So, what have I been feeling? A mix of things. Being sick has been taking its toll on me both physically and mentally. Last year was one thing to have something completely just mental and emotional. While it had its physical parts too when I had no control over my body's reactions, it was mostly mental. To now have something that is both is a challenge. It's the ultimate challenge. You can read more about that on my other blog. But, it is hard. To feel sick and to deal with not feeling "normal" and have to slow down my life socially and with work is a big change for me. It's hard to still be challenged by that one day, really that few seconds in my life. However, it is all leading somewhere great. Of that, I'm sure.
Something I did last week and had been thinking about doing for a while was to go back in this blog. I wanted to see where I came from to where I am. I am so thankful that I wrote it all down and that I shared it. It's a terrifying thing to put yourself out there, especially with something so personal and raw, but it's also so unbelievably freeing and healing. I helped people realize what was happening for me and so many others that they may otherwise not know. I ended up helping people I had never met before who were there or who had loved ones there. So, it was worth it. Last week, as I went back, it was crazy to see where I was and what I was feeling. When I read about an anxiety attack or a moment of extreme emotion, I can remember everything about it. I remember what that feeling was like, I remember where I was and can picture it happening, almost as if I wasn't in my body. It's the same thing I see when I look back at April 15. It's hard to describe, but I see it as if both from the outside and from inside my body.
"Other times it's so intense it can feel like I'm dying. I can't catch my breath and my body goes numb and it's hard to pull out of it. It's completely exhausting. In the year of 'Boston Strong', I've never felt so weak."
"I always said before that I wanted to be the person I was before the bombings. Now, I realize that was never possible (and really knew all along). You can't go back. You can only go forward and create that new person. My life changed that day, like so many others. I could never be the "me" I was before. I've seen too much, I've learned too much, I've experienced too much. It is weird to say sometimes, but if that day never happened, I don't think I'd be as happy, as emotionally healthy, and as aware of so many things about myself and the world. I have never felt stronger."
Now, the trial. I still feel the same way I did before. I have no interest. I don't believe in "closure" in the sense others do. I don't think anything that happens in the trial can bring that. I believe that we let go, find that "closure" (whatever that means to each of us), and move forward by finding all of that within ourselves. It's about releasing what doesn't make us happy and strong. I mean, do I want him to be free? NO. But, that is not going to happen, so that's good enough to me. I don't need to put myself back in that place of anxiety and reliving that day. I already relive it, only now, it's not with the anxiety of before. I remember every moment as if it just happened. Sometimes it's surreal as if I dreamed it, but it's also very real. I will never forget. I don't need to reintroduce myself to that anxiety and extreme emotion of before. I had it, it helped me work through it and though it could possibly come back on an anniversary or something, it no longer consumes me. I'm going to keep it that way.
I don't know what the next month and a half will bring. I have had some emotional moments the last couple of months. I came across a monologue Stephen Colbert did back right after the bombings. As I watched it, I did cry. But, it was not an overwhelming cry. It was a sad cry. Thinking of that day will always bring some sadness which is okay. If I ever thought of that day and didn't get sad, I would not like that person. It should be sad. It was awful. It caused pain for so many wonderful people, including myself. What came out of it was beautiful. So it was also a happy cry remembering how there was so much support thrown to our city from all over. I've also seen other things, some Ive purposely gone to look at like a video I used to watch back then. It had some images, but not very graphic ones. It was a few from that day but mostly pictures of what came out of it. The memorials, the vigils, etc. I went back to look because I can look at it in a different way than I did before, with a clearer appreciation.
I realize looking back at my writing just how scattered my thoughts and feelings were. I wasn't able to fully process anything about what had happened or what was happening. I now feel going back helps me to work through it in a whole new way.
I plan to be at that finish line this year with my camera. Last year, though I really wanted to be there to push myself, I did know that it was not the right choice and I'm glad I made the decision I did. I don't know what this year will bring. I may get emotional, it may just be a very happy uplifting day like it always was before. But, I do feel I have the strength to do it this time. On the anniversary, there doesn't seem to be anything planned which is extremely disappointing. At the tribute last year, Menino made, to me, the most powerful speech because of this one part:
"I want you to hear this solemn promise," he began. "When the lights are dim, know that our support and love for you will never waver. Whatever you have to do to recover and carry on, know that the people of Boston and I are right there by your side."
I have decided to run the 5k though. I used to run. I hate running now. But, for symbolic reasons and because a friend asked if I would do it with her, I am running. It's not the best idea with my health because I'm supposed to take it easy, but there's something about it. I feel it's something I need to do this year.
That entire week could stir things up. I'm already thinking about it and knowing I will allow myself to feel whatever I need to without frustration and confusion like last year. All I want to do is focus on my health, my work, my new non profit (I think most people know about this, but you can see what it is at www.shecampaign.com), and moving forward with all of the amazing people in my life.
I'm sure I'll be updating this more with the anniversary coming.
Thank you for reading and for the support along this journey. It means more than I can express.