New Beginnings

I know I’ve been mostly quiet over the last few months, and I apologize to those of you so awesome as to stop by and read this blog.  As always, you goobers are amazing.  I’ve been struggling with my mental health, as I always tend to do this time of year, but this year, with the help of my amazing support system, I’m finally taking a big step.  And now that the first really scary (for me) obstacle is over, I’m ready to talk about it.

I talk about my mental health, because it’s important for us to have these conversations – to let people know they aren’t alone and that help is out there.  I want to be the voice I’ve needed to hear; I’ve been lucky that there were other voices out there that helped lead me to where I am today.  I just want to do my part.

Over the last decade plus, I’ve done a lot of work improving myself.  I used to carry a lot of rage, but I’m proud to say I’ve managed to put most of that down.  I’ve had a lot of help over the years, from some amazing online support groups to the help of my Gods – and I’m thankful for every single one that helped me along the way.  But I’ve finally reached a point where I had to admit that I can’t keep doing this alone.  Those support groups are amazing and I hope to continue those friendships that have meant so much.  And my Gods are with me, but there comes a time when even that isn’t enough, so They empower me to do more.  I’m finally healthy enough to ask for the help that I need.

I talked to a therapist.

Y’all, it’s huge for me.  It was one thing to talk on the online support groups, where I could use writing rather than speaking.  I’m much more eloquent in writing, and much more confident to know that I can make myself understood.  (edit is my friend)  One of the many things that sets off my anxiety is also doctors – though thankfully my therapist looked more like an office assistant than a doctor.  But she made me feel so comfortable and made it easy for me to be honest with her.  And the relief of talking to a person face to face, someone who doesn’t know and love me, and getting affirmation that she thinks she can help me was nearly overwhelming.  And now I have someone on my side that knows more about all this than I do and can help me get a handle on this.

And, as part of that moving forward, she has agreed that it would be good for me to have a comfort animal.  Possible ESA (certified emotional support animal) training will have to be something considered down the road, as we’ve only just had our initial interview.  Let me introduce:

Salem Jean

We adopted her from the county humane society.  She’s about a year old and dainty.  And so silly!  She has already made a huge difference for me.  I get up every day, even when I can’t get up for myself, because she needs me to.   And, she just makes me laugh!

There’s still a road ahead, but I now have two more to help me walk it.  I’m sure I’m going to have more down days along that path.  But I feel empowered to keep moving forward.  Asking for help is scary, but it’s worth it.  Even if nothing else good comes out of this, to have that recognition from an outsider relieved a weight from me.  And Salem.  Well, she is a tiny miracle.

I wish for you peace.  And the love of a good dog.

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