Dogs Are the Best Therapy

 

This very personal post comes from one of the truly amazing and dedicated volunteers with the Speranza Animal Rescue:

 

8.8.15 - Dogs Are the Best Therapy1

 

Those that know me, know I struggle with depression and bi polar disorder. The last week I have been going through a medication change…

It has hit me hard. I feel helpless. I feel anger. I feel hopeless. I feel ashamed.

I sit here and cry as I type this. I don’t know if I should be posting this… but I’m hoping others can relate.

My mind races. Bad thoughts going through my head. I’m doing everything in my power to stay out of the hospital. I look at the pictures of my dogs and they keep me strong.

I have flash backs to when I was growing up. I lived by the saying – fake it til you make it…

However there comes a time when you can no longer put on that smile. You can no longer keep it a secret. You can no longer do it on your own.

At age 19 that was my breaking point. That was the end of the line.

I was in and out of psych wards. Countless med changes. Suicide attempts – one nearly ending my life. I would cut my arms -as the pain would in a strange way release my feelings of hurt.

Bulimia. I struggled with that for over 15 years. As my weight was the only thing I feel like I could control in life.

What some people don’t understand is that it’s an ongoing battle. It’s not my choice to be this way – but it’s the cards I was dealt.

I have the best support system- family, friends, my volunteers.

I just wanted to share my story. In hopes it would help others.

For those that struggle with mental illness – it’s not your fault. There are others out there that struggle as well – more than you know.

These dogs are my lifeline – they keep me from acting on those ‘bad thoughts’ that run through my head.

Never be silent. For those that love you will stand by your side and help you fight the fight. And most importantly – you are not alone

40 thoughts on “Dogs Are the Best Therapy”

  1. Thank you for sharing! I also suffer from bipolar and depression. I have had cats and dogs for 25 years. I currently have 2 little doggy girls and 3 fluffy kitty loves. My life would feel purposeless without them in it! I am thankful for them everyday!!!

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I am a 30 year old wife and mother of three just diagnosed last year as bipolar with major depression. I know EXACTLY what you mean about med changes as I recently went through one myself, trying desperately to stay out of the hospital. And thanks to my husband and My nursing school teachers I have been able to do that. My dog is a huge part of my life, though I probably don’t let her know that as often as I should. When I am home she follows me all over and sleeps beside me on the floor. Even if her bed is at the end of the bed, during these hard times she sleeps as close to me as she can get. She was a bait dog for fighting and was a mess when we got her fearful and covered in scars. Much like I was a few years ago. Be blessed as your story changes lives. I hope my story can as well.

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  3. I have several mental illness diagnosis and my cats have literally kept me from committing suicide. They give me unconditional love, which humans in my life have a hard time accomplishing.

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  4. Thank you for sharing some of your stories. I have been suffering with depression my whole life far more than anyone ever realized. My dogs & cats & birds and rescue work have kept me alive. I am not sure if you can put a e-mail address on here. ( mr. lee @ inbox . com ) if anyone would like a new friend to talk to.

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