This week two years ago we announced to everyone that we were moving south. I was excited, scared, anxious. It was the first time I had ever moved out of Indiana. While doing so was something I’d always wanted to do, when it finally happened, moving so far from my family wasn’t everything I expected.
Making friends was almost impossible. We met people we could talk to, but those conversations never lasted longer than one brewery meetup. And as prepared as I thought I was for that first holiday away from home, it hit me like a semi-truck.
Dallas. You threw me into the biggest mental breakdown I’ve ever had. I didn’t know depression could be like that. My anxiety essentially exploded. Everything about my personality has intensified.
But maybe that’s not all such a bad thing. Because of my time in Dallas, I’ve learned more about myself than I ever have before. I’ve learned to listen to my body and my brain and not to ignore when it calls. Being sick doesn’t make me weak. It actually makes me stronger.
My husband and I are closer, because we’ve had to be. Communication is crucial when we’ve gone through as much in four years as we have.
I also fell head over heals for Paws in the City and the people involved. Volunteering with them probably had more to do with my recovery than anything else did. What started as an every other day Twitter gig quickly turned into a friendship with a super supportive group of people who wanted to see me succeed. Not to mention the dog therapy, as I called it.
If you’re ever feeling depressed, volunteer for a dog shelter or foster organization, and roll around on the floor with a bunch of dogs (or cats). It may not totally cure you, but it’ll sure lift your spirits. And the dogs benefit quite a bit too.
By the way, all the dogs in this post (except the last one, she’s MINE) are available for adoption in Dallas, or you can donate HERE.
Dallas, even after all you put me through the first year, you made up for it in the second. I will miss you. It’s been hard to say goodbye these last few weeks. You’ve given me some great friends and wonderful memories.
But, it’s time to move on. See you guys next time from Peoria!