Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Least That I Can Do is Care

Today is a day of reflection and emotion for most Americans and, in fact, much of the world. What happened on 9/11/2001...well, it makes me cry.

I don't want to put aside the true meaning and horror of this day because, honestly, my little problems are nothing compared to the suffering and sadness that those directly affected by the attacks have to live with every day. I certainly don't think my own cares should eclipse those of others. But, I do believe that this is a good opportunity for all of us to take stock of the last 10 years.

Ten years ago I was 12, still home schooled, and living in Boston. I remember being up in the loft of our apartment doing my math while my mom was downstairs watching the Today Show like every other morning. After the first plane hit my mom called her best friend and I went downstairs to stare at the TV. I don't think I quite understood the magnitude of it at first; it just seemed so surreal. But, I think it was the beginning of my realization of how complicated and scary and evil and wonderful and compassionate the world is.  I was still a child in so many respects - innocent and just coming to grips with the reality of the world. I think that my generation, which was old enough to understand what happened, but still too young to understand the whole picture, was especially effected by the events of those days.

Ten years ago I was oblivious to the ED lurking in my near future.  I won't go as far as to say that 9/11 has any direct correlation to my anorexia, but in a sense it did. I was trying to figure myself out and how I fit in the world. And, subconsciously, there was the realization that I can't control much of anything.

Ten years ago was also the day I started skating. I remember my mom called the rink to see if they were still having the class and they were. Little did I know how much that would change my life and provide me with some of the greatest joy and deepest frustration I would ever experience. Skating, too, influenced my ED, causing me to question my body, my abilities. But it also helped me pull through the worst of it; I needed a healthy body to skate.

So much else happened in the days following. My dad got called to NYC to help temporarily convert a hotel into offices for those displaced from the tower. Living so close to the New York and Washington, I heard countless stories of people who knew people. Miracles and tragedies surrounded me. I cried, not really knowing why. I don't want anyone to take this the wrong way, but I've never been an intensely patriotic person. I mean I love my country, but I love the world more.

So today is a bittersweet day for me as it is every year. I think of all the people who lost their lives or where affected by the attack and I think of my own small tragedies and struggles with ED. It puts things in perspective and yet it makes the miracles of life seem so much sweeter. I'm such an emotional person that I wish I could give everyone love and comfort and hope and peace. But of course, I am only me. But I can care and I can pray and I can start to heal myself.


  1. I feel the same way you do. I was 9 at the time so I didn't understand why it happened, I was just happy to have a day off from school for it. But looking back, it was a very traumatic and very real experience for me. It was one of the first times that I really thought about the world and country around me. It gave me a global perspective that I'm proud to have, but I feel guilty for focusing on my own problems instead of on the much bigger ones like this. I agree that we can't really control a lot, but what we can control is our response to tragedy or even more personal issues like an eating disorder. I think that's definitely a lesson to be learned from 9/11.

  2. 9/11 is a national tragedy. I still do remember when it happened, and how afraid I felt.

    It has impacted everyone in many different ways. It has certainly impacted you.

    It sounds like you are beginning to heal by talking about this.