George and Mildred have been with me for two weeks. It’s like I’m living in a whirlwind… everything has been turned upside down and I love them. I am able to recognise real moments of joy. They are affectionate, funny, naughty and mine. And of course, emotionally, I am all over the place!
I am trying to stick with my emotions. I am using the pups to help me identify moments of happiness which has been lovely to observe. But the separation anxiety has been pretty strong 😦 I was naive to think I wouldn’t feel it. But I hoped, in the passing 4 years since my previous dog, I had been cured. I haven’t been cured, but I have been more equipped. I have made myself leave them… crate them… ignore them… I have practised “opposite action” more times in these two weeks than in ages! And I am doing ok.
But the anxiety has been upsetting. Because I do not want to feel it. I do not want to live with this feeling in my chest. I want to be free to love, but free to be separate.
I saw Penelope yesterday and was feeling quite despondent about it all. But I am determined to crack this thing… whatever ‘this thing’ may be. We explored it. And I keep hitting blanks… but then a ping moment… we stumbled on something I hadn’t thought of before… the ping got louder and clearer… and do you know what… I think we may have stumbled on the root of my anxiety at leaving the dogs. Possibly obvious to everyone else, but it was new for me, and I knew it was real.
I had left the pups to go and see Penelope, (about 3 hours) I went home for lunch and was going to take them to school. I was only going to be away maximum 2 hours… even though I could have taken them I put my new information into practise and left them. They were fed, watered and safe. They didn’t need to be with me. And I didn’t need to be with them.
As often happens, my thinking has been really tested… Mildred was poorly after her injections, we were stuck in M25 traffic on their first long journey. But we did it. I did it. I can do it.
I always knew George and Mildred were going to provide opportunities for me to grow, be challenged and learn. I am so glad I faced the fear and got them. They are precious.
Thanks for listening.