September 11 Digital Archive

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How has your life changed because of what happened on September 11, 2001?

I lived in Chicago. I had an appointment on 9/11/01 at 5pm to see a doctor about going on antidepressants. I'd never been on any prescription drugs for mental health issues before, and I didn't want to start. However after the 4 planes crashed and the buildings collapsed, I decided I was certainly going to need drugs to get through what lay ahead for all of us. I've been on & off meds ever since. I made some good decisions, and some bad ones too. The evening of that day I decided i had to reach out to everyone I knew. I called family that I rarely talked to, former coworkers, far-away friends. I decided to stop putting energy into despising my friend's insensitive husband--his birthday is 9/11 and now there'll always be a pall over that day. Sketches I made from that time are of small, tidy, cozy, thick-walled round adobe dwellings in rural settings: Security and order. I drew a giant striding over poor desert people distributing fresh foods from a colossal cornucopia. I drew myself heroically holding up one of the towers while people escaped. Somehow these irrational images helped me, because of what happened seemed so monumentally irrational. I tried to re-examine my life, and changed some habits. I figured if there were tens of thousands trying to heal from losing a loved one in this madness I certainly can be truer to myself and stop living from my suddenly insignificant petty fears.

I realize only now how many feelings i have about this are disguised as anger, hate and cynicism. I must rededicate myself to the earliest of impulses; to reach out over barriers and affirm relationships.

How will you remember the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks?

I'm in a federal program who's primary mission is to fight poverty in America. One of the strongest ways to do that is by building up local communities who will then help themselves. We're creating several tribute projects in our city, all have elements of community building: Writing letters to servicemen & -women who don't usually get any mail, goodie packages, social events for military families, safety workshops, playground rehab, helping disabled veterans... Today I played BINGO with residents of a VA medical facility. I enjoyed it and they were very appreciative.

Citation

C, “[Untitled],” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed December 14, 2017, http://911digitalarchive.org/items/show/96777.