CHARLIE

In march of 2019 I endured the 2 hardest weeks of my life and to this day I am still recovering. My medication was changed and I became suicidal, which is not like me at all. It was very scary. I was admitted to a mental hospital and on the third day I was there my uncle passed away. They discharged me that day to be with my family. I should have stayed much longer. While I was there they did change my meds which has helped tremendously and I’m getting better. Adopting Charlie was never part of the plan. I didnt even know jhe exsisted until a support animal became part of my mental health plan. It was reccomended to me I get a support dog. However, I’m in college and while it would be very nice it would be inhumane to keep a dog in the dorms and I didn’t think I could give it all the attention it would need on a daily basis. I was struggling to keep myself alive I didn’t think being responsible for another life was a step in the right direction.

Then I met Charlie. Adopting him was a hard choice and I know your thinking “if she couldn’t provide for a dog how is a cat any different?” and not to discriminate but they are different. Charlie is very laid back and caring for him is relaxing. It never feels like a chore. He’s perfect for me. All he wants to do is cuddle and sleep.

Charlie was adopted as my emotional support animal. I know people think an emotional support animal is pretentious or whatever but in my case and many other peoples cases it is very beneficial. There is many complexities in mental health. Maslow’s hierarchy for human needs simplifies this into 5 levels: (in chronological order) Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem, Self-actualization. Many people with mental disorders fail to meet the top 3 on a daily basis. In march I was struggling with Safety, after I met those needs we began to work on Love and Belonging. This is difficult for me. I’m away from home. I scared some people when I went to the hospital and because this is my first semester at college I don’t have the vast friend group many other college students have. With that my roommate moved at the beginning of the semester. I am living alone and it can get lonely. I have no one to bug at 4:30 in the morning when I can’t sleep because I’m in a bad mental state. Charlie is that “person”. He loves me. He loves cuddles and kisses. In times of need that can make all the difference. As for moving forward onto esteem, taking care of Charlie has given me hope for myself. I can confidently write this and acknowledge the fact that I have a mental disorder in a healthy manner. I’m not attributing all of that too Charlie but it has helped to have someone to talk to and grow with.

Currently Charlie is not living with me at college. The experience I speak of above is from when I was home with him. He was going to come down end of march, right after he was nurtured. During the surgery there was a complication and he was not approved to come live with me. He is being neutered by a specialist soon and will join me afterwards. My friends have been helping me recover for the time being. I’m so appreciative of all the support they have shown me. They have gone above and beyond to help me feel better. I hope bringing Charlie to college will relieve them from me in that regard. As an adult I should not be leaning on people as much as I have been.

Anyways, that’s his story. He absolutely adorable and such a pretty kitty. He is only 6 months old and I can’t wait to grow with him. I hope you enjoy the gallery below!