We still celebrated a great Gotcha day… even though it involved a hospital trip.
This is going to be shorter than usual but given all of you wonderful people who follow my story I just wanted to give an explanation for my/our absence. (plus fun photos) I’m really sorry it has been so long since I last wrote. I try to write once a month but have slacked this year. I’ve a bunch of post that I have started but can’t finish and I just wanted to let you know why.
This last week has been hell and I have no idea why. You know there is the common misconception that if you are depressed there must be a reason right? I mean you can’t just be sad for no reason at all can you? But, Unfortunately, yes you can.
Disclaimer: I wrote this as a coping strategy to help me through my day. I want to clearly state that I am safe and andrew and I have action plans in place for when I am not. I do not need to have a welfare check or be admitted to behavioral health. I will repeat. I am safe. Andrew is a pretty good protector. That being said this is dark. I am still posting it because a good friend reminded me that this blog is about my life and I try to be real as much as I can. With that said, If you are not in a good place I recommend skipping this blog. If you are curious as to what chronic depression is really like, raw and unfiltered, please continue reading. Also sorry for lack of photos. I wrote this on my phone and pasting photos was difficult.
That is a really lame, play on words title, but it’s kinda funny and it made me chuckle
Bella and her many “capes”
Any who. Real talk time: Panic Disorder
I will reiterate: It’s Botox day!!
Some of you just read that and went “uhh wtf? She’s 26?” And some of you just read that and went “oh thank goodness” Also, please keep in mind that I decided to write this before work this morning, then I thought it would be a good idea to edit after Botox. Let’s see how this goes.
Just doing DPT at the ER
There is more to having a Mental illness than just being in your brain. The pain can also be very physically real.
Today, I resigned myself to the fact that it was time to write another blog post. Last week, I promised my friends on Facebook that I would write a blog about people interactions with Bella, but after the week I have had, I am writing something else. Also, a heads up, I wrote this on my phone so I am sorry if the format is different than usual.
one of my favorite photos from that day.
It’s been a year since two of the biggest thing I will ever experience happened. One of which was getting the opportunity to celebrate my marriage to my incredible husband, at our beautiful wedding day. The 2nd of which was then having said wedding reported all over the world.
Now that I have “Part 1: Traveling with a service dog” done, I want to go on to a topic that more directly affects my readers that do not have a service dog. So without further hesitation, I present… Part 2: a dog on a plane! Aka, a refresher on service dog etiquette.
Few years ago but very holidayish
The holidays are upon us! I do not know where this fall went but now snow is being predicted so its safe to say it is almost over. This fall was very busy at the Parrott household. I had a lot of medical things come up but after one inpatient stay (psychiatric), 3 out-patient treatments (migraines) and 2 surgeries (bladder related) I am sitting here feeling incredible thankful because for the first time in 4 years, all of my medications are working amazingly. With all this out-of-the-way, I finally feel well enough to write again.
Cute picture for the start of a very personal post.
It’s August and as most of my followers know, August is never a good month for me. I’ve debated what to write for a few days now. Do I write the nitty-gritty and personal so people see what it’s like, or do I sugar coat it so people don’t get upset reading it? I’ve decided to do a mix of both. I want to write a quick disclaimer first, I am working closely with my medical team and family so I am safe. I don’t want anyone to read this and worry about my safety. Secondly I will be talking about suicide so this is a trigger warning to some of my friends. And Third, per usual, I am not looking for sympathy, I am hoping to help others reach understanding. So here it goes.
A while ago, I was asked a question about making a dog a service dog. The person meant well so as I was explaining the process, others started listening in and I realized something. There is a huge misconception about what a service dog is, does and how they come to be. So this is my best attempt at explaining.
Words cannot truly express how I am feeling right now but I will try. Bella is wonderful, she is my lifeline as many of you know, and to have her honored in People Magazines American Heroes Book is beyond amazing. First I must say that there are so many great people and animals recognized in this edition that if you go out and buy a copy to see us, please read some of the articles. People and animals are amazing.
Some of you may or may not know this, but May is mental health awareness month. As you read this some of you are probably thinking, “oh that makes sense” as I am sure you have viewed many posts and pictures with #StigmaFree. Maybe for some of you this is the first you’re hearing about it, and that’s what I want to talk about.
So a lot of you probably just read that title and went okay so? But I encourage you to read why because I think it is important to admit when we are being hypocrites.
PS Bella and I were in PEOPLE Magazine
So it’s been over a month since my last post and I am sorry about the blog static. It feels like my life got so busy and crazy that I just couldn’t keep up. I took my honeymoon and everything else went on the back burner. Vacations are fun but tiring The trip to Las Vegas was awesome and maybe I’ll write about traveling with a SD sometime. Today’s not that day, but I will share some fun photos :).
It is Ruff being a dog in the Parrott household
Disclaimer: none of these photos have anything to do with this topic. It is just serious so I am breaking it up with cute photos of my dogs. Also, I am not saying all doctors or emergency personal are bad, I actually have many that I really like, I am just pointing out a flaw in the system when it comes to the treatment of some illnesses.
A few weeks ago, I posted Part one of discrimination and now it is time for the second part. I’ve already discussed the general types of discrimination service dog handlers face but this next part is more towards mental illnesses or other invisible illnesses and the discrimination we face in the healthcare system. When I first started this article, I felt wronged by the treatment I receive when I have medical emergencies. But I am starting to realize I am not alone.
