Wild Turkeys

It was 1996, the summer from Hell.  In February I had tried Paxil for 5 days while my terror shot through the roof & got worse & worse until the 5th night when I didn’t sleep at all.  So I stopped taking it.  I was fine for a while, didn’t feel depressed at all, but gradually I began to have trouble eating and sleeping.  In the hot weather I began waking up in terror, soaking wet, after only 90 minutes of sleep.  I would be able to sleep again, but for no more than 90 minutes when I would wake terrified again.  My weight went down to 105 lbs.  I was in a pretty constant state of terror.  I tried acupuncture and the first time it gave me a few hours of relaxation.  The second time I was back to terror almost as soon as I got in my car to drive home.  I was on I 93, driving south.  As I came over the big hill that leads down into Franconia, I was feeling pretty desperate.  I thought “I don’t know how I can live my life.” A huge flock of wild turkeys came flooding across the northbound lane and the median strip.  I slammed on the brakes with visions of blood & feathers everywhere, but the blessed car stopped in time.  I sat there and watched while about 30 young turkeys were herded across the road by 5 adults.  After they all got safely by, I drove into the breakdown lane and cried for a little.  Then I went home and got out a little book called “Animal Energies” by Gary Buffalo Horn Man & Sherry Firedancer, and looked up turkey.  Turkeys are “abundance”, turkeys are “coming back from extinction.” I said OK, god, I’ll hang on.  A year later I was on medication that worked and I found out what normal brain chemistry was like, and that I had probably been depressed my whole life.  I still think of turkeys as good omens and am glad when I see one.

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