Happy Sunday everyone ! How has your weekend been? Mine has been filled with finishing up christmas shopping, snapchatting a ton, catching up with my high school bestie, and today I will be packing for my trip, me and Lil leave tomorrow.
Can I get a drum 🥁 roll please……
I would like to introduce you all to my support animal, you can call her “Lil” for short.
I look at my baby 🐾 and wonder, how did I ever live with these illnesses without her ?
Believe me she doesn’t cure my mental illnesses, but her being here in my life really makes me feel not so alone during those low times. Lately, those times have seemed to be more and more frequent, and some days it’s hard to function. But it is nice to have someone who doesn’t just stare at you blankly (like I’ve had loved ones do)when you’re crying & falling apart, instead she climbs into my lap or lays close to me as if signaling me that everything is going to be okay. I catch myself being so thankful to wake up and see her little beautiful face looking up at me waiting for me to feed her, waiting for me to take her for a walk, play fetch with her, or do more training.
On the days it feels impossible to get out of bed, impossible to go to class, impossible to eat, impossible not to isolate from people, impossible to leave the house,impossible to do anything but have urges to self – harm or contemplate ways to take my own life , she has helped me SNAP BACK into reality and out of my own thoughts. Caring for her has made me more present when it comes to caring for myself. (Ex. making sure I eat, exercise, etc)
I never knew how much a support animal would benefit me. Also, I never realized how smart a 7 month old pup (as of yesterday) would be, and how quick she catches on to training. She does and knows so much and her training has just began. Little does she know she has a happy, fun & meaningful life & job ahead of her and I am so blessed to have her as a part of my life.
Let’s be real, Lil is awesome, but life is life, nothing is perfect. The most stressful thing about having her is currently not being able to take her on campus with me, due to my school’s policy on ESA dogs,cats,etc. Usually other places (stores,etc) have been really open about letting her be with me all the time. Something that scares me is I’ve noticed I am becoming more attached to her. I even noticed myself getting anxiety when I had to leave and be away from her the other day. I have only had her for a month as of tomorrow, and she is already trained on basic commands, fetch, plus other things that help me, and she will continue training because I want her to get certified as an official service dog in the future. She has been such a breath of fresh air in my life ! She makes me laugh and she annoys me at some moments, but honestly I couldn’t imagine things any other way. My life would be more empty, lonely, and stressful without her !
I think a really important thing is, finding what works for you in your life. Ask yourself and your doctor what will benefit you the most at this point in your treatment/recovery and go from there. Originally I did have some fear when I first started looking into getting an ESA after my doctors agreed it would benefit me. I thought, it might be more stress than benefit. My thoughts were, I barely can effectively take care of myself, how will I take care of an ESA ? Despite those thoughts I went with my gut and I went looking and ended up finding Lil, and I don’t regret my decision one bit. I take care of her and she takes care of me !
❤ THANK YOU so much to my amazing doctors and therapists who care about my well-being and who want to see me LIVE & cope in healthy ways with my mental illnesses ! ❤
And on the other hand to all the people who have called me “weak” or exiled me from their “friend groups” due to my conditions, or made me feel like I was an outcast, a nothing, unwanted,unloved, a burden, and disgusting, etc just know that your negativity is unneeded & despite everything you have said, done, made me feel, and the things you may continue to TRY TO DO TO tear me down……….I WILL OVERCOME.
Inspire. Motivate. Love Natasha M.