I'm sure everyone has their own story about the horrific events of the tsunami which struck southern Asia and we will be sharing them for the next while as we struggle to come to terms with this terrible catastrophe. Living in such proximity hits us hard and it's all the more real as a lot of us have likely been to the areas affected and know the places we see on television and struggle to make sense of it all. Little did I know, like many others, that I'd be spending Boxing Day panicking about where friends and relatives were when the tsunami struck. The first 24 hours involved frantic calls to their mobiles, their friend's mobiles and then the agony of sitting around, waiting for news. Fortunately, the news back was that friends were alive but the devastation had left them shocked. It is difficult to imagine what they really went through. I heard that friends we knew who lived in the affected areas were also alright but the places where we had stayed and eaten and all the rest were gone. Then you start thinking about how fortunate you are but still feel uncomfortable that so much has been destroyed. People you met back then, staff members, and random people on the street are suffering and you can't begin to comprehend how they must be feeling now. This only adds to our own confusion and leaves us with a feeling of helplessness. My own experience is to be thankful that some people I know are safe and others' family members are being found; but the challenge is that it will take everyone a long time to recover. Fortunately Hong Kong has support systems in place to get aid out to the region and we can work through our feelings of helplessness by doing our bit. We can also find solace in the sense of community we share by supporting the fundraising initiatives as they give us time to share our experiences and talk openly while supporting our neighbours. David Simpson is an experienced youth counsellor and a regular SYP columnist.