit a high last week. Something in my Brooklyn apartment triggered what felt like something that could have …