Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I Have Emotional Support Animals

Lists and charts help me process things more
clearly. So I made this plan  to help me, and
the others around me, focus on the GOOD things
that are happening or about to happen now,
and leave more stressful things for later on when
I can deal with them better. 
Sorry to bother you but my Auntie Em suggested I write in my blog as a way to calm down my anxiety, so I am trying it! You are probably sick of hearing about it. Right now it is more sadness than anxiety, or at least anxiety stemming from sadness, or sadness stemming from anxiety.

My dad and I leave for Oregon tomorrow morning. But my mom has to stay overnight in the city tonight for her job, so I had to say goodbye to her this morning.

Morning is always a better time for me because for some reason my symptoms are pretty calm then. If you ever want to tell me something upsetting, you should either tell me first thing in the morning, orin the middle of the night. I was calm and didn't cry when I said goodbye to my mom. At the time I wasn't even thinking about the fact that I always feel calmer in the morning... it is something I have noticed before, and I just put two and two together again now.

I had a productive morning. I went to Target to refill my prescriptions and pick up some odds and ends, including important staples such as Dr. Pepper. I picked up my coat from the dry cleaner (it was getting the zipper repaired.) I filled up my car with gas. I vacuumed out my car and wiped the dashboard and steering wheel and stuff down with Lysol wipes. I took my dogs outside in the back yard for a long time, so that they could get some fresh air. I relaxed and read a magazine while they did dog things.

But then at around 4, I started to feel the tightness in my chest. In some ways I can compare it to throwing up... you know when you feel like you're going to throw up, but you really don't want to so you keep trying to fight it by thinking of other things, etc... and then eventually you feel so icky, you realize you are going to have to let it go, so you run to the bathroom and barf. And then you feel much better... for a while, until the next waves of nausea attack you.

So I was pretty much halfway up the basement stairs, with a laundry basket in my arms, when I couldn't hold it in any more. I started to cry. You have to understand, when I am overloaded I don't cry with quiet, lady-like sobs. When I am just normal sad, I actually cry silently, and you might not even realize I was crying until you look at me and see tears coming out. But when I have a meltdown, I cry the way little kids cry, loud and long. Like, "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Waaaah Waaaaaaaaaah! Oh noooooooooo! Waaaaaaaaah!" I'm sure it looks disgusting to see someone my age wailing like that.

And off an on all afternoon, I was like that. Meltdown. Feel better. Keep on packing. Stop for a meltdown. Feel better. Meltdown. Better. And I am home alone, so luckily there is nobody here to see me in my hour of shame.

Here is where my dogs go from being "pets" to being "emotional support animals" and "psychiatric service dogs." They both rushed over and tried to calm me by putting their paws on me. Trixie jumped around in circles the way she does when she wants to play. Lily just came and leaned against me.

I want to someday write a post about the difference between psychiatric service dogs and emotional support animals. Lily is a little bit of both. I have a letter from my therapist saying she is my emotional support animal, but she's also trained to help me deal with my anxiety and depression, so that makes her a psychiatric service dog. I mostly call her my emotional support dog because I don't want her to have to be perfectly behaved like most service dogs. For instance I want people to be able to pet her and I want her to get to be a dork like a regular dog. But when I get upset, she will always come over to me and make contact. She will lean against my side, or against my back, if I am sitting, or she will let me pick her up and hold her.

One funny thing about that, you know how sometimes you yell for no reason, like you might yell at the TV if something crazy happened on the show. When we were watching Breaking Bad and Gus slit that one guy's throat, I yelled, "Oh my God! Aaaaah!" Or when you are irritated at the computer because it keeps freezing, and you yell, "Come on, ya stupid thing!" You're not really upset upset. But Lily can't always tell the difference. So if I yell or seem angry because of a silly thing, she comes walking cautiously over to me, like, "Uh, are you okay?" And then I reassure her that I am fine, and she goes back to her usual dog business.

Trixie is not actually my dog at all, she is my parents' dog, but she does seem to act like an emotional support dog. I always wanted to let her be a therapy dog and visit hospitals and stuff, because she loves people so much and is so gentle. But I could never seem to make it happen. You have to take a lot of training classes and get some sort of Canine Good Citizen award, and I never had enough money or time to do all that.

Auntie Em was right, blogging is helping me to calm down! I am even calm enough to go read some other blogs! Maybe if I just keep on blogging until my dad comes home from work, I will be okay, and I can finish packing once he is home.

OK thanks for listening!

By the way, I still need 13 more people to take my survey! 

1 comment :

  1. Dogs are really phenomenal, aren't they? I have a five-year-old German shepherd named Raven, and I'm often touched by how human some of her facial expressions are. It's good that you have them in those moments you feel overwhelmed.


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