Subject: post inaugural state of mind

You have explained the way I feel as if you are walking in my shoes. I believe those of us who witnessed this event will never be the same. It is difficult to find words to describe the experience. I flew home to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport through the Chicago O’Hare airport from the inauguration on Thursday. Of course, the atmosphere there was more subdued than Washington, D.C. Maybe they are grieving the thought of Barack Obama no longer roaming the city. And I caught my first glimpse of the Malia and Sasha dolls while in Chicago. Michelle is right to fight further production.

I went to the Democratic National Convention, and I thought that was awesome until I experienced the inauguration on Jan. 20. I am shown during the inauguration on CNN wearing a black cowboy hat on the JumboTron before 2 million people. Little did I know that picture was sent around the world. Family and friends from around the world called to tell me they saw me on the inauguration. We need to start a support group for those of us in the Obama Inaugural Hangover Universe.

Ruby Woolridge

Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

Subject: Tired!!!!!

Not so much from the joyous occasion of the inauguration. But … I get tired just watching our new president. He is everywhere! I have never in my life been so proud to be an American. Each day when I watch the news, I have my hope renewed and I’m no longer cringing. God bless him and all of us!

Lynn Hengoed

Land o’ Lakes, Florida

Subject: Post Inaugural Meltdown—My thoughts!

I thought it was just me!

As soon as I read your article, I sent it to the three of my friends who attended the inauguration with me last Tuesday. Only since this morning, do I feel like I have recovered from what was probably the most grueling "vacation" I've ever been on. I've just been so weary mentally and physically. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one feeling this way.

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Saturday night, I was up at 3 a.m. I couldn't sleep. Every time I tried to close my eyes, I got visions of my president and first lady … visions of President Obama taking the oath of office … visions of President Obama and first lady Michelle dancing at the inaugural balls … visions of Sasha and Malia's adorable little faces as they smiled at their parents. I'm telling you, it was amazing and surreal and exhausting all at the same time. I finally drifted off to sleep just as the sun was coming up.

The emotional roller coaster didn't stop there. My friends and I have been e-mailing each other every little morsel about our new president and first lady that we can get our hands on. Articles, speeches, pictures. Especially pictures! Not to mention searching YouTube for videos of the inauguration, memories I want to relive again and again and again. I've checked whitehouse.gov more in the past week that I think I ever did since the White House got a Web site. I've discovered another Web site dedicated to constant updates on Michelle Obama and her daughters (I've bookmarked that one!). My friend even found an old article about the Obamas from 1996! Before Malia, before Sasha, before Barack had even entered into politics. They were so in love and so beautiful even then, I just couldn't help but start crying all over again. I'm already an emotional person as my friends will tell you (I'm a Cancer; I can't help it!) but this week has been more emotional for me than any other time in my life. I can't say I'm upset about it though. I don't think I've ever been happier! :)

Candra Horton

Bronx, N.Y.

Subject: The Weight

After I saw him sworn in A SECOND TIME, a great weight was lifted off me, and THEN I started to celebrate.
 
Marilyn Wise

Los Angeles, CA

Subject: Inauguration Meltdown

I am so glad you wrote that article! I thought I was the only one going through the “after” effects. I was so happy and proud to have been there and heard and saw all the things that I saw in Washington, D.C. last week. The anticipation alone in the days and moments before was overwhelming. But I'm most happy that I was there to experience it with my mother. She turned 60 in July 2008, and this has been the best year of her life! So she was more excited than anyone, especially having grown up in Columbia, Mississippi and bearing witness to a black man in the white house. Man, words can’t even express right now. It’s a little sad that my father wasn't able to witness it. He died when I was 6 years old (I'm 32 now). I would have loved for a great man to see another one in Obama.

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But that evening, once things were over, I felt so heavy and physically exhausted (and all I did was stand around in what felt like -30 degrees for 12 hours). My body ached in more places imaginable. And I literally thought I caught the flu … in 12 hours! My toes still tingle to this day. I was cranky from being so tired last week. I actually had to leave early on Friday because I was so tired … but if that man came on the air and said he wanted to redo that entire Tuesday … you bet I'll be the first one out there with my three layers of clothes on again. But this time with insulated boots! It was worth it!

Stephanie James

New Brunswick, N.J.

The Root and Sam Fulwood III would like to thank all the readers who sent in their reactions.