The journey in healing has been a rollercoaster. It always seems like there’s something new to overcome. It can be very jarring when these things happen.
I’ll be living life normally, sometimes for months, and then out of nowhere, something will trigger me, and I’ll feel like I’m going insane. When you’re triggered, new memories pop into your head, and these can be things that you have forgotten about for a very long time.
In August, I had one of the roughest times of my life. First, I lost my best friend. After that, I felt like the world had stopped spinning. Then, I lost my Jack Russel. I know some people say things, like, “it’s only a dog.” But Harlow was my best friend.
We would eat snacks together; she loved Slim Jims. When I was listening to music or reading, she would hang out next to me to keep me company. In April, she was diagnosed with lymphoma, and after she started to get sick, I would lay in her bed and pet her to provide her with some comfort.
Losing my best friend was incredibly taxing mentally, but it also triggered some of my comment responses because I felt like I was very alone at night; she was the one that I would turn to when I would get scared at night. I sleep on the ground floor very close to the house entrance, so I always feel vulnerable, like somebody could come in without my consent.
I had locked away memories for years. Then, in my mind, I saw blood everywhere and began sobbing.
I felt so vulnerable without my dog.
Losing my dog was one of the most challenging things I’ve faced because she was my best friend and our love for each other was very genuine. I took a lot of comfort in her.
In terms of my healing process, being without my dog has taught me that I have to be stronger on my own. It’s encouraged me to go through therapy more and take things more seriously and be more active in the role of someone trying to get better.
I know that my dog is still with me and that when we meet again, I want to tell her about all the fantastic things that I’ve done with my life.
Some days when I’m alone at night, I still talk to her and think about how she smelled. She smelled like old gym socks; I miss that. But I know that she can still make me feel loved and safe, even far away.
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