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Maybe it can make you feel good too...
avatar
spinnato posted:
I've suffered with agrophobia and BPD all of my life but got a diagnosis a couple years ago. When I was diagnosed, I was at my lowest point. I was being investigated for welfare fraud (I was a worker) because my 'friend' hid some of her mis-deeds in my name. I was cleared but, that was the final straw for my already fragile mental health. I had a nervous breakdown and I could not leave my room. I lost my job and got on disability.
I got medicated and stable and have been working hard with my pdoc and tdoc. I am by no means cured but I'm making progress. One of the things that held me down was the lack of productivity. My kids are school age and I had 7 hours per day which was unstructured. Unstructured time is dangerous for me. For me, there's only so much reading, tv watching, cleaning, and exercise that can be done a day. In my previous life, I helped people and loved to do that. But, who can you help locked up in your house/prison all day?
Through Facebook, I became friends with my local humane society. It was there I learned I could be a foster parent for an animal in need. I began by fostering a mother cat with her infant kittens because I couldn't face the idea they'd be raised in a shelter with little human contact (althought I know they tried to give each animal care, no doubt about it). They provided the food, medical care, medicine, bowls, bed, litter pan, and litter. I haven't had to spend one dime, except when I wanted to buy toys or stuff. All you have to provide is space. No matter what my mood, I could always care for the babies since they really didn't require much care from me.
It has been a joy and pleasure fostering these families. They've given me so much more than I could give them, like a sense of acomplishment and a little pride in myself. They make me laugh. They let me hold them when I cry. They let me feel like I'm making a difference. They made me feel worthy of their love and worthwhile as a human being.
Most humane societies runs a foster pet program. Mine has dogs, cats, litters, rabbits, and many other pets. And, if you choose to foster, you may be able to get a deeply discounted pet of your own. You even get first choice on your foster pet but you are not requiered to keep them.
Maybe you can do some good of your own. The rewards are endless.
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Joseph F. Goldberg, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. He also maintains a private prac...More

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