Coping with Mass Casualties

I have a history of not coping with things well. I don’t handle rejection well, I don’t handle my health issues well, and I certainly do not handle death well. But this? This is something that I could have never prepared for.

This morning, October 27th, 2018, a shooter went into a synagogue roughly two miles from my home and opened fire. There were eleven deaths and six injuries, four of which were to police officers.

When I first read the news, I was speaking on the phone with my mom. She told me to stay inside. Not that I had much of a choice, as that was what was advised of our mayor, Bill Peduto.

I spent the day indoors as news continued to pile in. I received multiple messages from friends and family, near and far, asking if I was safe. Everyone wanted to know if I was okay. We all wanted to make sure we were all okay.

I found myself offering up support to my friends, telling them that they could speak with me or come over if they needed someone to talk with or a safe place, but I didn’t realize that I myself needed someone to speak with.

I was feeling a myriad of emotions. I was feeling sad, scared, and angry. I didn’t know what to do with these emotions all at once.

Throughout the day, I noticed that I have not been giving my body the proper nutrition that it needs. I’m not sure if I would call it disordered eating, but it’s certainly not “normal” eating, whatever that may look like for each person. This was my way of reverting back to an old coping mechanism.

I tried to fight it. We received an email from our dean mentioning how there would be walk-in counseling services today, but they were not open when I went. I suppose I missed them.

I guess the fact that I am aware that I am not coping well with the situation is a good start, but the next step is to change how I choose to cope.

Unfortunately, the people I would go to have been busy today due to the football game. I would be there myself, but I have been experiencing complications of POTS, and have been instructed to stay home. Hopefully, I will be able to reach them when the game is over.

Stand in solidarity with your brothers and sisters today. Hug everyone a little tighter, and let everyone that you love know that you love them because you never know when you will get that opportunity again. Never take a day for granted.

In memory and honor of the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh


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