And DRAMA!

Recently, the topic of abortion has once again stolen the spotlight. Here is my proverbial coin…

As the pro-lifers and the pro-choosers once again go head-to-head over the airwaves, only one factor of this argument is different. In this new technological era, social media has joined in on the conflict.

All the same arguments are there. The questioning and personal definition of the beginning of the human existence is argued about in the comments section. Determination of what is considered murder and what is considered a medical procedure are played out through likes and shares and emojis.

When I was 6 or 7 years old, these same types of heated discussions began over the topic. I recall the same types of discussions throughout an additional 40 year history. I assure you there are no new ideas being presented today. The above mentioned talking points have all been said several hundred times over and then, over again. Yes, there have been new words to express the same ideas, but the concepts are the same. As a society, we don’t make any real progress on this topic for one reason and one reason only.

When we enter this discussion on abortion, we are coming from a place within ourselves that harbors our own individual core beliefs. Our core beliefs are connected to our emotional being; therefore, it is nearly impossible to not become emotionally involved. Unfortunately, others are also coming from the same place within themselves. Our core beliefs are the basis for all of our actions, inactions, or reactions. And just as no two people are identical, nor are any two individuals’ core beliefs.

Herein, lies the “true” conflict. Individual belief versus individual belief. There is no real resolve in these types of battles. The only true form of resolution is for each person to be able to respect another person’s individual belief and agree to disagree.

I am using this one example to address the real issue of DRAMA.

The DRAMA that surrounds this issue is intense, and divisive.

I equate DRAMA with MAGIC.

Children figure out early on that to make a penny disappear and appear, you must first garner your audience’s focus to another place. I am wondering what we have been missing while our attention has been focused on the topic of abortion.

Dogs

If you had asked me in my earlier years what breed of dog I would never have as a pet, I would have responded easily with “a Chihuahua”. My first impression of this breed was a negative one. I thought of the breed as yappy, stubborn, and bratty nuisances. I am not sure where or how I developed this opinion.

Doug (my s/o) and I met nearly 6 years ago, and I recall vividly the first time I met his puppy, Tequila. She was protective of him, and would growl viciously if I approached him while he was sitting in his favorite recliner. He explained then that she was “buff-colored” and relayed the story of how they had become inseparable.

Tequila always remained “his puppy”, but she did eventually grow to trust me. And, thank goodness, she eventually let me get close to Doug with her approval. It was a slow process, but it was worth the effort. Tequila passed away a year ago and no words here could express what she meant to Doug. Her picture sits on an end table, and in some ways, she will always be here with us.

Enter Sophie. Sophie is 1 1/2 years old and a female. She is mocha colored, and weighs approximately 6 lbs. When we brought her home, she weighed a little less than 2 lbs. She is also a clingy little gal, and stubborn. Oh, so stubborn! The grandchildren taught her to go up and down the steps to the bed, and she clings to them when they visit. Although, she can hold up her ears just fine now that she’s full grown, her right ear often ends up flopped. Doug and I have speculated about this being an indication of fatigue or laziness.

And Winston. Winston will be a year old in June, and came to us by way of one of Doug’s coworkers, back in December. He is solid white with a few tan spots on his head and back, and some, recently developed, freckles on his belly and snout. Winston weighs roughly 9 lbs, and was a bit of a roly-poly when he joined our family. He has trimmed up, but weighs roughly the same now. He is a lover, and would rather be snuggled than chase a ball, or play tug-of-war with an old sock.

Chihuahuas are a hard breed to house train, but I am happy to report that we are almost there. I, also, had stated to family members that I would never be the type to buy, nor dress a dog. I lied. Sophie and Winston chill easy, and can lose body heat rapidly. So, they have a growing wardrobe. I know. I know. It seems silly, but they do get chilled quickly.

So, roughly 30 years have passed, since I held my initial opinion about Chihuahuas. I love dogs, and the various breeds. Chows, Dobie/Lab mixes, Bichons, Labradors, Collies, Jack Russells, Labradoodles, etc., etc. etc. Chihuahuas are my favorite breed.

Despite my favorites, I am certain of one thing. Pets bring so much to our lives, and make for an easier road in dealing with depression or drama.

Tell me about your pets, and how they have enriched your life.

The first “D” word

There are certain words that we have been ascribed to think of as lacking light or positivity. It is my belief that depression is one of those words. For example, if I were to say that I am depressed, many people would react in two ways. There might be the reaction of concern or compassion, or there might be the response of avoidance. I think these responses are certainly a result of conditioning.

The word and a gray cloud used to be synonymous in my mind. This image could also be seen as a storm cloud moving and could bring with it a mild rainstorm or an intense thunderstorm. I have since changed the image that I relate to the word, as a passing cloud of no particular color.

In this era of extremes, it is hard to imagine anything that hasn’t been taken to the limit. We have “extreme” versions of nearly every activity, food, or habit. Depression has also fallen prey to this goal of maximization. Unfortunately, depression and extremism do not mesh well. Pharmaceutical companies market antidepressants like they are vitamins and a form of general health, and in essence, depict every form of depression as “extreme”.

There seems to be no categorization for the varied forms of depression. The message is “all depression is bad, unexpected, and unwanted, and we, as humans, should never feel crappy”.

Also, unfortunately, that isn’t reality. Reality is: we, as humans, will have times when we are depressed. Depression is a part of the human experience. When so many life events, changes, or situations can bring it on, attempting to avoid it is fruitless. There is certainly power in acknowledging it, as well as, planning for it. The question is not whether it will come for all of us. Rather than a singular question, there are multiple questions. Those questions are: do each of us have the tools to acknowledge it, and manage it appropriately, and if not, do we know when to seek help in managing it?

Just as with any other physical ailment, we know when we need to seek medical advice. For example, some physical ailments can be corrected/managed through dietary changes, or exercise, or therapy. I propose that some forms of depression be addressed as “temporary” or “expected” throughout life, and alternative tools be given to cope. Medication should always be seen as necessary while treating “extreme” cases. Not every case of depression is “extreme”, and sometimes depression is just a symptom of living a full life.

The Idea

This morning, I took my usual place at the table to continue my job search. With coffee cup in hand, and computer warmed up, I began my morning routine. Despite my intentions, I was interrupted by Winston (our nearly 1 year old chihuahua) attempting to shred the bathroom rug. In my exasperation of catching him, I missed Sophie (our 1 and 1/2 year old chihuahua) pulling stuffing from a tear in the couch. ‘Please, not this morning!’ I screamed in my head.

As any past college graduate could tell you, making the transition from student to professional can lead to many negative and positive emotions that one did not anticipate. Having that jumbled head feeling at 5:30 a.m. is unsettling. Two energetic puppies ripping apart household furnishings only turns jumbled head into a migraine.

I returned to my computer after scolding Sophie and Winston. Once back at the computer, I failed to regain my focus. Instead, I preceded to ruminate over a 6 month old betrayal by an older sibling of mine. This was brought on by a recent text received from said sibling, where said sibling failed to acknowledge the behavior and spoke as though nothing had happened. Aesop coined this, in The Bald Man and the Fly, as “adding insult to injury”.

And here we are….

Depression, Dogs, and Drama.