Diet & Weight Magazine

Recovery: How 9/11 Affected Me!

By Sobrfit3
Written By:  Cathy Shuba
Ten years ago it was a sunny Tuesday morning and I had woken after caring for my son all night with a bad case of croup.  I was tired and full of exhaustion from only having a few hours of sleep the night before.  My son woke up and had been feeling better.  I began to give him breakfast when my father had called me and told me to turn on the TV.  I did and saw "one" World Trade Tower burning with news casters and everyone else in complete shock and overwhelming uncertainty of why or how a plane of such size would fly into one of the towers.  Questions were being asked and tears began to roll down people's faces.  I stood holding my son in complete shock and tears began to fill my eyes for I had sadness for all who were there, killed, trapped, and the list could on.  I stood there and saw another plane crash into the other World Trade Tower.  Then, the Pentagon was hit by another plane several minutes later.  Lastly, a plane had crashed into a field in Shanksville, PA.  I, along with everyone that had seen this and experienced this knew then it was not an accident.  It was terror.  Terror to our country.  Terror to our souls.  Terror to everything our country once stood for, as being safe, was no longer.  We were at war!  We were not safe!  We lived in uncertainty, fear, anger, hurt, heroism and the overwhelming need to want to help!  We lived as Americans do, in freedom,...but now with carefulness, awareness, mindfulness and sadly the acceptance of what had happened and how our country would change.  America was at war!  America was changed!
How was I affected by 9/11?  I was 8 years sober back then and I was at war with my feelings.  Meaning, every feeling I had that involved sadness, fear, hurt and even anger at times all came together at one time and hit me like a freight train.  I was emotional for several days after and knew I was allowed to feel these feelings.  I wrote about my feelings, I accepted my feelings and I allowed myself to feel and cry.  It was our Country, it was our brother or sister.  It was our mom or dad.  It was our friend.  It was our family member that would never come home that night, never see us again, never experience life with us again.  I say "our" because they who perished affected all of us as though they were our own.  America saw everyone as one!  There was no separation between, color or race.  We were still America!  My feelings were real and I was grateful to know I was not numb.  I was grateful to be sober, aware and willing to feel what I was feeling.  I could feel!
When I was 8 years sober I thought I was pretty stable with my feelings, sobriety and how to deal with such devastation in my life.  I realized after this horrific tragedy that my recovery was to change and that my life would become filled with so many gifts of gratitude, faith, hope, love and mostly the overwhelming feeling of humility.  I would no longer take my sobriety as feeling better than you, knowing more than you and snubbing my nose to those who still or will not surrender themselves to a sober life.  My recovery changed after 9/11.  My recovery became more about what I have as to what I do not have today or what I want to have!  Less is more!  My recovery became more cherished and less taken for granted.  My recovery became more understood of why I have given the chance to be sober, live sober and be able to love in my sobriety.  My recovery became more spiritual and with that I was able to see things, deal with things and accept people, places and things in a more healthy and balanced matter in my life.  My recovery became more involved with helping others, sharing with others and loving others for who they are and not what I expected them to be.  I had a God of my understanding and I knew that when this happened God's message was profound in my life.  Some may had said or asked, "How can you think that God would punish us in such a way or that there was a message in what just happened?"  I never felt God punished us.  I never felt God sought out to hurt all of us!  I never felt angry or resentful towards God!  I never asked God, why?  I looked to God and knew there was a message, actually several.  What was the message, why would something so devastating have to happen in order for his message to be heard?  Would anyone allow themselves to hear or see the message?  Would people become so angry that life would not be learned rather hated?  I saw the message and I would explain that this is the understanding, acceptance and peace I have with God!  I saw so many messages my head was spinning.  Messages of how so many of us spend our days nit picking at one another or are bothered by someone's presence or words, come together with patience.  Messages of so many people living in fear, anger, resentment with one another, come together with forgiveness and faith.  Messages of how so many lived a life of selfishness, stinginess and don't bother me attitude, come together with giving, generosity and the need to help.  Messages of how others once thought they were better, thought they once knew more than you, thought there lives were more important, see themselves with humility.  Messages of how our Country had become so divided by race, religion, politics, rich, poor, educated, non-educated and the competition amongst others in love, career and popularity, come together as equals.  Massages that were so important for me to see, too deal with and to allow myself to grow from such devastation.  I chose to grow spiritually.  I chose to reach out to my God of my understanding!  I chose to accept what it was and prayed for so many that I knew would not allow themselves to do so.  I chose to help so many stay sober or try to stay sober.  I chose to show up and not isolate!  I chose to volunteer for so many suffering a loss.  I chose to do whatever I could in order to continue to have and allow gratitude in my life.  I chose to look for God's message!
Time has past, I now have over 18 years of sobriety and I hold 9/11 in my heart and use it in my recovery today.  I use it as gratitude.  I use it to remind me how many steps those people endured that day and know that the steps of the program are no way near the fear of facing as they did on that day.  I can face the steps.  I use it to remind me of what I have today in recovery and must share it with others to the best of my ability because for those who were killed on 9/11 will never be able to share their words, presence, smiles and hugs as I can do today.  I use it today in knowing it was a gift from God that was going to allow me to have a more richer and loving recovery.  These gifts have shown me all the gifts I can live with today to help me get through my day, be mindful of my day, be kind in my day and know that all those people who lost their gifts on 9/11 will be recycled into what I have been given today.  I carry them in my soul, my spirit my tears as I write this.  I thank God for their gifts!  I use 9/11 to be more aware of my surroundings, my attitude, my character defects, my responsibility and mostly my appreciation of my life.  My need to be right, my need to be understood, accepted and loved are not as important for me.  My need to argue, get the last word in and have control is no longer wanted or needed in my life today.  My needs are balanced today and if they are not I always remember 9/11 and realize those people who's needs to escape, get out or need to say there last words will never be met.  I have a chance or a choice to work on my needs.   I have so many chances to change, to chose to do the right thing and to be a better person.  I have the choice to stay sober and be here for my kids, my husband, my friends and family.  I will cherish my freedom for living today and know that those who died on 9/11 or at war no longer have that right. We are free today!  We are safe today...I think!  I am free today!
How were you affected by 9/11?  Did you know someone who died?  Were you sober?  Did you relapse?  How has your life in recovery changed since 9/11?  Will you take the time out today to remember those who had died, those who have served our country that have died, those who are still serving our country and mostly for all those who are still suffering their loss or have lived without their loved one?  I know I will!  Will you stop yourself from arguing with someone, hating someone, not accepting someone for who they are or what they are capable of today?  Will you live sober today?  Will you start your life over today?  Will you live in gratitude, love and acceptance?  I know I will...I will pray for all who were affected by this day!
Today I will run with knowing how grateful I am today to be able to run, to live, to start over if I make a mistake and know that I have choices in my life to be the best I can be!  I will run free!
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Sobriety Fitness by Cathy Shuba is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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