Sunday, April 21, 2013

What to Do When Your City is Attacked

After you have checked that your loved ones are safe, find any way you can help.  Boston set up a website where we could sign up to help house stranded marathon runners and the Red Cross asked not to donate any more blood this week.  The need is continuous so donate away in the future.  Various Boston hospitals have wish-lists on Amazon where you can donate needed items.   You can help financially here.  Most importantly, it’s good to be informed, but you have to limit the amount of news you watch.  With the Boston attack, it became obvious that reporters/news outlets were salivating and loved spreading fear with occasional misinformation.

Allow yourself to freakout in small spurts if that helps.  Don’t wallow and get sucked into what-ifs.  Also, be mindful that people process fear and anxiety differently so it’s important to be compassionate and cut people some slack.  Personally, I let myself be upset Wednesday.  I’ve had to work through two cases of PTSD in the past twelve years so I know what is triggering and what is helpful.  The story I tell myself is that all of us have a veil of denial that we’ll live forever and nothing can hurt us.  Once that veil is ripped away, it takes a lot of work to get back to the normal level of denial – the veil back in place.  It’s like you go about your day but you are aware of the veil of denial so it doesn’t protect, it flickers in your periphery.

If you wake up one morning and discover your city is on lockdown and there’s a murderer loose, enjoy the lack of traffic on your commute while you make a mental list of everyone you know in the lockdown zone.   Accept the fact that you won’t be very productive at work as you refresh news sites for updates between waiting for your shelter in place people to check in about their status.

Finally, make sure you’re around loved ones and alcohol is plentiful the evening of lockdown day.   I was safe with a belly full of good food and margarita on hand as I watched the capture of the second suspect.  No better way to end the attack chapter.  Also, humor is a saving grace!  Best thing I read Friday night, “In Soviet Union you escape on boat! In America, boat traps you! What a country!

I think this is great:

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