I have experienced anxiety attacks since I was a young teen in menopause. Unfortunately, I felt I was born with this and needed to treat it with antidepressants daily. But there is more to managing depression than just pills. Medicines can only do so much. They can put me to sleep but I needed something extra. I lived a lonely life and needed some form of company.
I did not want to get associated with another person. I have had my share of broken relationships. I always loved birds, and someone suggested that I get a parrot. I went to the pet shop frequently to look at the pet birds.
There were cockatoos, cockatiels and more. I did not have an abundance of wealth and I couldn’t buy one. It depressed me more, but I was not that supportive about caging a bird either. I was confused, and I knew I had a lot to learn. One beautiful day, waking up on a sunny afternoon, I saw two parrots in my backyard. They stayed on the tree outside my bedroom window. Unlike the guys I dated in my life, they didn’t fly away. It felt like Christmas every morning. Everyday, whenever I took the blanket off, I walked outside my home to feed them. They reflected something so unique and made everything so intense. Whenever I felt terrible, all I needed to do was look at these green wonders, feed them and talk to them. They made me feel less anxious. I named them Dada and Kama. Dada was an elegant male species, and Kama was a cute girl.
I did not realize how sensible parrots were. They are very emotional animals. I was lousy at teaching them to talk. Even though my birds could not speak, I could figure out what they needed by watching their body language and listening to their sounds. I cleaned my backyard weekly and read more about nutrition for my birds. It did take me years of reading online to know about what nutrition birds need.
After nine years, Dada passed away, and I was devastated. Kama even cried. She did not weep tears, but in the tone of her cries, she was missing her mate. Dada was a man to her. Dada used to feed her daily by regurgitating some food. Regurgitating food to other birds or even a person is a sign of affection and care. Kama and I shared the grief of missing Dada.
After a couple of months, I adopted a cockatiel, Charlie, from one of my neighbors, who was shifting to LA, to keep us company. Charlie was only six months old. He was still a baby but old enough to fly. Charlie has gray and white splotches of color all over him. His colors seem kind of like a pinto horse. Kama pushed Charlie around a lot yet got used to him slowly but surely. They began sharing the branch after a while. But they both enjoy having their branch and space, too.
I enjoy stroking my birds, most of all. They each have their way of being petted. Kama likes to be patted on her head and cheeks when she is sitting on my lap. And Charlie only loves to be petted when he is on my left shoulder. I hold my hand up to his head, and Charlie moves his head around to the spots he wants to be scratched and petted the most. My birds are so warm and soft to touch.
Being able to share your feelings and day with someone else is so unusual. This helps beat my anxiety, especially with my two birds that give me so much genuine love. Every morning is fresh, hearing my parrots hungry for food, and I gaze at my beautiful birds as they chirp to me.
I look forward to cleaning my backyard and spending time with them everyday.