Pet Therapy Endorsement

To be honest, I don’t even know what pet therapy is, or what exactly it entails but I want to endorse it, because A) it involves PETS in a good a way, aka not EATING them. B) Animals = gooooood: give me fuzzy feelings and C) my pet has pretty much saved my soul. First you may want to know: I’ve never actually been to any type of therapy. Although lots of people I know tell me I should go, or at least they tell me, it has helped them. I am a very intense person, probably borderline bi-polar, or maybe I’m being too modest… or maybe I’m being naive.I have learned and/or inherited an overwhelming distrust of doctors and health professionals in general, so I really don’t want to go in and get diagnosed (with anything ever). I’m also against taking most prescription medication unless I feel like I’m literally going to die, and even then I usually have to be heavily persuaded.

I suffer from periods of severe depression, sometimes I cry for days, sometimes it’s so bad I can’t get out of bed, but then I also have these extreme manic highs where I can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t even go to the bathroom until the project or whatever it is I’m obsessing about either gets complete, gets well-under way, or falls through. Sometimes I obsess over little things like, organizing or rearranging furniture, and I’ll do it insensately for hours because it’s just not quite right. It’s weird because I’m not a very clean person, scratch that, I’m a naturally messy person, but sometimes I just can’t go to sleep or think or function until I’ve reorganized every single cupboard and the fridge- but the piles on the floor are fine! It’s weird, I know, I’m weird… But I love the intensity that these highs come flooding in. Take over my body and transport me to my happy place. I wouldn’t want that to change.

Many of the other creative types, writers and artists I know are equally emotionally messed up, (no offence). It’s just a thing. I’m a little jealous of people that can create beautiful shit on a regular basis and not feeeeel sooo much. Maybe it’s just a pisces thing, but I know some of you will lose faith in me for saying it. I avoid binaries and ‘boxes’ like the plague but I just can’t fight this one, I fit into that flip-floppity fishy category so well. Whatever, deep down we’re all hypocrites. My point is that sometimes it gets really bad, but since I’ve had my dog Darla, I’ve been a lot more stable.

In the past, whenever I’m about to come back to my childhood town I have severe anxiety and kind of PTSD triggers from past shit (I don’t want to elaborate). I also usually experience depression whenever I move to a new place at least after the initial excitement wears off because I have no immediate friends and community other than my online networks. This time, it seems the feelings of isolation and desperation and general hopelessness have not accompanied me on this move. Or at least, not yet, but I don’t think they will come this time because I have this furry little companion that follows me everywhere. She even sits on me while I’m trying to do sit ups, and barks at the petals when I’m on the exercise bike. She loves me so deeply, and depends on me. She always wants to be close to me. Whether it is on my lap snoring, or chewing a bone on my foot: she will literally will follow me into the bathroom and sit and watch me pee if I let her. If I start feeling lonely or disheartened all I have to do is look in her eyes and look at those tiny little eyebrows. It’s all in those puppy eyebrows.

IMG_2843 Before I left Vancouver, I got drunk with an old co-worker, and she told me about how dogs evolved eyebrows only after spending time with humans so that they could express emotions to us and be able to communicate with people by means of facial expression. Apparently, their wild dog/wolf ancestors never had eyebrows. I don’t know if it was just some drunken ramblings, or if it holds any sort of factual evidence, but I like the idea. Ever since, I’ve been noticing dogs’ eyebrows way more than I ever did before. Seriously, look at those faces, look at those eyebrows!

The energy and love a dog or pet can give us is so strong and healing. Emotionally and physically. Their scent alone becomes a kind of medication. Their snuggles and language, their means of communicating can really lift your spirits even when you’re stuck so low you don’t think you’ll ever get up. If I ever go to actual therapy, I want it to be animal-assisted therapy, or at the very least have an animal-loving therapist who has lots of pets. Because people who don’t like animals just weird me out.

This is MY truth,

thanks for reading!

XOX HJL

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