The Necessity of Happiness


“Trauma is hell on earth. Trauma resolved is a gift from the gods.”   ~  Peter A. Levine

“For fast acting relief, try slowing down.”  ~  Lily Tomlin

A scattered band of coyotes set my mood for the morning, calling out in what sounded to be the thrill of the hunt. They sound so manic when they do that, and they probably are. To be a rabbit at such times must be terrifying. I think wild animals are much better at moving on than we are. I’ve seen many traumatized animals, during my days working at the animal shelter. It is awful to behold; gut-wrenching. One of these poor souls, named Babu, had been a bait dog for dogs fights. Dude was chewed up and disfigured in a big way. And on top of that he had cancer of the penis as well. That was even more awful to behold. Dr. Aversa performed two surgeries, one to remove Babu’s tumor, then another to reroute his urethra to where he could pee like a female. When he still had to pee like a male it was more spray nozzle than stream. Sorry for the disturbing image there. What Dr. Gene did there was near-miraculous in that it worked. Yet Babu was a very loving dog, and happy. I think he had passed through all of the retained trauma, on and into true acceptance. Our caregivers and volunteers at the shelter gave him impeccable care and copious love as well. How could we not? I don’t think wild animals have it that bad. I don’t think they suffer in the same way that we do, nor as much. They pretty much have to keep going, and they don’t have to deal with judgement from their peers. All of these musings pretty much come from my day yesterday, specifically, and my past week more generally. That panic attack last week took me to that place where I’m all like dude you really gotta get a grip dude. If you go with the flow during a panic attack it can take you to some distinctly ugly places. You gotta learn to rein in the inner implosion. You just have to. Remain aware and hold on, that’s what I say – manage it and don’t let go. Really. Don’t. Yesterday I had back to back therapy, psycho then massage. The masseuse explained to me, with details included, how the cortisol release during an attack ravages the body. My body concurred. I was a mess. And the bodywork she did really stirred up a lot of pain, some of it severe and tear-making. The nice thing is that she has children, so she makes little mom sounds when I moan or exclaim. Thank you, m’am. Healing, to be at all effective, demands a woman’s touch. It requires copious feminine energy, nurturance and love and stuff. I am certain that this is one reason why the goddess Brighid came to me when I had the bicycle accident 33 years ago. That is when the PTSD was born. Brighid, in one of her three faces, is the goddess of healing. That I give her such a hard time with my persistent resistance, the why of it, will likely remain a mystery; which is saying that I have grown in regards to my acceptance of the pain. This is good, this is proactive, this is why I fight. PTSD is a physiological condition, with an emotional and mental one-two punch. My masseuse channels Brighid, whether she knows it or not. I think she does. My psychotherapist leads me through the archetypal stuff that underlies my struggle; the mythos, the inner landscape. Yet she also encourages me to not struggle; and I listen, and I do that thing, most of the time. Listen, you can still fight without struggling. Just ask your nearest Aikido dude. All said, I still hurt all over this morning. What my cherished massage therapist does is to reconfigure the pain, so to speak. She gives me more freedom of movement. On that note it’s time to go out and gaze at the pre-dawn mountains for a minutes before I shower and groom and stuff. In other ways I feel fine this morning. Struggle plays hell with happiness. But you can fix it. I don’t really agree that happiness is a choice. It is more of a necessity. It really don’t matter none where reality comes from. You can choose if ya want, but the effect is what we’re after here. I am happy because I am supposta be happy. Think about that.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


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