The dog that is always on alert
Recently with everything happening, I have been getting a lot of questions regarding treatment and whether others should pursue their own service dog. I want to start by saying I am not a medical professional and do not feel comfortable advising others what is the best form of treatment for them. So instead I want to talk a little bit about the process I went though to decide on a service dog, re explain the difference between Service dogs, emotional support animals and therapy dogs and some pros and cons. I am hoping this will clear up some things about me and Bella as a team, try to help guide others on how to approach a doctor about this treatment. Be prepared for a longer blog.
Bella has a new job
With all the attention we have been getting lately, I’ve noticed a lot of myths surrounding service dogs floating around on the comments section of different articles. I’ve decided that I think it is time to post about a lot of myths and facts that surround service dogs, their handlers and the team its self. Education is one of the most important parts of reaching equality for service dog teams. Some of these will be kind of obvious and others will be new. I got some of these from other service dog teams. Keep in mind these are questions many teams have heard or come a cross during their time as a service team.
This photo is amazing
Okay so that title might be a little exaggerated but I had to say it. This morning I woke up to my 15 minutes of fame and honestly I am hoping to use it. For those of you who don’t know, a photo that was taken at my wedding January 9th went viral.
It is that time of year that everyone is setting their new years resolutions and every year I say “oh I should come up with one” but let’s be honest, a lot of them take up a lot of time. Last year I said I was going to Blog more and work out more and, well, that didn’t happen. If you are anything like me, I lack the motivation to make time to work out everyday and I like certain foods way too much to diet. I want to clarify by saying I greatly admire those who make big life changing new years goals and actually follow through. But this year I found one that I actually want to follow through on. I want to start saying I am sorry less.
Engagement photos By the amazing Maddie with Mad photo and design
As my wedding nears (11 days), my mood swings and panic have been all over the place. I wanted to share this because of two things, first it’s a lot different then the normal bride panic and anxiety but also because it helped me to realize that not every panic attack or little anxiety is caused by my disorder.
My little Family
Disclaimer: the photos have nothing to do with this story, its just to lighten things up. Also this is a long two part post.
any way! For the longest time I have been working on this piece. It’s about discrimination against people with disabilities. I have struggled with writing this piece because there are so many aspects of discrimination I couldn’t narrow it down. But after the last few months I’ve had? I figured it out.
This is going to probably be the last blog post I am posting on my personal FB page. I have thought a lot about this but do not worry; I am still planning on blogging and sharing my story. The thing is, I am looking for jobs and I also realized not everyone on my friends list likes to see all my posts. The other thing is, by sharing it on my personal page, I sometimes find myself censoring what I say because I feel like I can’t be totally honest.
Gotcha Day 2015!!
In life we are taught to celebrate the special moments both big and small. We celebrate first days of school and last days as well. We celebrate birthdays and holidays and anniversaries. We cherish the moments and use pictures and stories to capture them for future reminiscing. In the service dog world, we have our own special day. It’s a day for us to celebrate the moments our lives changed for the better. That day is Gotcha Day. Today Bella and I celebrate our two-year Gotcha Day anniversary and man am I excited. In the middle of all the excitement and count down leading up to it, I realized that not a lot of people understand them. I look like a crazy person as I buy treats and toys and new Service dog gear. It’s basically Bella Christmas in my house. With all this in mind, I thought now was the time to explain it to others.
- The moment that changed my story.
After 2 years of acknowledging my illness and a year and a half of writing about it I have become stuck. I’ve shared my story, I have been very open about my treatment and struggle and I have tried to speak out. I recently had to face just how difficult breaking the stigma of mental illness can be. That realization is frustrating and discouraging.
- Just how far we have come.
Disclaimer: Very long post
(Not so) Helpful advice
Some times I don’t think People really understand what it’s like to have a mental illness. Why would they? It’s complicated. When someone has an illness you can see or an illness that is talked about more, they because easier to understand. When someone we care about has a cold or the flu, we worry about him or her. Family will make sure they have soup or tea or medication or that they are drinking enough. Even people you don’t see or talk to often will ask you how you are feeling and tell you its okay to miss something if you have to.
I know I haven’t written in a long time. Part of that is because life happened and Part of that is because I didn’t feel like I had anything important to share at the time. But this weekend everything caught up with me from the past few months and it really struck a chord.
This dog really helps me live a normal life that I never dreamed was possible.
It’s no secret that for years I have struggled with severe depression and major anxiety and panic disorder among other things (don’t get me started on my headaches and how much that can mess up my psych treatment). For years I kept quiet about this. I felt ashamed.
This is my new Favorite quote. “When ‘I’ becomes ‘We’… ‘Illness’ becomes ‘Wellness'”
Today I had my first “at home” productive day in probably 2 months. Which is why I finally feel I can write again. Since my last post I have tried finding inspiration and time but I would come up with writer’s block or be too tired to write. The thing is, between general life and life with a mental illness, I kind of got off track. I have tried writing thousands of times to explain the radio silence and could not do it. I literally have 22.5 started posts in a file on my computer. But finally, here is my explanation and what is going on. Hopefully after getting this out and getting through this I will be able to get back to writing the things people are interested in on this blog, after all I have 22 blog topics started, Ha!
Bella always is in work mode even when she doesn’t look like it
You know that saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? What if you read that book and it becomes one of your favorites, but then the cover changes? Do you judge the book by its new cover or do you remember you like the content and continue reading it anyway? I feel like in a way, this is what has happened to my life. I went from being a regular “book” and then my cover changed (insert Bella).