One of the best things I have done for my recovery is get a dog.
I’d always wanted a dog but it never seems the right time to get one. After I was diagnosed I spent a lot of time walking and this starting me thinking about getting a dog again.
The reason behind wanting one changed from “because they are cute” to “companionship and something to focus on”. I finally took the plunge and rescued a dog in January. She was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Having something that needs me and something that I can dedicate my attention to has really helped me live out of my head. I have to focus on the moments otherwise she might run off or I’ll lose track of where she is! The extra exercise has been really good for me and having her means I have to get up and out of bed to take her out before I go anywhere. Having that driving force behind the start to the day really helps my mindset.
She brings so much happiness it is hard to feel sad when she is around. When I’ve had a bad day or I am feeling low she has been there to take care of me and remind me that things are ok.
It’s a big commitment, but for me it is worth every penny and all the time in the world. I wouldn’t be without her now!
I saw this blog on a Huffington Post article and it explained it exactly!
A dog motivates you to get out the door for fresh air and exercise, even when it’s the last thing you feel like doing. A dog brings you so much laughter and joy, unlike anything I’ve experienced before, with their unique personalities and hilarious quirks (search “funny dog videos” and you’ll know exactly what I am talking about). And lastly, a dog brings you unconditional love, the kind of love that never stops. With these three things in your life, anxiety and depression can be part of your past as it has become a part of mine.