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You Are Not Alone

Most people misunderstand that alcoholism has minimal visible symptoms beyond withdrawal. The Year of The Dog a recent film by director Rob Grabow has been praised by ScriptMag as: “… capturing the authenticity and vulnerability about complicated situations that are typically brushed under the rug.”

Maybe people would understand if alcoholism came with some sort of visible attribute that clearly indicated this person with this disease was suffering. Since we cannot see the disease, a lot of those who are suffering often do so alone. The only visible symptoms of withdrawal are when each patient is shaking and sweating excessively with symptoms of anxiety. Lack of sleep often occurs along with the craving for more alcohol. Lack of sleep will cause a reduced amount of energy leaving the patient with a depressed feeling. This is why alcohol is labeled a depressant. The signs of withdrawal will make a person irritable around loved ones which causes a disconnection between family members. It takes twelve to twenty four hours to start feeling the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Nausea and diarrhea may occur during these times of withdrawal. A person experiencing these symptoms are usually left with nowhere to go and no one to care for them. 

A lot of times as people we feel a sense of loneliness, during these times we forget that even an animal companion can offer the best feeling of comfort. This movie portrays a relationship between a man and a stray dog who helps him along his journey through sobriety. The dog this man found along his journey of healing was the blessing he had been waiting for. A thirty day sobriety challenge leads our character to many life lessons. When things go from bad to worse the only way to help someone is to make them feel not so alone. This movie teaches what it’s like to be there for someone, and to have someone or some stray dog being there for you. Having a loyal companion during a sickness is in this case the best remedy. Sometimes we find what we’re looking for without even looking. When we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place in life the friend next to us makes the weight seem lesser. As Lakota people we are taught that the four legged and winged are sacred. Healing with animals is a different kind of teaching, with us being the students and the animals doing the teaching. Boundaries are healthy but sometimes we have to allow the cracks to let the light in. We live in a world where we want to live in the old traditional way, while living with modern day problems. The lessons taught in this movie should be shown to as many people as possible, to teach the values of companionship, support, and togetherness. 


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