Our dog Buford is addicted to love. His Aussie-Poodle canine love is Stella. When they don’t see each other they get mopey, down around the mouth, tails droop, they are longing for their mi amore. Then that moment happens, Stella is at the front door, they sense each other before the bell. Immediate connection. They bite, roll, pose in downward dog, romp some more, jump with joy.
A few minutes later, they are good, no more moping. They are with their love drug, balanced out, at peace in each other’s company.
Nearly eighty years ago, when I was barely pregnant with our son and didn’t know it, I had my first panic attack. Our two year old daughter starred at me wide eyed, as I hyperventilated into a sobbing puddle on the bathroom floor. Then a few days later I freaked out again throwing a bowl of tuna fish at the kitchen wall. Was I repeating history and turning into my mentally ill father? I called the doctor.
Pregnancy test confirmed the nausea but not the sudden temperament change. The doctor put me on anti-anxiety meds and gave me the list of approved counselors. Open to counseling, I went. Curious about being on anti-anxiety drugs while pregnant, I asked questions.
Prozac will be great for you, many pregnant women take it, she advised.
The counseling was fine and I have benefitted from it at other times, this time, not so much. I didn’t go back and just took the drugs.
A few years later when my kids were roughly the ages five and three, I visited an Energy Healer. I told her about the low dose of Prozac I had been on for three years. I voiced fears of becoming dependent on it and developing severe depression and mental issues like my father.
Her warm smile filled her being as she calmly spoke, No, not your issues you just need the Prozac as a balancing agent.
The next year I experimented with other balancing agents: yoga, meditation, breathing deeply, carving out time for me, more yoga, walking. Then one day I changed my story. Instead of saying, I need Prozac while me kids are little, I need Prozac to cope. I started saying, I take the time I need for my balancing agent, I can cope without Prozac.
Then I did what you aren’t supposed to do with anti-anxiety meds and quit cold turkey.
That was over four years ago. I am thankful for the Prozac helping me when I needed it, but I am even more thankful for learning about other balancing agents and for opening my mind to possibility.
I told you yesterday, that Monday and Tuesday I was breathing fast. So I remembered an herb that can help, so I walked my dog to my naturopath and picked up a bottle of Stress-X. My new drug of choice. Either it is the herbs and vitamins in the capsule or the time I took to write or the two yoga classes I attended this week or the long walk with the dogs or the deep breathing, no matter what, something is working, today Thursday as I feel more like me and am breathing normal again.
As I look out the window and see the dogs prancing like bunnies, I take another deep breath, before moving to the next thing, and I am filled with I don’t know what you’d call it? Perhaps peace.
by J.G. McGlothern