Therapy dog

Anyone who knows my dog, Kona, would laugh if I ever told them she was a therapy dog. She is fiercely protective, and only trusts a select few humans and dogs. She’s not your friendly, neighborhood pet. She growls at the mailman and the cats in the neighborhood know to steer clear of our house. That’s Kona. 

Kona was rescued by my husband 6 years ago, and then 4 years later I would join their little pack. I have loved dogs my whole life but I was nervous to meet her…I wanted her to love me. It took a while, but finally I won her trust and it was one of the best things that has happened. 

Kona encourages me to live in the moment and to appreciate the every day, which is so difficult to do. The days where I’m under my shadow, she curls up next to me and sighs deeply, and I can’t help but feel this warmth in my soul. When I run my hands over her fur, I’m engaging in the best form of therapy life can offer. 

I don’t know how it works, but I know that my love for Kona, and her affection towards me helps keep me grounded and balanced. 

I think “dog people” can understand the indescribable connection we have with our dogs. 

She’s my soulmate. A conduit to help express my emotions and a strong source of positive energy. I need her a hell of a lot more than she’ll ever need me. 

Dog Medicine by Julie Barton is a book I just finished reading that talks about this very relationship. It’s amazing. 

Your help hurts

The day I was prescribed my SNRI, I felt as though I had officially given up. I couldn’t help but feel like I wasn’t a normal person that could deal with life…I needed this crutch now. I was so defeated. My Doc told me it was only temporary while I worked with a therapist. As much as I know it can be beneficial, up to now the drugs help me the most.  

What doesn’t help though? PEOPLE sometimes.

 Let’s be honest, some people just know best, right? They’ve seen it all, and even if they haven’t, they know someone who has so here they are with their golden chalice full of precious wisdom.  I don’t even ASK and they pour out their opinions. I typically smile and nod, thank them and move on. However it really doesn’t help me in my quest not to feel like I’m a weak individual with zero will-power. 

“Just choose to be happy.” 

“We all get depressed! You just have to not focus on it.”

“It’s not that bad; it could be worse.”

-Everyone that has zero experience with depression.

If you don’t suffer from depression, please understand it’s not a choice we made to be bummed all the time. We aren’t wallowing in our misery and we don’t need to “start being grateful and stop pouting”. 

If getting over it was an option…oh if only it were. 

Shadow days

A lot of times when I try to describe my depression (I emphasize mine because another’s case doesn’t necessarily manifest the same) I struggle. “How can I explain something I don’t even fully understand?” I question myself. Well I try the best I can…all the while thankful for my active imagination.

I call it (dun-dun-dunnn!): The Shadow.

Those days where everything on the outside is fine and my life looks fine and the customer service people are even being nice, I feel it. It’s connected to me and I can’t step or run away. I can laugh and enjoy myself, but in the pause of a breath, it’s in my field of vision again..reminding me. 

The only time I don’t feel it is when I can’t feel anything…The Shadow has finally caught up and enveloped me. It’s wet and heavy and I’m a sinking boat beneath it. These are the days that I exist as a part of the couch. I become a fixture, an almost inanimate object in my own life. 

 The dark and oily Shadow is more familiar to me than the sound of my own name, yet I resent its presence and the effect it has on me. 

I like to imagine my daily little pill dressed up like a medicinal Mr. Spock…guarding my brain’s rusty-hinged door with a straight face and serious determination. 

Like this.