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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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From Our Forum

From Our Forum

The Alliance of Hope 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 »