How getting Hope has brought me joy
I’ve only had Hope for ten days, but it’s definitely not too soon to conclude that this little goldendoodle is making my life golden.
In the short amount of time I’ve had her, Hope has added joy to my life in so many ways:
- I spend more time outside: my parents don’t have a doggie door, so I spend a lot of time taking Hope out to the backyard, to the dog park, or on walks around the neighborhood or at the Pathfinder trail. I’m a firm believer that the more time you spend outside, the better, so this has been a welcomed change!
- I’m more outgoing: having a cute doodle as your companion naturally sparks more random conversations. I’ve found myself chatting with the mailman, neighbors, and people on trails—none of this would have happened normally because I would have been walking around with earphones in looking rather unapproachable!
- Movement is joyful and not associated with obsessive patterns or eating disorder behaviors: I used to wear a Fitbit and obsess over how many steps I was getting in or how far I had walked or gone on the elliptical. Since getting Hope, my walks are no longer tied to these things. Instead, I focus on spending time with my dog and how happy the walk is making her.
- I appreciate “little things” more: when I take Hope to the backyard, I try to see my surroundings the same way Hope does. I love how excited she gets when she finds the perfect stick/twig, her curiosity when deer pass by, or how quickly she runs for her favorite red ball. Hope’s authentic joy when my mom, dad, or I come to see her also shows how wonderful it is to be greeted and valued by others.
- I get to see the constellations: the night sky from my parent’s backyard is gorgeous! I never would have known this if I hadn’t gotten Hope. I’m no expert on constellations, but I can always recognize Orion’s belt and see a plethora of other stars. Quite different from OKC!
- I’ve established a healthy routine: I awaken at a healthy and consistent hour every day to take Hope out, and similarly put her to bed at a reasonable time. In between, I take her out at regular intervals, which causes me to assess my own eating patterns and water intake. Lastly, I can’t be away from home from too long, which is a good change from my old mindset in which I always needed to be busy or on-the-go.
- I see the strength I’m gaining through pursuing recovery: It was twelve degrees and windy the week I got Hope. And I could take her outside and not be overly cold. Similarly, Monday morning I needed to take her out at 3:30 A.M. Half asleep, I didn’t put on a jacket. It was around 30 degrees, and I was able to tolerate it. This may not seem like a big deal to someone who has never experienced the profound cold of living in an eating disorder, but for me, this has been huge. I also have energy to walk her and corral her around, which I see as definite progress.
- I have an added layer of accountability: I’ve vowed to reach and maintain recovery regardless, but having Hope adds another layer of accountability to the mix. I must be my healthiest, strongest self to be able to give her my best.
- Plus she is so cute
Getting Hope was not a decision my family or I took lightly, but so far we are all so glad she is here. Keep following for more stories about the hopeful doodle!