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  • Welcome to the Mental Health Mama Blog! There are three ways to get support!
    1. Read the blog for stories of everyday life with mental illness

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Once upon a time I was working full time in the advertising field. I was in my early 20’s and my mental issues were just starting to creep in on me. I had no idea at the time that I was dealing with anything other than a bad attitude. The advertising world seemed too fast, too harsh, and based too much on outer image for me at the time. I was uncomfortable to say the least. Having panic attacks during the night and an anxious mess during the day.

Something made me turn into Animal Friends one day on the way home from work and I walked around a place that had an amazing vibe. Not only did the animals give me a sense of purity and calm but the workers had something special about them too. They seemed…. happy….like they truly wanted to do their job from the bottom of their heart. A few months later I had adopted a pair of bunny rabbits and the love for animals I had always had since I was a child was reignited.

Taking care of the rabbits became my favorite part of the day. Simple things like getting them fresh water and timothy hay gave me joy and made me feel balanced. As my work life at the ad agency continued to decline a small voice in my heart started saying I should go work with animals. Having no idea how to make this happen and no formal training I simply reached out to about 40 veterinary hospitals asking if they would take me on doing anything from cleaning the floors to shoveling dog dirt. I just wanted a foot in the door. It sounded absurd to my family and friends since I had gone to school for art and spent about 5 years in the ad business. I didn’t care. I was miserable and I saw some light at the end of my tunnel.

I got one response from my letters. It was from Northview Animal Hospital and they needed a kennel assistant. I would feed and water the animals in the hospital and they would train me to administer meds and do other things as I was ready. Working there was like a soothing balm to my wounded soul. Spending time with animals and people who love animals is an amazing therapy.

I worked there about 3 years before I had my first baby and left to stay home with her. It hasn’t been until recently that I have had that urge again to find solace in animals. With the recent progression of my bipolar disorder getting worse we decided it was a good idea to bring a puppy into our family.

Jakey is a cute little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and he has adjusted to our family really well! He brings me that same feeling of healing I felt at the animal hospital years ago.

I wrote last entry about my abrasive mornings- well he is a buffer somehow to all the abrasiveness. He also is very grounding as all animals are. Next entry I will write about more things that are grounding and ways of grounding yourself when you are very anxious and overwhelmed!! stay tuned:)

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