9/11 Anniversary

For the past few weeks I’ve met with clients experiencing profound dread and sadness about the upcoming tenth anniversary of 9/11.  What has compounded it has been the onslaught of terrible news about extreme flooding in the Northeast, wildfires and widespread loss of homes in Texas, the tragic plane crash in Russia, the Seven Eleven slaughter, the rising suicide rate in Japan, and many, many other reports of horrific events and developments.

In the case of the 9/11 anniversary, we can at least take solace in the solidarity of national grieving and memorials. We validate each other around the pain and loss. Together we prepare for the “anniversary effect” – revisiting the traumatic images and memories imprinted in our brains. We unite in the healing process. We try to make sense of what happened.

Unfortunately, we’re left to our own defenses around the other daily, tragic events.  Clients and friends say they feel helpless, alone, and increasingly anxious in an unsafe world.

There is no magic formula for dealing with all this. Even people of deep religious faith feel profoundly tested in the face of such daily tragedy. What helps me is to surround myself with love, to remind myself of the essential goodness of people, and the joys of life. I also focus on the small things I can do, to mitigate against feelings of helplessness regarding all the trauma. Going into meaningful action, being present in the grace of the moment, and making heartfelt connections, are my medicines for staying sturdy in such turbulent times. But it’s also helpful to honor the grief and sadness, and sometimes just cry.

Susan Lager

About Susan Lager

ABOUT ME Susan Lager, LICSW, BCD I grew up in New Rochelle, a suburb of NYC, lived in Manhattan for ten years during college and graduate school, and escaped the madness for the wilds of Maine to be with Thom, the sweet man I'm still married to after 34 years. (We have an awesome 29 year old son named Alec who will run the free world someday). I knew I'd survive the relocation from New York when I discovered the scenic, historic little city of Portsmouth, on the coast of New Hampshire, with its winding streets, great restaurants, and music everywhere. I was especially thrilled to attend the Portsmouth Psychotherapy Institute, an offshoot of the B.I.P., where I did post-graduate training, and then went into private practice creating The Couples Center PLLC, doing psychotherapy, with individuals, couples and groups. In 2010 I opened a division of the practice called COUPLESPEAK™, providing live and online coaching, training programs, workshops, and written materials for people in different kinds of partnerships. I'm still passionate about the work, which is NEVER boring! My clients are courageous pioneers, and they've taught me lots I'll pass on......
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