Carol: My Story

As I have moved forward in my recovery, I have experienced many trials. For a few years, I was homeless and unemployable. While awaiting the decision on my disability, I was able to obtain housing through a grant. When my cash assistance was cut, community resources were able to meet my needs. In retrospect, it’s obvious my needs were being met, but during those times it all seemed so hopeless.

The time came when my case manager heard of an elderly disabled housing community where I could apply, since I now had my cash assistance back. When we went to fill out the paperwork, I was shown an apartment. It was huge compared to where I had lived for the past years. In order to live in this apartment, I had to overcome my fear of heights, but if afforded me much needed exercise and a view.

After I moved in I kept seeing people with dogs and expressed my wish for one. One day the apartment manager came to me with a puppy that needed a home. She gave me food, treats and a leash. I fell in love. Soon I realized I would no longer be able to indulge in my agoraphobia. Maggie was young and needed to go out often. She also opened my world to people. It’s amazing how friendly people are when you’re walking a dog! I taught Maggie to be gentle, not to bark, and to be friendly. She has taught me to enjoy each single moment, to be open to joy and unconditional love. So often when I feel depressed or anxious, she seems to know and comforts me.

I have since received my disability benefits and many things in my life have changed for the better. It would be easy to get caught up in the “things” and money. Instead, my focus has been in creating my HOME. I’ve also adopted a cat, Tennessee, who was displaced because of a fire in her owner’s home. Tennessee and Maggie are best friends. We are three females, different species, but a most perfect family.

Maggie and Tennessee have taught me to share my love with others and that no matter where I am in my recovery, I AM LOVABLE!