chance
i lost my 2 senior boys just 2 months apart. my 15 yr old had gradual issues. i had been experiencing “anticipatory grief” for over a year my counselor said. it didn’t make the loss easier. but long story short , I knew it was coming. He outlived his life expectancy. Had quality of life till the end. Was walking a mile or two a day (slowly). but loved to sniff in the woods. My other boy was just 12. i had hoped he’d have a few more good years at least. Then bam, cancer diagnosis , and passed in two wks. Grieving is hard on us all. we all grieve different. But i wanted to bring to light , for those that suffer and live this, and to those who don’t, and don’t understand it. That when you add Mental Illness to the mix, with grieving , it tends to be a hard battle to overcome. Some still may have a stigma about mental illness. but it’s real and it effects us emotionally and physically as well. The total loss of motivation that deep depression brings, is not laziness. it’s part of the illness that we wish we didn’t have. My boys eased my anxiety. they eased my depression. but it was still there. With them gone, i’m in a dark place. Yes i see drs and counselors. Who suggest giving myself the time to grieve and not getting much done at the moment is ok. Telling others to get over it. move on. You need to function in society right now, is not helpful. and it’s not what my psychiatrist suggests. I spoke to him today. As I was feeling pretty low at how another responded to my grief. So if you battle a mental illness and have lost a fur baby. it’s ok to take your time and grieve, and do what you can on your terms. Seek help if you need it. And don’t let others comments get to you. Do what is best for you. My boys were my whole world. so of course my world is turned upside down right now. be kind to one another as you don’t know what that person on the other end of chat is going through. sorry for all of your losses. best regards.
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ksfrick
Chance:

I am so sorry.  I lost my boy very similarly to your experience with your 15 year old.  Bubba had quality of life too and it does give me some peace of mind and relief to know his life and his death were about the best case scenario they could have been.  That doesn't do anything for me missing him - feeling the sadness and not having him to hug.  I don't know how I would have done it if I had another dog and he went so suddenly afterward.  My heart goes out to you.

Pets are so good for those of us who have depression, anxiety, etc.  They are unconditional and always there when we need them - as we often do.  I have triggers around loss so on top of the grief of losing my boy, the loss trigger is popping up and making everything worse.

Advice isn't always welcome at this time.  Sometimes we just need someone to acknowledge our huge loss and let us know we are thinking of them.  So, just so you know - you aren't alone and I am so very sorry you are suffering.   Losing a being so special and close is devastating. 

Hugs,
Bubba's Mom
Bubba's Mom
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Kate1736
I’m so deeply sorry you’ve lost your boys. I know how much more intense the pain is when you struggle with mental illness. I just lost one of my girls today and my anxiety and depression make the hurt so much worse. I don’t just feel loss and heartbreak, I feel guilt (maybe I could have done more), I feel self hatred, I keep replaying her quick decline and eventual demise over and over looking for things I could have changed. I focus on all the things we never got to do. I too look to my girls to cope with anxiety. Omi alwsays slept beside me, now that her life was cut so short, my insomnia will surely worsen. I thought your post was very brave and encouraging. Thank you for your vulnerability. Your feelings are valid. I see and respect your hurt. Your pets were lucky to have you.
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chance
ks....thank you for your reply. i’m very sorry for your loss. I’m glad that your baby had quality of life till the end. you are so right about how dogs help us with anxiety. taking them for a walk or just petting them really helps at times. I also have fears about loss. My current dog i’ve had 2 yrs is about 3 and a half. i worry more so now about him getting sick. I have the same issue thinking i will get a disease. i’m a mess. thanks again for your kind words of support. hugs to you during your grief
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chance
kate...i’m truly sorry for your loss today. the first day is so hard. yes you are so right about anxiety/depression making it harder. it tends to magnify our worries, fears etc. like the mind won’t shut off. I’m sure Omi had a great life and that’s why the place he chose to lay was next to you. We all feel guilt about something. wish we could of done more. My second loss was more sudden. I wondered did I miss something too. the vet assured me it was best I didn’t know when he was still enjoying life. As there werent positive options for lengthening his life very long at all. i hope you can rest tonight. you are in my thoughts.
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Merlysmum
Your post really hit home. I lost my shih-poo, Merlin, a year ago this Monday. I too had anticipatory grief. To lose both your dogs in such a short time span is beyond cruel, beyond comprehension. How you survived is a miracle. I have suffered from depression my entire life and when I lost my reason to live (my sweet dog), I lost 13 pounds and my ability to sleep. Eventually, I checked into the hospital psych ward for a week (I'm in Canada so it cost nothing, thank God). As with you, my world was built around my dog. He was everything to me. He helped me through my mum's death and other hard times. My psychiatrist gave me drugs (besides the depression ones I was already taking) so I could get some sleep but my anxiety is still with me every day. It's often hard to function. Unfortunately the best drugs for anxiety are addictive so I do my best to avoid them. Do NOT ever let your doctor prescribe Quetiapine (I think the brand name is Seroquel)! It helps you sleep but is SO hard to get off of. Back to survival, you do what you can. I haven't thrown Merlin's bed, leash or coats away. I don't think I ever will. I may get another dog, for companionship, this fall. How about you? Do you think you will ever be able to go through such hell again? I'm pretty sure I could literally have not survived the loss of 2 dogs in one year, never mind a few months. I admire your strength. Life can be so hard but, for me, nothing will ever be as hard as losing my dog.
We are all in this together. Sending hope for your strength to continue. Many thanks for posting.
Joanne Brigden
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chance
merlesmum..thank you so much for all your kind words. I sure don’t feel strong lol. I guess i’m just going through the motions at this point. I do force myself to get Ryker to the park daily. and that’s about all i manage most days. I know i will have to go through this pain again with him. he’s around 3 or 4. i’ve had him 2 years. I am working with his past foster mom to find another dog buddy for him. after they live out their lives, i may be done with going through the pain. But they bring us so much joy and companionship and love, while they are with us. I’m glad to hear you may get another dog. It’s not replacing our lost babies. We are just opening our heart to a dog who needs love that we can give. They truly help us through the rough times and make the good times better. I’m glad you found help when you needed it. i’ve been seeing drs also. I lost nearly as much weight as you did. but i was able to sleep. i love sleep. it’s my escape when things are hard i guess. I have heard the natural supplement , melatonin is helpful for sleep, but i would check with your doctor first. I take klonepin. also addictive, but they’ve had me on it for years. They say my mental issues are resistant to meds. klonepin just takes the edge off. I understand you keeping merle’s things. i have my boys collars on my bedpost. didn’t wash them. wanted their scent and hair to remain on them. I think people who love their pets all have a hard time with grief. But anxiety/depression just magnifies so many feelings. it’s hard to explain. i have not been motivated. and am in a dark place. i only have one friend. not a big support system. many just don’t understand why we can’t move on. if we could, we would. i hope you find a dog that brings you comfort and joy. he may even help your grief , as merle did when your mom passed away. but you have to wait until you are ready. i’m truly sorry to hear about the loss of merle and your mom as well. thank you very much. your kind words inspired me to finish setting up Gavin’s memorial today. i’ve been putting it off. hope to chat sometime. take care of yourself and find comfort in the great life you gave your baby. i’ve been trying to keep that in mind. so many dogs out there never get that sadly. best regards.
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Sil
chance, Merlysmum,

