Open Topic

Losing A Dog.

It’s the look of sadness in their eyes because you both know their time here is coming to an end. 

Their food has been untouched for days and they are walking a little slower and they are sleeping a little more. You hold them wanting to take their pain away, knowing the hardest decision you have to make is for the best. 

It’s the goodbye you wish you didn’t have to say and the tears you can’t control.

It’s looking down at this animal and a flood of memories flash through your mind of the first time you got them, to every moment they were apart of over the years. 

How easily they became part of your family.

There isn’t anyone you love more and it’s interesting really how someone who couldn’t speak still had the ability to love. 

Through dogs, we learn to love aren’t words said but simple gestures.

It was in moments of pain they sensed it and loved you.

It was in moments of sickness they laid by you not leaving your side

It was in moments of danger they protected you.

It was in moments of anger they made you smile. 

It was in moments of loneliness they gave you company. 

Losing a dog is like losing a family member. 

Then you go home without them and you know something is missing. 

It’s the greeting you no longer get when you enter the house. 

It’s that empty feeling like the house is too big without them. 

It’s the morning wake-up call you don’t get anymore. 

Or the interruptions while sleeping you miss.

It’s the sound of their collar that grows silent and the uncomfortable quietness of a house. 

It’s a house a little cleaner when you’d take a mess if it meant having them back. 

It’s the bed you can’t seem to throw away yet. 

Or collar you hang onto. 

The toys that sit untouched for weeks.

And the hair you still find on your clothes. 

It’s the leash you no longer need but can’t throw away. 

And the tears you cry and missing someone who took up all of your heart.

And unless you have a dog, it’s hard to explain to people this relationship and this connection.

But I think the reason dogs live shorter than people is because they know something that takes us our entire lives to learn. They know unconditional love is the most important part of life. And it’s through losing them we learn that a little bit because even in their absence there isn’t a love more strong and honest than between a person and their dog.

And while it hurt to lose them, you know you’d take having a dog to love and love you back, over never having them at all.

Open Topic

What My Partner Needs To Know About My Anxiety.

It seems weird telling you this because it isn’t something I like talking about. It isn’t something I completely understand. And it’s something I learn more about each day, through my own life and my own research. Let me start by saying I am no expert in the field. I don’t know if this is what everyone experiences but this is what I deal with. 

This is what I live with and while most of the time it’s going to seem I have it all together and things are fine, there are going to be moments where I break down for no rhyme or reason.

There are moments you are going to have to pick me up off the floor crying because something went wrong. There’s going to be moments where you can’t fix this thing I’m dealing with and just like the way I have to deal with it, it’s something even if I don’t want you to that you are going to have to deal with too.

You won’t notice a lot of things at first. What you will notice are the cuts around my fingers, the scabs I try to hide on my lips when you kiss me, the biting of my nails and the foot tapping.

You’ll watch me pace around before we have to be somewhere and constantly look at the clock.

You’ll see me look at my phone every few minutes wondering why so and so hasn’t answered. It’s not just an individual or you I wonder about or sent multiple texts to, it’s everyone.

You’ll notice how I can’t sleep through the night and how I toss and turn most of the time to a point where it might wake you up.

Those are the things you notice in the beginning.

As you get to know me, at first you’ll admire my work ethic and accomplishments. It’ll be something you try to keep up with. It’ll be something you’re proud of. 

But the dark truth behind such success isn’t striving to be my best, but rather a lie I’m praying doesn’t become reality. And that lie tells me, I’m going to fail. I’m going to get fired if I’m not number one. I’m going to let people down if I don’t pull this off. On the surface, I’ll be calm but under that is a feeling of inferiority of never being good enough and that comes out in the form of taking on too much sometimes.

In the beginning, you’ll see how important my relationships are to me. As you get to know me you’ll watch as I invest a lot into others and overcompensate.

And you might tell me, “that person might not do the same for you, why are you trying so hard?” The truth is I will always give more than I’m getting. And I’d love to say it’s because I’m a good person but the truth is, it stems from an insecurity of people leaving and me wanting to prevent that.

