A is for Amy's Acceptance
Time & Location
About the Event
When I first saw this common thread group, I just sat there reading each person’s goals, vulnerabilities, and stories. What an incredible way to weave together a community. Last year was a lot about change and acceptance of what is and what I do not have control of as for so many of use with young children it is. Having a wonderful surprise third child, both Ben and I starting new jobs, and the time constraints with new family demands and outside responsibilities has been a definite challenge. Trying to reconcile that my 36 year old self is no longer equipped to handle the wear and tear and the ease of packing on mileage and exercise like the young college students and not having the time and energy to continue as vigorous and diverse a yoga practice has been difficult. My body has been through a lot and there is a lot of scarring and acceptance of the new norm! Some days, my practice might just have to look like a mindful walk with Henry in the stroller zoning out the cries, barking dogs, and just appreciating my surroundings. Emotionally, I have been through a lot. I tend to keep my vulnerabilities outside of the public eye. My goal for this year is to own those vulnerabilities and to not be afraid to show weaknesses. Showing weaknesses is the first step to making those weaknesses strengths. At the end of April, I will be meeting my service dog. It has been three years in the works, but I will finally meet my companion who will help me with my PTSD, anxieties, and symptoms of trauma that I struggle with. This year I want to help others including myself accept who we are in the here and now, not who we once were, who we want to be, but what we are. This year, my goal is to be in the moment, accept the moment, and not be ashamed of the moment. I will not set a goal to run a distance or do an iron man, because this would be detrimental to taking care of myself. It’s about being aware of my strengths, limitations, and struggles while accepting them and instilling confidence in the person that I am today.
UPDATE July 13, 2020
Hi everyone, so it's been a while since I have posted an update on the thread. I have completed the intensive training with my service dog, Mindi. It was 7 days and it was intense! (And this is coming from someone with three kids and whose gone through medical school!). Mindi is wonderful, but the first months are definitely going to be challenging. We both have to fall into a rhythm with each other, adjust and transition. I need to get used to the stares and the nastiness that I was "prepared" for, but not really. Today is my first full day with Mindi home with us. The kids and I walked into town. Picture Jack on a bike (6 year old), 4 year old Ruby and 1 year old Henry in the double stroller, and Mindi walking along side of me in her service vest trying to ignore the river smells (she is a lab after all!). Dogs are not allowed in the cemetery. Service dogs are allowed in the cemetery. There are only a couple of government buildings where service dogs are not allowed. A group of workers stopped me in the graveyard and said "no dogs are allowed." (I know this bc I am a proud owner of a puggle and do not walk her in the graveyard). I calmly said that she is a service dog (she had her vest on). He said "it doesn't matter." At which point I said by law she is allowed in the cemetery. He said by "the law of the cemetery it doesn't matter what kind of dog she is." I proceeded to call the owner of the service where I had just gotten the dog (as she told me to) and asked if he wanted to speak to her. He then said "I'm good." He also had proceeded to ask me in a nasty tone "what do you need her for anyways." The conversation and the interaction was difficult. This is the second interaction in 48 hours that I have had in Williamstown that has been difficult! I have brought Mindi in Greenfield (through the training) to supermarket, Home Depot, and outdoor restaurants and was well received. I'm saddened and shocked that my interactions thus far in my own town have not been positive. Just because you can't see someones disability or weaknesses doesn't mean that they aren't vulnerable. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and compassion. The world right now is tough enough - why do people have to make it harder?
On the way home, my son said, "let's avoid walking through the graveyard." I said, "absolutely not, we were not breaking the law and we will not be conditioned to do what others want us to do out of their ignorance." You may ask why I care so much about walking through the graveyard. Well, yes it is nice and more convenient to town, but it also is where the twins that I delivered and that passed away are buried. I visit them and I would like to have the support of my service dog (for anxiety and PTSD) with me while I visit. Just remember, you never know everything about a person. People may appear invincible and fine, but they may be vulnerable. Right now with COVID-19 and all of the racial injustices and turmoil in our society it's safe to assume that nobody is okay.