Monday, October 25, 2010

Hard Work

Bady and I continue to work hard at our training. Our training club is fabulous and very patient with me as the 'newbie.' I can't speak for Bady, but I know I look forward to our time on the field every week. I suspect he feels the same way.

Lately I've been doing some reading about PTSD and Animal Assisted Therapy. It is a well known fact that animals reduce blood pressure and increase health in people that have them. Animals also create a sense of camaraderie with their human owners. The animal depends on you. If you have an animal, you have to get out of bed to feed and exercise them.

The main reason I got Bady was to increase my sense of safety. I know, without a doubt, that Bady has my back. Because of him I have been able to do things I never thought possible. I can stay alone at my house at night. I can work in the church office after everyone else has left. I can answer the door without knowing who is on the other side. These are things I never thought I would do after the attack.

I can (and do) credit Bady with these changes in my life. However, the changes are not just because of Bady. With or without Bady, I generally feel more safe in the world. Having Bady has allowed me to heal on the inside in ways I never could have imagined. I feel more confident in myself, more willing to try new things and more hopeful about the future.

One caution therapists have for those involved in Animal Assisted Therapy is that the survivors not attribute their progress solely to their dog. The dog is one part of the process, but the primary work still lies with the survivor. In some cases, the dog allows the survivor to do the hard work she must do to heal. That has been the case with me and Bady.... Thanks be to God!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Redesign

Lately the blog has been feeling a little stale. It started ~ way back when ~ as an opportunity for me to reflect on family life and ministry. The ministry part of this blog has largely moved over to the Faith UMC Pastor's Blog. Facebook has taken over much of the family pictures and activities I used to share here. The past few months I've shared random musings about once a week. I've still found it to be a useful space. However, the name of the blog (Adventures of Min Lib) no longer resonates. So today we have a new design and a new name!

Wendell Berry's poem "There is a Day" speaks to me in two ways. First, it speaks to my faith that there is something beyond what we can see and understand in this world. Second, it speaks to my hope that there will be a day of peace and joy for all of us, no matter our personal situations.

My passion these days ~ along with my ministry and family life ~ is finding opportunities to educate people about PTSD and tell my story. My journey of recovery from trauma has been a long one. Most recently, it has involved my dog Bady and the work we have done in the sport of Schutzhund and Personal Protection training. Working with Bady provides me with a sense of security that had long been missing in my life. It also provides me opportunities to build my own self-confidence, In many ways I feel as if I've come into a new day. Maybe, by sharing my story, another person can experience that joy. Perhaps this blog can be an avenue for that.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

There is a day

There is a day
when the road neither
comes nor goes, and the way
is not a way, but a place.

~ Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir