Ten years ago, our country was attacked. The loss of life and devastation have greatly impacted our country. As we remember September 11, we can learn how to heal and how to move on.
For the first few years after the Trade Center attacks, every anniversary of September 11 was a full day of remembrance. Extensive news coverage, lots of local memorial activities, and moments of silence across the country. This year, it seemed like the celebrations were kind of lax. Or maybe they were overshadowed by current religious controversies. But it seemed like we were forgetting what the day is all about, and how we’ve changed since September 11, 2001.
As much as we’d like to forget the whole disaster ever happened, it is important to remember.
Remembering helps PTSD
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an unfortunate result of the many people that witnessed 9/11 firsthand. With PTSD, victims suffer from anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression because they keep reliving the traumatic incident. But even in these cases, it has been shown that counseling that involves talking about the event is beneficial. In these cases, patients are encouraged to remember so that they can work through their anxious feelings surrounding the event.
Remembering helps recovery
When someone goes through treatment for an addiction, they may want to forget their old life, with its substance abuse and its consequences. But in some ways, the most successful patients are ones who don’t completely forget. It helps to remember the pain that drugs caused, as motivation to stay away from them. Remembering the strained relationships with family or friends gives incentive to stay sober. We naturally try to shut the bad things out of our minds, but over time, it is ok and sometimes helpful to remember.
A person that is sober will remember every single day how their life used to be when on drugs, or the way they used to feel, and that’s ok. By being open about our past, and continuing to talk through it, we actually help time to heal our wounds. Counseling and therapy can help work through past problems, past triggers, and past consequences that have shaped our lives. With the right kind of help, these negatives will remain a part of our past, but will no longer be a burden we have to carry. Instead, remembering the past will show our accomplishments and how far we’ve come in our sobriety.
We will never forget. When a painful thing happens in our life, whether its witnessing terrorist attacks, or hitting rock bottom because of substance abuse, we don’t need to run and hide. As humans, we are pretty resilient. We have the ability to pick ourselves up and move on. Even with something so devastating as the loss of a loved one, or the utter disaster that a life of addiction can become, we can recover. With the right kind of help, we can use our memory to learn from these experiences, and create a better future for ourselves. Never forget, but always move forward.
Nine years, pain still lingers