Being Away From My ESA

14705862_10205365710061938_899463526611345550_nHello again all,

this isn’t really an educational post, it’s much more a journal post about what I’ve been feeling the last few weeks while I’ve been away from Gatsby. If you don’t know Gatsby is my ESA, and life can be a little bit hard without him. So, I wanted to post this journal in order to show everyone how much animals can help with mental illness, and to sort of break the silence that comes with mental illness.

So let’s start with why I have Gatsby. I don’t keep it a secret that I have several “common” mental illnesses. In third grade I was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, which is a chemical imbalance that prevents some functions of some executive function skills (more about ADHD here). My second year of college I was pulled off my meds after telling my new doctor that I had been having suicidal thoughts (and even some actions) for years, but my previous doctor had done nothing about it. I was then diagnosed with depression and anxiety, both things that I sort of knew I had to begin with and wasn’t a surprise. During my research I started to find how much animals can help with all of this, and I began to talk to my parents about getting a pet to help manage some of my symptoms. After a lot of discussion they agreed, and we’ve seen a huge improvement in managing my symptoms, my school work, my social skills, and in my general mood.

14590351_10205265466835920_6305928726383494507_nSo where is Gatsby now? Why isn’t he with me if he’s my ESA?

Recently my father has been very sick and because I was constantly going back and forth from school and my house I made the choice to leave Gatsby with my family this month, because I couldn’t find a pet sitter. My mom is 100% capable and is great with taking care of Gatsby, so I knew that she wouldn’t mind doing it since she was going to be in the house alone.

So what’s it like not having Gatsby around? Well, it’s lonely. I miss my little bud and I’m actually finding a lot of my symptoms are coming back after he’s been away. I’m finding it hard to focus, I’m going to bed early in the morning, I’m not eating, I have no schedule, I’ve missed school work, and I really just sit in my room and do nothing.

Without Gatsby I am unable to do a lot, such as keep up on this blog, simply because he is the drive that I need to keep going. Playing with Gatsby is the second to last thing that I do before I go to bed, so since I don’t have him my schedule just goes out the window. He’s also the first thing that I do when I wake up, so it isn’t worth me getting up for class in the morning.

14222135_10205112998384304_1101930353684796852_n.jpg

As for my depression I find that I’m having a very hard time sleeping because I don’t have him running and playing all night, so nights where I can’t sleep are much more lonely and sad in comparison to when he’s there. This overall makes my depression worse because I feel alone. Gatsby also helps my anxiety because he is stable and gets my mind off of whatever is making me anxious.

Without little Gastby I am a mess, and I can’t wait until he and I are together again (for about three weeks and then he’s staying with my parents again for Christmas break because I can’t find another pet sitter).

See you soon,

Amanda

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One thought on “Being Away From My ESA

  1. Katy says:

    My dog has become my ESA after losing my daughters. She has even learned to burrow her head between my arms when I’m balled up and crying and licks my face. It pulls me out of the moment I’m in. I’m so thankful for her. We used to leave her at home when we travel during the holidays, but now she is coming with us. I’m sorry you have to be away from Gatsby. He’s super cute and I’m glad he is helping you.

    Liked by 1 person

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