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9/11: The 73 minutes that changed my life

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Author Topic: 9/11: The 73 minutes that changed my life  (Read 1740 times)
Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2011, 08:04:22 pm »

A low period at the end of last year, when he was often breaking down, was his grief finally being released, he believes.

"I was very fortunate I did not lose my physical life but I lost my life as I knew it. The person I was on September 10th, that person is no longer. I had to go through a very emotional period which enabled me to go and face Ground Zero."

In the last few months he has started to come out of his metaphorical cave. The first step on the road to recovery was going back to New York in April, for the first time since he left in 2003. With his parents and sister Sue by his side, he visited the place that had haunted him for nearly a decade.

"That was a huge step for me. It was very emotional but it helped to put an end to that chapter of my life. Even though I had been away for eight years, there was guilt that I had left my city when it was still healing."

Only having closed that door, could he start to regard Lancaster as home, he says. Shortly after that trip, he met someone and began a relationship.

"Being with him, I realised that I had forgotten what it was like to be happy. It's like I am stepping back into life. I'm finally moving past mourning."

But there are other struggles. He has two jobs, one in the box office of the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, and another as a cashier in a Weis supermarket. The two incomes combined earn him about $20,000 (£12,196) a year, about $50,000 (£30,494) less than he was earning in New York.
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