10. Mental Health & Pets – #blog4MH

This is a post I’ve been thinking about writing from the start of the weekend. If you know me in real life, you will not be surprised to read about this post. If you don’t know me in real life, don’t worry, I won’t shut up about it so you’ll hear about it often enough.

I really, really want a dog. My old pup, Bella (or Bayya as I often called her) who was an Italian greyhound, passed away nearly two years ago. We haven’t had another dog since. My parents have both had dogs in the past, and we’ve had other pets like hamsters and a couple of fish before, too. You guys know that we’ve had Nova, and that we have Galaxy right now, too.

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Bayya had three legs and cataracts for the last couple of years of her life (the eye problems, not the three legs). These photos were taken in 2013.

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Bayya’s full size.

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Mr. Nova. February 2016 – November 2016. A cuddly little dude who gave us lickies.

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Mr. Galaxy. November 2016 – present. A fancy marking Chinese hamster, he doesn’t like getting picked up too much, and is still pretty high energy. Maybe when he gets older though… πŸ™‚

(I’ll include more photos of Bayya at the end, because I have more photos of her (folders upon folders!!) and yeah.) Also I have *NEW* photos of some of the doggos at the playtime park. πŸ™‚

ANYWHO!

Back to the point.

When Bayya got sick a couple years ago, she made it to her 12th birthday until passing away a couple of days later, I was so able to push aside all of my mental health garbage bins of bullshittery to be by her side. I genuinely made NO time for the OCD. It was all about being with her while she was struggling.

And I KNOW there is research out there that’s been done that shows the positive benefit of having an animal and how it affects those of us with mental health conditions.

The problem is convincing my parents of this and other factors.

That’s my current problem: I want a dog but my parents don’t. One of my parents is willing to go look at dogs online and with me this weekend and a couple other times for adoption events but they’re pretty stubborn on letting up with their opinions.

Basically, one of my parents is pulling the whole “It’s our house” card and also wants me to be better and healthy before I get an animal involved in the picture. They don’t want to take care of the doggo, especially when I’m not doing well and am going through my dark days. They also think that even if I had a doggo, that when I’m at school and doing poor, how will that help me then?

And then there’s the whole ginormous responsibilities list of the doggo. We’d have to have a female doggo, it can’t be too old or too young (I’m still looking at puppies anyways), it has to learn how to go potty outside, what if it gets ticks? What if we get Lyme too? Who will take care of it when I’m at school? At work? When no one’s home? Will it be in a crate? Who will feed it? Where will it sleep? Will it bark incessantly? Will it chew on the furniture? Will it…What if…??

Thinking of all of this stress subconsciously is why I pulled out part of my brow on Sunday night. Now I’m doing better managing my stress so that doesn’t have to happen again (I’ve pulled a couple times since but not as extreme – and not to that brow).

The biggest argument they have is that I can barely take care of myself so how will I take care of another pet? (I must be honest, I’m struggling with the hamster).

 

So to deal with these stressors, and the stressor of school soon ending, I’ve been coping and avoiding by looking at my favorite doggos online. I use adopt-a-pet the most, but rescue-me is good too.

Some people have suggested I volunteer somewhere–but where? It’s about as useless information as trying to get a service dog (they cost hella more than I thought they would!) Although it’s cool what they have about psychiatric service dogs. I tweetered about that the other day.

 

My therapist told me to keep thinking about problem SOLVING in my session this week. So while my feelings are tumultuous about the idea of not getting a doggo this summer I have to just keep in mind that it will happen. Mainly, by thinking of it happening this summer. I’ve started to really imagine what it will be like to have a doggo again, and I really, really like it. I wish my parents would give me the opportunity to try it out, but they won’t. I think it could really help!! I could even have LESS mental health bullshit, it could PROGRESS my recovery…and still I sit with no doggo present.

I feel an emptiness inside for not having a dog. I enjoy the playtime stuff, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been needing more of it lately than usual, or than before. It’s hard too ’cause it’s not like I can always go to a neighbor in my nearby area to just pet THEIR dog. Usually people want to make small talk more than what I’m interested in. I just want to pet dogs and have some company again. (Like all the time and at my disposal easily)

I really miss my Bayya. Even Nova, too.

I took them for granted when they were around. Because now they’re gone and I can’t have them back.

I see other people have two dogs, three, four! And it makes me jealous ’cause I can’t even have ONE!

I feel like an outsider without a dog. I can’t understand the funny things they do, except for remembering Bayya’s silly things. But Bayya isn’t here anymore… I really miss her. She was more my Mom’s dog though. I want my new dog to me more my dog.

 

I’m gonna just end it there. I’ve been crying enough already. I would show you guys some of the doggos I’m interested in, but I’m thinking if I do they might get adopted sooner, and unless it’s me adopting them, I don’t want that. XD The cute ones always go first…

Here are some of the doggo pictures from last Sunday!

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And some of Bayya (but not all, I’ll do more in the future if you’d like):

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I look forward to new photography adventures with my new dog to come, one day. I think they may even get me back INTO photography. Speaking of, I have another post to work on….

