That's been the lesson this summer for me: hang out, take it easy, do things you love and you'll feel better. After years of struggling with depression, I was FINALLY diagnosed this spring and began the long slow process of getting better. Yup, that was the issue: Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It got so bad that I was having to pull the car over and take breaks when I was in traffic in the city. I had to check the door locks multiple times before I could leave the house. The final morning I worked last spring, I sat outside the school for almost 20 minutes, shaking with anxiety and tears streaming down my cheeks. I went to the doctor the next day. So, here I am months later and back to work, finally ready to blog to the world that I have mental health issues. One of the big lessons along the way was that I am not alone; the majority of my friends it seems have been there too. That helps!
Anyway, my poor dogs over the last year have paid the price for the frenzy I managed to get myself into- soooo busy I couldn't stop to think about how crappy I was feeling. And, when it all fell apart, I realized at the end of all that busy-ness, there really is just me and my dogs. There's no meetings, no committees, no doggy classes worth my own health- or theirs, really. So, I quit almost everything extra in my life and spent the summer hanging in the yard with the dogs. THERAPEUTIC! Long games of fetch, napping on my hammock and reading on the deck surrounded by flowers was exactly what I needed. I also learned that I like to be physically busy. I cut the lawn a whole bunch this summer, because if I couldn't focus I found physical labour was often necessary before I could sit. And, it's all good.
So, this fall I am finding myself back to my basics of life. Work, a little study (slowly plugging away at the thesis- there is no rush to finish to convocate this fall anymore), lots of play with the pups. I've cut my hair off, resumed hanging at coffeehouses and even gotten rats again. I've been writing stories and poetry again and even started to draw. These are all things from my happier days. And, they make me happy. Better skies ahead right? We'll see, but I have learned that through this each one of the dogs was necessary in me getting better:
Spike is Mr. Serious. He was relentless in his desire to work and please and play fetch and get attention. And, he took it seriously. He kept me moving, and while we didn't go to agility classes this summer, I still trialed with him. And that was good! We are back to classes this fall when winter season starts as I'm missing it now and feeling well enough to get moving again and that's good. He forced me to get up and do something.
Murphy kept me laughing with her crazy antics. She can entertain herself for hours hunting flies, burying bones in the yard, destuffing toys and throwing a bottle cap around to chase. It's impossible to not laugh at a Jack.
But, it was Sophie who really got me through. Her dark, soulful eyes, full of compassion as she gave a little kiss was exactly what I needed. She was quick to cuddle and wouldn't leave my side if I couldn't get out of bed in the morning. She would sigh, give a kiss and watch while waiting for me to get up. She was glued to me, and I believe she got me through it. I love that dog.
Anyway, it's time I was honest about my "nervous breakdown" as I laughingly call it. But, I am getting it back together and here's some of the reason why.....
Yup, that's the box from my brand new PVR satelitte reciever. It didn't stand a chance against a bored JRT and Labrador, LOL. Thankfully the PVR is just fine!
That led to lots of this....
Let's play!! Murphy chasing Spike...
Sophie chewing on her favourite Jolly Ball. It smells like Blueberry. At least it did when I bought it. Now it's Blueberry mixed with Eau D'Wet Labrador.
Run Spikey!! Get em Murph!
Got it!! TUGGGG!
GRRR! It's MINE, Spike!
Alright, let's both yank her arm out of the socket. Youch, having tuggy dogs is good and bad.
Throw it again, please??
Chomp, chomp, chomp!
Can't catch him!
Still focused... She LOVES that ball!
Even through a rough game of fetch, Soph won't give up her jolly ball.
Ah, cool down at the end of a session!
Love those dogs. :) They make me smile, even in the midst of some dark clouds. Hug your pooches today and remember, they love ya even if you can't seem to get out of bed sometimes. :)
(ASIDE: in the interest of my mother, if you are interested in seeing the ratty family, I've updated the Black Rat Rattery tab with pics.... stay away Ma, trust me! LOL).
Final parting shot of Sophie in action.... chomp, chomp, chomp.