Anxiety attack day. I became so afraid of the world in a matter of minutes. LOUD noises, why is everything so loud? My heart is beating fast. People look threatening. I am beginning to tremble. I am going to cry and know that if I let it out, the tears won’t stop and I will lose control. I do not feel like me, me is gone. I think I am going to fall down because my knees are trembling. I cannot see things as they should be. Oh god, please don’t let this be happening again. It is. I am holding on to Rosie for dear life.
There are screaming teenagers coming close to us. They are LOUD, they are scaring me. I am so very frightened, I feel terror. One of them races by us on his bike, barely missing Rosie by inches. She does not startle, she is glued to my side. Rosie is safety in this strange world that is surrounding and choking me. There are more teenagers, throwing things, making the deafening noises that are making my heart beat out of my chest.
I run into Safeway to tell the security guards but it is hard to think, speak or breathe. Rosie is so close to me and the only connection to reality I have right now. I think if I leave the store at the far entrance I will not see the gang of teenagers. I am trying to survive, create an escape route and get home before I completely lose control. I am seeing the world through sheer panic. Rosie knows I need to get home.
All of a sudden a man is arguing with me. He is dark and dirty, I notice huge scabs on his arms and legs. He smells like rotting garbage and Rosie is moving very close to me. His hair is oily, messy and black. He is slurring his words as if drunk. He is very angry and LOUD. In my mind I am terrified.
He is yelling at me that dogs are not allowed in the store and he is coming closer. Rosie is calm, seated and extremely alert. I cannot speak. He is so close now his smell is making me sick. The cashier is trying to calm the man but he is oblivious to her.
I think he wants to hurt me, I know he does. He reaches violently to try to grab Rosie, he became so close to us that Rosie had to nudge him to keep him back. Rosie then looked directly at me with her loving eyes to see if I was ok, making sure she kept space between us and this horrible man. I believe she saved both of us from injury and further confrontation.
Rosie was now safely blocking me. She had the sense and ability to do what I, (in my state of panic), could not.
The security guards took the man away. I am crying, shaking and not in this world of reality. Rosie took me home, auto pilot? More like auto service dog! My son was at home by himself. What would have happened without my service dog? I know for a fact that without her I would have been taken away by ambulance; unable to find my way out of the terror, panic and my surreal world. My son would have been left alone to worry about his mom. Rosie got me home to safety and my meds.
I am home now. Why did my illness rear its ugly head when I least expected it? So many good days and then I spiral down in a second. I am starting to breathe again while hugging Rosie. She is my gentle, loving, supportive service dog that allows me to have the courage to face a sometimes scary world.
My illness will be with me always and that has terrified me today. Rosie will be with me through every day and every challenge. I have her to give me the courage to face the monsters that my mind challenges me with. Rosie is my loyal companion, service dog and most beloved member of our family. I will NEVER give up with her by my side.
My ‘Kiss From a Rose” will never forget to let me know
‘Who I Am Makes a Difference’