In regards to our relationships, you might feel a sense of guilt for all I do. I’ve had people tell me to do less, stop trying so hard. But it is in my nature to do those things. And instead of trying to change that, accept it and know everything I do for you, I’m happy about and you don’t owe me anything.

As you get to know me, you’ll notice I turn back around often before we leave just to ensure everything is locked. You’ll hear me question and doubt myself multiple times, wondering if I turned something off or left it on. What you won’t see are the images of the worst case scenario playing out in my mind of what could happen.

The words “what if” are devil things that dictate my life.

As you get to know me more, you’ll notice I do a double take in every mirror. You’ll notice how I hate every picture we take. You’ll watch me change outfits multiple times before going out and I’ll ask your opinion, but I’m not really listening or believing what you say.

As you get to know me, you’ll realize how fixated I am about flaws you might not even notice. As good enough as I might be for you, I’m not good enough for myself and these unrealistic standards I have for the life I’m living.

No matter what you tell me, I’ll never feel good enough. And that anxiety comes out in the form of perfectionism. It’ll come out in moments where I break down because I’m second or I’ve messed up.

As we talk more, you’ll listen as I play out scenarios in my head and possible reasons my best friend might be mad at me. And it might be nothing. In fact, most the time it’s nothing.

But in moments after I might have messed up or I might not hear from someone in a while, my first thought is going to be, “it’s me that did something wrong.” I always try to fix problems I create myself.

In regards to our relationship, we might fight. Most the time it’ll come out in the form of something I’m insecure about. And I know it makes me seem unattractive. But if you can work with me through it, we can make this thing work.

Over-explain everything. This is where you are, this is what you’re doing, this is why you didn’t answer. To you, it might not seem like much, but to me it’s everything.

My lack of trust isn’t towards you but rather a history I fear will repeat itself. I’m going to do everything very cautiously when it comes to us.

My anxiety stems from a lot of things in my past I don’t want to be my future. And I know I cannot blame you for that or hold it against you, you should know this is why I am the way I am. And I’ve been this way for a while.

In time as you get to know me more, you’ll see first hand the over-analyzing, the overthinking and situations played out from every angle.

As you get to know me more, you’ll see me smile across the room and you’ll know something is wrong. You’ll see me standing there calmly engaging in conversation fidgeting with my ring and you’ll see something no one else does.

When we are out or drinking the night will play out in one of two ways, I’ll either be fine or I will be so uncomfortable in public I’ll choose to leave or pick my poison in the form of hard alcohol. At first, it’ll seem fine and I’m finally talking and engaging in conversation, then it won’t be and you’ll be the one helping me into a cab.

Regardless of how the night plays out, I’ll wake up the next day really embarrassed and really sorry.

Moral hangovers are the worst type of hangovers for anyone who has anxiety.

As you really get to know me, you’ll see how punctual I am. You’ll see how much I love planning things but more than that, controlling them.

The sense of wanting to control everything and lacking spontaneity comes because of this thing I can’t control.

While I might get everything done when I need to, you’ll also realize how much I procrastinate things. I hold everything off until the last minute out of fear of things not working out. Which is an oxymoron I know?

I’m painfully aware of the flaws I struggle to accept but live with. But I’m trying.

Beyond all of that, beyond the nail biting and the restless nights of sleep and the fear that dictates my life is someone who truly cares about others and doesn’t want to hurt them.

And if you can deal with the little things that come with being with me, I can promise you, you’ll get someone that will love you unconditionally.

You’ll get someone who is honest and punctual and answers texts too quickly that probably took me 5 minutes to write. 

You’ll get someone who really cares about you and will do anything to make you happy.

You’ll get someone who thinks a little too deeply about what to get you for the holidays but it’ll probably be good.

And you’ll get someone who might see flaws within themselves, but will look at you like you are the best thing that’s happened to them.

You’ll get someone who constantly builds you up until you believe it, but more that, you’ll get someone who might be a little difficult at times but I’ll never stop trying for you, I’ll never give up on you and I will never walk away no matter how much you challenge me.

So more than anything, I’d like to conclude with thank you. Thank you for accepting me. Thank you for trying to understand. Thank you for loving me in moments I’m still learning to love myself and thank you for trying to make this work.