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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Action > Anxiety

Oct 31, 2022 11:38AM ● By Shannon Mc Kenzie

As I write this publisher’s letter, I’m painfully aware that this is the Mental Health issue and that anxiety is a recurring theme in several articles. I am stressed and anxious. I’m late this month getting the magazine put together; the deadline is in two days. There are other issues I’ve been avoiding and allowing to compound that need to be resolved. Then there are the issues that are out of my control, yet I’ve been ruminating on them for some time. 

Mass shootings, particularly school shootings, have always concerned me. I remember being shocked when Columbine happened in 1999—and I’ve continued being shocked, and perhaps feeling a bit more powerless, with each shooting that has occurred since. Recently my daughter came home from school with the rumor that a classmate had threatened to bring a gun to school the next day. She wanted to stay home. (One of her friends actually did.) I called and learned that the threat had been handled by the principal and the police; I was assured that school would be safe to attend. So I told my daughter she had to go. Later that week, she reported to me that she’d had a nightmare: The two of us were on a small plane with her friend who stayed home and the friend’s mom. Something happened and the friend’s mom jumped up and announced they were getting off the plane. They both ran for the door and got off right before the door closed. Nobody else could get off the plane. That’s where the dream ended. Even though my daughter didn’t tie it to what happened earlier that week, I did. And I felt guilty. 

The mass shooting in Raleigh by a 15-year-old happened less than a week ago, and while I’ve intentionally avoided news coverage because I find it particularly stressful at this time, I know I need to take action against gun violence to address my feelings of hopelessness and guilt. Writing this letter, supporting Sandy Hook Promise, learning the signs ( and voting for common sense gun laws are all ways for me. 

Wishing you action to progress a cause important in your life this November,



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