Events like that used to make me feel all of those things. It would set off some fear and emotion that I didn't have much control over. It was almost strange to have so much happening and yet, still be feeling my peace and having that control. The other side of it is that I feel saddened for the many people who are still having a very difficult time. It makes me want to help people, yet I feel helpless, like there's not much I can do. I was discussing this with a friend, a survivor of the bombing before the holiday. I told her it's weird sometimes to be on the "other side" now. There's almost a disconnect with people sometimes, like I remember how it felt to be in that place but I simply don't feel it anymore. I was feeling bad that evening, almost like I shouldn't feel so good (I know, messed up) and that I just really wanted to see everyone else feel the same way. This friend said some things that both humbled me and made me feel really proud and happy.
She said, "You can feel weird, but it reminds people (me) that you can get there and be there. So...you are definitely "doing something." I promise. You're doing something for me telling me that you are on the other side."
So, I have decided that the best way to help anyone is to just be me. I need to focus on the happiness, confidence, and peace I have found. I need to keep showing people that there is another side to trauma. There is this thought that once you're traumatized by anything or when you have PTS, that you will never fully recover. Someone even said that to me at the beginning. I remember it was exactly 5 days after the bombing. She told me I would never feel completely okay again, that I would just learnt to manage the anxiety. I said right there and then that I didn't believe that and I wouldn't live like that forever. I lost that hope a lot along the way. But, I proved myself right in the end. No matter how dark it seems, there is light. You just have to fight like Hell to get there and truly want it.
My friend, the other day told me that my presence is like a light, that she and others have mentioned it and that it just comes off of me and can be felt when I'm around. There are people in my life that I feel this way about and they do so much for my life and my energy, so to be that person to even one other person is pretty awesome. That was a beautiful thing to hear. Two years ago, even 1.5 years ago, there was no light. I know what I was giving off and it was sadness, pain, fear. So, to hear those words from her makes me even more determined to continue living the way I am and to continue to help others in any way I can even if it's just BEING.
As I start this year, I am working on many things; reaching my new business goals, making time to enjoy the people and things that I love so much in life and being active in things that matter. I have connected with a great organization that helps survivors of terrorist attacks and I hope to be involved in positive ways.
I know I say this a lot, but I'm incredibly thankful. I'm thankful for all of you that read this. I'm thankful to my amazing friends and family, to my clients, and to all I've been through that has made me who I am today.
So, for all of you that may be struggling with anything out there. Know there is another side. Keep pushing yourself toward the light until you can BE THE LIGHT.