The #TotalHonestyTuesday Roundup, Vol.52

THT

Every week, we’re participating in #totalhonestytuesday, sharing the things we’d usually keep off of social media, and giving a little more insight into our real (and very un-perfect) lives. Hopefully, in doing this, we can all feel a little less pressure to appear a certain way online, and remember that everyone around us is much more than just the highlight reel we normally see.

So I am unbearably late on my #totalhonestytuesday. THe reason? I honestly didn't feel like admitting this thing about my dog and my mental health. Here we go: my dog Jake is my favorite thing on this planet, but at the same time, I often feel the emotions he triggers make my mental health WORSE. We've all seen those books or those stories that say 'I was depressed and I got a dog and started running 20 miles a day and now I'm doing great and and my life is the best ever!!!" Those stories usually make me feel really inadequate since my 'I rescued a dog and he rescued me' story doesn't quite follow that easy happy path. I fostered Jake from a shelter 4 years ago and specifically told the shelter to pick a dog that was small. LOL, they gave me a sixty-lb lab mix. Of course, life is as life is, and after a week of fostering I was already telling him I loved him. When someone else tried to adopt him, I couldn't imagine life without him so I adopted him right there. But he started to show signs of aggression soon after – he would lunge at people and bark menacingly at other dogs. I think my initial reaction was 'aw, he's protecting me' but I hired a dog trainer anyway to address it. The trainer was awful and I just sort of gave up – almost saying to myself 'well I guess I deserve this bad-mannered dog.' That's a symptom of depression right there. On the other hand, Jake is unconditionally loving to me, my family, all of my close friends, and many other people. We've made strides together toward addressing his issues – he listens to me better now and I know (as I always knew) that he just wants to please and was waiting for my direction. It's my job to give him that direction. The fact that I didn't give it in the beginning is my fault and not his. I have learned an incredible amount from him about commitment. And about leadership and self-care. But I've also learned where my weakest points are. Sometimes I ignore problems and just hope they'll go away. I'm working on that. I avoided writing this bc I knew it would be long-winded and hard for me to admit. Long story short: dogs are the best and mental health is a long journey with no easy answers. The end!!!!

A photo posted by Isabel Howard (@thetruthsayer_) on

Share your own honesty next week, and join the conversation.

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