In honor of National Recovery Month I would like to welcome today’s guest-blogger Seth Polzer. Enjoy!
I believe recovery comes with the utilization of a wide variety of tools that some find useful and some do not. I am simply emphasizing one particular part of my recovery, which is varied as well as in-depth. Instead of telling my story from past to present, I would like to emphasize the importance of having a loving support network of friends and family. One recent example comes to mind that brought me back from the gates of death. This community member greets me every day and has played a major role in my recovery from schizophrenia and other disorders. He is my cat Skeeter, an orange tabby who just turned nine years old in July.
Skeeter was born in Athens, Ohio. I acquired him from The Athens County Humane Society, who had placed him with his cage in a local retail store, where he was free to roam around for a possible adoption. I was doing well with my medication, but had great difficulties socializing and felt very lonely. When I finally saw this critter, he was full of energy and was fighting with the other cats who were also, “on display” at the same shop. The line was cast, and I took the bait. I took him home that day. Over the years, I watched this guy turn from professional grappler and MMA fighter to a more laid back master of his domain. His companionship has helped me through some dark times.
One such example was when I was suffering from deep suicidal ideas. I had in my possession a lethal dose of medicine and was preparing to die by overdose. Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I made my preparations and I was coming to terms with the fact that this was going to be the end. While I was crying, he jumped on my bed and lied down next to me with assurance. When it came down to it, the only thing holding me back was my commitment to my cat and that I did not want to burden his life without me. That alone is what saved my life. I was able to get out of that horrible situation with his intervention.
For people recovering from addiction and/or mental illness, I highly recommend bringing a pet into one’s life. Pets offer a great deal of love, joy and companionship that cannot be replicated or replaced by any human being.