Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I am not ok

I have written, erased, re-written, and sat with this post in my "drafts" for a while now. It is not my best writing and I didn't feel ready to post this. I didn't want to post this. It really isn't about gluten free stuff... but it is. It is about me. It is about how we silence and shun those with mental health issues - chronic and acute. 

When I was recovering from my celiac diagnosis - and yes, I just referred to the process of dealing with the diagnosis and re-figuring-out-my-life as recovery - I was depressed. The gluten-free community is really great about being supportive with recipe ideas, managing family dynamics, managing work and social parties, but the giant elephant in the room is often the mental health implications of getting glutened and dealing with the recovery process. 

So I decided to post this. I hope that it helps. I hope it helps me, and I hope it may help others who are trying to figure out how to cope and manage these days.   

I am not ok; and that is ok for now.

I woke up on Wednesdays and was crying. I didn't know what to do, but then I called someone because I knew I needed some extra help.

I am an exceptionally lucky person. Everyone I know who was at the marathon on Monday is physically ok.

I work at the site of the Boston Marathon Finish Line. I was at work on Monday when the building slightly shook, twice. We tried our best to work through a 3 hour building lock-down and get information out to friends, colleagues, and loved ones.

I have felt angry, grief, and that I didn't deserve the luck of not going outside to watch and cheer people on. I have hated the images and words of hate on Facebook and Twitter, and the false reports by the NYPost - they all feel like more pain.

I have been filled with lots of feelings about feelings. Am I suppose to feel this way? Why does this feel different than other tragedies. Why is this getting reported differently? I have felt a weird mix of guilt and bile over the fact that I know how disproportionately this is getting media attention and financial aid.

I got so angry I yelled at my computer for people telling others "don't feel fear, if you do, terrorists win". Please stop telling people how to feel.

I am scared. It is scary to ride to work on the T with armed national guards - who I am so grateful are here - but I can also be afraid and worried. I can cry for those I do not know, and it doesn't make me any less.

This past weekend was very hard. I have never been more grateful for social media - allowing for a space for people who were trapped in apartments and homes to let people know how they were doing, and for people to still feel connected.

I am so very lucky and that is why I am writing. There are a lot of us who are "very lucky" who are also hurting and feeling a lot of different feelings right now. There are people who are all over the globe who are affected by this. Please know you are not alone, and please reach out to others.

I didn't sleep much last night because I had nightmares of people being injured again - memories of Thursday night and Friday morning came to life in my dream. I know this is not ok.

Not being able to "handle" or "process" this by your self ok. But we need to process this. We need to do whatever we can to get some of this pain, sadness, fear, grief, relief, exhaustion, tension, anxiety out of our bodies. Writing, talking, crying, getting a bit of exercise, meditating, and self care are crucial right now.

I knew I wasn't ok this morning, and I called someone for help. I am not cured, I am not better, and I am still  trying to wrestle with thoughts, feelings, emotions, and images. And I know I am not alone.

And hopefully soon, cooking and baking will be back. And I am excited because tulips are blooming and it means ramps will be ready to dig up.

For persons or family members who were injured
City of Boston has set up a special number: 617.343.1373

Resources and information for Copley/Boylston residents and business owners

Boston Acupuncture Trauma Relief

Your place of work may have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or OMBUDS office that can also help you access resources.


  1. I understand your sorrow and fear and share its burden with you. Such a horrible day at my favorite event. For years, at least 20, I have settled in to watch the Marathon, family knows to let me be. The race is so full of love and hope, I watch it and sometimes cry for the strength and hope of the runners. Now I am focusing on the survivors, watching their stories is helping me heal and giving me an opportunity to cry, something we all need to do to cleanse our souls. I am looking forward to next years Marathon, I know it will be a grand event.

  2. yardsailor - I was really profoundly moved at the number of people, just hours later, who were talking about wanting to come back. It is a great event and next year is going to be hard but really great.