Chapter Six - Lessons Learned

Make a Difference 143

behavior until we feel its effects. Joy and my recovery program [[don’t say AA or Al Anon]] are what finally gave me permission to feel my feelings.

Joy taught me to use my emotions as an indicator of what’s really going on inside my heart. Webster’s Dictionary defines emotion as “the state or capability of having feelings aroused to the point of awareness.” Joy showed me that this is the way God intended emotions in my life to be used. They aren’t meant to rule me, nor am I supposed to suppress them; they are a gift from God, letting me know what’s going on in my life.

Years ago a psychiatrist prescribed for me an antidepressant for reactionary depression. I filled it at the little pharmacy in The Plains, Virginia where everyone knows everyone else. As I handed the pharmacist the prescription slip to fill, he quietly proceeded to tell me about all this particular drug’s pitfalls and possible kidney problems that could result. I can’t remember what the drug’s name was, but I do remember being so scared about taking it, I left the pharmacy without the prescription. Instead I went into three months of intensive therapy and joined a recovery program, which changed my life. I was in a black hole and I needed something to help me out. I was willing to do whatever it took to get help.

Statistics show these drugs when coupled with therapy, are often helpful in restoring a lost sense of well-being. Behavior impacts chemical equilibrium in your brain. From the day an alcoholic stops drinking, it takes three to five years for the chemical balance to be restored in the brain. This is why the proper drug can be so effective with therapy; you are retraining your brain. For me, three months of intense therapy with a Holy Spirit filled, recovering alcoholic, Catholic priest brought healing that is lasting a lifetime.

In most states, psychologists cannot prescribe drugs, only psychiatrists or M.D.’s. Also, most psychiatrists only prescribe drugs.

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