My poor little dog has really been through the mill lately - first with the operation to have the lump removed from his leg, and then with a big hot spot on his nether regions. Half an hour after the cone was removed, he'd chewed himself a big raw spot, oozing blood. I was horrified, and he was anxious and distressed.
I got some calming pills, and a skin spray, and that seems to be working.
I got this dog from a pet store, before there was much education about where pet store puppies usually originate - puppy mills. He has always been a bit on the anxious side, and is a high-energy little dog. I think 3 weeks of not being able to express that energy in walks, or on the treadmill, because he had to be kept quiet to allow the rather large incision in his leg to heal properly, also played a part in the hot spot.
We're going for our usual Sunday afternoon walk with a program friend in a couple of hours, and I'm looking forward to it. She's great company, and we've been helpful to each other; we offer an alternative point of view, give encouragement, and we make each other laugh. That's a gift. I've learned more good life lessons through having them presented with humour, than any other way.
Last night I was looking at my little dog, and thinking about the destructive effect of stress and anxiety upon all of us, human and animal alike. I've had times in my life where I too, have been consumed with anxiety, with no ability to get out of that state. I was too proud to admit to what I was feeling, and too stubborn to be willing to try living my life differently. I had to be brought to my knees by a drinking alcoholic before I would accept help.
That was the first time. Since that capitulation to reality, I've had others. I've been having one in the last while which has been difficult to choke down, and resistance has been rising and falling with my moods. Someone joked at a meeting recently about "the three D's - Denial, Delusion, Defensive."
Life is not always as I would wish it to be. I must let go of my denial, and face facts squarely, without flinching, without complaint, without fear. It is what it is.
I must give up my delusions about having any control in so many areas of my life. I'm not the one in charge - my Higher Power is.
I must let go of my defensiveness, and sit quietly, that I may be in a teachable frame of mind. I need to be willing to let it all go.
I pray for the continued ability to practise this.