Visceral Terror.

My heart physically aches. My brain is numb. It feels like someone gave my soul a paper cut.

Sunday morning: The phone illuminates an empty patient room. I snuck away to chart my morning assessments, only to be greeted with a harsh reality that our innocent bubble has been broken. Another massive tragedy. Another faceless gunman. Another precious day polluted by the shadow of death.

I tend to perseverate on the news. My brain loves the dopamine jolt of a juicy news story. I must keep my curiosity in check because I often fall down the news hole…only to awaken three days later, covered in chips and sweat. This Sunday was no different. I sat in my patient’s room and we quietly watched as the Orlando massacre unfolded. So many questions…who? why? how many?

Terrorism: the state of fear and submission produced by terrorization

My mind immediately reverts back into an anxious state, convinced that the world is ending and many attacks will follow. That is the weird thing about terrorism…being anxious about the next attack is proving to not be such an extreme reaction. Look at the past few years: Fort Hood, Boston Bombing, Chattanooga Shooting, San Bernardino shooting. For the first time in my life, my anxious thoughts might truly be validated. Normally, my repetitive worries represent irrational fears, which are easy to challenge and reframe. This…this fear of where our world is headed…is a realistic thought process. I never thought I would see the day.

My generation grew up with words like “terror, ISIS, Al Qaeda, terrorism, massacre” as part of the colloquialism of family gatherings. These vicious acts have almost become a numb aspect of the American psyche.

Um, 50 people were killed by one man claiming allegiance to ISIS. Terribly sad. Oh… what would you like for dinner?

I worry we have become so accustomed to the horrific news that our guard is down. The hateful acts still feel “far away” even on American soul. The bystander effect kicks in…”it would never happen to me.” Well, it could and I urge you to exercise your right to knowledge about self-protection.

The logical part of my brain is thinking that I do have statistics on my side and that a terror attack will never touch my life. The emotional side of my noggin is screaming for awareness and vigilance because another attack is right around the corner. We could have another 50 innocent victims in the coming weeks. The unpredictability of it is almost too much to bare. So, what is the solution? If I had a real one, I would be running for office.

In my book, the solution is to harness the anxious energy and convert it into logical planning. Research. Plan. Communicate. Get with your coworkers and discuss a plan for an active shooter in the workplace. Create an emergency contact. Learn basic techniques for disarming someone. Be vigilant in your personal fight against terror, thus giving us a universal strength against the enemy.


Love and Light (and a little bit of ammo).


Thanks to the man who not only fought the war on terror for many years, but who teaches me so much about self-defense and awareness.

5 thoughts on “Visceral Terror.

  1. It really does hit home. A senseless act of terrorism indeed. My best friend from grad school is lesbian. I hear of this and think it could have so easily been her. For whatever reason these people (and a lot of our conservative GOP politicians too!) think being gay is some disease and the only cure is death. Of course, where will they stop? They’ll go after anyone who’s different. How does someone being gay affect their lives? I don’t get it.

    My heart aches. Why can’t we all just live together in peace? I’m hesitant to place all the blame on religion as I know peaceful people of all faiths and lack thereof. It’s always the few who have to ruin the reputation of the many.

    Alas, I am a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment, have a CHL and I don’t ever leave my house without a gun on my hip. I don’t ever draw attention to myself because it’s always hidden under my clothing, but it’s there just in case. The odds are that I will never have to use it (and I hope I don’t ever have to use it), but just in case. I might go down but I won’t go down without a fight.


    • I agree with everything you said! I want to be a sheepdog..protecting people when they don’t even know it. I am looking forward to getting my carry license for my Glock 21 .45


      • I hope you have strong wrists! I can’t handle a .45 for more than a couple of rounds. My carry gun is a S&W Shield 9mm. Not the biggest caliber but it’ll do the job. I just have very weak wrists.

        Alas, whatever gun you choose the only thing that’s important is that you are comfortable with it. There is no best gun, caliber, whatever. I happen to like my Shield because of its size (very easy to conceal), light recoil and the fact that it has a thumb safety (some hate thumb safeties – I learned on a gun with one and I just instinctively flick it off when I draw in one fluid motion; just an extra layer of protection from a negligent discharge IMO).


      • It’s what I learned to shoot with, so I have a greater comfort level with the glock. I will probably get something smaller in the future..something I can conceal in a cute purse, ha!


    • Hah! Yeah, you’d never know but I’m actually carrying in my profile pic (even though I really wasn’t supposed to). Alas, nobody was the wiser. Again, that’s why I like the Shield. I can conceal it even under my short skimpy shorts (I swear I’m a straight guy; don’t judge me! :-P).

      Liked by 1 person

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