It does not seem possible that one week from today is the anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings. There are times when I feel myself wanting to just go numb and wake up on 4/22 after everything is over. That was my response to trauma in the past. While it is adaptive in the immediate aftermath of a trauma, in the long run, numbing out does not allow for healing to happen. And when one shuts down the pain, the feelings of joy, gratitude, love, compassion, awareness and being awake to all the wonderful things in life that are happening also get shut down.
I've been taken by surprise by my feelings during this past year. I'd find myself feeling "off" and upset and look at the calendar to find it was the 15th of the month again. I experienced an intensity in some months and other months it was a whisper of a reminder of what happened. Some months I felt I "turned a corner" as we shifted from how many months since the bombing to counting down to Boston and then a flood of emotions would reappear the following month.
Spaulding Rehab held a meeting with Dr. Chris Carter, team psychologist for the Race for Rehab team on March 13th. When I saw Jane Weingarten, I was overcome with emotion. While I had seen Jane at Spaulding's Set Sail event from a distance, I had not seen her "up close" since we were in the buffet line together at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on April 15th. It was as though time had stopped and we were back in that moment before the bombing. One moment we were feasting and anticipating the runners coming in and a few moments later we found ourselves in a state of terror and uncertainty. We were united in that moment and yet we went our separate ways after being evacuated from the hotel.
At Sunday's Marathon Sports Cambridge 5 Mile Run and 3 Mile City Walk, I was once again surprised as I was overcome by emotion as I saw our dear friend, owner of Marathon Sports, Colin Peddie. Few words were needed between us. There was a knowing and an understanding and a sense of healing that here we were almost a year later preparing for this year's marathon.
There is no rhyme or reason to what feelings and moods might surface when but this I do know, feeling is healing.
I feel butterflies and rumblings in my belly as I anticipate next Tuesday. I plan to go to Aquatics Therapy at Spaulding as I do every Tuesday morning and then I am going to meet with Suzanne Corkin, Ph.D. in her office at MIT to talk about my healing journey with paralytic polio and trauma.
This Thursday I am going to Copley Square to see the finish line, the exhibit at the Boston Public Library and then having dinner at Stephanie's on Newbury Street. I met the operations manager, Leo, who was wearing a Boston Strong 4/15/13 Survivor shirt at Sunday's race..
Sunday we volunteer for the B.A.A. with my beloved Merrimack Valley Striders running club. Tom and I are honorary members of the Club and Tom Licciardello invited us to submit our volunteer request to do packet stuffing with him as the Team Captain.
The following Saturday, Tom runs the first race in the BAA Distance Medley and there will be a ground swell of pre-marathon activities.
And then, before we know it, it will be Marathon Monday again.