Back in 2004 my father was in a hospice and passed away.  I started suffering from depression, then, anxiety/panic attacks.  Hubby and I, always have had dogs, and their presence helped me.  Depression was cured, however, the anxiety/panic attacks decided to stay with me.  But, in 2006, my "heart" male doggie, Sol came into my life.  Sol became my "shadow".  His extraordinary "sense" detected when I was not feeling well.  Our "routine" was, take my medicine, get to the second floor bathroom,  put a mattress on the floor, wet cold towel for my face/neck, a fan on - for some reason, I need to feel cold air.  Sol would stay by my side, for hours.  I often would wake up, open my eyes and feel his body near me....he was my best medicine. 

Sol said good bye, on July 17, 2017.....my world is not the same.

Thank you both, for being brave and posting regarding mental conditions.  These illnesses plus the grief of losing a beloved pet, make everything so much harder.  I am very sorry for your loss.  (((Hugs))) 
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chance
sil... very sorry about the losses you have experienced. I’m glad for you that Sol was there to comfort you. He sounds like he was like your therapy dog. glad your depression eased up. it’s awful as you know and so hard to come out of. My anxiety has been with me from childhood. it’s decided to stay for life lol. my depression comes and goes throughout my life, but got really bad last year , when Chance began to slowly decline. knowing he was 14 and seeing the mild changes. i just knew. but he lived a year longer than i thought. he had good quality of life till May this year. the depression just isn’t leaving me. then losing Gavin added to the depression. I’m now finding i don’t want to really leave the house. Just to walk my dog that’s it. i don’t like going outside if neighbors are out. i don’t want to talk. it’s lonely but i just need time. I think most people without mental illness, have a hard time with their friends and family thinking they are overreacting and need to move on. a lot of people don’t get how hard it is unless they are a true pet lover. now people with mental illness. it’s way harder in my opinion. everyday issues and problems are way harder, at least for me. i think mental illness makes our grieving more complicated. it has put me in a dark place. my motivation is gone. i’m taking it one day at a time. I’m getting off track lol. sorry. I hope when or if, your ever ready there’s a dog out there waiting for you. some are never ready. and that’s ok. no one can replace my boys. i’m lucky i still had a dog. but now he needs a friend. i think being busier with two will help. dogs are the only thing that’s eased my anxiety. but my current dog is just so good, i get bored lol. i miss my stubborn boys so much. take care
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Sil
chance,

I understand you completely, I know the feeling of "not wanting to do anything", "not wanting to leave the house", "not wanting to be social", "everything takes so much energy", "talking, listening, all is a struggle".  And, yet, all around us, life just "keeps going on....".  Depression takes so much energy, in fact all energy.
I am sorry about you fighting anxiety since childhood - because, it is a fight.  Having dogs in my life has saved me more than once.  Hubby and I adopted a female puppy, but, I need to confess that this fur baby "just chose my hubby for her human", "Maya just runs over me to get to my hubby", is adorable to see and I am ok with this.

I know, this is hard, but, keep taking your fur baby on daily walks, this will help the two of you.  (((Hugs))) 
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