The story certainly isn’t over here. This post involved a mixture of grief of past pets and the hope for new ones. I really think it would help me, but only time will tell for sure. Until then, if you guys have any tips or tricks or could share your own stories of doing either well or poor with an animal and mental health conditions, please do share them!

Thanks everyone!

 

 

9. Remember What We’re Fighting For – SADIM Day #4 – #blog4mh

I think, after doing three others of these, that I can remember what the rules are. Phew! Check out the category at the end of the page if you’re interested in learning the other songs I’ve chosen for the first three days! πŸ™‚ With that said, let’s jump in!

Song Choice:

Meet me on the battlefield (Cover) – SVRCINA

Video:

Chosen lyrics:

We carry on through the storm, tired soldiers in this war, remember what we’re fighting for… Meet me on the battlefield, even on the darkest night, I will be your sword and shield, your camouflage. Everything could stay the same or we could change it all…”

My relation to this song:

This is still a new artist that I’ve very recently (think within this week) come across who I very much enjoy so far. There are a few newer artists that I can’t wait to share with you all! I’m still trying to find more songs that I enjoy from them before I will do a post about them, but that’s stuff from behind the scenes!

I don’t know what the original song sounds like, but I really love Svrcina’s cover here. There is also an honorable mention for another song that I think is a real gem from her. I imagine I’ll probably fall in love with more of her music, and if that’s the case, I’ll have a future update post about it!

Lately though, I’ve used this song to help cope with a current issue I’m dealing with (that I’ll discuss in another post). I like the metaphor of the battlefield and I enjoy the description of it in this song. I think this singer has a beautiful voice, too. It’s just a song that keeps me engaged and reminds me of recovery. πŸ™‚

I thought the video effects in the above video was interesting and lovely and I really enjoyed the concept in this song. Again, it reminds me of the current issue I’m having and it’s interesting to relate to that in such a way.

And of course, the emoticon for this post:

🍨🍨🍨 = ice cream!

 

8. Recovery A-Z Challenge: C is for Calm. #blog4MH

B is for Bravery

C is for calm.

In this post, I’d like to discuss what calmness is to me and provide videos of things I find calming and often are sleep provoking for me, in the hopes that my sharing will help to inspire you readers or lead you to find something that inspires you. I may even talk about sensory rooms in this post too. This will be a longer post I’m imagining so I’ll have to finish it into the evening –legasp! (or, as it turns out, the next day)

First, I’d like to describe the concept of sensory rooms. πŸ™‚ As far as I know, which likely isn’t all that far, sensory rooms are places where if you’re having trouble with your mental health, you can go to them to help you self-soothe, rather than turning to a maladaptive behavior. Sensory rooms can often be found in the hospital setting, but one day I’d like to incorporate them into my own future home (as well as possibly into my current home when my parents and I redo a room). In my last hospitalization I wrote down the components of a sensory room so that I could have a resource to look back on later. Here’s what I listed out:

Essentials for a Sensory Room

  • Warm blanket (one of my ambulance ones (I have many) and a snugly one)
  • Warm room (heater)
  • A nature art piece
  • Wall decals!! (They sell some at Target and I’m sure online, I’ll link to some faves of mine down below)
  • A comfy chair (ex: a bean bag)
  • A stuffed animal
  • Art supplies
  • A good book
  • Ambient sounds
  • Christmas lights
  • Electric/candles
  • Color
  • Stickers
  • Stationery
  • Slime
  • Stress balls (I have a spiky purple one that I love since it reminds me of slime)
  • Slippers
  • Recovery Restoration
  • A Workbook
  • Daily prompt
  • A journal
  • A gratitude journal (I also found out how to make a little paper gratitude book, I’ll share that with you guys in the future! :))
  • Gel pens
  • Coloring books/pages

So, for the wall decals, this is a MUST! I freakin’ love wall decals. The ones in the sensory room at the hospital included flying birds, flowers, a tree and more. They were so lovely. The art piece was a photograph of a spread of yellow blooming trees with their reflection eased out onto the water. Just lovely!!

Wall decals that I have my eye on:

Feathers from Target , Cherry blossom , Be awesome, be You , Birch tree , and more! πŸ™‚


One of the things I listed were ambient sounds. For me, these videos surmise some of what I like:

The thunder sounds I’ve recently gotten into this year. Rain sounds are lovely too, but now I find thunder to be comforting. Maybe it’s the whole Thunder god reference πŸ˜‰ I just find it very soothing nowadays. I have a little sound machine and it comes with the thunder noise and I just love it. It doesn’t always work to put me to sleep so sometimes I have to use videos like these, and other times a story being told will help etc. More on this later.

Gotta mention this, too! Hehe!

 

For ASMR I recommend Heather Feather, WhispersRED, Soundspace, Made in France, etc.

 

Additionally, for slime videos I recommend:

Cryb4by, MostSatisfying, Aesthetic Satisfaction and Satisfying Slime ASMR

Here are a few of my fave videos (of slime):

 

And lastly, scary story time videos!!! For this section I recommend:

Darkness Prevails, Let’s Read, Corpse Husband, MrNightmare, CreepsMcPasta, and Lazy Masquerade. πŸ™‚

That’s all I got! This post took some finding and some loading time so I hope you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

Onto le next post!