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Walking with My Dog and the Truth
Grief Journey, Losing a Spouse or Partner

Walking with My Dog and the Truth

December 1st:  I had my dog classified as an emotional support animal. It’s amazing how dependent I have become on her for my mental well-being. I am fortunate that she can come to work with me every day. It is making an enormous difference in my anxiety and panic issues. I got a vest for her as she will be flying with me to see family over Christmas. The vest is not necessary but supposedly makes things simpler at the airport.

I put it on her for the first time today. I didn’t expect it, but I really didn’t like it. I generally look fine on the outside so no one would realize how she is helping me. However, walking around with her in a vest that says, “Emotional Support and PTSD” feels like I am walking around with a giant billboard that says “sick, weak, frail person here.”

It took the way I feel on the inside and put it on the outside. It really hit me out of the blue as I did not think that I would have issues with that. I know that she doesn’t even have to wear a vest. It is interesting to know how out of touch I can be with my emotions.

December 24th update: We put on the vest yesterday, walked through the airport, and flew cross-country. Having PTSD emblazoned on her side made people think I was a veteran. I let them know that there are other ways of developing it. I even shared the cause of mine with a couple of people. I was able to walk in my truth for an evening.

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Wisdom From Our Community

"Wisdom From Our Community" posts originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors and are reprinted with the permission of the authors. Our online forum transcends time and distance, offering a culture of kindness, hope, and understanding to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Operating like a 24/7 support group, our forum is supervised by a mental health professional and moderated by a trained team of loss survivors. Members can read and comment, share their stories, and connect with other suicide loss survivors.Read More »