I learned after 17 years that my mind can’t take the mourning or the barrage of pictures of the day. It impacts my mood, my happiness; it makes me sick.

I don’t sleep much on this day. I haven’t since 9/11/2001. This year I have a prescription of Ambien but it didn’t work. It’s floating in my belly somewhere, slowly dissolving. The Xanax hasn’t curbed my anxiety either.

I was close but not that close and yet watching video or seeing photographs of that day make me physically ill. This year, I filtered my social media settings and it helped a bit but let’s face it, it’s almost impossible to avoid it.

I am respectful of the day and how people choose to honor it, whether it be posting pre-9/11 photos the World Trade Center (as I have chosen to do in the past) or photographs or videos showing their destruction (which I do not.)

Sometimes those photos/videos include the office building I was in shortly before the first plane hit. It brings every second, every moment of that day back to me. For an hour or so, I didn’t know whether the building was destroyed or if any of my colleagues were injured or killed.

About Ray Onativia

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