Personal Strategies for Approaching the Anniversary of September 11th
September 9, 2020
MEC EAP and Professional Standards Committee
As we approach the anniversary of September 11th, many of us will begin to plan how we’ll recognize this day. Anniversaries offer an opportunity to acknowledge our memories and experiences, to connect with others who share in them, and to pay tribute to our individual and collective journeys. They can also serve as personal and professional milestones of our healing and resiliency. For some, September 11th will be marked with private personal gestures such as observing a moment of silence, spending quiet time reflecting, or dedicating our flying to our profession. For others, it will be marked with collective activities such as ceremonies and memorial services.
There is no right way or better way to recognize the anniversary; but, there are some suggestions that may prove helpful as we approach the anniversary of September 11th.
- Observe the anniversary in a way that’s comfortable for you. Say no to events or activities that you sense may flood you with too many feelings. Find more gentle ways of honoring the anniversary.
- Don’t compare yourself to how others around you appear to be dealing with the September 11th anniversary.
- Acknowledge that we all heal at different rates, in different ways, and with different outcomes.
- Give yourself permission and time to be affected. Though uncomfortable, anticipate, and plan for having a stress reaction as the anniversary approaches. Trust that if you have moments of difficulty, you’ll be able to pull yourself back together.
- Try not to isolate yourself. Pre-plan now to be with people if you know you have this tendency.
In whatever way you choose to structure your day this September 11th or however it just naturally unfolds, please remember that your AFA EAP Committee representatives welcome being a part of it. If you or a flying partner needs a confidential ear, please call us at 1-800-424-2406 or find your local EAP representatives’ contact information at unitedafa.org. Remember, we’re just a phone call away.