Grief Recovery without Drugs

“Is there really an alternative to anti-depressant drugs? YES, YES, YES!”

Hello Ann B Tracy,

Fourteen months ago I was struck down with any parent’s worst nightmare. My beloved 33-year-old son committed suicide. He had been taking anti-depressants for about 4 years, and I may never be sure if these influenced his actions.

My story is about my recovery from this horrendous event. One thing that every survivor of suicide is aware of is that one ‘recovers’ from suicide in the same manner that one ‘recovers’ from alcoholism. There may never be a time when a sudden reminder of the loved one does not bring anguished tears.

When I began to suffer nightmares and insomnia I consulted my local physician. She’s a wonderful lady, newly out of medical school, open-minded, frank and conscientious. AND she prescribed Prozac! Having had a brief negative experience with both Valium and Prozac, I took the prescription home–and threw it in the trash. Shortly thereafter my husband bought me two milk goats. (We live on a ranch where this is possible, but it is also possible in many suburban settings.) These animals need attention twice a day–they need to be milked and fed in the morning, and fed in the evening. One cannot stay in bed waiting for them to milk and feed themselves–so I had to get up! And I had to be up to take care of them in the evening, also. This may sound like a small thing, but prior to their arrival I stayed in bed half the day and consequently couldn’t sleep at night.

This spring they blessed us with three adorable kids, which also need, and give, love and attention! I was able to experience the joy of witnessing new birth, new life, new love coming into my life. Of course, these wonderful animals are not my only interest in life, but they did awaken in me a renewed sense of the continuation of life.

I was fascinated with a friend’s response recently when I shared this story with her. “Did they really help you? Is there really an alternative to anti-depressant drugs?” And my answer is an unequivocal, resounding “YES, YES, YES”!

Blessings on your wonderful work,

RaEl BaKan

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