Newtown and Your Mental Health

December/18/2012 18:41PM
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When I was getting my mental state back to normal after surviving a plane crash where many of my fellow passengers died, I began getting phone calls from surviving passengers asking me to meet with them. The media was finally done with me by then. They camped outside my house for two days. Oprah’s “people” called me at 1 AM to ask if would appear on her show. If I show disdain for the media it’s for good reason. From the time a Chicago cop knocked one on floor at O’Hare the night of the crash for sticking a microphone in my face while I tried to get out of the airport and home to my family, to the next big plane crash, they never leave me alone.

I went to the company employee assistance person, a former United Airline employee, and asked his opinion about meeting with the groups who kept calling. The survivors. His words were, “Bill, you’re doing fine and they obviously are not. You can do nothing for them, and they can do a lot to you”. He felt I had a touch of PTSD, which he said was normal. He sent me for a test. They hooked monitors to me and when they asked me to recall the crash, the monitors went off the charts. Only time would fix that. Time, and not sharing my experience with prying media, and snoopy strangers, was the best place to start.

The families of those who were lost in the terrible tragedy in Newtown are slowly learning this painful lesson. The media can’t get enough of them. They need to get enough of the media. So do their neighbors who are seeking 15 seconds of fame. I’m no shrink, but as one who lived through a terrible tragedy, I saw what happened to survivors who went down the wrong roads.

Why do the media put people through this? Because of you. That’s right you. If you’ve been glued to your TV since Friday, I feel really sorry for you. If you have a substance abuse problem, I’ll bet it’s been worse since Friday. If you suffer from depression, I’m sure you’ve hit bottom. If you are mentally unbalanced I’ll bet you are bouncing off the ceilings. If you have no life, go look in the mirror and repeat after me, “I have no life”.

They just brought two new bobcats to the local zoo. We bought our Christmas tree there. My wife wanted to see the bobcats. We winter in Arizona and I’ve seen many bobcats in our yard, on the golf course, and hiking. They don’t walk, they strut. The little dudes are proud. The one’s at the zoo had lost their pride and their strut. I hate zoos. Why do we do this to animals? Because of you. You, like me, go to the zoo.

If you have spent time grieving with the TV over Newtown, you have become a zoo animal. They keep pouring on the coverage because you keep watching. If you can’t sit in a chair or take a walk and think about the kids of Newtown and get your thoughts in order without help from someone like Geraldo Riviera, you need to really give that some thought. Have you lost possession of your thought freedom and now require someone else to do the thinking for you? If so, turn that TV off and try putting your own words in your own head.

Solutions to Newtown, you get lot’s of help here too. Here are the categories.

Bill –

As Americans process the grief, fear, and anger stemming from last Friday’s tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, many are calling for action. In response to the shooting, more than 1,000 people — including many in and around Newtown — started petitions on, calling for tighter gun laws, stronger mental health services, and support for the victims’ families.

Here are a few petitions calling for meaningful action in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. You can click here to browse and sign other petitions started in response to the tragedy in Newtown.

Reenact the Assault Weapons Ban and make it law

Increase the availability of mental health services now

Protect grieving families from politically charged demonstrations at funerals

Walmart: Stop selling assault rifles in stores

You can read and sign other petitions started in response to the tragedy in Newtown by clicking here.

Thanks for being a change-maker,

So, sign one of these and you become a “change maker”. No, you become one of those bobcats in my zoo. Trapped in a cage of “spin” and unable to deal with any of these so-called solutions. This is probably how things were being hashed out during the movement for prohibition. If we just get alcohol off the streets, dear old dad will be just fine. We stopped selling it legally but dear old dad just died from bathtub gin.

My advice, from one who lived through a tragedy where many people died, shut off the TV and say a prayer for all the kids and adults in Newtown who died. If you, personally , believe any of the four solutions(above) can help prevent the next Newtown, then do more than sign a petition, get involved. If you don’t buy these solutions, stop listening to those who sell them. Say those prayers and move on with your life. Don’t let the media drag you through another week of this guilt trip you don’t own.

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